Who will speak for you?
We're reviewing our representative arrangements, which is effectively who speaks for you on Council. By law, all councils have to do this every six years. This is called a Representation Review and the decisions we make will apply to the 2019 and 2022 elections.
We're currently in the pre-consultation phase of our Review and we want to know what you think about:
- the number of voting areas (called 'wards'), if any, that is best for our city
- whether we want to elect our councillors across the whole city
- how many councillors there should be
- how many councillors there should be in each ward
- whether we want to have community boards, and if so, how many members should they have, and which areas should they cover.
What is the Representation Review?
The purpose of the Representation Review is to establish whether our current arrangements for fair and effective representation (our councillors and wards) meet our communities' needs and expectations. Currently we're in the pre-consultation phase and seeking feedback from the public about their views. Councillors will consider this feedback in August, along with staff research into the demographic and social considerations. A formal public consultation period will follow, where the public will be invited to make submissions
How we currently do it
- Here is a map which shows you what our city currently looks like - City Boundary 2016.pdf
- Hamilton has one Mayor who is elected by the whole of the city
- Hamilton is currently divided by the Waikato River into two wards. Here is a map which clearly shows the boundaries of these wards - Ward Boundaries 2016.pdf
- There are currently 12 councillors in total. Of these:
- six are voted from the east side of the river (the East Ward)
- six are elected from the west side of the river (the West ward)
- Each voter votes for up six candidates standing for election in the voting area in which they are registered to vote
- Each voter also chooses one candidate for Mayor
- Hamilton does not currently have community boards, nor has it at any stage in the past.
2018 Representation Review Timeline
|12 June||Council Briefing|
|16 August||Council meeting (initial proposal resolved)|
|After meeting 16 August||One month of formal consultation|
|9 October||Hearings held|
|30 October||Extraordinary Council meeting (final proposal)|
|By 6 December ||Appeals to LGC close|
|15 January ||Submit all materials to LGC, if an appeal is lodged|
|11 April ||LGC determine the outcome of their investigation|
Frequently Asked Questions
How do these decisions impact on how much candidates can spend on their election campaigns?
The spending limit for a candidate does depend on the population of the voting area in which candidate is standing. For example, at the 2016 Hamilton City Council election, a mayoral candidate (standing city-wide with a population of around 157,000) could spend up to $60,000 incl GST, whereas a candidate for the West Ward (population 74,500) could spend up to $40,000 incl GST and a candidate for East Ward (population 82,500) could spend up to $50,000 incl GST. The population bands and maximum expenditure are found here.
Is Maaori representation being considered as part of this process?
Maaori representation via the establishment of dedicated Maaori wards was the first step in the Representation Review. Council resolved in October 2017 to explore models of representation other than wards, and at this time, are continuing to consult key stakeholders.
Does this Review include the electoral system?
No. The electoral system (i.e. how the voting works) used for Council's triennial elections is not up for review at this time. Councils are required by the legislation to periodically to consider the options of First-Past-the-Post (FPP), which is Hamilton City Council's current system, or Single Transferable Vote (STV), which is used for DHB and some other councils' elections. However Council's 2013 Electoral System Referendum triggered by the last review cycle choose FPP for the 2016 and 2019 Council elections, and therefore the electoral system is not being reviewed in this round.
What are the options for voting areas?
- two voting areas (wards) divided by the Waikato River – this is our current system which requires voters to choose from candidates standing in the ward in which they are registered on the electoral roll.
- more than two voting areas (wards) – new boundaries for each voting area would need to be determined. Voters would choose from candidates standing in the voting area in which they are registered on the electoral roll.
- city-wide – there would be no wards, and voters would choose from all candidates standing across the whole city
- a combination of city-wide voting and specific voting areas (wards) - voters would choose some candidates standing across the whole city, and other candidates standing in a voting area in which the voter is registered on the electoral roll.
What are community boards all about?
Community boards are an additional layer of representation that report directly to the Council. They can have 4-12 members, at least four of whom are chosen by voters in the board area.
Councils that have well-defined communities with different characteristics and interests to the rest of the district may choose to have community boards. For instance, Waipa District Council has two community boards representing Cambridge and Te Awamutu.
A council must ensure it has the financial and other resources to establish and support a community board including elected board members' remuneration.
Read more about community boards here.
How many councillors can we have?
The minimum number of councillors Hamilton can have is five and the maximum is 29.
I own more than one property in Hamilton. How do I know which voting area I can vote in?
You can only vote in one voting area, which is the one in which you are registered on the electoral roll.
I live outside of Hamilton but own property in Hamilton. Can I still have a say?
If you own property in Hamilton but live outside of it and you may be able to register to vote in Hamilton on the ratepayer roll. If this situation affects you, complete the ratepayer enrolment form here.
Find out more and stay involved
Find out more information about the Representation Review here:
You can also reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org
There will also be an opportunity to make a formal submission on this topic later in the year and to speak to face-to-face to councillors.