He Arotake Kanohitanga | Representation Review

A representation review looks at how many councillors there should be for our regional council, the boundaries of the area each represents, and the names of those areas (also know as constituencies). Representation reviews are usually carried out by councils every six years. This year, Council chose to include Māori constituencies at the next local government election – which means Horizons will have two representatives elected by voters on the Māori electoral role. This decision triggered an earlier than planned review of our current representation arrangements to ensure fair and effective representation continues for everyone across the region.

What happens now submissions have closed? 

Submitters are now able to appeal Council's decision to adopt this proposal without change, each submitter has been contacted or will be contacted to ensure they understand the process. Any appeals will be given to the Local Government Commission. Council will also send its final proposal to the LGC to determine, as it does not currently meet the 'fair representation' threshold (some areas are over-represented).

Submitting an appeal

Any person who made a submission on the Council’s initial proposal may lodge an appeal against the Council’s decision. The appeal must relate to the matters raised in that person’s submission.

Appeals must be made in writing and must be received by Council no later than 11.59pm, Sunday 5 December 2021.

Any queries regarding the Council’s decision should be directed to:

  • Katharine Tongs, Electoral Official (Freephone 0508 800 800 or 06 9522 800)
  • Physical address – Horizons Regional Council, 11-15 Victoria Avenue, Palmerston North 4442
  • Postal address – Horizons Regional Council, Private Bag 11025, Palmerston North 4442
  • Email – submissions@horizons.govt.nz

What is Council adopting?

After considering a number of potential representation arrangements, Council has adopted a proposal that keeps the exisiting six general constituencies and their boundaries and adds two Māori constituencies. The proposal includes the same number of general councillors we currently have, which is 12, and an additional two for the new Māori constituencies, equating to 14 councillors in total. 

Earlier this year, Council held two workshops where they discussed many potential ways constituencies could be arranged. They particularly focused on groupings of communities of interest that wouldn’t split or create unnatural arrangements, and whether effective representation could be provided to residents. Council also ran through many different groupings of councillors across constituencies, to try and evenly spread the number of people each councillor will represent.

Council then adopted an initial proposal which anyone could make a submission on. After considering the points raised in submission, Council has now adopted its final proposal.

He aha tētahi kanohitanga tika? What is fair and effective representation?

Having fair and effective representation means removing barriers to participation, and not splitting recognised communities of interest, or grouping together those which have few common interests. We also must consider things such as the size of a constituency and how accessible it is, as well as whether residents can meet with an elected representative easily.

At the same time, constituency boundaries should line up with existing district council boundaries if possible. Ruapehu Constituency, with its large geographic area, small population, and distinct landscape and local identity, is an example of where these factors have been carefully balanced in Council’s decision to continue to have a separate constituency for the area.

He aha ngā hiahia ā-hapori nei? What are communities of interest?

The term ‘community of interest’ is not defined in the Local Electoral Act 2001 and may mean different things to different people. Overall, it is about considering the interests of groups of people within a constituency; for some this is the iwi they belong to or where they live, while for others it could be a sports team, where they shop or work, or a mountain or lake.
For a regional council, constituencies often bring together quite large groups of communities of interest.
Click here to see what we identified as our communities of interest.

Constituency name Number of Councillors
Ruapehu 1
Whanganui 2
Manawatū-Rangitīkei 2
Palmerston North 4
Horowhenua  2
Tararua 1
Raki 1
Tonga 1

Constituency maps - click to expand

More information

Council paper
Public notification of final proposal
Discussion document 1
Discussion document 2

Ngā Pātai Auau | Frequently asked questions

Click here to expand FAQs