Ward name changes and boundary shifts are among changes to Waikato District Council’s Proposed Representation Review following a determination made by the Local Government Commission (LGC) yesterday.
Eight appeals and objections were heard by the LGC and Council earlier this year and the changes from Council’s final proposal are:
- The names of the district’s two Māori wards have been changed to Tai Raro Takiwaa Maaori Ward and Tai Runga Takiwaa Maaori Ward. This was part of Te Whakakitenga o Waikato’s appeal, supported by Council.
- The boundary between the Tuakau-Pōkeno and the Awaroa-Maramarua General Wards has been moved to include the Mercer airfield in the Tuakau-Pōkeno General Ward
- The Raglan Community Board area has been extended and the Raglan community will not be subdivided into a rural/urban split
- The name of the Waerenga-Hukanui General Ward has been changed to the Waerenga-Whitikahu General Ward
The LGC also confirmed that 13 councillors and a Mayor elected at large provides effective representation of communities of interest and fair representation for electors in the Waikato District for the upcoming local body elections, to be held on 8 October
Additionally, the six community boards proposed in the Representation Review remain, but the Rural-Port Waikato Community Board elected officials will be split by a north-south divide.
Waikato District Council Deputy Mayor, Councillor Aksel Bech welcomed the determination and is pleased with the representation it provides across district communities.
“Our people and communities move freely around our district and indeed the wider neighbouring regions as part of living their everyday lives – whether running businesses, attending school or playing sport – so it’s really
Mission Impossible to perfectly map every ward to every resident," he said.
“We’re pleased that our ward structures have been able to reflect the major communities of urban and rural lifestyles, those influenced by nearby cities Auckland and Hamilton, along with voice of tangata whenua with two new Maaori wards.
“The role of Community Boards and Committees also continues to be a feature of our democratic representation to ensure we have a way for local issues and aspirations to easily get to the Council Chamber.”
A breakdown of Waikato District Council’s new ward and community board structure can be found on the Council website.
And the LGC’s determination in full is available to view the via the Local Government Commission website.
For your reference, the media release detailing Council's final proposal to the LGC on representation arrangements before the appeals and objections process can be found here.