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2 September 2021

Public submissions open tomorrow (Friday 3 September) on Masterton District Council’s 2021 Representation Review proposal covering the next two local body elections.

The proposal is for a council of eight elected members, down from the current 10, plus the Mayor, with four councillors elected from a general ward, one councillor elected from a Māori ward, and the remaining three elected ‘at large’.

Only voters on the Māori electoral roll (around 3,360) will be able to vote for candidates standing in the Māori ward, with one candidate elected. Only voters on the general roll (24,200) would be able to vote for candidates standing in the general ward, with four candidates elected.

All voters can vote for candidates standing ‘at large’ and for the Mayor.

The proposal aims to make sure we have fair and effective representation for our community. This arrangement provides the closest voting entitlements under the representation rules and with our current electoral roll numbers and district population.

Masterton District Council Manager Strategic Planning Angela Jane said the requirements for the make-up of wards was set out in the Local Electoral Act. At least one other ward is required in order to implement the Council’s decision in May 2021 to establish a Māori ward.

“We have made recommendations based on public workshops we held last month and discussions with our current elected members,” she said. “It is very important that the people of our district have a say in the way the council looks  – and that process is now underway.

“Reducing the number of councillors means remuneration will increase, which may enable and attract more diverse candidates to stand. Having eight councillors is also within the range of elected members on other councils with similar land areas, populations and density.”

Submissions on the Representation Review 2021 proposal can be made through the Council website, or in writing, using the form downloadable from the site.

Submissions can also be made by phone by calling the Council on 06 370 6300.

Submitters will have the opportunity to speak to their written submissions at a public hearing on 13 October.

Submissions close at 4pm, 4 October 2021.