Hamilton City Council will add two citywide Maaori ward seats to the council table, following a wider representation review.
Elected Members voted today (11 November 2021) to approve the Council’s final proposal for representation arrangements, which followed the earlier decision to introduce Maaori wards in May this year.
The final proposal retains the current structure of six elected members for each general ward (East and West), the mayor elected at-large, and adds two new citywide Maaori Ward seats.
Governance Manager Becca Brooke said this review is about ensuring fair and effective representation for all Hamiltonians.
“In the six-week public consultation period, Council received 451 submissions on the topic. Of the relevant submissions, approximately 50% supported the Council’s initial proposal.”
“Council also made a recommendation that the incoming 2022 elected Council carry out a further review ahead of the required six-year interval, in light of a number of changes coming into force for the 2022-2025 triennium.”
Of submissions not in support, there were a variety of proposals – more or fewer councillors, more or fewer wards, the introduction of community boards, and more or fewer Maaori ward seats.
The two citywide Maaori Ward seats will be introduced for the next election in October 2022, as will the STV (single transferable voting) voting system.
Increasing the number of councillors does not mean that more money is spent on councillor salaries. The salary pool is set by the Remuneration Authority and is divided between councillors and based on population index.
Recognising the appetite for strong community advocacy, councillors voted unanimously to request staff prepare a report on options to introduce Community Committees. This would be considered by the new Council following the 2022 Election.
Nominations for the Hamilton City Council election will open in June 2022.