The Northland Regional Council did what it had promised this week - took notice of what submitters had to say on proposed boundary changes which will see NRC members elected from seven "communities of interest" rather than the three district council areas.
Councillors signed off the amended final proposal at a special meeting earlier this week. The public has a month to lodge objections or appeals following the document's public notification on November 10.
Two major themes of the submissions were requests not to divide the Bay of Islands and the Tutukaka Coast, which have been included in the final draft of the "Representation Arrangements Review Final Proposal".
The changes to the original draft mean the proposed Coastal North and Coastal South Central constituencies have been blended into a single constituency including all of the Bay of Islands and represented by two councillors, to be known as the Coastal North constituency.
Other changes following the submissions received through October are:
Extending the boundary of the review's proposed Hikurangi-Bream Head constituency boundary north to include Matapouri and Sandy Bay and renaming it Hikurangi-Coastal Central constituency.
Extending the eastern boundary of the Hikurangi-Coastal Central constituency to include a greater area around the Hikurangi township.
Moving the proposed Kaipara constituency's boundary north to match the Far North District Council boundary to include the Kaihu community.
Two of the seven areas - Whangarei and Coastal North - will have two members, which will bring NRC membership to nine, one more than at present.
NRC chairman Craig Brown said the cost of the extra councillor would be covered within councillors' existing $388,840 salary pool.
He said the changes were designed to strengthen the representation of all Northlanders and he stressed that Kaipara's financial situation was outside the requirements of a representation review.
More information can be obtained from Linda Stansfield, general manager - CEO and projects; any NRC office; or the representation review's web page: www.nrc.govt.nz/representationreview