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Every six years councils must review how communities are represented in the make-up of their council. A representation review looks at the structures in place, including:

  • the number of constituencies (electoral areas) and their boundaries
  • the number of elected members (councillors) representing each constituency
  • the names of our General and Māori constituencies.

The representation review cannot:

  • change the people who are currently elected
  • increase the number of councillors (14 is the maximum number of councillors a Regional Council can have).

The last representation review for Bay of Plenty Regional Council was completed in 2018 and resulted in Council having 14 Councillors representing 4 general constituencies (Western Bay of Plenty, Tauranga, Rotorua and Eastern Bay of Plenty) and 3 Māori constituencies (Mauao, Ōkurei and Kōhi).


Fair and effective representation

Council must ensure their communities have fair and effective representation.

Fair representation means each elected member represents about the same number of people (within +/- 10 percent of the region's population divided by the total number of Councillors).

Effective representation relates to the Councillors’ ability to represent their constituency and ensure matters important to their electorate are heard.


Initial proposal

Council will make a decision on its initial representation proposal by May 2024, and submissions will be called for in mid-June.

We are currently seeking feedback for Council to consider while developing an initial proposal for wider consultation.


Current arrangements

The Bay of Plenty Regional Council is made up of 14 Councillors representing 4 general constituencies (Western Bay of Plenty, Tauranga, Rotorua and Eastern Bay of Plenty) and 3 Māori constituencies (Mauao, Ōkurei and Kōhi).

All constituencies are based on population ratios and communities of interests.

Māori constituencies

The Bay of Plenty Regional Council established three Māori constituencies under the Bay of Plenty Regional Council (Māori Constituency Empowering) Act 2001. The three Māori constituencies with one Councillor representative each will remain, however, their boundaries are also being considered during this review.

Māori Constituencies

Number of Councillors

Population per Councillor

Range within +/-10% of region’s average

Mauao

1

23,500

5.07

Ōkurei

1

21,900

-2.09

Kōhi

1

21,700

-2.98


General constituencies

Current councillor representation and population statistics for this review will be based on:

General Constituencies

Number of Councillors

Population per Councillor

Range within +/-10% of region’s average

Western Bay of Plenty

2

26,750

2.56

Tauranga

5

29,120

11.65

Rotorua

2

26,150

0.26

Eastern Bay of Plenty

2

17,750

-31,94

Constituency maps

View our current General and Māori constituency maps.

Early feedback

This survey has closed.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the pre-engagement survey for the representation review. We appreciate your input and opinions on how constituencies should be structured in our region.

We received 36 responses from a diverse range of residents and stakeholders. The team is currently reviewing all of the feedback received and using it to develop options.

These options will be presented and discussed at the Councillor workshop on 19 March 2024. After that, we will prepare an initial proposal for public consultation in June-July 2024.




Frequently Asked Questions

The Local Electoral Act drives the review process, specifically the need for effective and fair representation across communities of interest. Here’s some background to these terms and what they mean in relation to the review.


Frequently asked questions

The representation review is relevant to you because it ensures that the communities within the Bay of Plenty region are fairly and effectively represented.

It determines how your community is represented at council, which affects how your interests and views are considered in council decisions.

The Local Electoral Act requires “fair and effective representation for individuals and communities”.

Fair representation relates to the number of councillors represented per member. The ratio of councillors per member in each constituency is required to be within +/-10% of the ratio for the region as a whole. This is designed to ensure approximate equality in representation i.e., votes of equal value. When determining fair and effective representation the general and Māori constituencies are dealt with separately.

Effective representation relates to the Councillors’ ability to represent their constituency and ensure matters important to their electorate are heard. To ensure effective representation, Regional Councils are not able to have ‘at-large’ representatives (someone who represents the entire region).

The term “communities of interest” is used in the Local Electoral Act to describe in general terms, the sense of community or belonging reinforced by the geography of the area, the commonality of places to which people go to for their employment, the location of their schools, marae, banks, where they do their shopping and the location of their religious, recreational and major transport facilities etc.

A constituency (or electoral area) is a specific area or zone. Just like how a city might be divided into different neighborhoods or districts, the Bay of Plenty region is divided into different constituencies.

Representative/s are elected for each constituency to be the voice of the people on Council for their respective communities, advocating for their interests in the council’s decision-making processes.

At the next Toi Moana Bay of Plenty Regional Council election in 2025.

We use population data from 2023 population estimates provided by Statistics New Zealand to work out how many people live in different areas of the region, this data informs 'communities of interest'. From there we provide different options around constituency boundaries and how many elected members should represent each area to Council to consider before they adopt their initial proposal.

No, the existence of Māori constituencies in the Bay of Plenty are not within the scope of this review.

However, the boundaries and names of these constituencies could be changed as a result of this review.

For additional information about our Māori constituencies visit our website.