Environment Southland is asking the community’s help to decide on what the council should look like for the 2019 local body elections.
The initial proposal that’s now out for public consultation takes into account the sizes of the constituencies, their boundaries and names, and the number of councillors in each.
The proposal is to retain the existing arrangements, with 12 councillors representing 6 constituencies, and with the names and boundaries of the constituencies remaining the same.
“This is the opportunity for Southlanders once every six years, to think about the way they’re represented, and whether they consider it’s still fair and effective,” strategy and corporate planning manager Ken Swinney said.
Various options had been considered, however, Ken said councillors believe that none of these options would provide fair and effective representation of Southland’s communities.
“Our councillors have been going through several scenarios, to find out what a fair arrangement would look like. One thing to consider is that our region’s population hasn’t ramped up markedly since the last review, and as a consequence the communities of interest don’t appear to have changed.”
The current arrangements have been in place since 2007, and were re-affirmed in 2013 as the most effective way of providing representation for Southland’s communities.
“When it comes to election day on 12 October 2019, Southlanders are going to have to pick who they’re going to vote for. Now is their chance to get in ahead of it, and help the council decide what that should look like,” said Ken.
People have a chance to give feedback on the council’s initial proposal until 4.30pm, Friday 6 July 2018.
A final proposal will be considered by the council in August 2018, before being submitted for approval to the Local Government Commission.
More information about the representation review, along with maps and a feedback form is available on the Environment Southland website at www.es.govt.nz/repreview18.