Local Government Electoral Legislation Bill

Government Bill

151—1

Explanatory note

General policy statement

This is an omnibus Bill introduced under Standing Order 267(1)(a) (dealing with an interrelated topic that can be regarded as implementing a single broad policy).

The single broad policy and purpose of the Bill is to improve the processes by which individuals and communities are represented through, and can participate in, local government elections. The policy proposals include—

  • providing local authorities (councils) with a revised process for deciding their representation arrangements that makes the consideration of specific Māori representation a fundamental step in that process:

  • changing the current restriction on the number of councillors on Auckland Council:

  • simplifying the process for unitary authorities to adjust local board boundaries:

  • updating the processes for when an election result is tied:

  • enabling all candidates to submit electronic nominations.

This Bill amends the following Acts:

  • Local Electoral Act 2001:

  • Local Government Act 2002:

  • Local Government (Auckland Council) Act 2009.

It also makes minor and consequential amendments to the Local Electoral Regulations 2001 and the Bay of Plenty Regional Council (Maori Constituency Empowering) Act 2001 for consistency with the changes made to the Local Electoral Act 2001.

Māori representation in local government

Māori have been historically under-represented in local government. Since 2002, territorial authorities have been able to create Māori wards, and regional councils have been able to create Māori constituencies, that enable electors on the Māori electoral roll to have specific representation. However, for many years these provisions were under-utilised. On 2 March 2021, the Local Electoral (Māori Wards and Māori Constituencies) Amendment Act 2021 removed the binding poll provisions that had been a barrier to improved Māori representation at the local level. That Bill was announced as the first of 2 stages of legislative change and was intended as a temporary measure to enable more councils to establish Māori wards for the 2022 local elections.

This Bill gives effect to the second stage of legislative change. It amends the Local Electoral Act 2001 to provide a local electoral regulatory system that encourages equitable representation for Māori in local government and guarantees that councils will consider it regularly. The Bill changes the process councils follow every 6 years to determine their representation arrangements, making consideration of specific Māori representation the first step of this process. This strategic policy decision by councils will be informed by consultation with the community, including the Māori community, and followed by detailed decisions about the total number of councillors, Māori and general ward boundaries and names, and community boards.

The Bill also provides that binding polls cannot be held on any matters considered by councils in their representation reviews.

Changing current restriction on number of councillors on Auckland Council

The Local Government (Auckland Council) Act 2009 sets the number of councillors on Auckland Council at 20 (not including the mayor). This is inconsistent with the Local Electoral Act 2001, which sets councils’ membership at between 5 and 29 councillors (not including the mayor). The current restriction on the number of councillors affects Auckland Council’s ability to provide effective representation for all its growing communities and to provide specific Māori representation without diminishing the representation of other communities.

This Bill amends the Local Government (Auckland Council) Act 2009 to change the restriction on the number of councillors to align the council membership limits for the Auckland Council with the limits that apply to other councils under the Local Electoral Act 2001.

Simplifying process to change local board boundaries

Unitary authorities (including the Auckland Council) must currently follow a complex reorganisation process to change their local board arrangements (including the number of boards and their boundaries). The reorganisation process can take several years and has steps that are not relevant to local board areas. This process must be followed for even minor adjustments to local board boundaries.

This Bill provides 2 new alternatives for unitary authorities to review and amend local board boundaries in response to population changes. The first alternative simplifies the current reorganisation process (which is provided in Schedule 3 of the Local Government Act 2002) for reorganisations that only involve local board area changes. The second alternative enables unitary authorities to adjust local board boundaries during their representation reviews under the Local Electoral Act 2001. The Bill enables regulations to be made regarding the permissible size of the adjustments made this way, which are proposed to be minor. This method is intended to support unitary authorities to promote future representation arrangements where local board area and ward boundaries are consistent with each other.

Updating process when election results are tied

In the current process for judicial recounts in local authority elections, candidates cannot seek a judicial recount until a winner has been determined by lot, often through a coin toss. This can result in candidates assuming office based on the result of the coin toss before another candidate is declared elected after the judicial recount. Communities can also be left without representation while recounts are taking place.

The current sequencing of recounts and lot draws can lead to unnecessary confusion for communities and diminishes the mana of candidates. This Bill introduces a mandatory recount when election results are tied and allows changes to the sequence of council meetings after recounts. Amendments to Schedule 7 of the Local Government Act 2002 will enable urgent council business to still be conducted by candidates who are not affected by a recount. The Bill also introduces an alternative to a coin toss if an election is still tied after a judicial recount. In that case, a candidate may withdraw from the contest if they do not want the final result to be decided by lot.

Enabling all candidates to submit electronic nominations

The Bill amends the Local Electoral Act 2001 to clarify that all persons may submit their nomination documents in a manner other than in writing that has the consent of the electoral officer.

Departmental disclosure statement

The Department of Internal Affairs is required to prepare a disclosure statement to assist with the scrutiny of this Bill. The disclosure statement provides access to information about the policy development of the Bill and identifies any significant or unusual legislative features of the Bill.

Regulatory impact statement

The Department of Internal Affairs produced regulatory impact statements on 7 October 2021, 8 October 2021, and 11 November 2021 to help inform the main policy decisions taken by the Government relating to the contents of this Bill.

Clause by clause analysis

Clause 1 is the Title clause.

Clause 2 is the commencement clause. The Bill will come into force on the day after the date on which it receives the Royal assent.

Part 1Amendments to Local Electoral Act 2001

Clause 3 provides that Part 1 amends the Local Electoral Act 2001 (the Act).

Clause 4 amends section 5, which relates to the interpretation of the Act, by inserting new definitions. The new definitions relate to other amendments that the Bill makes to Part 1A and Schedule 1A of the Act.

Clause 5 amends section 9 of the Act. Section 9 allows a local authority to direct the electoral officer to conduct a referendum on any matter relating to the local authority’s services or policies or any proposal relating to the local authority’s activities or objectives or the well-being of its local government area. The amendment provides that a referendum relating to a review of representation arrangements is not binding on a local authority.

Clauses 6 and 7 amend sections 19C and 19E of the Act, which relate to the basis of elections of members of a territorial authority and members of a regional council. The amendments re-enact section 19ZH and provide that the other provisions of Part 1A (other than sections 19B, 19G, and 19J) are subject to Schedule 1A if a district or a region is to be divided into 1 or more Māori wards or Māori constituencies for a triennial general election. The purpose of moving the provisions from section 19ZH is to place them closer to other provisions that deal with electing members to represent wards or constituencies.

Clause 8 inserts new sections 19GA and 19GB.

New section 19GA deals with resolutions by territorial authorities and regional councils about whether representation arrangements should include members who are only elected by electors who are on the Māori electoral roll (specific Māori representation). New section 19GA(1) and (2) requires territorial authorities and regional councils to make a determination about specific Māori representation, before reviewing representation arrangements under section 19H or 19I, if their district or region did not have any Māori wards or Māori constituencies at the previous 2 triennial elections. New section 19GA(3) and (4) allows territorial authorities and regional councils to make a determination about specific Māori representation, before reviewing representation arrangements under section 19H or 19I, if their district or region had 1 or more Māori wards or Māori constituencies at the previous 2 triennial elections. Before making a determination about specific Māori representation, territorial authorities and regional councils must engage with Māori and other communities of interest in their district or region and have regard to the views of those communities. A determination must be made no later than 20 December of the year that is 2 years before the next triennial general election. Territorial authorities and regional councils must give public notice of a resolution about specific Māori representation within 14 days after making the resolution.

New section 19GB deals with the effect of a resolution under new section 19GA relating to specific Māori representation. If a territorial authority or regional council resolves that representation arrangements should include specific Māori representation, the subsequent review of representation arrangements must include a proposal to establish 1 or more Māori wards or Māori constituencies and 1 or more general wards or general constituencies. In addition, the proposed number of members of the territorial authority or regional council must be sufficient to allow for 1 or more Māori ward members or Māori constituency members. If a territorial authority or regional council resolves that representation arrangements should not include specific Māori representation, the subsequent review of representation arrangements must not include a proposal to establish any Māori wards or Māori constituencies.

