Representation Review Forum

This forum is for governance and policy professionals involved in reviews of electoral systems and representation arrangements and elected members with an interest in the review process.

  • 23 Jun
  • Macs Function Centre, Wellington
  • 9.00 am - 5.00 pm
  • $480.00 excl. GST. for members
  • $580.00 excl. GST. for non-members
  • Save to my calendar

With the theme, `A reflection of the community` this one day event is designed to provide outstanding professional development and networking opportunities for local authority elected members and governance and policy professionals as around 50 councils embark on representation reviews ahead of the 2019 local authority elections.

The programme is an inspiring mix of presentations from experts in their fields and innovative case studies from practitioners and will provide participants with both practical information and thought provoking ideas.

The topics in the programme below cover the three cornerstones of representation: selection of voting systems, Māori representation and reviews of representation arrangements, and will leave all attendees well equipped for the work of creating fair and effective representation for their community.

Who Should Attend:

This forum is for governance and policy professionals undertaking reviews of their representation arrangements for the 2019 elections and elected members with an interest in the review process.

Don’t forget to add this to your calendar by clicking the “Save to your Calendar” link above and then double clicking the downloaded file.

The Programme

Friday 23 June 2017

9.00 am Registration

9.25 am Welcome from the Chair

Geoff Williams, Chief Executive, Rotorua Lakes Council

SOLGM Democracy and Governance Support Working Party Chair

The trinity: electoral systems, Māori representation and representation arrangements

9.35 am Session One: Local Government Commission – Roles & Process

Janie Annear, Commissioner, Local Government Commission

Gavin Beattie, Senior Advisor, Local Government Commission

  • The scope of the Commission’s powers
  • An overview of the process and criteria to be followed
  • The role of elected members
  • New requirements of the legislation since the 2012 Reviews
  • The role of the Commission in implementing decisions
  • An introduction to the new representation review guidelines
10.35 am Morning Tea

10.50 am Session Two: Electoral System Review

Sandy Graham, Group Manager Corporate Services, Dunedin City Council

Conducting Your Electoral System Review

  • The FPP or STV decision
  • What the evidence tells us about FPP and STV
  • Poll demanded by electors or held at the initiative of the Council
  • Timeframes
11.20 am Session Three; Māori Representation

Dale Ofsoske, Director, Election Services

  • Ability for councils to introduce Māori wards or constituencies
  • Consideration of Treaty of Waitangi principles (s4 LGA)
  • Consultation with local iwi
  • Timetables and polls
  • Applicable for two terms

James Baty, Corporate Services Manager, Wairoa District Council

Māori representation for Wairoa District

Lessons and good practice

12.15 pm Session Four: Lessons learnt from 2015 – A Panel Discussion

Gavin Beattie, Senior Advisor, Local Government Commission

Sandy Graham, Group Manager Corporate Services, Dunedin City Council

Dale Ofsoske, Director, Election Services

  • Thoughts on how local authorities should approach their reviews
  • Observations on practice and compliance with the rules
  • Lessons learnt and changes in practice
12.30 pm Lunch

1.15 pm Session Five: Communities of Interest

Dr Mike Reid, Principal Policy Advisor, LGNZ

  • Defining 'community of interest’
  • Applying the principles
  • Fair and effective representation
  • Reasonable and equal opportunity
  • Maintaining public confidence
  • Number of councillors
  • Wards
  • Community Boards & Local boards

1.50 pm Session Six: Good Practice Examples

Jenny Hughey, Community Governance Manager, Christchurch City

Community engagement and representation reviews

Heather Kohn, Gisborne District Council

Dale Ofsoske, Director, Election Services

Minor boundary alterations under S19JA, Local Electoral Act 2001

Professor Janine Hayward, Head of Politics Department, University of Otago

How Dunedin City Council’s Independent Panel tackled the representation review

3.10 pm Afternoon Tea

3.30 pm Session Seven: Small Group Workshops Breakout

Discussion Points:

  • Role of elected members
  • Providing free and frank advice
  • Role of Council Officers
  • Community Boards – assessing whether they enable effective local representation and good local government
3.50 pm Session Seven: Small Group Workshops Report Back

4.00 pm Forum Wrap Up

Geoff Williams, Chief Executive, Rotorua Lakes Council

SOLGM Democracy and Governance Support Working Party Chair


  • Geoff Williams

    Chief Executive, Rotorua Lakes Council

    Geoff is the Chief Executive of Rotorua Lakes Council and has more than 20 years’ experience leading complex, multi-site, client-focussed service organisations.

    Before joining Rotorua Lakes Council in July 2013 he was executive director for Regional Facilities Auckland (RFA), the Auckland Council CCO (council-controlled organisation) responsible for the city’s major regional venues.

