Kāpiti Mayor welcomes local representation decision
Kāpiti Coast District Mayor K Gurunathan has welcomed the boost to ‘grassroots democracy’ he sees in the Local Government Commission’s just-released decision on the district’s local democratic settings.
The Commission has released its final determination on the Council’s representation arrangements ahead of the 2022 local body elections to be held in October. A copy of the full determination can be found on the Local Government Commission website.
The determination sees the district keeping four wards and five community boards as proposed by Council following its recent representation review. But it makes some changes to the ratio of ward to district-wide councillors and to some ward boundaries.
The Commission maintains the mixed model of representation comprising ten councillors and a mayor but changes the ratio of ward to district-wide councillors from 5:5 to 7:3.
Currently Kāpiti Coast District has five ward councillors and five district-wide, which was proposed to remain. The Commission’s decision adds an extra councillor to both the Waikanae and Paraparaumu Wards and reduces the number of district-wide councillors from five to three.
Ōtaki and Paekākāriki-Raumati Wards will have one councillor each, Waikanae will have two, Paraparaumu three, and three councillors will represent the district as a whole.
The Commission’s ruling changes the proposed boundaries for Te Horo and Raumati to achieve more equal representation under the fair representation rule (known as the ‘+/- 10% rule’). ‘Fair representation’ means each ward councillor should represent a similar number of people, within 10 percent.
Mayor Gurunathan welcomed the determination and “the direction towards localism the Commission has given through its decision during a time when central government reforms are heading towards greater centralisation.
“The reduction of two district wide councillors and distributing them to boost the numbers in both the Waikanae and Paraparaumu wards will increase the focussed representation of these large communities,” Mayor Gurunathan said.
“The creation of the extra community board to service Raumati does the same for grassroots democracy.”
The new representation arrangements will be in place for the local body elections on 8 October.