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Representation review

How do you want to be represented on Council? Read about the options, ward boundaries, advantages and disadvantages before completing the survey.

Representing you best

We are undertaking a review of how Tauranga City Council represents you, as individuals and communities. 

Our current representation arrangements have been in place since 2010, and it’s time to review them. We need to ensure all our residents are fairly and effectively represented, in preparation for the next local body election. 

We’re interested in your views on:

  • the total number of councillors to be elected 
  • whether they're elected from wards or a mix of both wards and at large (city-wide)
  • the boundaries of these wards
  • if community boards should be established.

Community information sessions:

To find out more, come along to one of our community information sessions:

  • Greerton Library: Wednesday 28 July, 5pm - 6.30pm
  • Pāpāmoa Library:  Thursday 29 July, 12:30pm - 2pm
  • Tauranga City Council:  Willow Street, Te Awanui Harbour Room, Thursday 29 July, 3.30pm - 5pm

Option 1 – Mixed model (wards and at large) with 10 councillors

Option 1: Mixed model

Further information on option 1: Mixed model

Option 2 – Two wards model with 10 councillors

Two wards model - 10 councilors and mayor

Further information on option 2: Two wards

Option 3 – Seven wards model with 12 councillors

Option 3: Six wards 12 councillors and mayor

Further information on option 3: Seven wards model

Option 4 - Single member wards model with 12 councillors

Option 4 - Wards only model - 12 councilors and mayor

Further information on option 4: Single member wards model

Plus: Community Boards

Community boards can be establised with any of the representative review options listed above.

Further information on community boards

Have your say

Help shape our city’s democracy. 

Please complete our short survey so we can understand your preferred options. 

Have your say

The survey closes 13 August 2021


  • 16 July - 13 August
  • 23 August 2021
    Council meeting to consider public feedback and adopt an initial proposal for formal consultation.
  • 27 August to 28 September 2021
    Public submission period.
  • 11 October 2021
    Council meeting to hear public submissions on initial proposal.
  • 26 October 2021
    Council meeting to deliberate on public submissions and decide on final proposal.
  • 1 November to 1 December 2021
    Appeal / objection period.
    (Appeal – a person can appeal if they have already submitted to the initial proposal. 
    Objection – a person can object to the final proposal even if they did not submit to the initial proposal.)
  • Prior to 11 April 2022
    Local Government Commission (LGC) makes final determination if appeals or objections received.
  • 8 October 2022
    Local Government election day 
    (Either LGC determination comes into force or Council’s final proposal comes into effect.)

Frequently asked questions

Under the Local Electoral Act 2001, councils must undertake a representation review at least every six years. 

Our current representation arrangements have been in place since 2010. We want to know if these are still appropriate, or if there’s a better way to represent our communities.

This is your opportunity to tell us how you want to see democracy restored in Tauranga. 

It affects how you vote in the local elections and who can represent you and your community. 

No, all Tauranga residents are welcome to participate and have their views heard in the representation review.

The minimum number of councillors is five (5) and the maximum is 29.

The position of mayor is not up for review. The mayor is elected by all voters.

A Māori ward has been confirmed to be established for the next election. This is not up for review.

More information on Māori wards

We will be asking Tangata Whenua for feedback on a name for this ward.

With a new Māori ward, there must also be at least one general ward created. This can be established across the entire city.

An ‘at large’ only option is not permitted by the Local Electoral Act 2001 when a Māori ward is established.

The only options open to the council are:

  • All members elected from wards (General and Māori) – wards only
  • Some members elected at large (by all electors) and some from wards (General and Māori) – mixed model

We need to determine whether our rapidly growing city can be effectively governed by the current number of elected members (11, comprised of 10 councillors + mayor) or whether this needs to change - Council comprised 14 councillors when it was constituted in 1989, reducing to 13 in 1998 and to 10 in 2004. It has stayed at 10 councillors since then.

To decide this, we need to consider accessibility to elected members, and the size and configuration of an area. Questions include:

  • Would the population have reasonable access to councillors and vice versa?
  • Would councillors be able to effectively represent the views of their area?
  • Would councillors be able to attend public meetings through their area and provide reasonable opportunities for residents to meet with them?

Each elected general ward councillor should represent a similar number of people, within plus or minus 10%. This is called the +/- 10% rule.

If an option ‘complies’, it means that it complies with this fairness rule.

As part of the review, we must identify communities of interest. The Local Government Commission’s guidelines recognise a community of interest according to three criteria:

  • Perceptual: a sense of belonging to an area or locality. People have things in common with neighbours, feel an affinity with and shared responsibility to people, shared goals or ideas, a shared history, rohe or takiwā of local hapu/iwi, similar demographic or socio-economic characteristics. Can include distinct physical and topographical features e.g. river, harbour, lakes, beach, mountain that people feel a geographical attachment to.
  • Functional: the ability to meet the community’s requirements for services includes access to and dependence on daily goods and services e.g. schools, recreation and cultural facilities, parks, shops and shopping centres, public transport links.
  • Political: the ability of the elected body to represent the interests and reconcile the conflicts of all its members.

Communities of interest can mean different things to different people. They can also change over time which is why a review is carried out every six years. They must be able to be mapped and have a geographic boundary that aligns with Statistics New Zealand’s mesh blocks.

The next election is scheduled for October 2022.

It is up to the Minister of Local Government to determine if the Commission is extended. If this happens, then the election could be delayed until 2025.

After the formal consultation process, the public can either appeal or object to Council’s final decision.  

The Local Government Commission hears any appeals or objection and will then confirm what Tauranga’s representation arrangements will be. 

If Council’s final proposal is non-complying with the legislation, it will go directly to the Local Government Commission for its final decision.

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