    Geoff has a Masters in Education and Psychology and has also held executive positions in central government agencies, including the Ministry for Social Development. He was Child, Youth and Family’s Regional Director for the Bay of Plenty and Waikato prior to his roles in Auckland.

  • Gavin Beattie

    Senior Advisor, Local Government Commission

    Gavin is an Acting Lead Advisor with the Local Government Commission. He has been with the Commission for four cycles of hearings of appeals and objections against councils’ final representation review proposals.

    Prior to joining the Commission team, Gavin worked in the Department of Internal Affairs’ local government policy group. Among his responsibilities was leading the policy development for the Local Electoral Bill enacted in 2001 and its provisions for representation arrangements inserted in 2002. As a result Gavin has an in-depth knowledge of the representation review process including the STV and Māori representation options.

  • Janie Annear

    Commissioner, Local Government Commission

    Janie was appointed by the Minister of Local Government as a Temporary Member of the Local Government Commission in April 2014 and was made a permanent member in July 2014. She chaired the Commission’s Representation Reviews Committee in 2016.

    Janie had previously served three terms as the Mayor of Timaru from 2004 to 2013. In 2014 she was appointed as an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to local government.

    Janie has experience across a wide range of private sector, local government and central government roles. She serves on the Boards of the Lottery Community Facilities and Significant Projects Funds.

  • Dale Ofsoske

    Director, Election Services

    Dale Ofsoske is Managing Director of Election Services, providing electoral services, including assistance with democratic reviews, to a large number of local authorities.

    He is an experienced electoral officer (since 1985), foundation member and deputy chair to the former SOLGM Electoral Working Party, current member of the SOLGM Electoral Sub-Committee and honorary SOLGM member. Dale is electoral officer for a number of councils, including Auckland Council, and brings his expertise and widespread knowledge on electoral matters to this forum.

  • Janine Hayward

    Head of Politics Department, University of Otago

    Janine Hayward is a Professor of Politics at the University of Otago. She publishes in the field of New Zealand politics, with a particular interest in local government politics and electoral systems. She has worked with the Department of Internal Affairs, Dunedin City Council and other councils about the local electoral option. She chaired the Dunedin City Council’s representation review in 2014/2015.

  • Ms Sandy Graham

    Group Manager Corporate Services, Dunedin City Council

    Born in Art Deco Ranfurly on the Maniototo Plain, under clear blue Otago skies.

    Educated at the University of Otago (Bachelor of Laws) and Victoria University of Wellington (Master of Library & Information Science (MLIS))

    This human ball of energy is the DCC’s Ms Fixit. You name it she’s survived it… or alternatively once held a job that was involved in it. Sandy is in charge of the dark arts, policy, planning, risk, governance and legal and communications and marketing. There isn’t a rumour or political fact that she doesn’t know about. After moving from her position as Web Development librarian in the IT department at the University of Otago, Sandy began life as Webmaster at the DCC and worked her way up the organisation to where she is today. All crises cross Sandy’s desk and she either deals with them directly or delegates them to the appropriate team.

  • Jenny Hughey

    Community Governance Manager

    Jenny Hughey has worked with the Christchurch City Council for the past 10 years primarily with Community Boards. She has been a leader in governance and at the Unit Management level in community and governance. She is currently a Community Governance Manager working with the Papanui-Innes Community Board. Jenny has project led two representation reviews for the Council. Jenny’s previous background is in employment, human rights and justice issues.

  • Mike Reid

    Principal Policy Advisor, LGNZ

    Mike is a Principal Policy Advisor at LGNZ where he has worked since 1996. While at LGNZ he has worked on a during which time he has worked on and led a diverse range of policy areas including local governance, legislative reform, elected member development, standing orders, social policy and local democracy. Mike completed his PhD in public policy in 2011 and is currently on the board of the Institute of Governance and Policy Studies. He speaks regularly on local government matters and has published widely on local government and local democracy.

  • Heather Kohn

    Gisborne District Council

    Gisborne born and bred and living the Wainui beachfront lifestyle Heather is an ex physiotherapist who decided in 2012 she wanted a change from treating patients. She was given an opportunity to cover for Council’s Committee Secretary who was on parental leave – interesting considering she only types with two fingers and now is the Democracy & Support Services Manager. Heather has found working in local government has been a refreshing change from the health sector and says that unlike health, local government has a real ability to effect change at a local level.

  • James Baty

    Corporate Services Manager, Wairoa District Council

    James Baty is a Wairoa native and proud to be from ‘Space Coast New Zealand’ home to the world’s only privately-operated space launch site, based on the magnificent Māhia Peninsula. He is currently the Corporate Services Manager and Electoral Officer at Wairoa District Council where he has conducted a number of elections, by-elections, representation reviews and polls. Educated at Victoria University of Wellington, James previously worked at the Ministry of Economic Development (now the MBIE) as an Intellectual Property Advisor.