How the proposal was developed
As Council worked through various options, it was mindful of the requirements of the Local Electoral Act to have regard to fair and effective representation which determines “as far as practicable constituency boundaries coincide with territorial authority or ward boundaries” and that “the ratio of population for each constituency falls within +/-10% of the average population per member”.
What this means is that each councillor should represent the same number of citizens within a threshold of +/-10% of the region average population.
Like most regional councils’, Environment Canterbury is faced with the challenge of applying the Local Electoral Act population rules across a geographically large region that includes sizable rural areas with small populations.
Whilst the proposal clearly aligns with territorial authority and ward boundaries, we end up with 3 constituencies that don’t fall within the +/-10% rule (North and South Canterbury and Christchurch South) however Council believes the degree of non-compliance in these 3 areas would not unreasonably compromise fair and effective representation in Canterbury and we have done this to align with communities of interest.Should Council end up deciding on a representation proposal that doesn’t comply with the Local Electoral Act, it must be refer it to the Local Government Commission for determination.