Clauses 9 and 10 amend sections 19H and 19I of the Act, which require territorial authorities and regional councils to review representation arrangements and determine certain matters. Territorial authorities and regional councils were required to make the first determination of those matters in either 2003 or 2006 and are required to make subsequent determinations at least once in every period of 6 years after the year in which the first determination was made. Clauses 9(1) and 10(1) identify the matters under clauses 1 and 3 of Schedule 1A that must be determined when a territorial authority or regional council has resolved under new section 19GA that the representation arrangements should include specific Māori representation. Clauses 9(2) and 10(2) change the timing requirement for subsequent determinations by setting the start of each 6-year period by reference to the year in which the territorial authority or regional authority made its previous determination, instead of the year of the first determination. Clauses 9(3) and 10(3) make consequential amendments to sections 19H(3) and 19I(3).

Clause 11 inserts new section 19JAA. New section 19JAA allows a unitary authority, in certain situations, to propose changes to the boundaries of local board areas within its district as part of a review of representation arrangements. The requirements for the proposed boundary changes include that the population affected by those changes must not exceed the population transfer limit, which will be set by regulations. A unitary authority can choose to use the procedures for local government reorganisation under the Local Government Act 2002 to change the boundaries of local board areas instead of proposing boundary changes through a review of representation arrangements.

Clause 12 amends section 19K of the Act, which sets out the requirements that apply to resolutions relating to reviews of representation arrangements. The amendments extend these requirements to resolutions made under new section 19JAA and change the time frame for making resolutions that affect the next triennial general election of members of a territorial authority, regional council, local board, or community board. If a district or region is already divided into 1 or more Māori wards or Māori constituencies, the resolutions must be passed no earlier than 20 December in the year that is 2 years before the year of the election (the election year) and no later than 31 July in the year before the election year. The same time frame applies if a territorial authority or regional council resolves under new section 19GA that the representation arrangements should not include specific Māori representation. If a district or region is not already divided into 1 or more Māori wards or Māori constituencies and the territorial authority or regional council has resolved that the representation arrangements should include specific Māori representation, the time frame for making the resolutions relating to reviews of representation arrangements begins earlier. In that situation, the resolutions can be made as soon as the territorial authority or the regional council has given public notice of the resolution about specific Māori representation.

Clauses 13 to 19 amend sections 19L to 19R of the Act. Sections 19L to 19R provide requirements in relation to the following matters:

  • distribution of copies of resolutions made by a territorial authority or regional council under section 19H, 19I, or 19J:

  • public notification of the proposals in the resolutions:

  • submissions on the proposals:

  • appeals against the proposals:

  • objections to any amended proposals.

The amendments extend those requirements to resolutions made under new section 19JAA and also change the time frame within which a territorial authority or regional council must consider submissions and give public notice of its proposals. The new time frame ends on 20 November of the year that is immediately before the year of the next triennial general election, instead of 6 weeks after the close of the period for making submissions.

Clauses 20 and 21 amend sections 19T and 19U of the Act to reflect amendments made by clauses 9 and 10 to sections 19H and 19I of the Act.

Clause 22 repeals section 19Z of the Act and the cross-heading above it.

Clause 23 repeals section 19ZH of the Act.

Clause 24 amends section 55 of the Act to allow an electoral officer to approve the manner in which a person in New Zealand who is being nominated as a candidate can give the required consent and certification for their nomination. Section 55 currently requires a person who is in New Zealand to give that consent and certification in writing.

Clause 25 amends the heading to Part 4 of the Act to reflect that some recounts will not relate to disputed elections.

Clause 26 amends section 90 of the Act. The amendments change the deadline for a candidate’s application for a recount to 3 working days, instead of 3 days, after the public declaration of the number of votes received. The amendments also change the heading to section 90 to reflect that this section relates to an application by a candidate.

Clause 27 inserts new section 90A. New section 90A requires an electoral officer to apply for a recount if 2 or more candidates receive the same number of votes in an election. The application must be made before the official results are declared.

Clause 28 repeals section 92(4) of the Act as this provision is moved into new section 92A.

Clause 29 inserts new sections 92A and 92B. New section 92A re-enacts section 92(4) and provides that a District Court Judge may order the local authority to pay for costs if a local electoral officer applied for a recount and the Judge considers it would be just and reasonable for the local authority to pay for costs. New section 92B allows a candidate to withdraw from the election if votes are still tied after a recount, and sets out the manner and deadline for withdrawing as a candidate.

Clause 30 amends section 148 of the Act to correct an error in the compare note.

Clause 31 makes consequential amendments to Schedule 1 and inserts new Part 2 of Schedule 1, which relates to transitional and savings provisions.

Clause 32 amends Schedule 1A of the Act, which sets out requirements that apply if a district or region is to be divided into 1 or more Māori wards or Māori constituencies for the purposes of a triennial general election. Clause 32(1) makes a consequential amendment to the heading of Schedule 1A. Clause 32(2) amends clauses 1 and 3 of Schedule 1A to change the deadline for making resolutions under section 19H or 19I to establish 1 or more Māori wards or Māori constituencies in a district or region. The deadline is changed from 31 August to 31 July in the year immediately before the election year. Clause 32(3) and (6) amends clauses 1(2) and 3(2) of Schedule 1A of the Act to reflect amendments made by clauses 9 and 10 to sections 19H and 19I of the Act. Clause 32(4), (7), (11), and (12) amends clauses 2, 4, 6, and 7 of Schedule 1A of the Act to allow territorial authorities, regional councils, and the Local Government Commission to use estimates of the Māori electoral population and the general electoral population that are more recent than figures from the last census when making determinations about Māori wards or Māori constituencies. Clause 32(5) and (8) amends Schedule 1A of the Act to provide that the calculations in clauses 2 and 4 of that schedule are subject to the requirement in new section 19GB(1)(c), which relates to the proposed number of members of the territorial authority or regional council. Clause 32(9) and (10) amends clause 6 of Schedule 1A to require territorial authorities, regional councils, and the Local Government Commission to have regard to rohe of iwi and hapū, instead of tribal affiliations, when determining the number of wards or constituencies and the boundaries of Māori wards or Māori constituencies.

Clause 33 provides for minor and consequential amendments to be made to the Bay of Plenty Regional Council (Maori Constituency Empowering) Act 2001 and the Local Electoral Regulations 2001 as set out in Schedule 2.

Part 2Amendments to Local Government Act 2002

Clause 34 provides that Part 2 amends the Local Government Act 2002 (the Act).

Clause 35 amends section 24 of the Act, which specifies the scope of local government reorganisation and provides that Schedule 3 of the Act applies in relation to local government reorganisation. The amendments provide that new Schedule 3A, instead of Schedule 3, applies if the local government reorganisation only provides for certain matters related to local board areas within a unitary authority’s district. The amendments also provide that the provisions relating to local government reorganisation do not apply to an alteration of local board area boundaries proposed by a unitary authority in accordance with new section 19JAA of the Local Electoral Act 2001 (as inserted by clause 11).

Clauses 36 to 40 amend provisions of the Act that contain cross-references to clauses in Schedule 3, which deals with the procedures for local government reorganisation. The amendments add cross-references to the equivalent clauses in new Schedule 3A (as inserted by clause 43).

Clauses 41 and 42 amend section 225 and Schedule 3 of the Act to remove a redundant cross-reference and correct a typographical error.

Clause 43 inserts new Schedule 3A. New Schedule 3A sets out the procedures for a local government reorganisation that only provides for certain matters related to local board areas within a unitary authority’s district.

Clause 44 amends Schedule 7 of the Act, which includes requirements that apply to meetings of a local authority. The amendments provide that where an application for a recount has been filed in relation to a triennial general election, the first meeting of the local authority after the election must be called after that recount has been completed and the elected candidates are known. The amendments also allow the chief executive of a local authority to call an urgent meeting before the first meeting of the local authority in certain circumstances. The chief executive may call an urgent meeting before the outcome of a recount is known if an event occurs that, in the opinion of the chief executive, requires the local authority to deal with a matter urgently. The amendments specify the persons who can participate in an urgent meeting, who chairs the meeting, and the business that can be conducted at the meeting. The amendments also correct a typographical error in clause 21 of Schedule 7 of the Act.

Clause 45 amends Schedule 10 of the Act to correct a reference.

Part 3Amendment to Local Government (Auckland Council) Act 2009

Clause 46 provides that Part 3 amends the Local Government (Auckland Council) Act 2009 (the Act).

Clause 47 amends section 8 of the Act to align the restriction on the number of members of the Auckland Council with the restriction that applies to other territorial authorities. The amendment will replace the current fixed number of 21 members (1 mayor and 20 other members) with a number of members that is no fewer than 6 and no more than 30 (1 mayor and 5 to 29 other members).

