Representation Review

What’s it all about?

Local authorities around the country are required to make decisions about their representation arrangements every six years, following a process contained in the Local Electoral Act 2001. One of the principles of the Act is to implement ‘fair and effective representation for individuals and communities’. The last time the Ōtorohanga District Council undertook a review was in 2018, but the Council decision in April 2021 to establish Māori Wards triggered a requirement to review arrangements again.

Councils must determine whether to have wards or not, whether to elect some councillors by wards and the rest at large; if there are to be wards the proposed number; the proposed name and boundary of each ward; and the number of councillors proposed to be elected by the electors of each ward. Councils must also make decisions about Community Boards.

What does Council’s Initial Proposal look like?

On 17 August 2021 the Ōtorohanga District Council reviewed its representation arrangements and resolved that the following proposal apply for Council elections to be held on 8 October 2022:


It is proposed that the Council comprise 9 members elected from six wards, and the Mayor elected at-large. The six wards reflect the following identified communities of interest:


Communities of Interest

Kāwhia/Tihiroa Ward

The communities of Kāwhia and Aotea together with, but not limited to, the rural areas of Oparau, Hauturu, Ngutunui, Tihiroa, Te Kawa and Honikiwi. 

Kio Kio/Korakonui Ward

The area comprising, but not limited to, the rural areas of Kio Kio, Tokanui Crossroads, Korakonui and Ngahape. 

Ōtorohanga Ward

The community of Ōtorohanga which covers the township of Ōtorohanga. 

Waipā Ward

The area comprising, but not limited to, the rural areas of Rangiatea, Maihiihi, Paewhenua, Whawharua, Otewa and Rewa Rewa.

Wharepuhunga Ward

The area comprising, but not limited to, the rural areas of Waikeria, Wharepuhunga, Ngaroma, Arohena and Ranginui.

Ōtorohanga Māori Ward

A district wide ward that reflects the community of interest for Māori electors and those in the Māori community.


The population that each member will represent is as follows:






Population per member

% Deviation from the average

Kāwhia/Tihiroa Ward





Kio Kio/Korakonui Ward





Ōtorohanga Ward





Waipā Ward





Wharepuhunga Ward





Total General



average    1,216







Ōtorohanga Māori Ward










* Department of Statistics population estimates as at 30 June 2017.

In accordance with section 19V(2) of the Local Electoral Act 2001 the population that each member represents must be within the range of 1,216 +/- 10% (1,094 to 1,338), unless particular communities of interest considerations justify otherwise. All five general wards are within the stipulated range.


As required by sections 19T(1)(b) and 19W(c) of the Local Electoral Act 2001, the boundaries of the above wards and communities coincide with the current statistical meshblock areas determined by Statistics New Zealand and used for Parliamentary electoral purposes.


Will there be Community Board Representation?

It is proposed that two community boards will be elected.

The two community boards will be:

Community Boards

Area of Community


The townships of Aotea and Kāwhia.


The township of Ōtorohanga.


The Kāwhia Community Board will have four elected members. The Kāwhia Community will have two subdivisions for electoral purposes. Kāwhia Subdivision will have 3 elected members and Aotea Subdivision will have 1 elected member. The Council will appoint 1 member of the Kāwhia/Tihiroa Ward to the Board.

Electoral Subdivisions






Population per member


% Deviation from the average

Kāwhia Subdivision





Aotea Subdivision








average    118



In accordance with section 19V(2) of the Local Electoral Act 2001 the population that each member represents must be within the range of 118 +/- 10% (106 to 130), unless particular community of interest considerations justify otherwise. Both the electoral subdivisions wards are outside the stipulated range. The Council believes that to provide effective representation of the Aotea community strict compliance with the rule is not appropriate because Aotea is effectively an island/isolated community physically separate from Kāwhia, the percentage variance is considered to be appropriate and the estimated usually resident population does not reflect the number of ratepayers in the area.


The Ōtorohanga Community Board will have 4 members elected at large. The Council will appoint 2 members of the Ōtorohanga Ward to the Board.

Effective and Fair representation

As required by sections 19T(1)(a) and 19W(b) of the Local Electoral Act 2001, the six wards and two communities being created, and the number of members of each ward and community and subdivision, will provide effective representation of communities of interest within Ōtorohanga District because:

  • The five General wards are considered to effectively and fairly represent the current distinct communities of interest that the Council has identified within the Ōtorohanga District, namely –

a. Kāwhia/Tihiroa Ward

b. Kio Kio/Korakonui Ward

c. Ōtorohanga Ward

d. Waipā Ward

e. Wharepuhunga Ward

  • The Ōtorohanga Māori ward will improve the effective representation of Māori interests within Ōtorohanga District, and in particular, those on the Māori electoral roll.
  • The Kāwhia Community Board and its two subdivisions as set out in above, and the Ōtorohanga Community Board, provide fair and effective representation of those separate communities of interest.
  • The 9 Councillors will provide for effective representation, good governance of the district and a Council that works effectively.


What changes are being made and what are the reasons for the changes?

In accordance with section 19K of the Local Electoral Act 2001, the Council hereby records that the following changes have been made to the basis of election, membership and ward, constituency, community and subdivision boundaries within the Ōtorohanga District for the reasons set out:

  • The total number of Councillors to be elected is increased by one – the Council considers an additional Councillor will allow a Māori ward to be introduced and maintain effective representation across the District. It will also provide sufficient Council members to share the governance workload and provide for good governance.
  • Introduction of the Ōtorohanga Māori Ward – Council has determined to introduce a Māori Ward to improve effective representation for Māori within the District. Based on the total number of Councillors to be elected via wards, a single ward with two Māori Ward Members is introduced on the basis that this will provide for fair and effective representation across the District of those electors who opt to be on the Māori electoral roll when exercising the Māori Electoral Option.

Review Timeline



Council resolution on initial proposal

17 August

Public notice of initial proposal

24 August and 26 August (within 14 days of 17 August)

Public submission period

24 August to 24 September

Submissions heard

5th October

Council resolution on final proposal [PDF 272 KB]

19 October 2021

Public notice of final proposal [PDF 507 KB]

Thursday 21 October

Public appeals/objection period

Close 30th November

Forward material to LGC

As soon as practicable, but not later than 15 January 2022

Determination by LGC

Before 11 April 2022


More information

Depending on the Alert Level, copies of the Council’s resolution and maps setting out the areas of the proposed wards and communities and any relevant information may be viewed and obtained from the Council Offices: 17 Maniapoto Street, Ōtorohanga 3900.


Submissions are now closed

Any queries regarding the Council’s decision should be directed to Graham Bunn, Group Manager Corporate, phone 07 873 43  or email [email protected]