The next Horizons Regional Council will have 12 general and two Māori councillors - unless the current councillors' decision is appealed.
At their October 27 meeting councillors decided the next council will have 12 general councillors representing Palmerston North city and the Ruapehu, Whanganui, Tararua, Manawatū-Rangitīkei and Horowhenua constituencies, with one councillor representing Raki Māori (Māori North) and one councillor representing Tonga Māori (Māori South).
It's an increase of two councillors on the current 12, but the cost to ratepayers will remain the same.
"While the funding to pay councillors comes out of rates, central government sets the total amount that can be used for this. This set amount will remain the same, regardless of the number of councillors," Horizons chairwoman Rachel Keedwell said.
After deciding to have Māori constituencies as well as general ones, the council undertook a full representation review. It received and considered 11 submissions on the subject.
Councillors were unanimous in preferring the 14 councillor option for the 2022 and 2025 elections.
Their decision can be appealed and then heard by the Local Government Commission. The final shape of the next Horizons council will be confirmed on April 10 next year, in time for candidates for the next election to put themselves forward.
All candidates must be New Zealand citizens and registered to vote in Parliamentary elections somewhere in New Zealand. They also have to be nominated by two voters in their chosen constituency.
Candidates can stand in any constituency, but in only one at each election. They don't have to be Māori or on the Māori roll to stand in a Māori constituency.
At the next election voters on the general roll will only be able to vote in the general constituencies, and voters on the Māori roll will only be able to vote in the Māori constituencies.a