Hon Nanaia Mahuta

Local Government Electoral Legislation Bill

Government Bill

151—1

Contents

Explanatory note
1Title
2Commencement
3Principal Act
4Section 5 amended (Interpretation)
5Section 9 amended (Holding of referendum)
6Section 19C amended (Basis of election of members of territorial authority)
7Section 19E amended (Basis of election of members of regional council)
8New sections 19GA and 19GB inserted
19GAReview of specific Māori representation for elections of territorial authorities and regional councils
19GBEffect of resolution relating to specific Māori representation
9Section 19H amended (Review of representation arrangements for elections of territorial authorities)
10Section 19I amended (Review of representation arrangements for elections of regional councils)
11New section 19JAA inserted (Review of local board area boundaries by unitary authority)
19JAAReview of local board area boundaries by unitary authority
12Section 19K amended (Requirements for resolution)
13Section 19L amended (Distribution of copies of resolution)
14Section 19M amended (Public notice of proposals and responsibilities in relation to submissions)
15Section 19N amended (Response to submissions)
16Section 19O amended (Appeals)
17Section 19P amended (Objections)
18Section 19Q amended (Obligation to forward appeals and objections to Commission)
19Section 19R amended (Commission to determine appeals and objections)
20Section 19T amended (Requirement for effective representation and other factors in determination of membership and basis of election of territorial authorities and local boards)
21Section 19U amended (Requirement for effective representation and other factors in determination of membership and basis of election of regional council)
22Section 19Z and cross-heading repealed
23Section 19ZH repealed (Basis of election of territorial authority and regional council)
24Section 55 amended (Nomination of candidates)
25Part 4 heading replaced
26Section 90 amended (Application for recount)
27New section 90A inserted (Application by electoral officer for recount)
90AApplication by electoral officer for recount
28Section 92 amended (Conduct of recount)
29New sections 92A and 92B inserted
92ACosts of recount
92BAffected candidate may withdraw if votes tied after recount
30Section 148 amended (Validation of irregularities)
31Schedule 1 amended
32Schedule 1A amended
33Minor and consequential amendments related to this Part
34Principal Act
35Section 24 amended (Scope of local government reorganisation)
36Section 25 amended (Order in Council to give effect to reorganisation plan)
37Section 26A amended (Duties of local authorities in relation to local government reorganisation)
38Section 31A amended (Minister’s expectations of Commission in relation to local government reorganisation)
39Section 35A amended (Application of Official Information Act 1982)
40Section 97 amended (Certain decisions to be taken only if provided for in long-term plan)
41Section 225 amended (Offences relating to waterworks)
42Schedule 3 amended
43New Schedule 3A inserted
44Schedule 7 amended
45Schedule 10 amended
46Principal Act
47Section 8 amended (Governing body of Auckland Council)

The Parliament of New Zealand enacts as follows:

1 Title

This Act is the Local Government Electoral Legislation Act 2022.

2 Commencement

This Act comes into force on the day after the date on which it receives the Royal assent.

Part 1 Amendments to Local Electoral Act 2001

3 Principal Act

This Part amends the Local Electoral Act 2001.

4 Section 5 amended (Interpretation)

In section 5(1), insert in their appropriate alphabetical order:

assessment date means a date after the last periodic census on which the Government Statistician assessed the number of persons

dormant roll means a dormant roll referred to in section 109 of the Electoral Act 1993

estimated general electoral population means the estimated total ordinarily resident population as at the assessment date with the exception of the estimated Māori electoral population

estimated Māori electoral population means an estimated figure representing both the persons registered as electors of the Māori electoral districts and a proportion of Māori persons who are not registered as electors of any electoral district and a proportion of Māori persons under the age of 18 years, which figure must be fixed—

(a)

by ascertaining a proportion determined by dividing—

(i)

the total number of persons, on assessment date, registered as electors of Māori electoral districts and named on the dormant rolls for Māori electoral districts; by

(ii)

the total number of Māori persons, on assessment date, registered as electors of Māori electoral districts or General electoral districts and named on the dormant rolls for Māori electoral districts or General electoral districts; and

(b)

by applying the proportion ascertained under paragraph (a) to the total number of ordinarily resident Māori persons on assessment date

General electoral district has the meaning given in section 3(1) of the Electoral Act 1993

Māori has the meaning given in section 3(1) of the Electoral Act 1993

Māori electoral district has the meaning given in section 3(1) of the Electoral Act 1993

specific Māori representation, in relation to the representation arrangements for a territorial authority or regional council, means 1 or more members of the territorial authority (other than the mayor) or regional council elected only by electors who are parliamentary electors of a Māori electoral district

5 Section 9 amended (Holding of referendum)

Replace section 9(7)(a) with:

(a)

in the case of any matter or proposal relating to a review of representation arrangements for the territorial authority or the regional council under section 19GA, 19H, 19I, or 19J; or

6 Section 19C amended (Basis of election of members of territorial authority)

After section 19C(5), insert:

(6)

If, for the purpose of a triennial general election, a district of a territorial authority is required by a resolution made under section 19H to be divided into 1 or more Māori wards, this Part (other than sections 19B, 19G, and 19J) is subject to Schedule 1A.

7 Section 19E amended (Basis of election of members of regional council)

After section 19E(5), insert:

(6)

If, for the purpose of a triennial general election, a region of a regional council is required by a resolution made under section 19I to be divided into 1 or more Māori constituencies, this Part (other than sections 19B, 19G, and 19J) is subject to Schedule 1A.

8 New sections 19GA and 19GB inserted

After section 19G, insert:

19GA Review of specific Māori representation for elections of territorial authorities and regional councils

(1)

Subsection (2) applies if, for the previous 2 triennial general elections, the district of a territorial authority or the region of a regional council was not divided into 1 or more Māori wards or Māori constituencies for electoral purposes.

(2)

The territorial authority or regional council must, before making a determination under section 19H or 19I, determine by resolution whether the representation arrangements for the territorial authority or the regional council should include specific Māori representation.

(3)

Subsection (4) applies if, for the previous 2 triennial general elections, the district of a territorial authority or the region of a regional council was divided into 1 or more Māori wards or Māori constituencies for electoral purposes.

(4)

The territorial authority or regional council may, before making a determination under section 19H or 19I, determine by resolution whether the representation arrangements for the territorial authority or regional council should include specific Māori representation.

(5)

Before making a determination under subsection (2) or (4), the territorial authority or regional council must—

(a)

engage with Māori and other communities of interest in the district or region in accordance with Part 6 of the Local Government Act 2002; and

(b)

have regard to the views of Māori and other communities of interest in the district or region on whether the representation arrangements for the territorial authority or regional council should include specific Māori representation.

(6)

A determination under subsection (2) or (4) must be made by a territorial authority or regional council no later than 20 December of the year that is 2 years before the next triennial general election.

(7)

The territorial authority or regional council must, within 14 days after making a resolution under this section, give public notice of the resolution.

(8)

This section does not apply to a territorial authority or a regional council if another enactment requires that the district or region be divided into 1 or more Māori wards or Māori constituencies.

19GB Effect of resolution relating to specific Māori representation

(1)

If a territorial authority or regional council determines under section 19GA(2) or (4) that representation arrangements should include specific Māori representation, the subsequent determination by the territorial authority or regional council under section 19H or 19I must include,—

(a)

in the case of a territorial authority, a proposal to divide the district into 1 or more Māori wards and 1 or more general wards; and

(b)

in the case of a regional council, a proposal to divide the region into 1 or more Māori constituencies and 1 or more general constituencies; and

(c)

a proposed number of members of the territorial authority or regional council that is not less than the number required to ensure that the number of Māori ward members or Māori constituency members calculated under clause 2 or 4 of Schedule 1A is 1 or more.

(2)

If a territorial authority or regional council determines under section 19GA(2) or (4) that representation arrangements should not include specific Māori representation, the subsequent determination by the territorial authority or regional council under section 19H or 19I must not include a proposal to divide the district or region into 1 or more Māori wards or Māori constituencies.

9 Section 19H amended (Review of representation arrangements for elections of territorial authorities)

(1)

After section 19H(1), insert:

(1A)

If a territorial authority has resolved under section 19GA that representation arrangements should include specific Māori representation, the matters described in clause 1(2)(a) to (g) of Schedule 1A must be determined instead of the matters described in subsection (1)(a) to (d).

(2)

Replace section 19H(2)(b) with:

(b)

on subsequent occasions, no later than 6 years after the end of the year in which the previous determination was made.

(3)

In section 19H(3), replace “section 19ZH” with section 19C(6).

