Time to be vocal about our local body election arrangements

Published: 13 June 2024

It’s time to be vocal about local once again in the Ashburton District Council’s Representation Review, ahead of the next local body elections in 2025.

Council is proposing three main changes to the current arrangements, following initial talks with the community last year, and the review document is now out for consultation until 21 July.

Council currently consists of a mayor and nine elected councillors. The district has an Ashburton ward with five councillors, and eastern and western wards with two councillors each. The Methven Community Board represents urban Methven.

Group Manager Engagement and Democracy Toni Durham said Council was legally required to review representation arrangements every six years.

“Initial feedback did not signal major changes to current arrangements with 72% of respondents saying they felt the community is well represented by nine Councillors.

“But we’re looking at widening boundaries to cater for growth and reducing the numbers of Methven Community Board members to promote more contested elections.”

The Ashburton Ward boundary is proposed to be expanded to include newly-developed residential areas off Trevors Road, on the eastern side of Ashburton.

The boundary for the Methven Community Board is proposed to expand to include properties on the south-western periphery of the current Methven Community Board boundary.

Also under the draft proposal, the number of elected Methven Community Board members could change from five to four.

This is because a total membership of six (including two Western Ward councillors appointed by Council) is considered to be fair and effective representation for a community of this size and will promote contested elections.

The easiest way to provide your feedback is online at itsourplace.nz, but paper forms are also available from Te Whare Whakatere.

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