When a local government council is elected, voters are given a number of candidates you can vote for to represent you on that council. How many councillors for each geographical area, and what the boundaries of those areas are, is determined by the council under guidelines set out in the Local Electoral Act 2001.
Under the Environment Canterbury (Transitional Governance Arrangements) Act 2016 Council must complete a representation review for the 2019 elections, when Environment Canterbury will return to a fully elected Council.
The Local Electoral Act 2001 (LEA) sets the parameters within which the representation review process must be undertaken. The membership to any regional council cannot be less than six nor more than 14 councillors.
2010 until now
At the 2019 local body elections, Environment Canterbury will return to a fully-elected Council.
If you have been following us closely over recent years you will know that we have had Government-appointed Commissioners from 2010-2016, and from 2016 have operated under interim governance arrangements with a ‘some elected, some appointed’ Council.
This interim model is described in the Environment Canterbury (Transitional Governance Arrangements) Act 2016, and will cease with the October 2019 elections, when Environment Canterbury will return to a fully elected Council.
In preparation for the upcoming local body election, in 2018 Environment Canterbury undertook a representation review looking at how many Councillors we will have and from where - how the population of Canterbury will be represented on the regional council.
The Council considered options and put an initial proposal out for consultation, followed by submissions and hearings. A final proposal was then developed for consideration by the Local Government Commission.
The initial proposal was for 13 seats – two north, two central, eight Christchurch, and one south. Following submissions, the final proposal added an additional seat in the south, meaning two Councillors each for the 'non-Christchurch' north, central and South Canterbury areas, and eight for Christchurch.
As there were objections to this final proposal, the Commission held a hearing at Environment Canterbury's Christchurch offices on 21 March 2019.
Factors to be considered
Factors required to be considered when forming the proposal are laid out in the Local Electoral Act 2001. These include serving communities of interest and ensuring as far as possible a numerical representation of the population.
In considering our representation model, Environment Canterbury looked at where the issues that we are dealing with are, and how we can represent the views of the community, while still providing as close to an even distribution of Councillors as possible.
What we found
Submissions on our initial proposal suggested there should be more Councillors from outside Christchurch, (six councillors not the five initially proposed), as many of the issues we are dealing with are outside the urban centres.
The submissions received on the final proposal suggested that some see six rural and eight urban Councillors as an uneven split the other way, with an over-representation of farming interests, not adequately representing the large proportion of urban Christchurch ratepayers.
The final representation model of 14 councillors with two in each of seven wards, was determined by the Local Government Commission and announced on 11 April 2019.
You can find more information on the Representation Review on haveyoursaysay.co.nz.
The Local Government Commission announced on 11 April 2019, the constituency and membership arrangements for Environment Canterbury for the upcoming 2019 local authority elections.
Environment Canterbury had proposed a 14-member Council elected from seven constituencies. Following consideration of Environment Canterbury's proposal and 201 appeals and objections, the Commission has confirmed that proposal.
The decision means that for the 2019 elections, Environment Canterbury will be elected as follows:
The constituencies that the 14 councillors represent are mapped below.
- Canterbury Region (PDF File, 816.89KB)
- Christchurch Central-Ōhoko Constituency (PDF File, 509.64KB)
- Christchurch North East-Ōrei Constituency (PDF File, 524.21KB)
- Christchurch South-Ōwhanga Constituency (PDF File, 623.71KB)
- Christchurch West-Ōpuna Constituency (PDF File, 557.49KB)
- Mid-Canterbury-Ōpākihi Constituency (PDF File, 686.34KB)
- North Canterbury-Ōpukepuke Constituency (PDF File, 688.04KB)
- South Canterbury-Ōtuhituhi Constituency (PDF File, 696.38KB)
2019 Local Body elections
The Council has completed the representation review for the 2019 elections and must now return Environment Canterbury to a fully democratically elected Council. Those elections will be held in October 2019. For more information visit our elections page on the website.