Now that the final reorganisation proposal for Hawke’s Bay has been announced, people in the communities affected by the proposal are able to organise a petition to require a poll on whether the proposal should be implemented.
For a petition to be successful it must be signed by 10% or more of the enrolled electors in any one of the districts or parts of districts that make up the Hawke’s Bay Region. These districts are: Wairoa District, Napier City, Hastings District Council and Central Hawke’s Bay District, and those parts of Rangitikei District and Taupo District proposed to be excluded from Hawke’s Bay Region.
Those who wish to collect a petition or petitions seeking a poll on the final reorganisation proposal for Hawke’s Bay have 60 working days to do so from the day after the date the first public notice of the proposal is published – that is until 4 September 2015.
If no valid petition is lodged the final proposal is implemented
If a petition contains the signatures of 10% or more of enrolled electors for any of the districts or part districts that make up the Hawke’s Bay Region a poll will be held across the whole region to determine if the final proposal is implemented.
If more than 50% of the votes in the poll support the Commission’s final proposal the proposal will be implemented. If 50% or less of the votes support the proposal it will not be implemented.
There are no restrictions on the advertising an individual or organisation in the region may carry out to promote, oppose or explain the final proposal. The only requirement is that any advertisment must include the name and address of the person who initiated it.
Local authorities – the district, city and regional councils within the region – cannot do anything that involves spending an authority’s money or using its resources to promote or oppose the final proposal. This includes any advertising to promote or oppose a final proposal or part of a final proposal. This restriction applies between the time the petition period begins (the day after the public notice) and on the close of the day on which a poll is held.
Local authorities can however provide reference material that assists electors to make a better-informed decision about either promoting or signing a petition or voting in a poll. This material must be factual and balanced.
Local authorities can seek a ruling from the Local Government Commission about whether material they propose to use meets the criteria for reference material.