There will be no change to how the Bay's population is represented on the Bay of Plenty Regional Council any time soon.

The council voted yesterday to keep the current structure and review the structure again before the 2022 election - sooner than required.

The region will keep the formula that gave Tauranga five councillors, Western Bay, Rotorua and Eastern Bay two councillors each, and the three Maori wards.

Tauranga Mayor Greg Brownless said Tauranga risked being underrepresented after the 2019 election if the current structure persisted.


Regional council chairman Doug Leeder said the council was constrained by the Local Electoral Act in terms of what population statistics it could refer to, and a cap on regional councillor numbers at 14.

"Within those constraints, our councillors felt that the current structure continues to offer fair representation for all of the communities in the Bay of Plenty," he said.

"However, we recognise that parts of the region are growing rapidly and we don't believe it would be appropriate to wait six years for the next review. We want to look at it again when updated population statistics are available, to make sure that representation remains fair for the 2022 elections," Leeder said.

Councils have to review their structure every six years.

The final proposal will be publicly notified and subject to an appeals period. It will also be referred to the Local Government Commission for a decision as the final proposal did not fully comply with the Local Electoral Act.