Extraordinary Meeting of the Hawke's Bay Regional Council
Date: Wednesday 18 November 2020
Hawke's Bay Regional Council
159 Dalton Street
Item Title Page
2. Conflict of Interest Declarations
3. Māori Representation on Hawke's Bay Regional Council 3
Wednesday 18 November 2020
Subject: Māori Representation on Hawke's Bay Regional Council
Reason for Report
1. To enable Council to consider the establishment of one or more Māori constituencies, as part of its Representation Arrangements, for the election of representatives of Tangata Whenua by electors on the Māori Electoral Roll, with effect from the 2022 triennial elections.
2. Council officers recommend that councillors give careful consideration to the information provided in this agenda item and to the views offered by tangata whenua representatives on both the Māori and Regional Planning committees in order to arrive at a decision on whether to establish one or more Māori constituencies for Hawke’s Bay Regional Council elections.
3. Councillors have expressed a desire to pursue Māori representation on HBRC through the establishment of Māori seats or constituencies. In order to provide a basis for making decisions to put this in motion staff are providing the information gathered when Council last considered the matter in 2017, given the short timeframe.
4. Basically, the options open to Council currently include:
4.1. Resolve, before 23 November 2020, to establish one or two Māori constituencies and publicly notify that resolution (and the right for 5% of electors to demand a poll by 21 February 2021) by 30 November 2020
4.1.1. Initiate a review of Council’s representation arrangements including the Māori constituencies (public notice of Council’s initial proposal required by 8 September 2021) for the 2022 and 2025 elections
4.2. Resolve to hold a poll on whether to establish Māori constituencies at the next election on 8 October 2022
4.2.1. If the poll result was to establish the Māori constituencies that result would be implemented through the 2023-24 Representation Review and have effect for the 2025 and 2028 elections
4.3. Delay considering whether to establish Māori constituencies until the next Representation Review, required in 2023-24.
5. The Local Electoral Act 2001 (LEA) provides that Māori constituencies may be established, either by way of a local authority resolution (s19Z) or as the outcome of a poll of electors (s19ZB and s19ZD).
5.1. If the Council resolves to establish Māori constituencies, the resolution must be made by 23 November 2020 for the Council’s decision to take effect from the 2022 triennial elections. The resolution would be effective for the next two triennial elections and would continue in effect after these two elections, until a further resolution is made by Council, or until a poll is held.
5.2. If the Council decides to initiate a poll, it must do so by 21 February 2021 for the result of the poll to be effective for the next two triennial elections in accordance with LEA s19ZG. The outcome of a poll is binding and overrides a resolution of Council. If the result of the poll is to establish Māori constituencies it would be effective for the next two elections and would continue in effect until a resolution is made by Council or a poll of electors is held.
5.3. At least 5% (5714) of the Region’s electors enrolled at the previous triennial election may demand a poll be held on the subject of establishing Māori constituencies - at any time. If a valid demand for a poll is received by 21 February 2020 then a poll must be held by 21 May 2021. The result of the poll will be effective for the next two next two triennial elections, and beyond until a further resolution of Council is made or poll of electors is held.
6. Agenda items and minutes from the 2017 Council’s consideration of Māori Constituencies are attached by way of providing the background relevant to today’s discussions.
7. Councils are required to carry out a review of their Representation Arrangements at least every six years, with HBRC’s next review due following the 2022 election in preparation for the 2025 election.
Options for Council
8. The options for Council’s decision are outlined following (and flowchart attached), including consequential requirements and/or processes.
9. Council can resolve “yes, establish one or more Māori Constituencies for the 2022 and 2025 elections”.
9.1. Council must then publicly notify that resolution and the option for 5% of Hawke’s Bay electors (5714) to demand a poll (by 21 February 2021).
9.2. If a valid demand for a poll is received by 21 February, then a poll is required to be held by 21 May 2021 (not later than 89 days after the notification). The outcome of the poll is binding and overrides a resolution of Council.
9.3. If there is no valid demand for a poll by 21 February, then Council considers the details of the Māori constituencies through a Representation Review.
10. Council can resolve to hold a poll (prior to 21 May 2021) to have binding effect for the 2022 and 2025 elections.
10.1. A poll date is scheduled, and the poll held (estimated cost $230,000-250,000)
10.2. Council considers the outcome of the poll in determining its Representation Arrangements through the Representation Review process
10.3. The result of the poll remains in effect for two electoral cycles, and then until either a Council resolution is made or a further poll is held.
11. Council can resolve to receive this “Māori Representation on Hawke's Bay Regional Council” staff report and take no further actions at this time.
12. Effective partnerships with Māori are not only a legislative requirement, but an aspiration of this Council. One of the strategic drivers in HBRC’s Strategic Plan is partnerships with tangata whenua.
13. Increasingly there are both statutory and non-statutory drivers for improved and more formalised tangata whenua direct engagement in co-governance. Natural resource management is a very high priority focus for tangata whenua and the HB Regional Planning Committee Act 2015 has increasingly required HBRC to work closer with tangata whenua in response. Simultaneously tangata whenua have been moving through Treaty settlement processes which are providing greater capability, influence and economic strength to Māori within the region. In tandem these developments have rapidly increased the expectation on HBRC to co-govern and co-manage the region’s natural resources.
Considerations of Tangata Whenua
14. Council’s most recent consideration of Māori representation was in 2017. Prior to that, consideration had been given to the question as part of representation reviews in 2006 and 2012, neither of which progressed to Council decision as not supported by the Māori Committee in place at the time.
15. Leading up to Council’s 2017 decision on whether to establish Māori representation, hui were held to provide tangata whenua with the opportunity to actively come together to understand and consider their aspirations in regards to Māori representation on the Council. The collective preference from the Hui a Iwi was in support of the establishment of Māori representation (attachment 1).
