Proposed changes to Marlborough’s local government system, including the removal of a councilor in the then Marlborough Sound Ward, will be sent for public opinion.
The Marlborough District Council intends to reduce the number of Marlborough Sound Ward Councilors from three to two, and to add a Maurice Ward Councilor after a review to ensure that the area’s population changes. Appear in elected officials.
According to the Local Electoral Act, ward councilors must represent about the same number of people.
But figures from the last local elections show that each Marlborough Sound Councilor represents about 26,270 voters – below the Verau-Otere councilors, 3,850 voters with one head, and Blaineham Councilor, 3,870 with one head.
In the past, the council has told the Local Government Commission that the Marlborough Sounds ward has remote and isolated communities, which guarantees a third councilor.
But Dean Hayford, the council’s election officer, said the debate was getting harder and harder, especially as ward communication with technology continued to improve.
In addition, with a low in their ranks, Marlborough Sound Councilors will represent about 4,010 residents each – close to the number of other ward councilors represented.
The region’s Maori ward councilor, once voted in next year’s election, was appointed to represent about 38,365 people.
Hayford said the area would need 18 councilors before population formulas allowed the Marlborough Sound Ward to have its third councilor, which was “a little difficult.”
Marlborough Sound ward councilors told Local Democracy Reporting earlier this year. He did not believe in their method The ward – with its vast geographical size, “complex issues” and isolated communities – can serve two councilors..
He used an extraordinary meeting on Monday to re-broadcast the views, which the other councilors agreed to, but eventually voted to remove one councilor from his ward.
Marlborough Sound Ward Councilor Nadine Taylor, who is overseeing the consultation on a proposal from one of the four elected officials, said Marlborough councilors took an oath to serve the entire area, not just one ward.
He noted that many councilors, including myself, were born in one Marlborough ward but now live in another. Others worked throughout the region as part of their careers.
Councilor Mark Peters said he and Councilor Michael Fitzpatrick also own properties in Marlborough Sounds.
“[Scrapping a Marlborough Sounds ward councillor] It makes sense when it comes to population, but we have a huge amount of geography, and it doesn’t make much sense using geography. Having said that … we all have a duty to represent Marlborough, and I think that’s the key.
There was talk of changing the different voting systems to better show that councilors have served everyone – which requires them to stand up and be elected for the whole area instead of the wards. But councilors agreed that the ward system was well-liked because it guaranteed that voters would be aware of their local issues at the council.
Details / RNZ
Putting Maori on the table of local government decision-makers is another step, but the debate over Maori wards is still fierce. (First published on March 9, 2021)
The councilors also agreed to relocate residents of the Munawar and Omaka Landing subdivisions on the day of Blaineham to the Blaineham ward from Virao Otire Ward.
Councilor David Audi suggested that the council hold occasional meetings in Picton, as in the past, to show the community that the council is “not just focused on Blaineham.”
It was expanded by Marlborough Mayor John Leggett, who suggested holding meetings in other areas as well.
Opinions and opinions will be sought from the people.
The public will be asked for their views on whether the area should continue to be represented by three wards, if the number of ward councilors should be changed, and if councilors should be elected through the entire area, wards or the new hybrid model.
After reviewing the submissions, the councilor will decide on the Marlborough wards, which can be appealed, except for the decision to establish a Maori ward.
No date was set for the consultation.
Suggested new ward structures:
Blaineham Ward, seven councilors.
Virao Otire Ward, three councilors.
Marlborough Sounds Ward, two councilors.
Marlborough Maori Ward, a councilor.
Do you have a council story we don’t know about? Then email [email protected] to reporter Chloe Ranford.