A fresh look at our Council

​​​​​A fresh look at our Council​​​

We’re reviewing our representation arrangements in time for the 2019 Council elections. We have an initial proposal and we’d like your views. 

Ready to have your say now?

Have your say with the submission form online before 5pm, Monday 10 September 2018. Scroll down to see more ways to make a submission on this issue.

Drop-in info sessions

Come along to hear more about what we’re proposing.​

  • Tuesday 14 August, 5.30pm
    Te Awamutu Community Board meeting
    Council Chambers, 101 Bank St, Te Awamutu

  • Wednesday 5 September, 5.30pm
    Cambridge Community Board meeting
    Council offices, 23 Wilson St, Cambridge​

At the moment

Right now, Waipa District Council has a mayor and 12 councillors. It’s their job to make decisions about our district on your behalf. A new council is elected every three years. The next election is on 12 October 2019.

Our councillors represent five electoral wards. Currently there are four urban councillors representing Te Awamutu, four urban councillors representing Cambridge and four rural councillors. Two of the rural councillors represent Pirongia, and two represent Kakepuku and Maungatautari respectively.

We also have two Community Boards:

Cambridge Community Board – four members representing the Cambridge ward, one member representing Maungatautari and two councillor representatives.

Te Awamutu Community Board – four members representing the Te Awamutu ward, one member representing Kakepuku and two councillor representatives.

Current structure

​Waipā district​Te Awamutu ward​Kakepuku ward

  • ​​1 mayor
  • 53,000 residents total

  • 4 councillors
  • 4 community board members
  • 15,750 residents

  • ​1 councillor
  • 1 community board member
  • 4,040 residents 

Cambridge ward Maungatautari ward Pirongia ward

  • ​​4 councillors
  • 4 community board members
  • 20,400 residents

  • 1 councillor
  • 1 community board member
  • 4,000 residents

  • 2 councillors
  • 8,800 residents

NB: Population statistics as at June 2017

What's changing? And why?

By law, all councils must review their representation arrangements at least once every six years. Waipa District Council last reviewed its arrangements in 2012.

We need to review and confirm things for our district like:

  • how many councillors there should be (in addition to the mayor)
  • how many wards there should be
  • how many councillors there should be for each ward.

We also need to ensure elected councillors represent roughly the same amount of people (plus or minus 10%). In Waipa this means each councillor needs to represent around 4,400 people. This is what the law means by ‘fair representation’.

Under our current structure, we no longer meet the Local Electoral Act requirements for fair representation. That’s because Cambridge’s population has increased to the point where we no longer have enough councillors representing the town.

To comply with the law, to ensure our representation is fair and to meet the needs of our growing district, we need to make some changes.

You've already told us...

During May, we produced a survey and asked for community feedback on the way our Council is structured.

  • Most people wanted Community Boards to be retained.
  • Most people wanted rural wards (and rural councillors) to be retained.
  • Most people thought the current ward structure fairly represented the district.
  • Most people wanted to continue voting for councillors by ward.
  • Most people favoured an increase in the number of Cambridge councillors to reflect population growth.

What we've done

We’ve looked at 24 different options and we’ve tested all of those options against the requirements of the Local Electoral Act. You can look at each of those options​ in detail.

In developing those options we considered:

  • the number of councillors we should have (by law we must have a mayor and at least six councillors, but no more than 30 councillors)
  • how councillors are elected (by ward or by the whole district)
  • how many people would be represented by each councillor
  • whether our communities of interest would be fairly represented
  • whether any changes to ward boundaries were needed.

What we're proposing

After considering the different options, we are recommending two changes to our existing structure.

Our proposal is to add one further councillor to Council and one further member to the Cambridge Community Board, both representing the Cambridge ward.

This would mean there would be five Cambridge ward councillors, four Te Awamutu ward councillors, two rural councillors representing Pirongia, one rural councillor representing Kakepuku, and one rural councillor representing Maungatautari.

That’s 13 councillors in total plus the mayor. The mayor would continue to be elected ‘at large’ across the Waipā​ district.

Cambridge Community Board would have six elected members. The Te Awamutu Community Board would stay the same with five elected members.

