Public to get say on local government setup

Voters in the Lakes District who feel they are not getting a fair go are being given the chance to push for change.

The Queenstown Lakes District Council is offering a review of how residents are represented on the council.

It suggests taking a look at the ward system, which provides Queenstown with six seats, Wanaka with three and Arrowtown one.

While the ratio of population per council seat is 3833 in Queenstown-Wakatipu and 3108 in Arrowtown, it is 4348 in Wanaka.

The council also raised the possibility of change to the way the Wanaka Community Board operates.

At its meeting last month the council decided not to establish a Maori ward, but did decide to establish an advisory group to assist in developing options.

The group is likely to consist of a political science academic, a representative of Aukaha and Te Ao Marama, and a lawyer.

Two representatives of the public from Wakatipu, Arrowtown and Wanaka are being sought.

Applications close on November 6.

The review will include public consultation and a hearing next year.

The entire process must be concluded before the 2022 local body elections.

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