Māori Ward & Representation Review

Māori Ward

At its meeting on 20 May 2021, the Council agreed to establish a Māori Ward for the 2022 Council elections.

A Frequently Asked Questions information sheet about representation reviews can be viewed here (PDF file, 4.5 MB).

A Questions and Answers Fact Sheet about Māori Wards and Constituencies, published by the Local Government Commission, can be viewed here (PDF file, 725.2 KB).

Representation Review

The Local Electoral Act 2001 requires Council to review its representation at least once every six years, and also following a decision to establish Māori Wards.

As a result of its decision on 20 May 2021 to establish a Māori Ward, the Council began a review of its representation for the 2022 Council election.

To start the process the Council undertook pre-engagement with the community during June 2021 seeking feedback on representation arrangements for the Council. Feedback was sought on:

  • identifying communities of interest to ensure any Ward boundaries appropriately group communities of interest together.
  • the basis of election, which is electing Councillors from Wards, or from a mix of some from Wards and some from across the District as a whole.
  • the number of Councillors for effective representation.
  • whether the Council should establish Community Boards.

Initial Proposal

At its meeting on 19 August 2021, the Council considered the feedback provided from the community pre-engagement and agreed its initial proposal for representation.

The initial proposal for the 2022 and 2025 local body elections, was for the Manawatū District Council to have a Mayor and eleven Councillors.

Five would be elected from the Feilding Ward, five would be from the Rural Ward and one would be from the Māori Ward.

Council did not propose establishing any community boards. Instead, they preferred to continue to liaise with the rural villages through their Community Committees.

Consultation with the community took place from Thursday 26 August until Monday 27 September, with 34 submissions being received. A hearing for those that wished to speak to their submissions was held on 07 October 2021, with two people speaking to Council about their submissions.

At its meeting on 04 November 2021, the Council considered the matters raised by submitters and resolved to adopt its initial proposal as its final proposal, subject to an amendment to the number of members to be elected from each of the two General Wards from five members to four members from each of the General Wards.

Final Proposal

It is proposed that the Council comprise nine members and a Mayor, to be elected from two General Wards and one Māori Ward. The two General Wards to reflect the following identified communities of interest:

WardCommunities of interest
Rural Ward The rural parts of the district surrounding the township of Feilding, being predominantly hill country to the north, and rolling country and coastal areas to the south including the rural communities and villages within those parts of the district
Feilding Ward The township of Feilding and adjacent urban environs

The population that each member will represent is:

  Est. Population at 30 June 2020 No. of members Population per member
Rural Ward 14,000 4 3,500
Feilding Ward 15,050 4 3,763
Māori Ward 3,120 1 3,120
TOTAL   9  

In accordance with section 19V (2) of the Local Electoral Act 2001 the population that each General Ward member represents must be within the +/-10% range of 3,625 (3,263 to 3,987) unless particular community of interest considerations justify otherwise. There are no Wards within this representation proposal that fall outside this range.

Community Board Representation

The Council resolved that:

  • It is not in the best interests of the Manawatū District to establish community boards; and
  • Effective representation would not be enhanced by establishing community boards having considered the identified communities of interest in terms of distinctiveness, representation, access and effective governance; and
  • Having confirmed the establishment of Wards, that Ward elected councillors are likely to provide sufficient representation of communities of interest and therefore will ensure adequate mechanisms of representation and access between elected members and the population.

Appeals and Objections

Two appeals and two objections were received on the Council's final proposal.

These were forwarded to the Local Government Commission for consideration and determination of the final representation arrangements for the Manawatū District.

Final Determination from Local Government Commission

The Local Government Commission held a Hearing on 24 February 2022 to listen to the concerns raised through the appeals and objections received.

The Commission determination was to uphold the initial proposal made by the Council, for the Council to comprise eleven members and a Mayor, to be elected from two General Wards and one Māori Ward. This determination comes into effect for the 08 October 2022 Council elections.

Further Information

Please direct any queries regarding the Council’s decision to Ash Garstang, Governance and Assurance Manager (telephone 06 323 0000 or email public@mdc.govt.nz).

Timetable for Representation Review

Community engagement until end June 2021
Develop and adopt initial proposal July - August 2021
Public consultation on proposal 26 August to 27 September 2021
Hearing of submissions 7 October 2021
Adopt final proposal 4 November 2021
Public notice final proposal 8 November 2021
Local Government Commission Hearing of Appeals and Objections24 February 2022
Final determination from Local Government Commission 11 April 2022