Horizons opts for status quo on representation
The way councillors are elected to Horizons Regional Council looks set to stay the same.
Ensuring the community gets fair representation was debated yesterday, with several scenarios about how many councillors should represent each area.
The Local Electoral Act demands that councils review their representation every six years, and as Horizons had a review in 2006 a decision on how councillors should be spread around the region was again on the table. Horizons has six constituencies represented by 12 councillors.
Councillors considered five scenarios, the status quo, splitting the Manawatu-Rangitikei constituency into two based on territorial authority boundaries, joining Whanganui and Ruapehu together with three councillors for the constituency, splitting Manawatu and Rangitikei plus separating Horowhenua and Kairanga and reducing councillors to 11, and splitting Manawatu and Rangitikei with the Rangitikei constituency following the territorial authority boundary.
The option of joining Whanganui and Ruapehu together was rejected as it was felt there was a danger that all three councillors voted in could possibly come from Whanganui and Ruapehu deserved its own councillor.
"Ruapehu needs a dedicated representative as it has specific differences," said Palmerston North councillor Jill White.
The only councillor to state that joining Whanganui and Ruapehu was a good idea was Palmerston North councillor Murray Guy who had recently asked for an investigation into Ruapehu councillor Michael Plowman's conduct over appealing against Horizons' One Plan to the Environment Court.
After lengthy discussions it was deemed that the status quo would remain and the proposal would go out for public consultation with a submission period and a final proposal decided.
There would be an opportunity for the public to object or appeal against any decision and these must be made before January 15, 2013.
The council had previously voted to retain the first-past-the-post system and not have a separate Maori ward.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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