REVIEW OF REPRESENTATION ARRANGEMENTS FOR THE 2022 and 2025 LOCAL ELECTIONS.
As a ratepayer, TRG asks that you consider the way you would like to have the Taupo District represented, in the best interests of us all.
TRG are suggesting your submission could include;
Support the four ward boundaries as proposed by TDC.
Propose that there be just ONE ward for the local population that is not on the Maori electoral list. That is, ten (10) Council members representing the Taupo District population of 32,420.
Being one Council member for each 3242 of the population, all as required in accordance with Section 19V of the LEA 2001.
Retain the Turangi/Tongariro and Taupo (two) wards. With one plus nine Council members.
Support the disestablishment of the Turangi/Tongariro Community Board.
Reject the need for the two new Committees. Committees that do not have democratically elected members.
Submissions can be made on line, on the TDC web site. Before Monday 9 August 2021 please.
Council will meet to hear from submitters who wish to be heard on August 24 and then reconvene to consider all submissions and whether the proposal should be amended as a result, on September 7.
A public notice of Council’s final proposal will be placed in the newspaper following the meeting on September 7 and then an appeals / objections period will follow from September 10 to October 15.
All appeals and objections are forwarded to the Local Government Commission to consider and issue a final (final!) determination for representation arrangements for Taupō district.
Some back-up information.
TRG asked TDC about the District population. The population as at 30 June 2020 is the number to be used in accordance with the guidelines put out by the Local Government Commission.
With annual changes and movements within the District Council must set a population number that is appropriate.
The allowed ‘population per member' of 3,242 +/- 10% is not being complied with according to the TDC Notice.
TDC say; ‘’Section 19V(3) of the LEA allows for not complying with 19V(2) in some circumstances. Those are the criteria Council is relying on for its proposal. This is then subject to review and determination by the Electoral Commission as per 19V (4).
Why are the boundaries set by TDC not suited for adopted 2021 population?
TDC say; ‘’Council is proposing that the current Ward boundaries are appropriate and reflect the key communities of interest for the District. Council believes (subject to consultation), as stated in the public notice: that a compliant proposal would limit effective representation of these communities and adjusting boundaries would locate people in wards that they do not associate with [19(V)(3)(ii) and (iii) refer].
For example: Increasing the Mangakino / Pouakani Ward boundaries to increase its population would capture people who are more closely connected to Taupō, or to Turangi than to Mangakino.
For example: Increasing the number of members in the Taupo Ward to 8, reduces the variance for the Mangakino / Pouakani Ward somewhat, and achieves compliance for the Taupō East Rural Ward, but it also triggers a 3rd Māori ward councilor, bringing the total to 14, which Council considers is more than is necessary to provide effective representation for Taupō District.
Why is the disestablishment of the TTCB (Turangi/Tongariro Community Board) linked to the two new Committee groups, as noted on the TDC web site?
This is where TDC staff at TDC has been evasive and not transparent with the public. It has taken several emails to get what is still not a very clear picture. Some comments;
The Council resolution approving the Notice for this Representation process does not include any reference to the two new Committees.
When asked TDC staff advised on July 13 2021;
‘’Councils are able to establish the committees they consider appropriate for good governance of their districts under the Local Government Act 2002 (clause 30, Schedule 7). This is what Council would be doing when it comes to establishing the co-governance and representative group committees. Note that councils can review and change committee structures / establish new committees at any time during the triennium.
Then on July 15 2021 TDC staff advised;
‘’Council is proposing to disestablish the TTCB because the (new) co-governance committee to be established following the Mana Whakahono agreement with Ngāti Tūrangitukua will effectively fulfill the role that the current community board does within the Tūrangitukua rohe (area).
What is the Mana Whakahono agreement you ask. To quote from the TDC Press release July 5 2021 that can be read on the TDC web site;
‘’As a result of these discussions, the Council and the Hapū ( Ngati Turangitukua) have agreed to explore co-governance opportunities regarding the Ngāti Tūrangitukua rohe. The council is now proposing to disestablish the Turangi-Tongariro Community Board from October 2022, with its role instead to be undertaken by two new council committees, including one to be equally co-governed between council and Ngāti Tūrangitukua.”