Horizons' seeks feedback on representation arrangements

Horizons Regional Council is reviewing its existing community representation arrangements and wants to hear your thoughts before submissions close at noon, 14 May 2018.

Every six years local authorities are required to carry out a review of the number of councillors, and the number and boundaries of areas they represent.
Horizons’ electoral officer Craig Grant says an initial proposal for consultation, which is to remain with existing arrangements, was presented at the Regional Council committee on 27 March.
“This proposal was supported subject to the community having the opportunity to have their say,” he says.
“There are three things that have to be balanced; identifying communities of interest, effective representation, and fair representation. Undertaking this review ensures that people and communities have access to fair and effective representation of their interests by their local councils.
“Regional councils must also have between six and fourteen elected councillors, and the boundaries of constituencies must align as much as possible with other electoral boundaries,” explains Mr Grant.
The Local Government Commission has a role in ensuring council reviews are carried out properly and their arrangements meet the requirements of the Local Electoral Act 2001, and the Commission’s guidelines.

More information about the review, the existing arrangements and how to have your say can be found here.

More information:
Communities of interest are based on perceptual (belonging to a clearly defined area or locality), functional (ability to meet with reasonable economy the community's requirements for comprehensive physical and human services) and political (the ability of the elected body to represent the interests and reconcile the conflicts of all its members) attributes.
Effective representation includes avoiding barriers to participation, and not splitting communities of interest or grouping together those with few common interests. Things like the size and accessibility of an area are also important, to ensure that all residents can access their councillors, and councillors can attend meetings and represent their communities' views.
Fair representation seeks to ensure that each councillor represents a similar number of people. If the difference from the average is more than 10 percent in any constituency, then the Local Government Commission will make the final determination on whether council's final proposal is appropriate.