Changes suggested – Do not like them at all
Tomorrow the Governing Body of Auckland Council will debate whether the Wards that make up the Governing Body (the main elected representative Body consisting of the Councillors, Deputy Mayor and Mayor) need their boundaries changed. This comes from the Local Government Act (Auckland Amendments) where Wards can only have a certain population before the boundary needs to be moved. The population is a fixed number and any Ward below or above 10% that fixed number is up for a boundary change. NOTE: Local Boards are not having their boundaries changed.
As population growth is uneven in Auckland (check the City Centre, Manukau and Howick Wards) and the stupidity of a fixed number of Councillors (20 and thanks National) we are looking at some awkward changes to the boundaries rather than adding more Councillors to keep the Councillor to population ratio even.
Let’s take a look:
|Governing Body – 26 July 2018|
Review of Auckland Council’s representation arrangements for the 2019 elections. File No.: CP2018/12159
Te take mō te pūrongo / Purpose of the report
- To resolve the council’s initial proposal for its representation arrangements at the 2019 elections, as required by section 19H of the Local Electoral Act 2001 (Act).
Whakarāpopototanga matua / Executive summary
- Auckland Council’s representation arrangements must be reviewed this year. The outcome will apply at the 2019 elections and the 2022 elections (unless the council chooses to conduct another review for the 2022 elections).
- The process in the Act requires the council to make its initial proposal, by resolution, which is then publicly notified for submissions. After considering submissions, the council resolves its final proposal which is also publicly notified, with any appeals, objections and proposals that do not comply with the 10 per cent rule, being forwarded to the Local Government Commission to make the final decision. If there are no appeals or objections and if the council’s proposals all comply with the 10 per cent rule, the council’s final proposal is implemented for the 2019 elections.
- Auckland Council has the most complex arrangements in New Zealand, with one governing body and twenty-one local boards. The Governing Body finalised the process for conducting the review in December 2017, following consultation with local boards. The Joint Governance Working Party (“Working Party”) has developed an initial proposal for consideration by the Governing Body. In doing this, all local boards were asked for their feedback and this is attached in Attachment A. The Working Party also received a report by the councillor for theWaitematā and Gulf ward, which is attached as Attachment B.
- The council has six weeks following the close of submissions to publicly notify its final proposal. Within those six weeks, the Working Party must hear submitters, consider submissions and report its recommendations to the Governing Body, for the Governing Body to resolve its final proposal. Each local board has authorised a person, usually the board’s chairperson, to represent it if further feedback is required during the submission process.
|Ngā tūtohunga / Recommendation/s
That the Governing Body, as part of the review of the Auckland Council’s representation arrangements:
a) receive the recommendations of the Joint Governance Working Party as contained in this report, including the feedback from local boards and the report of the councillor for the Waitematā and Gulf Ward.
b) note that the Governing Body has taken into account:
i) the requirement for fair representation across all governing body wards and, within each local board, across all subdivisions
ii) the requirement for effective representation of communities of interest
iii) the requirement for ward boundaries to coincide with local board boundaries as far as is practicable
iv) that local board boundaries cannot be changed as part of the review
v) the existing communities of interest identified by the Local Government Commission in 2010.
c) propose that, for the Waitematā and Gulf ward to comply with the fair representation requirements, its boundaries, and those of adjacent wards, are changed as shown in the map in Attachment C with the result that:
i) the communities of Parnell and Newmarket become part of the Ōrākei ward
ii) the communities in Westmere and west of Surrey Crescent become part of the Albert-Eden-Roskill ward
iii) the community in Eden Terrace, south of the motorway, become part of the Albert-Eden-Roskill ward and that, as a consequence of these changes:
iv) parts of Ellerslie and St Johns, currently in the Ōrākei ward, become part of the Maungakiekie-Tāmaki ward
v) part of Mt Roskill currently in the Albert-Eden-Roskill ward become part of the Whau ward
vi) part of an area close to Royal Oak and Onehunga, currently in the Maungakiekie-Tāmaki ward become part of the Albert-Eden-Roskill ward
noting that the Governing Body has particularly taken into account:
vii) the requirement for ward boundaries to coincide with local board boundaries as far as is practicable, and that this proposal will lead to the boundaries of the affected wards not being fully aligned with local board boundaries
viii) local board boundaries cannot be changed as part of the review
ix) that there is minor under-representation in the Ōrākei and Maungakiekie-Tāmaki wards but that, due to the Rodney ward having non-complying over-representation it is reasonable to allow small under-representation in other parts of Auckland.
d) propose that the Manukau ward be split into two separate wards with boundaries that align with the Māngere-Ōtāhuhu and Ōtara-Papatoetoe Local Board areas, named the Māngere-Ōtāhuhu ward and the Ōtara-Papatoetoe ward, noting that the Governing Body has particularly taken into account:
i) the existing communities of interest as recognised by the Local Government Commission in 2010, particularly in terms of current local board boundaries
ii) that the Manukau ward is the only double-member ward that can be split into single-member wards along local board boundaries and comply with the fair representation requirements
iii) at the local level the communities of Papatoetoe and Ōtara have guaranteed representation through the subdivision arrangements of the respective local boards
iv) creating two single-member wards based on the existing boundaries of the Māngere-Ōtāhuhu Local Board and the Ōtara-Papatoetoe Local Board will allow more effective representation of those communities with each ward member having a smaller constituency to support and only one local board to liaise with.
