Representation Review - Your city elections

Closed 6 Oct 2021

Opened 25 Aug 2021

Feedback updated 16 Nov 2021

We asked

In August 2021, Hamilton City Council underwent a wider representation review, following the decision in May 2021 to establish Maaori wards for the next two local government elections. We sought feedback over a six-week period on our initial proposal for wider representation arrangements. The review was done to ensure fair and effective representation for all Hamiltonians, in line with legislative requirements.

Our initial proposal was to:

  • Retain current general ward arrangement of six councillors elected in the East Ward, and six councillors elected in the West Ward.
  • Retain the mayor elected at-large.
  • Increase the total number of Councillors to 14.
  • Introduce one city-wide Maaori ward with two Maaori ward councillors.
  • Not introduce community boards.

You said

We received 451 submissions with a variety of views put forward.

  • 177 responses (39%) supported the initial proposal in its entirety.
  • 274 responses (61%) did not support the initial proposal in its entirety.
  • 12 people had their say at the Hearing and Engagement Committee meeting via zoom. 

The consultation asked submitters whether they supported the initial proposal or not, and why. There were four key components of the proposal, of which 3 out of 4 were supported by most of those who commented on them as below:

  1. Increase total number of Councillors to 14: Of the 296 who commented on this, 143 (48%) supported the proposed increase to 14 Councillors.
  2. Retain the current East/West general ward arrangements with 6 Councillors in each: Of the 175 who commented on this, 105 (60%) supported keeping the current East and West general wards.
  3. Introduce a city-wide Maaori ward with two Maaori ward Councillors: Of the 52 who commented on this, 41 (79%) supported a city-wide Maaori ward.
  4. No community boards: Of the 43 who commented on this, 27 respondents (63%) disagreed with the proposal and instead sought the introduction of community boards.

Many comments (over a third) were on topics out of scope for this consultation, particularly in relation to Maaori wards - a decision which has already been made. This has tended to slightly skew the ratio of support/non-support of the proposal. Therefore, it is important to note that:

  • 99 comments from the 274 submissions that did not support the initial proposal said this was because they did not support the introduction of Maaori wards.
  • If the submissions rejecting the proposal on these grounds are disregarded as out of scope, the balance of submissions for and against the initial proposal is closer to 50/50.
  • Several submissions also referenced inadequate levels of Maaori representation in general. However, the number of Maaori ward seats is determined by population proportion set by legislation.

We did

On 11 November, Councillors considered the public submissions and voted to approve the initial proposal as the final proposal for representation arrangements, adding two city-wide Maaori ward seats to the otherwise unchanged Council table.

This decision will be publicly notified on 17 November.

If there are no appeals, the new representation arrangements will come into effect for the next local Government election in October 2022.

Appeals

From 17 November to 17 December, anyone who has made a submission on Council’s initial proposal may lodge an appeal against Council’s decision. An appeal must relate to the matters raised in that person’s submission and will be considered by the Local Government Commission who will then make a determination on the final representation arrangements for Hamilton City Council.

Appeals can be submitted at www.hamilton.govt.nz/representationreview or in hardcopy to the Hamilton City Council, Garden Place or the city libraries from 17 November 2021. Appeals must be received by the Council by 5.00pm Friday 17 December 2021.

Overview

We’re looking at how Hamiltonians are represented by our Council.

We’ve looked at a number of options and we have an initial proposal that we think gives us fair and effective representation for all Hamiltonians. But we want to know what you think.

Why your views matter

Thank you for sharing your voice. This consultation opened 25 August and we accepted feedback until 6 October.  

To view submissions and find out what the next stages are click the link below.