The final proposal for Christchurch’s representation arrangements has been adopted by councillors, with one small additional change to the recommendations from the Council after the hearings concluded on 3 June.
Christchurch City Council’s 2021 Representation Review has resulted in a proposal for Christchurch to continue to be represented by a Mayor, 16 Councillors, and 37 community board members representing 16 wards. The Mayor will be elected ‘at large’ by the whole city, and each ward will elect its own Councillor and Community Board members.
A change from the recommendation made by the hearings panel means all of the Knights Stream subdivision can be included with the Halswell ward.
“Drawing a ward boundary through the middle of Knights Stream was purely accidental, and was the result of accommodating other tweaks to the boundaries during the hearing process,” says Mayor Lianne Dalziel.
“We’ve been able to accommodate the Richmond and Phillipstown communities, who wanted to be included in a single ward rather than be split between wards.
“Balancing the populations of each ward means a lot of back and forth, because where possible we have to make sure the population of each ward is within 10 per cent of the population of every other ward, but we draw the maps to keep communities of interest together wherever possible.”
The final proposal includes reducing the number of community boards from seven to six, by dividing the Linwood-Central-Heathcote Community Board and merging each ward into the three nearby Community Boards with common interests – the Linwood ward will join Waitai Coastal-Burwood, the Central ward Waipapa Papanui-Innes, and the Heathcote ward Waihoro Spreydon-Cashmere.
Despite a significantly smaller population than other wards, it’s proposed Banks Peninsula will continue to have its own ward and subdivisions due to its unique nature and geographic isolation. For that reason, the final proposal must be referred to the Local Government Commission for a final determination in early 2022 – after any objections have been resolved, and ahead of the next local body elections in October 2022.
The final proposal will be publicly notified on 25 June 2021, and will be open to appeals and objections from 25 June to 25 July at Have Your Say.