10 Section 19I amended (Review of representation arrangements for elections of regional councils)

(1)

After section 19I(1), insert:

(1A)

If a regional council has resolved under section 19GA that representation arrangements should include specific Māori representation, the matters described in clause 3(2)(a) to (f) of Schedule 1A must be determined instead of the matters described in subsection (1)(b) and (c).

(2)

Replace section 19I(2)(b) with:

(b)

on subsequent occasions, no later than 6 years after the end of the year in which the previous determination was made.

(3)

In section 19I(3), replace “section 19ZH” with section 19E(6).

11 New section 19JAA inserted (Review of local board area boundaries by unitary authority)

After section 19J, insert:

19JAA Review of local board area boundaries by unitary authority

(1)

A unitary authority may, when it passes a resolution under section 19H, determine by that resolution not only the matters referred to in that section but also new proposed boundaries of local board areas in the district of the unitary authority.

(2)

In determining new proposed boundaries of local board areas, the unitary authority must ensure that—

(a)

the population affected by the new proposed boundaries will not exceed the population transfer limit prescribed by regulations made under this Act; and

(b)

the boundaries of the local board areas will—

(i)

enable democratic local decision making by, and on behalf of, communities of interest throughout the district; and

(ii)

enable equitable provision to be made for the current and future well-being of all communities of interest within the affected area; and

(c)

the boundaries of local board areas coincide with boundaries of the current statistical meshblock areas determined by Statistics New Zealand and used for parliamentary electoral purposes; and

(d)

so far as is practicable, local board area boundaries coincide with ward boundaries.

(3)

Regulations may—

(a)

prescribe a population transfer limit by specifying a limit on the proportion of the population of an existing local board area that would, if the new proposed boundaries were to take effect,—

(i)

cease to be included in the population of that local board area; or

(ii)

be added to the population of that local board area:

(b)

apply different population transfer limits in different circumstances:

(c)

set out 1 or more methods by which the applicable population transfer limit is calculated.

(4)

This section does not prevent a unitary authority from applying to the Local Government Commission for an alteration of the boundaries of local board areas as part of a local government reorganisation under the Local Government Act 2002 instead of determining new proposed boundaries of local board areas in accordance with this section.

12 Section 19K amended (Requirements for resolution)

(1)

Replace section 19K(1AA) with:

(1AA)

A resolution under section 19H, 19I, 19J, or 19JAA that affects the next triennial general election of members of a territorial authority, regional council, local board, or community board must be passed—

(a)

no earlier than 20 December of the year that is 2 years before the year of the election and no later than 31 July of the year that is immediately before the year of the election if—

(i)

the district of the territorial authority or region of the regional council is already divided into 1 or more Māori wards or Māori constituencies and 1 or more general wards or general constituencies; or

(ii)

the territorial authority or regional council has resolved under section 19GA that representation arrangements should not include specific Māori representation; or

(b)

after public notice of the resolution under section 19GA has been given and no later than 31 July of the year that is immediately before the year of the election if—

(i)

the district of the territorial authority or region of the regional council is not already divided into 1 or more Māori wards or Māori constituencies and 1 or more general wards or general constituencies; and

(ii)

the territorial authority or regional council has resolved under section 19GA that representation arrangements should include specific Māori representation.

(2)

In section 19K(2), replace “If any resolution under section 19H or section 19I or section 19J proposes any change to the basis of the election, membership, or ward, constituency, community, or subdivision boundaries” with “If any resolution under section 19H, 19I, 19J, or 19JAA proposes any change to the basis of the election, membership, or boundaries of wards, constituencies, communities, local board areas, or subdivisions of local board areas”.

(3)

Replace section 19K(3) with:

(3)

Subsection (1) applies to every resolution under any of the following provisions:

(a)

section 19H(1)(a)(ii) or (iii) or (g):

(b)

section 19I(1):

(c)

section 19J(2)(a) to (e) or (h)(iii):

(d)

section 19JAA(1):

(e)

clause 1(2)(a) to (g) of Schedule 1A:

(f)

clause 3(2)(a) to (f) of Schedule 1A.

13 Section 19L amended (Distribution of copies of resolution)

In section 19L, replace “section 19H or section 19I or section 19J” with “section 19H, 19I, 19J, or 19JAA.

14 Section 19M amended (Public notice of proposals and responsibilities in relation to submissions)

In section 19M(1), replace “section 19H or section 19I or section 19J” with “section 19H, 19I, 19J, or 19JAA.

15 Section 19N amended (Response to submissions)

(1)

In section 19N(1), replace “within 6 weeks after the end of the period allowed for the making of submissions and specified in the notice given under section 19M” with “no later than 20 November of the year that is immediately before the year of the next triennial general election”.

(2)

In section 19N(1)(a), replace “section 19H or section 19I or section 19J” with “section 19H, 19I, 19J, or 19JAA.

16 Section 19O amended (Appeals)

In section 19O(1), replace “section 19H or section 19I or section 19J” with “section 19H, 19I, 19J, or 19JAA.

17 Section 19P amended (Objections)

In section 19P(1), replace “section 19H or section 19I or section 19J” with “section 19H, 19I, 19J, or 19JAA.

18 Section 19Q amended (Obligation to forward appeals and objections to Commission)

In section 19Q(a) and (c), replace “section 19H or section 19I or section 19J” with “section 19H, 19I, 19J, or 19JAA in each place.

19 Section 19R amended (Commission to determine appeals and objections)

(1)

In section 19R(1)(b)(i), after “the matters specified in that section”, insert “and, if applicable, clause 1(2) of Schedule 1A”.

(2)

In section 19R(1)(b)(ii), after “the matters specified in that section”, insert “and, if applicable, clause 3(2) of Schedule 1A”.

(3)

After section 19R(1)(b)(iii), insert:

(iv)

in the case of a unitary authority that has made a resolution under section 19JAA, the matters specified in that section.

20 Section 19T amended (Requirement for effective representation and other factors in determination of membership and basis of election of territorial authorities and local boards)

(1)

In section 19T(1), replace “paragraphs (a) to (d) of section 19H(1)” with “section 19H(1)(a) to (d) or clause 1(2)(a) to (g) of Schedule 1A”.

(2)

In section 19T(1)(a), replace “subparagraphs (i) to (iii) of section 19H(1)(a)” with “section 19H(1)(a)(i) to (iii) or clause 1(2)(b)(i) and (ii) of Schedule 1A”.

21 Section 19U amended (Requirement for effective representation and other factors in determination of membership and basis of election of regional council)

In section 19U, replace “paragraphs (a) to (c) of section 19I(1)” with “section 19I(1)(a) to (c) or clause 3(2)(a) to (f) of Schedule 1A”.

22 Section 19Z and cross-heading repealed

Repeal section 19Z and the cross-heading above section 19Z.

23 Section 19ZH repealed (Basis of election of territorial authority and regional council)

Repeal section 19ZH.

24 Section 55 amended (Nomination of candidates)

In section 55(3), delete “, if the person nominated is outside New Zealand”.

25 Part 4 heading replaced

Replace the Part 4 heading with:

Part 4 Recounts and inquiries

26 Section 90 amended (Application for recount)

(1)

In the heading to section 90, after Application, insert by candidate.

(2)

In section 90(1), replace “3 days” with “3 working days”.

27 New section 90A inserted (Application by electoral officer for recount)

After section 90, insert:

90A Application by electoral officer for recount

(1)

An electoral officer must apply to a District Court Judge for a recount if—

(a)

an equal number of votes is received by 2 or more candidates in an election; and

(b)

the addition of 1 vote would entitle one of those candidates to be declared elected.

(2)

The application must be made as soon as practicable after all valid votes have been counted and before the official results are declared.

(3)

The District Court Judge must, as soon as practicable after receiving the application,—

(a)

cause a recount of the votes to be made; and

(b)

give notice in writing to the electoral officer, each of the candidates, and each scrutineer appointed under section 66 or 91 of the time and place at which the recount will be made.

28 Section 92 amended (Conduct of recount)

Repeal section 92(4).

29 New sections 92A and 92B inserted

After section 92, insert:

92A Costs of recount

(1)

If the recount is conducted on application by a candidate under section 90, the District Court Judge—

(a)

may make any order as to the costs of, and incidental to, the recount that the Judge considers just; and

(b)

subject to any order, must direct that the deposit required by section 90 be returned to the person who paid it.

(2)

If the recount is conducted on application by an electoral officer under section 90A, the District Court Judge must order the local authority to meet the costs of, and incidental to, the recount, unless the Judge considers that it would be unreasonable for the local authority to bear those costs.

