23 May 2018

Bay of Plenty Regional Council is proposing no changes to its councillor representation arrangements, as part of its requirements to regularly review the make-up of who sits around the council table.

The Regional Council is required to review its representation arrangements at least every six years, with the last review taking place in 2012, resulting in a change of Councillor numbers in the Rotorua and Tauranga constituencies.

This time though, the council is proposing that numbers remain as they currently are across the region – with that proposal being open to submissions between 24 May and 30 June.

Regional Council Chief Executive Mary-Anne Macleod said the way in which councillor numbers for each constituency are set is based on identifying communities of interest and fair and effective representation as required under the Local Electoral Act and guidelines from the Local Government Commission.  Having gone through the options, she said Council decided the best way forward was to keep the boundaries and numbers as they are.

“However an important part of the process for making this decision is giving the public the opportunity to have their say on what they think the councillor numbers should be and if there should be any changes to the various constituency boundaries,” she said. “Whether they be in support or whether people would like to see changes to how the region is represented, this is the opportunity for people to let us know.”

The representation review only covers the general constituency seats and does not include the Māori constituency seats. These are set by the Bay of Plenty Regional Council (Māori Constituency Empowering) Act of 2001.

Ms Macleod said Councillors have workshopped various options that investigated whether changes should be made to boundaries and councillor numbers, however agreed that the best way forward for consultation was to propose a no-change approach.

“We look forward to receiving feedback on this proposal and people can find all the information they require on our website."