Every three years elections are held for local authorities. This includes for mayors, councillors and community board members (where a community board has been established). These are often called ‘the triennial local authority elections’.

In order to achieve fair and effective representation at these elections, local authorities are required by the Local Electoral Act 2001 to review their representation arrangements at least once every six years.

Nelson has recently established a Māori ward, and so must also establish one or more general wards. As part of the review Council will decide whether to establish one, two or more general wards, along with their boundaries and names.

The review will also look at the total number of councillors for the city and the way they are elected. For Nelson, this involves deciding whether councillors are elected by wards only, or by a “mixed system” where the Council is made up of some councillors voted for by those in a ward and some councillors voted for by the whole city (“at large”).

The review must also consider whether there should be community boards in Nelson and, if so, the number of boards, their names and boundaries, and the number of members for each.

In previous elections Nelson councillors have been voted for by the whole city – this is called “at large” voting.

With this representation review, Nelson must establish wards.

A Ward is just part of a city - and for elections, people vote for Councillors who stand for election in that ward.

All councillors could be voted for by ward, or it is possible to have a “mixed system” where the Council is made up of some councillors voted for by those in a ward and some councillors voted for by the whole city.