92B Affected candidate may withdraw if votes tied after recount

(1)

This section applies if—

(a)

a recount determines that an equal number of votes has been received by 2 or more candidates (the affected candidates); and

(b)

the addition of 1 vote would entitle any of those affected candidates to be declared elected.

(2)

The electoral officer must specify, by notice in writing, a date by which an affected candidate may withdraw as a candidate for election (the specified date).

(3)

Before setting the specified date, the electoral office must consult the affected candidates and the chief executive of the local authority concerned.

(4)

An affected candidate may withdraw as a candidate for election by giving notice in writing (a notice of withdrawal) to the electoral officer before the specified date.

(5)

A notice of withdrawal may be submitted by hand, post, fax, or electronic transmission.

(6)

If the electoral officer receives a notice of withdrawal from an affected candidate in accordance with subsections (4) and (5), that candidate ceases to be available for election.

(7)

However, a notice of withdrawal is ineffective and the affected candidate who gave it (the relevant affected candidate) does not cease to be available for election if—

(a)

the electoral officer has received notices of withdrawal from all the affected candidates in accordance with subsections (4) and (5); and

(b)

the notice of withdrawal given by the relevant affected candidate was the notice received last by the electoral officer.

(8)

If only 1 candidate remains available for election on the specified date, the electoral officer must give an amended declaration under section 86 of the result of the election.

30 Section 148 amended (Validation of irregularities)

In section 148, replace the compare note with:

Compare: 1976 No 144 s 122; 1997 No 13 s 63

31 Schedule 1 amended

(1)

In Schedule 1, clause 2(3)(b), replace “under section 19Z takes effect” with “under section 19H or 19I relating to the division of the district or region into 1 or more Māori wards or Māori constituencies takes effect”.

(2)

In Schedule 1, replace clause 2(5) with:

(5)

In this clause, associated election has the same meaning as in section 19Z(5) (as it was immediately before the date on which the Local Government Electoral Legislation Act 2022 came into force).

(3)

In Schedule 1,—

(a)

insert the Part set out in Schedule 1 of this Act as the last Part; and

(b)

make all necessary consequential amendments.

32 Schedule 1A amended

(1)

In the Schedule 1A heading, replace “s 19ZH” with ss 19C(6), 19E(6).

(2)

In Schedule 1A, clauses 1(1) and 3(1), replace “31 August” with “31 July”.

(3)

In Schedule 1A, clause 1(2), replace “must be made as if the territorial authority were required by section 19H to determine by resolution, in accordance with Part 1A,” with “must include”.

(4)

In Schedule 1A, clauses 2(1) and 4(1), formulas,—

(a)

after “Māori electoral population”, insert “or estimated Māori electoral population”; and

(b)

after “general electoral population”, insert “or estimated general electoral population”.

(5)

In Schedule 1A, replace clause 2(5) with:

(5)

Subclauses (1) and (2) are subject to section 19GB(1)(c).

(6)

In Schedule 1A, clause 3(2), replace “must be made as if the regional council were required by section 19I to determine by resolution, in accordance with Part 1A,” with “must include”.

(7)

In Schedule 1A, clause 6(a)(i) and (ii), after “Māori electoral population”, insert “or estimated Māori electoral population”.

(8)

In Schedule 1A, replace clause 4(4) with:

(4)

Subclause (1) is subject to section 19GB(1)(c).

(9)

In Schedule 1A, clause 6(b)(ii), delete “and tribal affiliations”.

(10)

In Schedule 1A, after clause 6(b)(ii), insert:

(iii)

rohe of iwi and hapū.

(11)

In Schedule 1A, replace clause 7(1) with:

(1)

The Government Statistician must, at the request of a territorial authority or regional council or, if appropriate, the Commission, supply the territorial authority or regional council or the Commission with—

(a)

a certificate specifying—

(i)

the Māori electoral population of the district or region; and

(ii)

the general electoral population of the district or region; or

(b)

a certificate specifying—

(i)

the estimated Māori electoral population of the district or region; and

(ii)

the estimated general electoral population of the district or region.

(12)

In Schedule 1A, clause 7(2), replace “the certificate” with “the certificate described in subclause (1)(a).

33 Minor and consequential amendments related to this Part

Amend the legislation specified in Schedule 2 as set out in that schedule.

Part 2 Amendments to Local Government Act 2002

34 Principal Act

This Part amends the Local Government Act 2002.

35 Section 24 amended (Scope of local government reorganisation)

After section 24(2), insert:

(3)

However, Schedule 3A applies instead of Schedule 3 to a local government reorganisation if—

(a)

the local government reorganisation only provides for 1 or more of the following matters:

(i)

the establishment of a local board area, including the establishment of a local board for that area:

(ii)

in relation to a local board, other than a local board established under the Local Government (Auckland Council) Act 2009,—

(A)

the means by which the chairperson is elected; and

(B)

whether the local board may include appointed members:

(iii)

the abolition of a local board area:

(iv)

the alteration of the boundaries of a local board area:

(v)

the union of 2 or more local board areas; and

(b)

the areas affected, or potentially affected, by each matter are wholly within the district of 1 existing unitary authority.

(4)

Subsections (1) to (3), sections 24A to 26A, and Schedules 3 and 3A do not apply to an alteration of the boundaries of a local board area that is proposed by a unitary authority in accordance with section 19JAA of the Local Electoral Act 2001.

36 Section 25 amended (Order in Council to give effect to reorganisation plan)

(1)

In section 25(1), after “clause 22C(5) or 33 of Schedule 3”, insert “or clause 17(5) of Schedule 3A.

(2)

In section 25(3)(b), before “must establish”, insert “in the case of a reorganisation plan to which clause 33 of Schedule 3 applies,”.

37 Section 26A amended (Duties of local authorities in relation to local government reorganisation)

In section 26A(5), after “clause 9 of Schedule 3”, insert “or clause 8 of Schedule 3A.

38 Section 31A amended (Minister’s expectations of Commission in relation to local government reorganisation)

(1)

In section 31A(1), after “Schedule 3”, insert “or 3A.

(2)

In section 31A(4)(b), after “Schedule 3”, insert “or 3A.

39 Section 35A amended (Application of Official Information Act 1982)

(1)

In section 35A(1)(b), after “Part 1 of Schedule 3”, insert “or Part 1 of Schedule 3A.

(2)

In section 35A(1)(c), after “clause 22C of Schedule 3”, insert “or clause 17 of Schedule 3A.

40 Section 97 amended (Certain decisions to be taken only if provided for in long-term plan)

In section 97(3)(a), after “clause 22A of Schedule 3”, insert “or clause 15 of Schedule 3A.

41 Section 225 amended (Offences relating to waterworks)

In section 225(2) and (3), delete “or (e)”.

42 Schedule 3 amended

In Schedule 3, clause 22A(2), delete “that clause and”.

43 New Schedule 3A inserted

After Schedule 3, insert the Schedule 3A set out in Schedule 3 of this Act.

44 Schedule 7 amended

(1)

In Schedule 7, clause 19(5), replace “22 or 22A” with 21A, 22, or 22A”.

(2)

In Schedule 7, replace clause 21(1) with:

(1)

The first meeting of a local authority following a triennial general election must be called by the chief executive as soon as practicable after the date by which a candidate may apply for a recount has passed and—

(a)

the results of the election are known; or

(b)

if an application for a recount is filed by a candidate or the electoral officer, the recount has been completed and the candidates to be declared elected are known.

(3)

In Schedule 7, clause 21(5)(d), replace “first meeting” with “next meeting”.

(4)

In Schedule 7, after clause 21(5), insert:

(6)

However, if an urgent meeting of the local authority has been held under clause 21A, the business that must be conducted at the first meeting of the local authority does not include any business already dealt with at that urgent meeting.

(7)

In this clause, first meeting does not include any urgent meeting held under clause 21A.

(5)

In Schedule 7, after clause 21, insert:

21A Chief executive may call urgent meeting following triennial general election of members

(1)

This clause applies if—

(a)

an application for a recount has been made following a triennial general election of members of a local authority; and

(b)

an event occurs that, in the opinion of the chief executive, requires the local authority to deal with a matter urgently; and

(c)

the first meeting of the local authority has not yet been called under clause 21(1).

(2)

Despite clause 21(1)(b), the chief executive may call an urgent meeting of the local authority before the candidates to be declared elected after a recount are known.

