A fresh look at our Council

A fresh look at our council
In September this year, we need to make some decisions about how our community is represented on Council. Every six years we’re required to do this to make sure there’s fair and effective representation.

There’s a lot of options we can consider for how our council is structured, but before we look into those we want to hear from you. We have an online survey for you to answer to help us narrow down our options.

The background

Waipa District Council has a mayor and 12 councillors and it’s their job to make decisions about our district on your behalf. Our councillors represent five electoral wards (three covering the rural areas and two covering the major urban areas).

Ward map

Urban

  • Cambridge – four councillors
  • Te Awamutu – four councillors

Rural

  • Pirongia – two councillors
  • Kakepuku – one councillor
  • Maungatautari – one councillor

We also have two community boards:

  • Cambridge Community Board – which includes representation from Maungatautari
  • Te Awamutu Community Board – which includes representation from Kakepuku

Candidates are elected every three years by you – the next election is October 2019!

Why we need to change

Under our current structure we’re not meeting the Local Electoral Act requirements for fair representation which means we need to make some changes.

Rapid growth in Cambridge means our current arrangements are no longer fair. Simply put, the number of people living in Cambridge has increased but the number of councillors representing them has not.

As a result of this growth Te Awamutu has too many councillors for the number of people they are representing.

What we must have

The Local Electoral Act requires us to have a mayor and six or more councillors (but no more than 30). Each councillor must represent the same number of people, plus or minus 10%. In Waipā this means each councillor needs to represent between 3,870 and 4,730 people.

Here’s how our population is currently represented:

WardNumber of councillorsNumber of people per councillorDoes this meet Electoral Act requirements?
Cambridge44,950No - too few councillors
Te Awamutu43,825No - too many councillors
Pirongia24,300Yes
Kakepuku13,950Yes
Maungatautari13,950Yes

What could change?

There are a lot of ways a community can be represented, for example we could:

  • increase the number of wards
  • decrease the number of wards – we could have two wards, e.g. Cambridge and Te Awamutu or three wards
  • have no wards – by removing wards everyone would vote for all councillors across the district
  • increase the number of councillors – so there are more councillors to represent our communities
  • decrease the number of councillors but increase the role of community boards
  • a combination of any of these.

Have your say

Take our online survey to tell us what you think! Feedback closes 21 May 2018 at 5pm.

Want a hardcopy version? Pick one up from our offices in Cambridge or Te Awamutu , phone 0800WAIPADC (0800924723) to request one, or download here:

 A fresh look at our Council - submission form [PDF, 2 pages, 75KB]

What happens next?

Council will review all your feedback and discuss what changes, if any, they think are required. Council’s proposal will be presented to the community for feedback in July 2018.

Any changes would be introduced in the 2019 local government elections.

Page reviewed: 09 May 2018 9:17am