Extraordinary Council Meeting

5 October 2021

Northland Regional Council Minutes


Representation Review Deliberations held remotely

on Tuesday 5 October 2021, commencing at 1.00pm




Chairperson, Penny Smart


Terry Archer

Justin Blaikie

Jack Craw

Colin Kitchen

Amy Macdonald

Marty Robinson

Rick Stolwerk

Joce Yeoman


I Tae Mai/In Attendance:

Full or Part Meeting

Electoral Officer

Geospatial Consultant

Pou Tiaki Taiao - Group Manager Environmental Services

Communications Manager

Policy Specialist

Governance Specialist


Secretarial Note: 

·        The Chair declared the meeting open at 1.04pm and proceedings commenced with a karakia by the Deputy Chair.

·        Due to the current Covid-19 restrictions and the hearings being conducted fully remotely, proceedings were livestreamed in order to be open to the public.

·        Confirmation was provided that although Councillor Kitchen had tendered his apology for the Representation Review Hearings he had read all submissions and viewed the livestream of the meeting so was as informed as any other councillor to participate in Deliberations.

Ngā whakapahā/Apologies (Item 3.0)

Moved (Robinson/Blaikie)

That the apology from the Chief Executive Officer, Malcolm Nicolson for non-attendance be received.



Nga whakapuakanga/Declarations of Conflicts of Interest (Item 2.0)

It was advised that councillors should make declarations item-by-item as the meeting progressed.


Confirmation of Minutes - Representation Review Hearings (Item 5.1)

Report from Chris Taylor, Governance Specialist

Moved (Yeoman/Macdonald)

That the minutes of the Representation Review hearings held on 28 September 2021 be confirmed as a true and correct record.



Secretarial Note:

·        The Chair made opening comments that Northland was facing considerable change and the Representation Review was a transition for council as well.  The decision to introduce Māori constituencies was welcomed and would include our Treaty partners in decision making. Council had followed a robust process to reach a preferred recommendation.  Appreciation was extended to all submitters and it was stressed their feedback was valued and welcome.

·        The council’s Electoral Officer reiterated that the process had been conducted accurately and according to legislation.  Following best practise the Initial Proposal had been based on the latest population estimates, sourced from Statistics New Zealand.


Deliberations on submissions to the Representation Review 2021 Initial Proposal (Item 6.1)

Report from Chris Taylor, Governance Specialist and Ben Lee, Acting GM - Governance and Engagement

Moved (Stolwerk/Robinson)

1.         That the report ‘Deliberations on submissions to the Representation Review 2021 Initial Proposal’ by Chris Taylor, Governance Specialist and Ben Lee, GM - Strategy, Governance and Engagement and dated 30 September 2021, be received.

2.         That council acknowledges and appreciates all submissions received on the Representation Review 2021 Initial Proposal.



It was further moved (Smart/Macdonald)

3.         That pursuant to section 19N of the Local Electoral Act 2001 and having considered and deliberated on submissions received on the Representation Review 2021 Initial Proposal, the Initial Proposal be adopted as the Representation Review 2021 Final Proposal with no changes.

4.         That the submissions opposed to the Initial Proposal be declined on the following grounds:

(a)   The total number of nine elected members (seven general councillors and two Māori councillors) is the best balance of providing effective representation, balancing workload, encouraging diversity and effective decision making.

(b)   A single constituency with one general councillor to represent the Whangārei urban area is preferred over:

a.    a larger Whangārei urban area constituency with two general councillors (which would be the result if the constituency was expanded to include the fringe urban areas), or

b.    two Whangārei urban area constituencies with a general councillor from each,

because, while it would provide better representation for people in the Whangārei urban area, there would be a larger negative impact on the rest of Northland (because there would be one less general constituency so each general constituency would cover a larger area).  On balance, it is considered that the initial proposal provides the best net representation for the region.

(c)   The Maungatapere community is better reflected in the communities of interest captured by the Kaipara general constituency compared to the Mid North general constituency.

(d)   Determining the areas for two or more Māori constituencies is complex and can be reviewed in the term of the next council when council has a better understanding of how Māori representation is working in practice.

(e)   The dividing of the region into general constituencies with a single councillor from each constituency (as compared to a single constituency for the region) better represents communities of interest and better promotes effective and fair representation. 

(f)    The decision to establish Māori constituencies, the electoral system used and the ability for non-Māori candidates to stand in Māori constituencies cannot be considered as part of this review.


(Councillors Craw and Kitchen voted against the motion)


It was further moved (Yeoman/Robinson)

5.         That the Acting GM – Governance and Engagement be authorised to make any necessary minor drafting, typographical, rounding or presentation corrections to the Representation Review 2021 Final Proposal (including the correction of Te Reo headings) prior to being published.

6.         A public notice detailing the final representation arrangements be issued on Friday 22 October 2021.


Secretarial Note:  Appreciation was extended to all involved in the Representation Review process.


Whakamutunga (Conclusion)

The meeting concluded at 1.53pm.