(3)

If the chief executive calls an urgent meeting under subclause (2), the chief executive must—

(a)

give notice of the urgent meeting as soon as practicable to every person who—

(i)

is not an affected candidate; and

(ii)

has been declared to be elected to the local authority; and

(b)

give notice to each of those persons, by whatever means is reasonable in the circumstances and at least 24 hours before the time appointed for the meeting, of—

(i)

the time and place of the urgent meeting; and

(ii)

the matter in respect of which the urgent meeting is being called.

(4)

For the purposes of section 46 of the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987, an urgent meeting that is called by the chief executive under this clause is to be treated as if it were an emergency meeting called by the local authority.

(5)

For the purposes of this clause and clause 21B, a candidate is an affected candidate if—

(a)

the candidate may be affected by the recount; or

(b)

the recount has determined that an equal number of votes has been received by the candidate and 1 or more other candidates in the election and the electoral officer has not declared, or determined, which candidate is to be elected to the local authority.

21B Conduct of urgent meeting

(1)

The business to be conducted at an urgent meeting called under clause 21A

(a)

must include the following matters:

(i)

in respect of the persons described in clause 21A(3)(a), the making and attesting of the declarations required of the mayor (if any) and members under clause 14:

(ii)

the general explanation described in clause 21(5)(c):

(iii)

the matter in respect of which the urgent meeting is being called; and

(b)

may include the election of a member to preside at the urgent meeting; but

(c)

must not include any other matter.

(2)

However, 1 or both of the matters described in subclause (1)(a)(i) and (ii) may be omitted from the business to be conducted at an urgent meeting if the matter was dealt with at a previous urgent meeting.

(3)

An affected office is to be treated as a vacancy in the membership of the local authority for the meeting.

(4)

The chief executive (or, in the absence of the chief executive, a nominee of that officer) must chair the meeting unless and until—

(a)

the mayor (if any) has made and attested the declaration required under clause 14; or

(b)

the members that are present have—

(i)

made and attested the declaration required under clause 14; and

(ii)

elected 1 of their number to preside at the meeting.

(5)

An affected candidate must not participate in the meeting, but may attend the meeting if it is open to the public.

(6)

In this clause, affected office means an office as a member of the local authority to which no candidate has been declared to be elected because the relevant candidates are affected candidates.

45 Schedule 10 amended

In Schedule 10, clause 33(2), replace “this section” with “this clause”.

Part 3 Amendment to Local Government (Auckland Council) Act 2009

46 Principal Act

This Part amends the Local Government (Auckland Council) Act 2009.

47 Section 8 amended (Governing body of Auckland Council)

Replace section 8(1) with:

(1)

The governing body of the Auckland Council must comprise—

(a)

a mayor elected in accordance with the Local Electoral Act 2001; and

(b)

no fewer than 5 other members and no more than 29 other members elected in accordance with the Local Electoral Act 2001.

Schedule 1 New Part 2 inserted into Schedule 1 of Local Electoral Act 2001

s 31(3)

Part 2 Provisions relating to Local Government Electoral Legislation Act 2022

8 Interpretation

In this Part,—

amendment Act means the Local Government Electoral Legislation Act 2022

commencement date means the date on which the amendment Act comes into force.

9 Transitional provision relating to certain recounts

The amendments made by sections 25 to 29 of the amendment Act apply in respect of an election if—

(a)

the electoral officer has given public notice of the election before the commencement date and nominations for the election close after the commencement date; or

(b)

on or after the commencement date, the electoral officer gives public notice under section 52, or fresh public notice under section 120(3), of the election.

Schedule 2 Minor and consequential amendments related to Part 1

s 33

Part 1Minor and consequential amendments to local Act

Bay of Plenty Regional Council (Maori Constituency Empowering) Act 2001 (2001 No 1 (L))

In section 3, insert in their appropriate alphabetical order:

estimated general electoral population has the same meaning as in section 5(1) of the Local Electoral Act 2001

estimated Māori electoral population has the same meaning as in section 5(1) of the Local Electoral Act 2001

In section 6(1), formula,—

(a)

after “Māori electoral population”, insert “or estimated Māori electoral population”; and

(b)

after “general electoral population”, insert “or estimated general electoral population”.

Replace section 9(1) with:

(1)

The Government Statistician must, at the request of the Council or, if appropriate, the Local Government Commission, supply the Council or the Commission with—

(a)

a certificate specifying—

(i)

the Māori electoral population of the region; and

(ii)

the general electoral population of the region; or

(b)

a certificate specifying—

(i)

the estimated Māori electoral population of the region; and

(ii)

the estimated general electoral population of the region.

In section 9(2), replace “the certificate” with “the certificate described in subsection (1)(a).

Part 2Minor and consequential amendments to secondary legislation

Local Electoral Regulations 2001 (SR 2001/145)

Replace regulation 58(5) with:

(5)

The electoral officer must determine by lot which candidate is to be declared elected if,—

(a)

when acting under subclause (3), the electoral officer determines that there is an equality of votes between candidates and the addition of 1 vote would entitle any of those candidates to be declared elected; and

(b)

after a recount under section 90A of the Act has been completed, there is still an equality of votes between candidates; and

(c)

2 or more of those candidates have not withdrawn as candidates for election under section 92B of the Act.

(6)

If the electoral officer makes a determination under subclause (5), the electoral officer must give an amended declaration under section 86 of the Act of the result of the election.

After regulation 62(b)(ii), insert:

(iia)

whether the electoral officer applied for a recount under section 90A of the Act; and

After regulation 66(1)(a), insert:

(aa)

whether the electoral officer applied for a recount under section 90A of the Act; and

Replace regulation 79(5) with:

(5)

The electoral officer must determine by lot which candidate is to be declared elected if,—

(a)

when acting under subclause (3), the electoral officer determines that there is an equality of votes between candidates and the addition of 1 vote would entitle any of those candidates to be declared elected; and

(b)

after a recount under section 90A of the Act has been completed, there is still an equality of votes between candidates; and

(c)

2 or more of those candidates have not withdrawn as candidates for election under section 92B of the Act.

(6)

If the electoral officer makes a determination under subclause (5), the electoral officer must give an amended declaration under section 86 of the result of the election.

After regulation 81(b)(ii), insert:

(iia)

whether the electoral officer applied for a recount under section 90A of the Act; and

After regulation 84(1)(a), insert:

(aa)

whether the electoral officer applied for a recount under section 90A of the Act; and

Schedule 3 New Schedule 3A inserted into Local Government Act 2002

s 43

Schedule 3A Establishment or reorganisation of local board areas in unitary authority districts

s 24

1 Interpretation

In this schedule, unless the context otherwise requires,—

affected area,—

(a)

in relation to a reorganisation investigation, means an area that—

(i)

is within the district of a unitary authority; and

(ii)

is affected, or potentially affected, by 1 or more of the matters to be investigated; and

(b)

in relation to a reorganisation initiative or plan, means the area comprising the district of the unitary authority to which the initiative or plan relates

affected elector means—

(a)

a person who is a residential elector (within the meaning of section 23 of the Local Electoral Act 2001), if the address in respect of which the person is registered is in an affected area:

(b)

a person who is a ratepayer elector (within the meaning of section 24 of the Local Electoral Act 2001), if the person is qualified as a ratepayer elector in respect of a rating unit in an affected area

affected iwi or hapū means an iwi or a hapū with interests within the affected area, and includes any entity or organisation identified by Te Puni Kōkiri as representing those interests

affected local board area means the area of the local board or proposed local board

affected unitary authority means a unitary authority whose district contains an affected area

implementation date means the date specified in an Order in Council made under section 25A(1) as the date on which the local government reorganisation described in the order takes effect

investigation request means a request to the Commission by a group comprising at least 10% of electors in an affected area, by a unitary authority, or by the Minister, in accordance with clause 2, to conduct a reorganisation investigation into an issue or a matter but without proposing a particular reorganisation

public notice, in relation to a notice of a reorganisation investigation or reorganisation plan given by the Commission,—

(a)

means a notice published—

(i)

in 1 or more newspapers circulating in the affected area; and

(ii)

on the Internet site of the Commission; and

(b)

includes any other notice that the Commission thinks desirable in the circumstances

reorganisation initiative or initiative means a request to the Commission by a group comprising at least 10% of electors in an affected area, by a unitary authority, or by the Minister, to consider a proposed reorganisation that relates solely to 1 or more of the matters in section 24(3)

reorganisation investigation or investigation means an investigation by the Commission under Part 1 of this schedule, in response to a reorganisation initiative or an investigation request, that may result in the development and adoption of a reorganisation plan

reorganisation order means an Order in Council made under section 25

reorganisation plan means a plan that relates solely to 1 or more of the matters in section 24(3) and that is—

(a)

adopted by the Commission, during or after an investigation; or

(b)

adopted by a unitary authority in accordance with clause 15.

