Council is required to review and consult on the way residents are represented at Council, at least once every six years, under the Local Electoral Act 2001.
The review includes examining:
- How Councillors are elected – from wards, at large (elected by the whole city) or a mix of both
- Whether the number of Councillors should remain the same or change
- Whether the city should continue to have second tier representation (such as community boards and panels)
- If there is a second tier option, whether this means retaining community boards and community panels or whether there should be change.
Divisional Manager Policy and Regulatory Wendy Moore says this is an important opportunity for residents to consider how they are represented in Council, one that only comes along once every six years.
“People should consider whether the current system is working for them and their communities and then consider whether change is warranted and how this might look,” she says. “This review is central to how democracy works in Lower Hutt so it’s important residents get involved.”
Council has already held one survey on Council representation. This survey provided Council with information on which to develop a set of options for representation which are being tested via a second survey (both telephone and Citizen’s Panel) over the period 31 May to 2 July 2018. This second survey can be accessed at: https://survey.publicvoice.co.nz/s3/rep2018-fb
Background information on the Representation Review and the options are available in hard copy at local libraries.
Council expects to agree on a draft proposal at the end of July, with formal consultation on the draft proposal to be held in August.
Currently, Councillors are elected by the residents of six wards – two Councillors representing each ward, with the Mayor elected by residents across the city.
Residents are also represented by a second tier of representatives on four community panels, representing the northern, western, eastern and central wards, and three community boards representing Wainuiomata, Eastbourne and Petone residents.