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Taupō District Council decided to continue with its current representation for Taupō, Turangi and Mangakino to Council.
Council has reviewed its representation arrangement for the forthcoming October 2013 elections. The process included looking at the number of members to be elected, whether members will be elected by voters on a District-wide basis, in wards or a mixture of both and the retention/establishment or abolition of community boards.
Following consultation and hearings, Council deliberated and considered a number of options in terms of how the community is represented. Council heard seven of the total 11 submitters. The key submission points were:
Council decided not to change the representation arrangements. In doing so, Council noted that the requirement in relation to each ward Councillor representing the same number of people, plus or minus 10 per cent, has not been met. Council considered that the communities of interest with the two wards affected (Mangakino/Pouakani and Turangi/Tongariro) are such that effective representation should not simply be based on population alone.
Mayor Rick Cooper says that Council feels comfortable with the current level of representation and it is the best decision to be made at this time. “With local government reform on the horizon, it is hard to say where local governments will be in a year’s time. We felt it was best to keep the status quo and maintain that level of stability for our residents.”
As a result of the decision, Council will advertise the final proposal to the community to have a final say. Any appeals will be heard by the Local Government Commission who will determine the final representation for the District.