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Last modified: 03 Sep 2021 2:00pm

An aerial view of the district with a township visible

Consultation is now open on a proposal for future local representation for Selwyn.

The proposal is part of the Council’s representation review, which will result in changes to the way the Council is elected and structured from the next local elections in 2022.

The Council’s initial proposal for consultation retains a four ward structure but with changes to ward boundaries, and reduces the number of councillors from 11 to 10. It also proposes to retain the Malvern Community Board.

All councils must review their representation arrangements at least every six years. Selwyn last undertook a representation review in 2015, in preparation for the 2016 elections.

Since that time, Selwyn’s population has grown rapidly but unevenly across the district. This means the ratio of population per councillor has become uneven, and the existing ward boundaries are no longer appropriate.

“One of the key principles of fair representation is that each elected member should represent roughly the same number of people,” says Mayor Sam Broughton.

“This proposal makes changes that will help to ensure a more equal distribution of councillors, so that residents get fair and equal representation around the Council table.”

The key changes in the proposal for consultation include:

  • West Melton would move from the current Selwyn Central ward to the Malvern Ward
  • The area between Burnham and Rolleston would move from the current Selwyn Central Ward to the Ellesmere Ward
  • An area east of Rolleston would move from the current Selwyn Central Ward to the Springs Ward.

The Selwyn Central ward would be replaced by a smaller Rolleston ward, and would have three councillors rather than the current four, with all the other wards retaining their current number of councillors. The total number of councillors would reduce from 11 to 10.

The Malvern Community Board would be retained, with five members, elected from the existing subdivisions of Hawkins (2) and Tawera (1), and a new subdivision covering West Melton (2).

The Council is now inviting public submissions on the representation proposal. Submissions are open until 5pm, Monday 4 October. Submission forms, maps and more information are available online.

Mayor Broughton says the Council is hoping to be able to schedule drop-in information sessions later this month, but this will depend on COVID-19 alert level requirements.

“We’re also planning some online information sessions, so we encourage people to check the website for the latest updates and any changes.

“We do want to hear people’s views. It’s important that we get this representation structure right – so that residents can be confident that they are well represented, and that the Council can function effectively.”

Map of the proposed ward boundaries for consultation