Preliminary survey opens for council representation review

Published on 07 February 2024

Media release placeholder

Whanganui residents are encouraged to participate in shaping the future representation of people and communities at Whanganui District Council by engaging in a preliminary survey, officially opening today, Wednesday, 7 February 2024.  

The council is currently engaging in a representation review, which looks at the number of councillors to be elected, the basis of election for councillors (such as wards) and whether there are to be community boards in the district, where they might be, and what their membership arrangements are.  

Andrew Tripe, Mayor of Whanganui, says community input is crucial in order to get an idea of how people want to be represented.  

“Council representation should be fair and effective for all Whanganui residents, therefore we are reviewing what is currently in place to see if any improvements can be made. We want to see representation arrangements that are reflective and adaptive to current and future communities.” 

Feedback gathered from the survey will be reviewed by a working party, comprising councillors and council officers. This feedback, combined with additional information about the city’s communities, will serve as the groundwork for any recommended changes. 

Currently, Whanganui is represented by a mayor, 12 councillors and a Rural Community Board. Representation reviews are required every six years, with the council’s last review in 2018. Additionally, the decision to establish Māori wards earlier this year triggered a representation review. 

After gathering feedback from the initial survey, the working party will present a report to the council that will include various options outlining the potential make-up of the council. Following this decision a community consultation will be undertaken. Once the formal consultation closes, the council will make a final decision on representation arrangements in July 2024.

The preliminary survey is open from Wednesday, 7 February 2024 until midnight on Sunday, 10 March 2024. Head to the Have Your Say page to complete the survey.

Formal consultation will begin in May this year and will also be available on the Have Your Say page.