How much will it cost to increase the number of councillors to seven?
Councillor pay is allocated from a pool of money. An additional councillor would be paid from that same pool, meaning the amount paid to the current six councillor positions would reduce to meet the cost.
Have you considered adding a Maori Ward?
Yes. Council considered this at a meeting in August, 2020. According to Statistics NZ, the Mackenzie District contains 63 Maori electors. This population ratio does not meet the threshold to establish a Maori ward under the Electoral Act. The Local Government Commission recommends that Council considers other ways of encouraging Maori representation in local decision making. This work is underway.
Did Council consider reducing the number of councillors?
Yes. This was not supported because the current workload of councillors is heavy and reducing the number of councillors would place an extra burden on those remaining.
How much will it cost the ratepayers to have an extra ward?
The only cost will be the initial cost to survey the boundaries of the new ward.