Part 1 Reorganisation investigations

Subpart 1—Reorganisation initiatives and investigation requests

2 Who may propose reorganisation initiatives and request investigations

(1)

A reorganisation initiative may be proposed, or an investigation request may be made, to the Commission by—

(a)

the affected unitary authority:

(b)

in the case of an initiative, a group of at least 10% of electors in the affected local board area:

(c)

in the case of a request, a group of at least 10% of electors in the affected area:

(d)

the Minister.

(2)

The reorganisation initiative or investigation request must be submitted to the chief executive officer of the Commission.

3 Contents of reorganisation initiative or investigation request

(1)

A reorganisation initiative or an investigation request must include the following:

(a)

the name and address of the person submitting the initiative or request; and

(b)

if the initiative or request is submitted by a group of electors under clause 2(1)(b) or (c),—

(i)

evidence that the group comprises at least 10% of electors in the affected local board area or affected area; and

(ii)

the name and address of the person who is the representative of those persons; and

(c)

in the case of an initiative, a description of the proposed changes, including (but not limited to)—

(i)

which of the matters listed in section 24(3)(a) is being sought; and

(ii)

a plan or other description sufficient to identify the affected local board area or affected local board areas concerned; and

(iii)

an explanation of the outcome that the proposed changes are seeking to achieve; and

(d)

in the case of an investigation request, a description of the matter, issue, problem, or opportunity to be investigated.

(2)

A reorganisation initiative may include—

(a)

any information requested or recommended in any guidelines issued by the Commission; and

(b)

any other information that demonstrates that the initiative has community support in the affected area; and

(c)

any other information that the person submitting the initiative considers relevant to the Commission’s consideration of the initiative.

4 Action on receipt of reorganisation initiative or investigation request

(1)

As soon as practicable after receiving a reorganisation initiative or an investigation request, the Commission must,—

(a)

if the initiative or request was submitted by a group of electors, confirm that the group comprises at least 10% of electors in the affected local board area or affected area, as the case may be (and, if not, notify the person who submitted the initiative or request that the Commission will not undertake an investigation); and

(b)

decide whether to undertake an investigation, having regard to the factors listed in clause 5; and

(c)

notify the person who submitted the initiative or request, or that person’s representative, of its decision; and

(d)

if the Commission decides not to undertake an investigation, explain the reasons for that decision in the notice under paragraph (c); and

(e)

if the Commission decides to undertake an investigation, notify the affected unitary authority of that decision.

(2)

Before making a decision under subclause (1)(b), the Commission must consult the affected unitary authority and any local board that would be affected by the reorganisation initiative or the requested investigation.

Subpart 2—Reorganisation investigations

5 Factors Commission must have regard to when deciding whether to undertake reorganisation investigation

When deciding whether to undertake a reorganisation investigation under clause 4(1)(b), the Commission must have regard to—

(a)

the purpose of reorganisation set out in section 24AA; and

(b)

the potential scale and scope of improvements to local governance and services that might result from the investigation; and

(c)

the potential costs, disruption, and other negative effects on the affected unitary authority, its communities, and any affected local board that may be caused by the investigation; and

(d)

any time or other constraints that apply to the opportunity to achieve potential improvements to local governance and services; and

(e)

the need for urgent resolution of any problem identified by the Commission, or in the investigation request or reorganisation initiative; and

(f)

the resources available to the Commission to undertake the investigation in a timely manner; and

(g)

the likelihood of significant community opposition to any reorganisation that might result from the investigation.

6 Commission must adopt reorganisation investigation process

(1)

As soon as practicable after it makes a decision under clause 4(1)(b) to undertake a reorganisation investigation, the Commission must determine and adopt a process for the investigation and record that process in writing.

(2)

The process document must set out how the Commission intends to undertake the investigation, including—

(a)

the matters to be investigated; and

(b)

the affected area, the affected unitary authority, and any local board affected by the investigation; and

(c)

the procedure and timetable for the investigation; and

(d)

each affected iwi or hapū, and how and when they will be given an opportunity to engage with the investigation; and

(e)

the key stakeholders, and how and when they will be given an opportunity to engage with the investigation; and

(f)

how and when members of the public will be consulted on the investigation and any proposed recommendations or reorganisation plans that may result; and

(g)

any other matter that the Commission considers relevant.

(3)

In determining the matters referred to in subclause (2), and in undertaking an investigation, the Commission must have regard to the following principles:

(a)

early information should be available to the public and stakeholders about the issues to be investigated, the process to be followed, and the opportunities for public input; and

(b)

the process should be in proportion to the scale, scope, and potential impact of the identified issues and of any reorganisation plan that may result from the investigation; and

(c)

the process should recognise the relevant evidence and information that the Commission already holds; and

(d)

the process should recognise and reflect the nature and extent of the interests of affected iwi or hapū in the outcome of the investigation; and

(e)

the process should provide persons, entities, and organisations who wish to have their views on the subject matter of the investigation considered by the Commission with a reasonable opportunity to present those views to the Commission; and

(f)

the extent and nature of public and stakeholder engagement should—

(i)

reflect the degree of public interest (including of each affected iwi or hapū) in the issues and in any reorganisation plan that may result from the investigation; and

(ii)

reflect the importance of—

(A)

stakeholder input; and

(B)

community engagement; and

(C)

public acceptance of the process and the potential outcome; and

(iii)

appropriately balance the costs and benefits of different processes.

(4)

Before adopting a process document under subclause (1), the Commission must—

(a)

consult the affected unitary authority and any affected local board on the proposed process or amendment; and

(b)

consult all affected iwi or hapū about whether, and how, the proposed reorganisation investigation, or any reorganisation plan that may result from the investigation, may affect their relationship with their ancestral land, water, sites, wāhi tapu, valued flora and fauna, and other taonga, or affect their relationships with local authorities.

(5)

The Commission may adopt an amendment to a process document under subclause (1) at any time, and must do so if there is a significant departure from the process.

(6)

The Commission must, as soon as practicable after adopting or amending a process document,—

(a)

publish the process document in full on its Internet site; and

(b)

give public notice within the affected area of the publication and location of the process document; and

(c)

notify the affected unity authority and all affected local boards, affected iwi or hapū, and key stakeholders identified by the Commission of the publication and location of the process document.

7 Commission may require assistance and undertake inquiries when conducting investigations and preparing reorganisation plan

(1)

In conducting an investigation or preparing a reorganisation plan, the Commission may require the affected unitary authority and any affected local boards to provide information to assist the Commission.

(2)

In conducting an investigation or preparing a reorganisation plan, the Commission may undertake inquiries and consultation in relation to the investigation or plan with any persons, bodies, and groups that it considers appropriate.

8 Commission may issue report

(1)

The Commission may, at any time during a reorganisation investigation, or at the completion of the investigation, issue a report and make recommendations to a unitary authority on any matter arising in the course of, or ancillary to, the investigation.

(2)

Section 26A applies to a report and recommendations under this clause.

9 Objectives that Commission must consider in reorganisation investigation

In assessing the desirability of options for the reorganisation of local government within the affected area, the Commission must take into account how best to achieve all of the following:

(a)

enabling democratic decision making by, and on behalf of, communities within the local board area:

(b)

better enabling the purpose of local government to be given effect to within the local board area:

(c)

efficiencies and cost savings:

(d)

assurance that a local board has the resources necessary to enable it to effectively perform or exercise its responsibilities, duties, and powers in respect of any local board area established or changed:

(e)

effective responses to the opportunities, needs, and circumstances of the affected areas:

(f)

better alignment of local board areas with communities of interest:

(g)

enhanced effectiveness of decision making for non-regulatory activities of a unitary authority:

(h)

enhanced ability of local government to meet the changing needs of communities for governance and services into the future:

(i)

effective provision for any co-governance and co-management arrangements that are established by legislation (including Treaty of Waitangi claim settlement legislation) and that are between local authorities and iwi or Māori organisations.

10 Completion of investigation

As soon as practicable after completing an investigation, the Commission must—

(a)

give public notice of the completion of the investigation; and

(b)

notify the affected unitary authority and all affected local boards, affected iwi or hapū, and key stakeholders of the completion of the investigation; and

(c)

record the completion of the investigation on its Internet site.