e) propose that the boundaries of the Manurewa-Papakura ward are not changed, noting that this needs confirmation by the Local Government Commission as it is a non-complying decision, and that the Governing Body has particularly taken into account:
i) the existing communities of interest as recognised by the Local Government Commission in terms of current ward and local board boundaries set by the Commission in 2010
ii) the requirement for ward boundaries to coincide with local board boundaries as far as is practicable
iii) local board boundaries cannot be changed as part of the review
iv) the non-compliance is very minor and it is preferable to maintain alignment with local board boundaries to avoid confusing residents and to avoid creating complexities in the administration of elections.
h) propose that the boundaries of the subdivisions in the Howick Local Board area are not changed noting that this needs confirmation by the Local Government Commission as it is a non-complying decision and that the Governing Body has taken into account:
i) the existing communities of interest as recognised by the Local Government Commission in 2010 in terms of current ward and local board boundaries
ii) the northern boundary of the Botany subdivision is close to the Botany Town Centre and that any options for moving the northern boundary of the Botany subdivision southwards will result in splitting communities which have more of an interest in the Botany area than in the Howick or Pakuranga area
iii) the population in the Botany subdivision is continuing to grow and once the non-compliance is more substantial, a future review should investigate all options, including an additional subdivision or additional board members.
i) propose that the name of the Great Barrier Local Board is changed to Aotea Great Barrier Local Board to acknowledge the intended re-naming of Great Barrier Island as a result of the settlement with Ngāti Rehua – Ngātiwai ki Aotea.
j) propose that all other representation arrangements that were in place for the 2016 elections remain unchanged.
k) hold an additional meeting on Thursday 18 October 2018 at 9.30 am to consider the report of the Joint Governance Working Party on submissions and to make the council’s final proposal for public notification.
l) delegate to the Joint Governance Working Party the responsibility and power under section 19M (3) of the Local Electoral Act 2001 to hear and consider submissions and to report recommendations to the Governing Body to take into account when making its final proposal.
Horopaki / Context
There are statutory deadlines
- The Act requires all councils to review their representation arrangements at least every six years. The Local Government (Auckland Council) Act 2009 requires Auckland Council to conduct a review of its representation arrangements no earlier than the 2013 elections and no later than September 2018.
- The Act requires the following timeline and process:
- public notice of the council’s proposals within 14 days of the council’s resolution and by 8 September 2018 at the latest
- consideration of submissions
- public notice of the council’s final proposals within six weeks of the closing date for submissions.
- if there are no objections or appeals, and the council’s decisions include proposals that comply with the 10 per cent rule, the council’s proposals stand and are implemented
- if there are objections or appeals, they are forwarded to the Local Government Commission for a decision.
Whether wards should be larger
- The Working Party considered whether wards should be larger than they are currently. It considered a scenario where the three south Auckland urban wards were combined into one ward for the purpose of electing six members. It noted:
- the total ward population would be 468,000
- there is higher voter turnout in the Howick area than in the other areas currently represented by separate wards and so Howick would have the potential to drive election results with the effect that there might not be a spread of representation over all south Auckland communities
- voters would need to choose six candidates from a long list of candidates, making the election process more complicated
- a vacancy would cause a costly by-election
- the cap on election expenses would increase.
- The Working Party is not recommending that any wards are increased in size to elect a greaternumber of members.
[Note from Admin: that would be the fastest way to get Southern Auckland to split away from the Super City 😉 ]
- The Manurewa-Papakura ward is over-represented by -10.15 per cent and to comply it needs to expand its boundaries.
- The ward cannot be expanded southwards as this would take population from the Franklin ward.
- The Working Party considered two options for expanding the northern boundary. One option moves the boundary on the western side of the motorway northwards from SH20 to Cavendish Drive in the Manukau City Centre.
- The other option moves the northern boundary on the eastern side of the motorway, currently along the Redoubt Road ridge, northwards.
- The Working Party noted:
- the variance is only marginally over 10 per cent
- the communities north of Redoubt Road do not have a community of interest with Manurewa-Papakura
- the Ōtara -Papatoetoe Local Board has provided feedback that it considers SH20 to be the obvious northern boundary on the western side of the motorway
- there is a legislative requirement for ward boundaries and local board boundaries to align as far as is practicable.
- The Working Party recommends the council propose the status quo for the Manurewa-Papakura ward.
Bit of a mouthful there but in summary:
- Manukau Ward would be split into two (bad idea as both the Mangere-Otahuhu, and Otara-Papatoetoe draw on Manukau City Centre as their focal point. The split would mean Mangere-Otahuhu lose that important social link)
- Manurewa-Papakura Ward does not change but we missed an opportunity to split it into two (defined by Local Board areas) as Papakura has little in common with Manurewa (this would stem from the legacy era of Papakura District Council and Manurewa being part of Manukau City Council)
- Due to legislation we can not add more Councillors, Waitemata and Howick need another Councillor each while Manukau would need a third sooner rather than later owing to growth in the Transform Manukau area
- Whether we should have Councillors elected “at large” like List MPs is debatable
The matter goes to Public Submissions later this year.
What do you think?