The shape of our local government – the representative body that has the most immediate effect on our everyday lives – is up for review.
And the Waikato District Council has a whizzy, new tool to help us figure out the size and shape of constituency boundaries and the like.
The online tool has an accurate map and population data for the Waikato district that enables the user to create a model of fair representation so that every elected councillor represents an equal number of people.
This is a chance for locals to put forward suggestions on how they want wards, community boards and elected members arranged in time for the 2022 local government elections.
The geographic information system (GIS) tool is available now and will be open until Monday, April 5. The models provided by the community will be used to help the Waikato council decide on its initial proposal for representation arrangements in the middle of this year.
On the Shape Waikato representation review page there is a set of instructions on how to use the tool and tool creators EMTEL have some video explainers on different aspects of it.
For those that may find the tool difficult to use, there will be the paper equivalent in council offices and libraries.
To find out more about Reshape Waikato, visit https://shape.waikatodistrict.govt.nz/reshape-waikato or visit one of the council offices or libraries for a paper copy.
At least once every six years councils are required to undertake a review of their current representation. This is to ensure fair and effective representation for people and their communities, provide an effective voice, strengthen local democracy and help maintain confidence in local government.