Minutes of a meeting of the Representation Review Advisory Group held in the Council
Chambers, 10 Gorge Road, Queenstown on Monday, 24 May 2021 beginning at 10.00am
Mr Bruce Robertson (Chair), Mr Clive Geddes, Mr John Glover, Mr Ian Hall, Professor Janine
Haywood (via Zoom), Ms Viv Milsom and Mr Dean Whaanga (via Zoom)
Mr Naell Crosby-Roe (Governance and Stakeholder Services Manager), Mr Brendan Peet
(Legal Counsel) and Ms Jane Robertson (Senior Governance Advisor/Electoral Officer)
The minutes of the meeting held on 26 March 2021 were
Update on actions
The Electoral Officer detailed work undertaken since the last meeting with an updated
representation model presented for consideration which had been compiled from
Stats NZ mesh block and population figures. She summarised the process from this
point forward as being:
1 June 2021
Council workshop re advisory group recommendations
4 June 2021
WCB workshop with Mayor re advisory group recommendations
30 June 2021
Ordinary Council meeting to adopt proposal for consultation
5 July 2021 to
Consultation period on initial proposal
6 August 2021
26 August 2021
Hearing of submissions by full Council
16 September 2021 Adoption of final proposal (fol owed by appeal/objection process)
Effect of future local government reform
There was discussion about the government’s reform programme for local
government. Members observed that it was already clear that three waters services
and assets would most likely be divested from councils. Mr Crosby-Roe noted that
central government advice was for councils to plan as if everything would continue to
exist. Further, there was no pre-commitment to any changes and organisationally
three waters was not major, although it did represent significant expenditure. It was
also likely that councils would continue to take on more devolved duties from central
government. Accordingly, the same advice to carry on planning for the future as usual
would also hold true for the Representation Review.
Updated three ward model
The following new proposal was presented for discussion:
Population Members Population:
from quota from quota
Staff had worked on creating three wards of reasonably equal size. The community of
interest in the new eastern ward (‘Kawarau’) was the existence of a number of new
and developing communities where growth was anticipated (e.g. Kingston, Hanleys
Farm, Lake Hayes Estate/Shotover Country, Jacks Point, Ladies Mile, Gibbston Valley).
It absorbed the former Arrowtown Ward but overcame the problem of its
ongoing non-compliance because of limited population growth. The data used was
from Stats NZ meshblock and population figures, which incorporated 2020 updates.
Mr Glover stated that he was now uncomfortable about the idea of two wards in the
Mr Robertson observed that to his mind the new proposal ‘felt right’ and the intent of
the two ward approach over the Whakatipu Basin was to achieve a sense of
equivalence so that Wānaka would not feel out-voted. Mr Geddes also favoured the
approach because it resolved the problem with the non-complying Arrowtown Ward
and provided voters in that area with a choice that they had not often had in the past.
There was a sense of commonality amongst the small, new lakeside communities and
new and growing communities (Shotover Country, Lake Hayes Estate and Ladies Mile).
There were also advantages in splitting the ward in two as electing eight members
from a large Whakatipu was not a good idea under FPP.
Members observed that the results presented an astonishing equity for al voters
across the district.
There was further discussion about whether many election candidates did not live in
the ward in which they stood, as this was not a legal requirement. The Electoral Officer
confirmed that this had occurred occasional y in the past but was not a common
Mr Glover asked whether splitting the existing Queenstown-Wakatipu ward would
require budgets to be split, as he understood QLDC split its budgets by ward. The staff
view was that rates were split by community rather than by ward with rates targeted
to pay for particular assets and further, were determined by Asset Management Plans.
Regardless of any eventual representation decision, it was expected that the financial
planning for two Whakatipu wards would remain the same.
There was further discussion about whether an increased size of Council would affect
remuneration. Staff advised that councillor remuneration was currently under review
by the Remuneration Authority and QLDC sat about half way down the list (#28 of 61).
Remuneration did not reflect the hours worked but was assessed on such factors as:
• Population (all councils)
• Operational expenditure (al councils)
• Asset size (all councils)
• Number of guest nights (al councils)
• Social Deprivation (Territorial Authorities and unitary authorities only)
The Remuneration Authority allocated the pool but each council decided how the pool
Any disbanding of the WCB would not automatical y mean the elected members
remuneration pool increased by the amount saved.
Mr Whaanga confirmed that iwi were comfortable with the proposed ward names
‘Kawarau’ and ‘Whakatipu’.