Part 2 Reorganisation plans

Subpart 1—Adoption and notification of reorganisation plan

11 Commission may adopt reorganisation plan

(1)

The Commission may, during or at the completion of a reorganisation investigation,—

(a)

develop 1 or more reorganisation plans; and

(b)

adopt 1 or more reorganisation plans that meet the requirements of subpart 2 of this Part.

(2)

In deciding whether to adopt a reorganisation plan, the Commission must have regard to—

(a)

the scale of the potential benefits of the proposed changes in terms of the objectives set out in clause 9 and the likelihood of those benefits being realised; and

(b)

the financial, disruption, and opportunity costs of implementing the proposed changes at the proposed time; and

(c)

the risks and consequences of not implementing the proposed changes at the proposed time; and

(d)

existing communities of interest and the extent to which the proposed changes will maintain linkages between communities (including iwi and hapū) and sites and resources of significance to them; and

(e)

the degree and distribution of demonstrable public support for the proposed changes within communities in the affected area; and

(f)

the degree and distribution of any public opposition to the proposed changes within communities in the affected area.

(3)

The Commission must not adopt a reorganisation plan under this clause that affects the application of any Act that establishes co-governance or co-management arrangements between local authorities and iwi or Māori organisations (including Treaty of Waitangi claims settlement legislation), without first consulting all iwi or Māori organisations to whom that Act applies, the Attorney-General, and the Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations.

(4)

A reorganisation plan to which subclause (3) applies must provide for the same level and scope of participation in decision making by iwi or Māori organisations as the arrangement specified in the Act referred to in that subclause.

12 Notification of reorganisation plan

(1)

As soon as practicable after adopting a reorganisation plan, the Commission must—

(a)

give public notice of the plan and, in the notice, specify where copies of the plan may be inspected; and

(b)

take any other action that it considers necessary to inform persons, bodies, and groups that the Commission identifies as having an interest in the plan.

(2)

The Commission must attach to the reorganisation plan a full and detailed statement that—

(a)

explains how the plan will achieve the objectives set out in clause 9; and

(b)

provides a balanced assessment of the reorganisation plan and outlines the advantages and disadvantages of the plan.

Subpart 2—Content of reorganisation plans

13 Content of reorganisation plan

(1)

Before adopting a reorganisation plan under clause 11, the Commission must ensure that the plan complies with the requirements in this clause.

(2)

Provisions for local boards must be consistent with subpart 1A of Part 4 of this Act.

(3)

The reorganisation plan must specify—

(a)

the name of the district of the unitary authority; and

(b)

the number and names of local board areas within the district; and

(c)

the boundaries of—

(i)

each local board area; and

(ii)

electoral subdivisions, if any, of each local board area; and

(d)

the number of elected members of the local board for each local board area and, if a local board area is subdivided for electoral purposes, the number of members to be elected by the electors of each subdivision; and

(e)

whether each local board may include members appointed by the governing body of the unitary authority in accordance with section 48E(b); and

(f)

for each local board, whether the chairperson of the local board is to be—

(i)

elected by the members of the local board from among themselves using one of the systems of voting set out in clause 25(3) and (4) of Schedule 7; or

(ii)

directly elected to that office by the electors of the local board area.

(4)

Subclause (3)(e) and (f) is subject to any requirements in other enactments that relate to 1 or more of the following matters:

(a)

the election or appointment of members of a local board:

(b)

the election of the chairperson of a local board.

(5)

In determining the matters referred to in subclause (3)(b) to (e), the Commission must ensure that—

(a)

the boundaries of the local board areas will—

(i)

enable democratic local decision making by, and on behalf of, communities throughout the district; and

(ii)

enable equitable provision to be made for the current and future well-being of all communities within the affected area; and

(b)

the boundaries of local board areas and any subdivisions of those areas coincide with boundaries of the current statistical meshblock areas determined by Statistics New Zealand and used for parliamentary electoral purposes; and

(c)

so far as practicable, local board area boundaries coincide with ward boundaries.

14 Representation

In determining the representation arrangements of an affected unitary authority for a reorganisation plan, the Commission must—

(a)

have regard to the existing electoral and representation arrangements of the affected unitary authority in respect of local boards; and

(b)

provide fair and effective representation for individuals and communities in the local board areas within the district of the unitary authority; and

(c)

comply with the requirements of the Local Electoral Act 2001; and

(d)

take into account the responsibilities, duties, and powers of the unitary authority.

Subpart 3—Unitary authority-led reorganisation applications

15 Unitary authority may develop and adopt reorganisation plan

(1)

A unitary authority may develop and adopt a reorganisation plan in accordance with this clause.

(2)

Subparts 1 and 2 of this Part apply to every reorganisation plan developed under subclause (1) as if references to the Commission in those subparts were references to the unitary authority developing the plan.

(3)

A unitary authority intending to develop a reorganisation plan under this clause must ensure that written notice of that intention is given to the Commission as soon as is reasonably practicable.

16 Application to Commission

(1)

A unitary authority may submit a reorganisation plan adopted under clause 15 to the Commission in accordance with this clause (a unitary authority-led reorganisation application).

(2)

Before submitting a unitary authority-led reorganisation application, the unitary authority must consider any views and preferences expressed by any local boards that would be affected by the reorganisation plan.

(3)

The reorganisation plan must be accompanied by—

(a)

a statement that complies with clause 12(2); and

(b)

a report from the affected unitary authority, adopted by that unitary authority, that records—

(i)

unconditional support for the plan from the governing body of the unitary authority; and

(ii)

any views and preferences expressed by any local boards that would be affected by the reorganisation plan; and

(iii)

the public consultation undertaken by the unitary authority; and

(iv)

the themes and outcomes of that consultation.

17 Commission review of unitary authority-led reorganisation application

(1)

As soon as practicable after receiving a unitary authority-led reorganisation application submitted in accordance with clause 16, the Commission must review that application.

(2)

The Commission must approve the reorganisation plan to which the application relates unless—

(a)

the reorganisation plan is not accompanied by the documentation required by clause 16; or

(b)

the Commission considers, on reasonable grounds, that—

(i)

the provisions in subparts 1 and 2 of this Part were not complied with in developing the plan, as required by clause 15(2); or

(ii)

the unitary authority has not complied with clause 16(2); or

(iii)

the plan does not have the support of affected communities.

(3)

The Commission must not approve the reorganisation plan if subclause (2)(a) or (b) applies.

(4)

If the Commission approves a reorganisation plan under this clause, Part 3 of this schedule applies as if the plan were adopted under clause 11.

(5)

As soon as practicable after the Commission approves a reorganisation plan under this clause,—

(a)

the Commission must notify the affected unitary authority of its decision; and

(b)

the Minister must determine whether to recommend the making of an Order in Council under section 25.

(6)

If the Commission does not approve a reorganisation plan under this clause, the Commission—

(a)

must notify the affected unitary authority of its decision and the reasons for it; and

(b)

may undertake an investigation into any matter related to the content of the unitary authority-led reorganisation application.

Part 3 Implementation and effect of reorganisations

18 Former local board areas

(1)

This clause applies in relation to implementing a reorganisation plan that—

(a)

is given effect to by an Order in Council under section 25(1); and

(b)

specifies alterations to the boundaries of local board areas that result in a local board area including an area (a former local board area) that formerly comprised or formed part of a separate local board area.

(2)

Subclause (3) applies unless a reorganisation order modifies its application to a reorganisation or declares that it does not apply to a reorganisation.

(3)

The local board that assumes jurisdiction over a former local board area has, may exercise or perform, and is responsible for all the powers, duties, acts of authority, and responsibilities that were previously exercised or performed by the local board of that area in relation to that area, or that would have been exercised or performed by it if it had remained in existence or responsible for that area.

19 Local board area bylaws

(1)

The provisions of this clause apply unless a reorganisation order modifies their application to a reorganisation or declares that they do not apply to a reorganisation.

(2)

Subclause (3) applies to local board area bylaws that—

(a)

are in force in all or part of a local board area that, under a reorganisation order, is included in the jurisdiction of a local board other than the local board that proposed them; and

(b)

are in force immediately before the implementation date; and

(c)

are not excluded from the application of this clause by the reorganisation order.

(3)

Each local board area bylaw remains in force, in the area to which it applied immediately before the commencement of the reorganisation order, until it expires or is revoked or amended by the unitary authority for the district that includes that area.

(4)

In this clause,—

bylaw includes—

(a)

a set of bylaws; and

(b)

an individual bylaw in a set of bylaws; and

(c)

a provision within an individual bylaw

local board area bylaw means a bylaw that applies only in, or only in any part of, a local board area.