Representation Review pre-consultation begins
The Central Otago community will be invited to take part in the six-yearly Representation Review, undertaken by local authorities to ensure residents have fair and effective representation at local elections.
At the meeting on Wednesday (31 January 2024) the Central Otago District Council discussed how the first phase of public consultation would take place.
The pre-consultation process is recommended by the Local Government Commission as a means to consider a range of options, before a final proposal is developed by Council for formal community consultation. The questions in the pre-consultation survey cover representation in the district through such matters as the number of elected members, ward boundaries and ward names. The survey also provides an opportunity to canvas the community for ideas that might not have been thought of previously and to consult with multiple communities of interest. Feedback will help shape the development of Council’s final representation proposal, which will be publicly consulted on later this year.
The Council approved a list of questions for the pre-consultation with the public’s feedback to be taken back to the April meeting.
In addition to approving a list of 12 main questions, additional questions were added at the meeting to gauge the community’s opinion on whether there was the right amount of community boards in this district and whether (if feasible) there could be an option for a mix of joint ward/at large councillors.
CODC Community and Engagement Manager Paula Penno reminded members it had been six years since Council’s elected member representation had been reviewed.
“In this time, have our communities of interest changed? If so, it’s best to ask the community and find this out now before we develop a final proposal for consultation.”
Deputy Mayor Neil Gillespie approved of the pre-consultation approach, “because it gives us some ideas to work with”.
The survey will be available on the Council’s Let’s Talk platform from Friday 2 February to Sunday 25 February.: Let’s Talk Central Otago (codc.govt.nz).
Hard copies will be made available at service centres and libraries.