Council decides to keep existing ward boundaries

At the Council meeting on 24 October 2018 a Council working party was set up  to decide and define the boundaries of the three South Wairarapa wards: Featherson, Martinborough and Greytown. The working party met on 26 October 2018, and Councillors analysed boundary maps and population numbers for the meshblocks that make up the wards in the South Wairarpa District alongside information about communities of interest. Following this detailed analysis, the Council decided to retain the status quo regarding ward boundaries.

Councillors noted that the meshblock boundaries do not always reflect the district’s communities of interest. As ward boundaries are defined by meshblocks, this does not make it easy to change ward boundaries at this time. A meshblock is defined by Statistics NZ as the smallest geographic unit for which statistical data is collected and processed by Stats NZ.  Councillors at the workshop agreed to discuss with Statistics NZ the possibility of changing meshblock boundaries in the future, with a view to more closely aligning them with communities of interest.

Councillors also noted that that the number of submissions to the Council’s initial proposal to retain the status quo on ward boundaries was low – eight in total, five of which included suggestions to change ward boundaries. In comparison, the 2006 Review of Representations Arrangements received 190 submissions, which did result in changes to the ward boundaries.

Council agreed to undertake a further representation review in three years, which will take into account the latest census figures and the Council’s spatial plan work*. At that point it may be more appropriate to look at changing ward boundaries.

*The spatial planning work is a long-term strategy which sets out the strategic direction for communities. It will form the basis for the coordination of decision making, infrastructure, services and investment.

 

Related content:
Final proposal for Representation Arrangements for the 2019 Local Elections