The Local Government Commission has upheld Environment Waikato’s membership determination, following appeals from Hamilton City and Waikato District Councils.
Councils are required to determine membership before October’s local government election, and Environment Waikato had resolved to continue its existing composition – 14 members elected from 10 constituencies. They included four members for Hamilton, two for Taupo and one each for North Waikato, Central Waikato, Waipa, North King Country, Thames-Coromandel, Hauraki, Matamata-Piako and South Waikato.
Hamilton City and Waikato District objected, saying the principle of one person, one vote had been overlooked in the formula determining representation. An imbalance occurred when the populations of Hamilton, Waikato and Waipa districts were compared with the rest of the Region.
Environment Waikato confirmed its proposal and the two councils appealed. They proposed that the existing boundary between Taupo and South Waikato constituencies be adjusted, transferring the Rotorua portion to the South Waikato area. This suggestion was not upheld by the Commission. The Commission decided that 14 members would provide the fairest representation for electors of each constituency, with representation for each area remaining the same.
The Commission issued determinations on 30 local authorities following appeals, upholding 19 of the local authorities’ proposals.