In New Zealand, local authority members are elected every three years. Local authorities are required to review their representation arrangements at least once every six years. Where a council is carrying out a review it must, before the end of August in the year preceding the elections:
Any person or organisation may lodge a written submission to a council’s proposals. The council considers all submissions and may decide to amend its proposals.
If an original submitter is still not satisfied with the council’s decision, they may then lodge a written appeal. Any person or organisation may lodge a written objection to a proposal that has been amended.
When councils' amended proposals are subject to appeals and objections the Local Government Commission will determine the council’s membership and basis of election.
Following are the relevant provisions of the Local Electoral Act 2001:
One of the factors that local authorities and the Commission must consider when dealing with representation reviews is the ratio between the population of an area and the number of members elected to represent it.
The membership of wards, constituencies and subdivisions are required to provide approximate population equality per member, within a range of +/- 10 per cent.
The population / member ratios for existing electoral areas are set out in the representation analysis tables under the Resource Links at the right hand side of this page (above). The populations used are estimates as at 30 June 2016 provided by Statistics New Zealand.
Decisions about whether a district or region should have Maori wards or constituencies occurs in a separate process prior to a representation review. If it is decided that a district or region is to have Maori wards or constituencies, the detailed arrangements - the number of wards or constituencies, their names and boundaries, and the number of members - are dealt with in the representation review process.
A table showing the number of members that would be elected from Maori wards or constituencies if those were adopted in any district or region is under the Resource Links at the side of the page.
The table assumes that the current total membership of the council would remain unchanged. The populations used are estimates as at 30 June 2016 provided by Statistics New Zealand.