If you've got a question, chances are we have the answer! Take a look around and if you still can't find the answer, please email HCC.Governance@hcc.govt.nz.
Legally, Council needs to consider whether Community Boards would improve representation for the community. Community Boards can be effective where there are distinct communities in defined locations that are underrepresented, or have particular interests that would benefit from improved representation (these are called 'communities of interest').
We did a lot of research in 2018 to identify whether such communities exist in Hamilton. While we found areas that shared some common characteristics in different parts of the city, we didn't find enough evidence of distinct communities or unmet representation need to support the establishment of community boards.
Recognising the lack of distinct communities of interest in Hamilton, and in keeping with our intent to keep things simple, Council decided not to propose introducing Community Boards.
No. The total councillor salary pool for a Council is based on the population that Council serves and is set by the Remuneration Authority. The total salary amount is then divided by the number of councillors. Adding two more councillors means each councillor will be paid less.
While we are not legally obliged to consult with the community when developing our initial proposal for a Wider Representation Review, usually we would. However, this review has been different in that it has come about because of a series of unexpected legislative changes, which means the timeframe we have to carry out the review is much shorter than normal.
Because of this, we did not do any pre-consultation with the wider community this time but instead are using the very extensive research and consultation that we did during the 2018 Representation Review to inform us this time. This approach has been supported by the Electoral Commission. We are however, seeking your views on our initial proposal and welcome feedback as part of this process.
Fair representation means everyone has the same degree of representation. Under the Local Electoral Act this is guided by a formula to ensure each councillor represents approximately the same number of people and that this ratio is similar between wards (within +/- 10% difference of the average population per councillor).
Under this proposal, the 12 general ward councillors will represent approximately 12,400 people each across the two East and West General wards (total general electoral population divided by 12). The two Maaori ward councillors will represent about 13,350 people each (the total Maaori electoral population divided by 2).
Ultimately the Mayor and councillors' final responsibility is to the local community. The Minister of Local Government and the Auditor–General do have a role in ensuring that council follows the law.
Effective representation means the community has good access to councillors, can effectively participate in local government and that differences between distinct community interests and needs are appropriately recognised and represented.
It also means the arrangements support councillors to do their job well – so they are available to their community, able to attend public meetings and generally carry out their duties.
Legally, the number of Maaori ward seats on Council must represent the Maaori Electoral Population (MEP) of Hamilton as a proportion of the total population.
Currently the MEP is 15.1% of the total population, which means if there are 14 councillors in total, two (or 14.3%) of them must be Maaori seats. This is the number of seats that gets us the closest to 15% of all councillor seats.
Councils are legally required to review their representation structure every six years to ensure our representation system remains fair and effective. We last reviewed our system in 2018.
However, in May, Council voted to introduce Maaori wards in time for the 2022 Council elections. This big change triggered the need for Council to review its representation structure again – including the overall number of councillors, the ward system and whether there is a need for community boards.
Mayor and councillors:
In June 2020 we consulted on whether we should continue using First Past the Post (FPP) or change to STV (single transferable vote) for the 2022 and 2025 elections. We received 928 submissions - 726 respondents (78.1%) wanted to switch to STV and 202 (21.9%) preferred to keep using FPP.
Following feedback Council decided to switch from FPP to using STV for the 2022 and 2025 elections.
The decision to change STV has been made and isn’t being reviewed as part of this representation consultation.
If you are already registered on the general roll and want to change to the Maaori electoral roll you need to wait until the next Census in 2024. If you are not yet registered, you can enrol on either roll at any time. The Government is currently considering whether to allow people to change rolls more frequently.
To determine the most fair and effective representation arrangements as part of a Wider Representation Review, Council must consider:
In doing so, we have to make sure our arrangements are fair and effective in terms of the number of representatives per capita across the city and the community’s access to them.
You do need to be of Maaori descent to register on the Maaori roll, and vote for the Maaori ward candidates.
Maangai Maaori fulfil a very different role for Council than an elected Maaori ward councillor does.
The Maangai represent the voice of our Maaori partners and provide a valuable contribution on Committees and to Council on a wide range of subjects that are of interest to and benefit from the perspective of our Maaori partners. The are an important line of communication between Council and iwi and maataa waka.
Maaori ward councillors represent the voice of the community and may or may not have affiliations with our Maaori partner organisations. They exist to represent the views of all Hamiltonians and may act independently as all other Elected Members when engaging with the community.
No, anyone can stand for a Maaori ward seat.
Yes, if community feedback shows preference for another arrangement of the different components of the representation system.
Some aspects (the STV voting system and introduction of Maaori wards) have already been determined through earlier processes and are not up for review now.
Yes, we consulted with iwi and maataa waka and they told us one ward would be more unifying and give Maaori greater choice as each voter on the Maaori electoral roll could vote for both Maaori ward seats.
If you’re on the Parliamentary Electoral Roll at your current address in the Hamilton City Council area then you'll automatically appear on the electoral roll that is used for these elections
If you're not on the Parliamentary Electoral Roll at your current address in the Hamilton City Council area (or you're not sure if you are), you'll need to complete an enrolment form for this. You can either:
If you own a property in this district and it is not your main residence you may be able to enrol as a non-resident ratepayer elector.
The preliminary electoral roll will be available for inspection at:
Yes, we consulted in April 2021 and received 994 submissions. More than four out of five responses (81%) favoured Council introducing Maaori wards to achieve better representation.
The decision to add Maaori wards has been made and isn't being reviewed as part of this representation consultation.
If you are enrolled to vote on the general electoral roll you may only vote for candidates standing in the ward you live in and for the Mayor.
If you are enrolled to vote on the Maaori electoral roll you may only vote candidates standing in the Maaori ward and for the Mayor.
Legally, we are not required to review these decisions for another 6 years. However, considering the important addition of Maaori wards to the system, we have agreed with our Maaori partners to recommend the Council carry out a review of the final arrangements after three years.