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Representation Review 2023-24

We want to hear your thoughts on how you and our community are represented on the Central Hawke's Bay District Council.

Representation review:

Representation Review 1600 x 900 px 12

your feedback matters!



To achieve fair and effective representation, Councils are required by the Electoral Act 2001 (LEA) to review their representation arrangements at least once every six years. Central Hawke's Bay District Council last held a review in 2018 and started the review

last year.

About the Representation Review

We are now entering stage three of our representation review.

  • In stage one, Council resolved in August 2023 to retain the status quo and continue with the First Past the Post electoral system (this is when you vote for a single candidate and the candidate with the most votes wins the election).
  • In November 2023, stage two was completed after public consultation, when Council resolved to establish Māori wards for the 2025 and 2028 local body elections. This provides a way for Māori to contribute and have representation at the Council table, by way of ensuring those on the Māori electoral roll can vote specifically for candidates looking for election in the Māori wards.

Stage one and two are now legally binding and cannot be changed.

Stage three: What we are seeking your feedback on now

We are now again consulting with the community on the third part of the process, a representation review to determine:

  • the total number of Councillors for the district,
  • how Councillors should be elected - from wards or a mix of wards and 'at large'/across the district
  • the boundaries of the wards and constituencies and their names
  • whether there should be community boards in the district.

We want to hear your thoughts on how you and our community are represented on the Central Hawke's Bay District Council. Your feedback will assist Council to develop, for public consultation, an initial representation proposal for the 2025 elections. This formal consultation is expected to take place in July and August 2024.

The feedback on this early proposal closes on 28 April 2024.

You can find out more and have your say at Link to the survey is below. 

Have your say

A representation review is a regular, legally required process undertaken every six years by councils to reassess their representation arrangements. A review includes determining the number of constituencies, defining their names and boundaries, and deciding how many councillors will represent each constituency. Council’s last review was conducted in 2018 for the 2019 elections.

The goal of a representation review is to ensure that the council's representation arrangements are both fair and effective. "Fair" means each Councillor represents about the same number of voters. "Effective" means each constituency reflects a community with common interests. The representation review also aims to align representation with changes in population and these communities.

Here's how you can be involved in Central Hawke's Bay's representation survey:

  • Complete our online survey (below) before Sunday 14 April
  • Visit our customer service centres at the Waipawa Library, The Knowledge and Learning Hub - Te Huinga Wai or the Council office's at 28-32 Ruataniwha Street, Waipawa to fill in a form

Once we have the survey results we will develop and initial proposal based on public feedback on how representation for Central Hawke's Bay could look and release a formal consultation from July - 28 August 2024.

  • As well as a written submission, you will be given the opportunity to speak at a Council meeting about your views. The public meeting will be help on Tuesday 13 August, 5:30pm at the Council Chambers, 28-32 Ruataniwha Street, Waipawa.

You can find out more online at or email

Council currently has a Mayor and eight Councillors.

The Mayor is elected at large (everyone across the whole district votes for the mayor), while Councillors are elected by electors of their ward.

In 2023, Council resolved to introduce Māori Wards in the 2025 Local Body Elections. This decision is legally binding and means that Council will need to have a least one Ward being a Māori Ward in our final representation arrangements.

The current wards are:

Ruataniwha Ward - 4 Councillors

Aramoana/ Ruahine Ward - 4 Councillors

Council currently has no community boards. The cost of running a community board is predominantly funded by ratepayers in the area the board represents.

Find out more about community boards from our neighbours at Hastings District Council who have a rural community board.

We want to know what communities of interest you think exist in Central Hawke's Bay. Factors that may define a community of interest include:

  • Geographical features
  • Economic activities
  • Shared facilities and services
  • Distinctive history
  • Transport routes
  • Community activities and focal points
  • The rohe or takiwā of local iwi

Any of all of these may produce a sense of community identity.

The Mayor is elected at large (across the whole district) and Councillors are currently elected by ward.

Council can choose to have Councillors elected by either:

  • a ward system, or
  • a combination of at large wards*

*as Council has decided to have a Māori ward or wards, it cannot elect all Councillors at large it must have at least one General electoral ward.

In a ward system, voters may only vote for candidates standing for the ward they live in/ qualify to vote in. This system ensures each of the different communities of interest in Central Hawke's Bay has guaranteed representation on Council.

A mixed system, where some Councillors are elected from wards and some at large, can be seen to provide a balance between representation of district-wide interests and ward concerns.

If wards are retained, the number and boundaries of wards will need to be determined. In 2019 the current wards were deemed to best reflect communities of interest, but communities of interest may change over time.

The ± 10% “rule” is an important guide in assessing fair representation. This rule means the ratio of councillors to the electoral population in each ward should produce a variance of no more than ± 10%.

Any departure from the ± 10% “rule” must be specifically approved by the Local Government Commission.

In November 2023, Council resolved to introduce Māori wards for the 2025 and 2028 elections.

The number of Māori ward Councillors on Council is determined by a formula in the Local Electoral Act 2002 and cannot be changed by Council.

Council must determine the number of Māori wards those Councillors are elected from. The number of general roll Councillors elected determines the number of Māori ward Councillors to be elected, for example:

Subheading 1

The review has to determine the number of Councillors required for good governance and effective representation of the district.

Under law, Council can have between six and 29 Councillors plus the Mayor.

The community may have views on whether a smaller or larger number might produce better governance and representation.

Regardless of the number of Councillors, the total amount paid to elected members overall does not change.

Under the current arrangements, the Remuneration Authority sets the total remuneration pool that is paid to the Mayor and Councillors. This would likely be divided among the Councillors elected.

A community board is a separately elected body that works on local issues. Its powers and duties are mainly those that Council chooses to delegate to it.

The cost of running a community board is predominantly funded by the ratepayers in the area the board represents.

If it is decided that Central Hawkes' Bay should have community boards, we need to determine the number of board, their boundaries and the number of members. Community boards can have between four and 12 members. At least four must be elected members. The number of members appointed by Council must be less than half the total number of members.

Find out more about community boards from our neighbours at Hastings District Council who have a rural community board.


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