The way your Council is structured is changing.

Selwyn District Council is currently undertaking a Representation Review, which will result in changes to the way the Council is structured in the future. This includes possible changes to the number of wards, ward boundaries, the number of councillors, whether councillors should be elected across the whole district or within wards, and whether there should be Community Boards.

The first stage of consultation on these changes has now closed. Thank you to all those who provided feedback.

The Council’s Representation Review sub-committee will now consider this community feedback before developing a final proposal which will go out for formal public consultation in September.

Q and A on the Representation Review

  1. What is the Representation Review?
  2. What’s the current structure?
  3. What’s changed since 2009?
  4. What's proposed?
  5. What about community boards?
  6. Will these changes affect my Rates?

What is the Representation Review?

Selwyn District Council last undertook a representation review in 2009, in preparation for the 2010 elections. Councils are required by law to review representation arrangements at least once every six years.

The processes for the review are set out in the Local Electoral Act 2001. The Council must provide for effective representation of communities and their interests and fair representation of electors. Some of the factors the Council must take into account include:

  • Communities of interest
  • Effective representation of communities of interest
  • Number of elected members
  • Fair representation of electors

The population of each ward, divided by the number of members to be elected by their ward, must produce a figure no more than 10% greater or smaller than the population of the district, divided by the total of elected members.

The Council must consider whether community boards are appropriate to provide fair and effective representation for individuals and communities within our District.

What’s the current structure?

At present, the Council is made up of the mayor, who is elected at large by all electors, and 11 councillors, who are elected across the four existing wards: Ellesmere (2), Malvern (2), Selwyn Central (4), and Springs (3).

There are community boards in Selwyn Central and Malvern wards.

+Map (all wards)

What’s changed since 2009?

Selwyn’s population has been growing rapidly in recent years. However, population growth has not occurred evenly across the district. This means the existing ward boundaries are no longer appropriate as they do not provide effective representation across the district. The current ward boundaries must be reviewed to provide for fair and effective representation.

Existing wards

Population 2009

Population 2014*

% increase

Ellesmere Ward

6,240

7,480

19.8%

Malvern Ward

6,950

8,460

21.7%

Selwyn Central Ward

13,150

19,450

47.9%

Springs Ward

11,200

14,050

25.4%

TOTAL

37,540

49,440

31.7%

*Source: Statistics NZ

What’s proposed?

The Council’s Representation Review sub-committee has developed four options for reorganising the ward boundaries and is seeking community feedback on these.

These are preliminary proposals only at this stage. After this feedback process, the committee will determine a final proposal which will then go out for formal public consultation.

The options proposed for consideration are:

  1. Four wards with 11 elected representatives
  2. Three wards with 10 elected representatives
  3. Three wards with 9 elected representatives
  4. District-wide elections – 10 elected representatives elected across the entire district

Detailed ward maps and searchable maps

What about community boards?

As part of the Representation Review the Council must also give consideration to whether community boards are appropriate to provide fair and effective representation for individuals and communities within our District.

As defined in the Local Government Act 2002, the role of community boards is to:

  • (a) represent, and act as an advocate for, the interests of its community; and
  • (b) consider and report on all matters referred to it by the territorial authority, or any matter of interest or concern to the community board; and
  • (c) maintain an overview of services provided by the territorial authority within the community; and
  • (d) prepare an annual submission to the territorial authority for expenditure within the community; and
  • (e) communicate with community organisations and special interest groups within the community; and
  • (f) undertake any other responsibilities that are delegated to it by the territorial authority.

A community board is an unincorporated body, and is not a committee of the council.

Under the Council’s current system, two of the four wards (Selwyn Central and Malvern) have community boards, and two do not. The Council is proposing that community boards are not retained under the proposed options.

Will these changes affect my rates?

Change to the ward boundaries or the number of councillors will not have an impact on rates. Remuneration of councillors is based on a fixed pool of funds, which is spread across all councillors, irrespective of the number of councillors.

Community boards are funded by a targeted rate within the respective ward.