PROPOSED COMMUNITY BOARD SUBDIVISIONS AMENDED
The Local Government Commission has requested that Ruapehu District Council (RDC) apply the ‘plus or minus ten percent rule’ to its plans for using ‘subdivisions’ within its Community Boards.
Ruapehu Mayor Don Cameron said that the ‘plus or minus ten percent rule’ states that every elected member needs to represent roughly the same number of people and that there cannot be a member ‘elected at large’ as well as others by subdivisions.
“The new community board model will see both the National Park Community Board (NPCB) and Waimarino-Waiouru Community Board (WWCB) divided into smaller electoral areas called ‘subdivisions’.”
“Applying the ten percent rule will require Council to make some amendments to the total number of proposed elected members for some subdivisions, and in the case of the WWCB the total number of proposed subdivisions, and that there will be nobody elected at large,” he said.
“The Local Electoral Act 2001 does in fact have a clause stating that councils do not need to follow the ‘plus or minus ten percent rule’ if particular community of interest considerations justify otherwise.”
“We have decided however that amending our subdivision proposals so that they conform to the rule is a more straight forward way of ensuring that we have fair representation for all affected communities of interest.”
“With the changes the NPCB will still comprise four subdivisions with six elected subdivision members however the split of elected members across subdivisions will now be; Owhango (1), National Park Ward Rural (3), National Park/Whakapapa/Raurimu Villages (2), plus one elected Ruapehu district Councillor.”
“The WWCB will now comprise four subdivisions each with one elected member being; Ohakune (1), Raetihi (1), Waiouru (1 – but this electoral area will be larger than the town and include the army camp and the area up to Winstone Mill to make the population requirement) and Rural (1), plus four elected Ruapehu district Councillors.”
Mayor Cameron added that enacting these amendments will require an extraordinary meeting of council which will be scheduled for next week.
“The important thing to note is that the changes in no way alter the underlying intent and objectives of the community board reform which was to provide better representation for communities of interest.
“The electoral arrangements for Ruapehu District Council remain the unchanged with 11 councillors representing four Wards as per the status-quo and a mayor elected at large also as per the status-quo.”