Your Choice - 2022 Election Review Consultation

On March 16, 2021, the Mackenzie District Council reviewed its representation arrangements and decided it would like to make some changes to how councillors and community boards are elected. Members of the public were invited to consider these changes and provide feedback.

The goal of this review is to provide for ‘effective representation of communities of interest’ and ‘fair representation of electors’ (as required by the Local Government Act). In this process, the word “fair” means having equal representation for all voters across the district.

Submissions closed on 30th April 2021. 17 submissions were received and one person asked to address Council in person. That took place in Twizel on May 18. Council is currently reviewing those submissions and will advertise a final proposal soon.

On March 16, 2021, the Mackenzie District Council reviewed its representation arrangements and decided it would like to make some changes to how councillors and community boards are elected. Members of the public were invited to consider these changes and provide feedback.

The goal of this review is to provide for ‘effective representation of communities of interest’ and ‘fair representation of electors’ (as required by the Local Government Act). In this process, the word “fair” means having equal representation for all voters across the district.

Submissions closed on 30th April 2021. 17 submissions were received and one person asked to address Council in person. That took place in Twizel on May 18. Council is currently reviewing those submissions and will advertise a final proposal soon.

  • Update June 3, 2021

    Thank you for submitting on the Mackenzie District Council Election Review. The submission period has now closed and the submissions have been uploaded to Let’s Talk. If you would like to read the submissions you can download them here.


    The Election Review was first promoted on our Let’s Talk engagement website in October last year. Since then, 458 people have looked at the Election Review page, 205 people have clicked documents or links on that page and read further information, and 54 people have asked questions or submitted their thoughts. It has been great to see this engagement. Your feedback has really helped us get a feel for what the community wants.



    The next steps:

    1. I am reviewing your submissions to see if changes can be made to the proposal to address the issues you have raised. The council is restricted by electoral legislation, so in some cases we cannot do what you suggest. But sometimes it is possible to make adjustments.
    2. I am also seeking advice on whether the proposed changes would have a rates impact on some ratepayers, and what that impact would be.
    3. A report with this information will go to the councillors to be considered in a council meeting. The council is pretty busy working on the Long Term Plan at the moment (our 10-year budget for the entire district), so this matter will need to wait until July or August. The councillors will consider all the information, including your submissions, before making a decision.
    4. The outcome of this will be advertised and posted on both the Let’s Talk platform and Council’s website. Members of the public who feel strongly will then have an opportunity to appeal the council decision if they are not happy.



  • Current Situation

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    The Mackenzie District is currently split into two electoral wards - Opuha and Pukaki - with three councillors elected from each ward. The Mayor is elected at large.

    There are currently three community boards, Twizel, Tekapo and Fairlie. Each community board has four members elected from the community and one appointed councillor. The community board boundaries enclose the urban areas of each town.

    It is not possible to continue with the status quo because the latest census shows that the population of the Twizel/Pukaki area has grown faster than the population of the Fairlie/Opuha area. This has created an imbalance between the two wards.



  • Changes to Council Representation

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    It is proposed that the Council comprises of the Mayor and seven members elected from three wards.

    What Would Change?

    1. The number of wards in the district would increase from two to three with the creation of a new, Tekapo Ward.

    2. The number of councillors in the district would increase from six to seven, plus the Mayor.

    Reasons for Change

    1. Updated population statistics have been released by Statistics New Zealand. This shows that the population of the Pukaki Ward has grown much faster than the Opuha Ward. The current arrangement of two equal wards now falls outside the statutory requirement for a fair population-to-member ratio, so the current arrangements cannot legally continue.

    2. Pre-engagement with the community showed that some Tekapo voters strongly supported the creation of a Tekapo ward.

    How Would it Look?

    The wards will reflect the following identified communities of interest:

    Ward

    Pukaki Ward

    Twizel township and the rural area to the west and south of Lake Pukaki, but not including Mount Cook Village.

    Tekapo Ward

    Tekapo township and the rural area from the shore on the eastern side of Lake Pukaki to the top of the mountain range that separates the Mackenzie basin from the South Canterbury low land.

    Opuha Ward

    Fairlie, Burkes Pass, Kimbell and Albury townships and the rural area from Burkes Pass in the west to the boundary with Timaru District Council in the east.


    The population that each member will represent is as follows:


    Population

    (2018 census)

    Members

    Population-Member Ratio

    Pukaki Ward

    2,423

    3

    807

    Opuha Ward

    2,310

    3

    770

    Tekapo Ward

    687

    1

    687

    Total

    5,420

    7

    774


    In accordance with section 19V(2), Local Electoral Act 2001, the population that each member represents must be within the range of 774 +/- 10% (697 to 851), unless particular community of interest considerations justify otherwise. This proposal does not fit within the stipulated range.

    Only the representation of the Tekapo Ward falls outside the stipulated range. The Council considers that the Tekapo Ward warrants a ratio outside the range for the effective representation of communities of interest within isolated communities situated within the district.



  • Changes to Community Board Representation

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    It is proposed that the three community boards continue with the same number of members, but that the boundaries be expanded to include rural areas.

    What Would Change?

    Community board boundaries would be extended from the current township-only arrangement to include the entire ward area. This means everyone in the district would vote for community board members as well as the councillor/s and Mayor.

    Reason for Change

    Council and community boards recognise that people living in rural areas use township services such as parks, community centres and swimming pools, and should therefore have a say in who governs these assets.

    How Would it Look?

    It is proposed that the following three community boards be elected at the 2022 election:

    Twizel Community Board

    Four (4) elected members from the Pukaki Ward as a whole and one (1) appointed member, (the appointed member being a Pukaki Ward councillor, appointed by Council). The community board boundary shall be the same as the boundary of the Pukaki Ward.

    Tekapo Community Board

    Four (4) elected members from the Tekapo Ward as a whole and one (1) appointed member, (the appointed member being the Tekapo Ward councillor). The community board boundary shall be the same as the boundary of the Tekapo Ward.

    Fairlie Community Board

    Four (4) elected members from the Opuha Ward as a whole and one (1) appointed member, (the appointed member being an Opuha Ward councillor, appointed by Council). The community board boundary shall be the same as the boundary of the Opuha Ward.