Representation review - proposed change

​Waipā district​Te Awamutu ward​Kakepuku ward

  • ​​1 mayor
  • 53,000 residents total

  • 4 councillors
  • 4 community board members
  • 15,750 residents

  • ​1 councillor
  • 1 community board member
  • 4,040 residents 

Cambridge ward Maungatautari ward Pirongia ward

  • ​​5 councillors
  • 5 community board members
  • 20,400 residents

  • 1 councillor
  • 1 community board member
  • 4,000 residents

  • 2 councillors
  • 8,800 residents

NB: Population statistics as at June 2017

This means we would meet the Local Electoral Act requirement where each councillor represents roughly the same amount of people (plus or minus 10%). This change in structure would take us through to the 2024 elections and beyond.​​

Cambridge councillor representation

Table of data - Cambridge councillor representation

Cambridge community board representation

Table of data - Cambridge community board representation

​In summary

In summary, our proposal:

  • adds a fifth councillor representing the Cambridge ward
  • adds a fifth community board member representing the Cambridge ward
  • requires no boundary changes and no change to the names of wards
  • retains both urban and rural voices on Council
  • would meet the needs of our growing district
  • makes no other changes to the other four wards.

We prefer this option because:

  • it ensures there is fair representation across the whole district (based on population)
  • it ensures our communities of interest are fairly represented
  • given Waipa’s projected population growth, the structure will take us through to 2024 and beyond
  • it retains the current five wards (meaning no boundary changes are necessary)
  • it will have no impact on targeted rates which are currently applied based on wards
  • it complies with the law
  • it doesn’t require amendments to other Council policies
  • it largely reflects early views from our community
  • it is the only option of the 24 options considered that achieves all of the above.

Questions and answers

  1. ​What is meant by a community of interest?
    A ‘community of interest’ is the community people associate with most. A community survey undertaken in April and May 2018 showed there are four main communities of interest in Waipā (Cambridge town, Te Awamutu town, rural areas that use Cambridge as a service centre and rural areas that use Te Awamutu as a service centre).

  2. Would having an extra councillor cost ratepayers more?
    Under the most recent proposal from the independent Remuneration Authority, each Council across New Zealand will be told how much they can spend (in total) on salaries for councillors. This means there would be very little extra cost to ratepayers for an additional councillor. A decision on any changes to remuneration for community board members is still being decided by the Remuneration Authority.

  3. Was consideration given to councillors being elected ‘at large’ (across the whole district rather than by ward)?
    Yes, but this doesn’t take communities of interest into account and may not ensure a fair representation across our rural communities.

  4. Did Council consider removing rural wards?
    Yes, but councillors considered that Waipā’s rural population is a large, widely-spread community that is different from our urban centres. The Council believes rural areas need effective representation.

  5. Are there cost implications for the different options considered?
    Yes. For example, if we decreased the number of wards from five to four, some properties would begin paying for a facility or service fee they hadn’t previously been rated for. The preferred option outlined would have no impact on targeted rates.

  6. Is it an option to stay with what we have?
    No. Because of population growth, our current structure does not meet legal requirements. Our proposal ensures legal compliance for the minimal amount of change.

  7. Did Council consider changing the ‘First Past the Post’ voting system as part of this review?
    No, the voting system is not part of this review. Council decided in August 2017 to retain the First Past the Post voting system. This will be in place for the 2019 election.

  8. Did Council consider establishing a Māori Ward as part of this review?
    No, a decision not to establish a Māori Ward was made by the Council in October 2017, as required by the Local Electoral Act. By law, that decision cannot be revisited as part of this review.

  9. Can I wait and see what the final proposal is before I make my views known?
    If you have an opinion this is your opportunity to share it. If you don’t like the final proposal from Council, you can only lodge an appeal to the Local Government Commission.

Have your say

If this issue is important to you, it's vital you have your say while public consultation is open from Thursday 9 August to 5pm on Monday 10 September 2018.

  • Fill out the online submission form​​ now
  • Download: Representation review submission form [PDF, 50KB, 1page]
  • Email to submissions@waipadc.govt.nz with ‘Representation review’ in the subject line
  • Deliver to Council offices with 'Attn: Representation review':
    • 101 Bank St, Te Awamutu
    • 23 Wilson St, Cambridge
  • Post with 'Attn: Representation review':
    • ​​FREEPOST 167 662, Waipa District Council, Private Bag 2402, Te Awamutu 3840​
Consultation document
This webpage reproduces the content in our printed consultation document.
Download: Representation Review - Consultation Document [PDF, 2.5MB, 8 pages]

Page reviewed: 13 Aug 2018 2:39pm