It was moved (Mr Robertson/Mr Geddes):
“That the Advisory Group agree its recommendation to
Council as being a three ward model with the names of
‘Wānaka-Hāwea’, ‘Whakatipu’ and ‘Kawarau’, with each
ward electing four Council ors.”
Future of Wānaka Community Board
In regard to the question of fair and effective representation across the district, it was
noted that Wānaka was the only community board in the district. Mr Robertson
advised in terms of equity, the position initially reached by the advisory group was
that the Wānaka Community Board be disestablished.
Ms Milsom spoke to a paper she had prepared which set out her reasons for retaining
the Wānaka Community Board. She considered that discussions held with the current
Board chair showed that the Board was serving a useful purpose and should be
retained for the reasons outlined in her paper. She had identified two issues on which
Council had not consulted the Board (changes to speed limits in Wānaka and the
future of the Wānaka Airport) but considered that these were only two issues of many
where Wānaka had not been fairly or well served by QLDC. Keeping the Wānaka
Community was a way of addressing this inequity and ensuring localised
communication. The Board had extensive delegations and could allocate $1.4M to
local roading safety projects and she believed there was value in increasing this to
She considered that having all Wānaka Councillors as appointed Community Board
members was problematic because this altered their viewpoint. The Board should be
retained but restructured so that only one Councillor was appointed at a time, as this
would provide more opportunity for the Board to act as an independent body.
Mr Hall considered that the Board’s value to the governance of the district was
questionable, but any move to abolish the Board would receive push back from the
Ms Milsom asserted that the Wānaka Community Board’s effectiveness had been
compromised because the Council had not upheld the Governance Protocol. If it had
been adhered to, the Board would have been included in the debate about Wānaka
Mr Geddes considered that the Wānaka community needed to demonstrate the value
of the Board and this would only be possible if the advisory group recommended that
the Board be disestablished. He considered that without the Board, the Wānaka
community would stil have representation on the Council through its Councillors.
Mr Whaanga stated that he did not know the Upper Clutha community wel enough
to form a view on this issue, so would abstain from voting.
Mr Glover considered that Wānaka represented a community of interest that required
the Wānaka Community Board to be retained. He believed that the Upper Clutha
community felt disconnected from decision-making in Queenstown and was a distinct
and close knit community characterised by different lifestyle, ambience and different
aspirations. He did not consider that the added level of representation for the people
of the Upper Clutha was detrimental to other governance arrangements in the district.
Professor Hayward questioned the discussions about community of interest
suggesting that it was important to distinguish this from a distinct regional identity.
She considered that it was more than “people thinking differently” but needed to be
a distinct community with its own identity that without additional representation
could not be effectively represented. Whether that representation was effective was
not the business of the representation review. Further, if Wānaka met the threshold
necessitating extra representation, it raised the question of whether there were other
areas in the district in the same position.
There was further discussion about whether Wānaka was a special case that needed
more representation than the rest of the district. Points supporting this stance were
the geographic separation, distinct culture and one third of the population. There
were also suggestions that Wānaka was not fairly funded, in particular the $90M of
government funding that had not been used for Wānaka projects. In defence of this
assertion it was noted that the Queenstown projects in receipt of funding were
already agreed and had been put forward because they were ‘shovel-ready’ and the
decision on which of the projects put up (which included Wanaka projects) was a
central government decision, not local.
It was moved (Mr Robertson/Mr Geddes):
That the recommendation of the Advisory Group to Council is
that a three Ward model be adopted for the Queenstown
Lakes District that does not include any Community Boards.
Clive Geddes, Ian Hall and Bruce Robertson
John Glover and Viv Milsom
Janine Haywood and Dean Whaanga
It was noted that the Council had already resolved to retain the FPP electoral system
for the 2022 election. This had impacted the direction taken by the advisory group
with the ward structure proposed.
It was agreed:
That the Advisory Group confirm an earlier recommendation
that the Council reconsider the introduction of STV and the
establishment of a Māori Ward prior to the 2025 local
Mr Whaanga advised that a preferred method of achieving iwi representation on the
Council was via appointed iwi members to standing committees. Mr Crosby-Roe
noted that after the present by-election in Queenstown-Wakatipu, the Mayor planned
to review the membership of all standing committees in order to place the new
member. He may also look at possible iwi representation on standing committees at
the same time.
Members were asked not to speak publicly about the advisory group’s
recommendations because it was a Council matter and up to the Council to decide
how it would release the information.
The Chair thanked members of the Committee for their participation and staff for their
support of the Committee’s work.
The meeting concluded at 12.00pm.