16. Due to the short timeframes for the current process, the Regional Planning Committee tangata whenua representatives have been asked to provide their view(s) at a Zoom hui scheduled at 8am on 17 November 2020, and the Māori Committee at their meeting immediately preceding the Extraordinary Regional Council meeting today.
Application of Legislation
17. A Council resolution or a poll decides whether or not Māori constituencies will be established only. The LEA requires that a Representation Review must be undertaken when a decision is made to establish Māori constituencies, and so if Māori constituencies are to be established the details of the number constituencies, constituency boundaries and names, and the total number of elected representatives will be determined through a Representation Review to be undertaken in 2021.
18. The number of Māori members for election is calculated in accordance with LEA clause 4 of Schedule 1A of the Act. Using this calculation, the Council is able to have two Māori members when the Council’s total membership ranges from 9 (current) to 14 members. The number of Māori members is not discretionary but determined using the legislated formula following.
nmm = mepd x nm
mepd + gedp
nmm is the number of Māori ward members
mepd is the Māori electoral population of the district
gepd is the general electoral population of the district
nm is the proposed number of members of the territorial authority.
Fractions are rounded up or down to the nearest whole number.
19. The most recent voter statistics from the Local Government Commission reflect the potential for HBRC to establish 2 Māori ‘seats’ as follows.
20. If Māori constituencies are created, those two members of Council will be elected from the Māori constituencies, and the other members will be elected from the general constituencies. Only electors on the Māori electoral roll are entitled to vote for candidates in a Māori constituency, and only electors on the general electoral roll are entitled to vote for candidates in general constituencies. No one can vote in both a general and a Māori constituency.
Regional Council Governance Structures and Representation Arrangements
21. Councils have developed a number of different structures, mainly various types of committees (both formal and informal) for engaging iwi in decision-making and seeking their views. These are either independent of, or work alongside, other relationship or co-governance agreements. Two regional councils have established Māori constituencies.
22. Bay of Plenty Regional Council (EBoP) was the first to establish Māori constituencies (3) under the Bay of Plenty (Māori Constituency Empowering) Act 2001. In addition to its Māori constituencies, the EBoP governance structure (attached) includes statutory joint committees established by legislation.
23. Waikato Regional Council (WRD) established two Māori constituencies through its Representation Review in 2012, and voted to retain the Nga Hau e Wha and Nga Tai ki Uta seats for the 2019 elections at its meeting on 26 October 2017. In addition to its Māori constituencies, the WRC governance structure (attached) includes co-governance and co-management groups.
24. Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) considered whether to establish a Māori constituency in 2017, the outcome of which was to defer the decision. To date no further decisions have been made by GWRC.
25. Canterbury Regional Council’s (ECan) Canterbury Water Management Strategy (CWMS) project agreed to by the Canterbury Mayoral Forum and Ngāi Tahu formed the basis of a collaborative, locally driven process aimed to improve environmental, cultural, economic and social outcomes in 10 areas – ecosystem health/biodiversity, braided rivers, kaitiakitanga, drinking water, recreational and amenity opportunities, water use efficiency, irrigated land area, energy security and efficiency, regional and national economies, and environment limits – and set targets in each of these for 2015, 2020 and 2040. An excerpt from the ECan Local Governance Statement about its Governance Structure is attached.
26. Currently, the following councils are also considering the establishment of Māori wards or constituencies.
26.1. Taranaki iwi have requested that South Taranaki District Council establishes 2 Māori seats
26.2. Northland Regional Council (2)
26.3. Whangerei District Council (2)
26.4. Ruapehu District Council (3).
Financial and Resource Implications
27. If Council resolves to establish one or two Māori constituencies by 23 November 2020, and no demand for a poll is received, the Council is required to undertake a Representation Review in order to establish its new Governance Arrangements. The costs associated with carrying out a Representation Review are largely for staff time and public consultation, currently unbudgeted, and estimated to be in the vicinity of $15,000 based on the 2017-18 Representation Review costs.
27.1. If Council resolves, by 23 November 2020, to establish one or two Māori constituencies, and a poll demand received by 21 February 2021, staff have been advised that the cost of holding a poll (before 21 May 2021) would be in the vicinity of $250,000. This is currently unbudgeted expenditure.
Decision Making Process
28. Council is required to make every decision in accordance with legislative requirements. Staff have assessed the requirements in relation to this item and have concluded:
28.1. The decision is allowed in accordance with Local Electoral Act 2001 Section 19.
28.2. The persons affected by this decision are the electors and ratepayers of the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council.
28.3. The decision is not inconsistent with an existing policy or plan.
28.4. Given the nature and significance of the issue to be considered and decided, and also the persons likely to be affected by, or have an interest in the decisions made, Council can exercise its discretion and make this decision which will then be subject to public notice and consultation provisions through a Representation Review process to be conducted in accordance with the Local Electoral Act 2001.
That the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council:
1. Receives and considers the “Māori Representation on Hawke's Bay Regional Council” staff report.
2. Resolves in accordance with s.19Z of the Local Electoral Act 2001 to establish one or two Māori constituencies to allow for the election of two representatives for the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council with effect from the 2022 triennial elections.
3. Resolves that, in accordance with s.19ZA of the Local Electoral Act 2001, a public notice be issued, of Council’s decision and of the public’s right to demand a poll on the matter of establishing Māori constituencies.
4. Receives and considers the “Māori Representation on Hawke's Bay Regional Council” staff report and takes no further action at the present time.
Team Leader Governance
TE POU WHAKARAE
2017 Taiwhenua Feedback and Māori Committee Recommendation
Decision Processes Flowchart
Examples of Co-governance & Representation Arrangements