Hearings for Representation Review appeals/objections
18 March 2022
Hearings to take place for Representation Review appeals/objections
The Local Government Commission (LGC) has decided to proceed with hearings regarding Rotorua Lakes Council’s 2022 Representation Review decision.
Hearings will be held on Wednesday 23 March for those who appealed or objected to Council’s final decision on representation arrangements. The hearings will be held via Zoom webinar and will be livestreamed from 9am. Members of the public can watch the livestream HERE.
Following the Representation Review process last year, Council was bound by legislative constraints to adopt a representation model by Friday 19 November 2021. So while acknowledging that the ideal representation model is the one outlined in the Representation Arrangements Local Bill that Council is currently pursuing, to meet the requirements of the Local Electoral Act (LEA), in a split vote decision, Council adopted the following interim representation model (more information about this decision is available HERE):
- 1 Mayor elected at large
- 1 Māori Ward with 1 seat
- 1 General Ward with 1 seat
- 8 “At large” seats
- A Rotorua Lakes Community Board
- A Rural Community Board
It was noted that this interim model falls short of Council’s preferred model, however preserves the principles of voter parity, a key theme emerging through consultation, and is legally compliant with the formula set out in the LEA.
While this model achieves parity between the Māori Ward and the General Ward, it reduces the number of available seats in the wards to 1 each, and increases the ‘at large’ seats to 8. This was the only formulation that could achieve parity between the wards in a legally compliant manner.
Council received 12 appeals on this decision. These were sent to the LGC on Tuesday 21 December 2021. After assessing the appeals, LGC has decided to proceed with hearings.
Following the hearings, LGC will make a final decision on representation arrangements for Rotorua. (Note: These arrangements may be withdrawn if the Representation Arrangements Local Bill comes into force by 1 June 2022.)
You can learn more about the Representation Review HERE.