MINUTES OF A meeting of the Regional Council
Date: Wednesday 15 August 2012
Hawke's Bay Regional Council
159 Dalton Street
E von Dadelszen
F Wilson - Chairman
A J Dick
In Attendance: Paul Drury, Group Manager Corporate Services
Carol Gilbertson, Electoral Officer
Sally Chandler, Minute Secretary
The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting and Councillor von Dadelszen offered the prayer.
That apologies from Councillors Remmerswaal, Scott and McGregor be accepted.
2. CONFLICT OF INTEREST DECLARATIONS
There were no conflict of interest declarations.
Mr Paul Drury introduced this paper. He drew the Council’s attention to the summary table on page 15 of the agenda item which showed the five different proposals being considered.
Councillor Kirton arrived at the meeting at 8.45am.
Mrs Gilbertson provided large scale maps for the Council to view, which provided more detail on proposals 3, 4 and 5.
Mrs Gilbertson advised that in response to a question received prior to the meeting from Councillor Scott, the population split in the current Hastings Constituency was approx Urban 66,100 and Rural 9,400 which meant that proposal did not meet the +/- 10% rule required by the Local Electoral Act.
Councillors discussed the various proposals put forward and the following was noted:
· The Council agreed that the constituency of Central Hawke’s Bay become a Community of Interest with Wairoa retaining the Community of Interest for that region as outlined in Proposal 4.
· That the revised Constituency names for Hastings South and Hastings North be considered as part of the public submission process.
A protest was raised by Councillor Kirton. He voiced his concern that in the absence of three Councillors from the meeting he did not wish to vote.
Councillor Kirton exited the meeting at 9.00am.
The Council then voted on proposal 4 as the preferred initial proposal and noted that this needed to go through the public submission process.
1. Acknowledges the consultation procedures required for Representation Reviews under the Local Electoral Act (sections 19M and 19N).
2. Adopts proposal 4 as the preferred Representation Arrangement for the Region; that being for nine councillors representing five constituencies.
2.1 Council will seek to retain the Wairoa constituency as a special community of interest, and also make application for Central Hawke’s Bay to be a special community of interest.
2.2 The proposed names and boundaries of each of the five proposed constituencies as depicted on the map following are:
2.2.1 Central Hawke’s Bay; the constituency boundary being the same as that for the Central Hawke’s Bay District Council area and apply for this to be a ‘community of interest’.
2.2.2 Hastings South (name to be confirmed); the constituency boundary being that area which encompasses the wards of Kahuranaki and Havelock North along with parts of Heretaunga within the Hastings District Council area.
2.2.3 Hastings North (name to be confirmed); the constituency boundaries being the area which encompasses the wards of Mohaka, Flaxmere, Hastings and most of Heretaunga within the Hastings District Council area, and area units within the Regional boundary belonging to Rangitikei and Taupo District councils.
2.2.4 Napier; the constituency boundary being the same as that for the Napier City Council area.
2.2.5 Wairoa; the constituency boundary being the same as that for the Wairoa District Council area and retaining the ‘community of interest’ for that area.
2.3 The LEA s19V(2) population parameter requirements, once Wairoa and Central Hawke’s Bay are treated as a ‘community of interest’ become 155,270 – 8,430 (estimated Wairoa area population) – 13,430 (estimated Central Hawke’s Bay population) = 133,410 ÷ 7 (9 councillors less 1 representative each for Wairoa and Central Hawke’s Bay) = 19,059 per complying constituency. Taking the +/-10% into account, this requires each of the remaining three constituency’s number of electors to be within the range of 17,153 – 20,965 (+/- 10% of 19,059) as reflected in the following table:
Proposal 4 Population Statistics with Wairoa & CHB being ‘community of interest’
* based on 2011 rounded population estimates from the Government Statistician
2.4 The Wairoa constituency was accepted by the Local Government Commission in 2007 as a ‘community of interest’, with the size and diversity of the constituency and reasonable access to representation having been proved, and Council will seek to retain this status. Specifically, the Commission ruled:
2.4.1 “We first addressed the issue of the proposed Wairoa Constituency and its non-compliance with the +/- 10% rule. After carefully considering the points raised by the Council and also those made by the Mayor of Wairoa and the Wairoa Constituency Councillors, as set out earlier in this determination, we agree that a separate Wairoa Constituency is necessary to ensure effective representation of this community of interest. In summary we agree that:
· Wairoa has a community of interest distinct from the rest of the region, both physically and socio-economically, and this presents particular challenges for community consultation and provision of services;
· The physical realities of the area give rise to particular issues not experienced elsewhere including hill country erosion, pressure on coastal development, pest management, transport infrastructure, biodiversity protection, wetland enhancement, flooding and other natural hazards;
· Effective representation is most unlikely to be achieved by merging Wairoa into another constituency in order to comply with the +/- 10% rule as this would result in a very large area (70% of the land area of the region) with few commonalities of interest and still eligible for only one councillor;
· Effective representation would be compromised in terms of both access to a councillor and representation of the diversity of the constituency; and
· The demands on a councillor servicing an enlarged area would be unreasonable.”
2.5 In respect to the Central Hawke’s Bay constituency, Council believes there is a case for applying for a distinct ‘community of interest’ status, and that the size of the constituency would compromise reasonable access of the electors to an elected member for this area if enlarged to include areas of Hastings District to meet the +/-10% rule. The elected member would be unlikely to realistically be able to attend public meetings throughout the area and provide reasonable opportunities for constituents to have face to face meetings due to long distances having to be travelled given the size of the constituency required to meet the population parameters.
2.6 The physical realities of the area give rise to particular issues including hill country erosion, pressure on coastal development, biodiversity protection, flooding and other natural hazards. Several communities suffered extensive damage in the 2011 Easter floods and recovery work continues 18 months later.
2.7 In addition to the physical challenges associated with that area, the community is also the site for the proposed Ruataniwha Water Storage Dam, and should this proceed will be faced with land use intensification challenges not faced elsewhere in the Region.
Councillor Kirton returned to the meeting at 9.05 am.
RC20/12 The Chairman acknowledged an apology had been received from Mr Mike Mohi, Chairman of the HBRC Māori Committee.
There being no further business the Chairman declared the meeting closed at 9.10 am on Wednesday, 15 August 2012.
Signed as a true and correct record.
DATE: ................................................ CHAIRMAN: ...............................................