Democracy is precious. Have your say in the way we live here.
The Kaiwaka/Mangawhai Ward, which takes in Mangawhai and the area to west as far as Kaiwaka, has two of the eight councillors on the Kaipara District Council. A significant proportion of Mangawhai owners are not full-time residents although many spend long periods here. The Kaipara Electoral Roll does not fairly reflect the effective population of Magical Mangawhai. This then means we are under-represented around the Council table with ongoing negative outcomes for our town.
Many people who also live in places like Auckland and own a second property in Mangawhai don’t realise that they can vote in council elections and referendums as ratepayers.
Why is it important to enrol?
Retaining the liveability character of Mangawhai in the face of relentless growth is in everyone’s interest. The only way that we can sensibly future manage Magical Mangawhai’s character, amenities and services is by ensuring our voices are heard when the votes are counted.
Around 1000 out of 3700 dwellings in and around Mangawhai were recorded as second homes in the 2018 Census so this is a significant group with an interest in the future of Mangawhai.
The Council’s Electoral Roll divides eligible electors into:
· Residential Electors - those who live in the Kaipara District Council area and vote here for parliamentary and local body elections.
· Ratepayer Electors - Those who vote as residents elsewhere in Parliamentary and local elections, but who have also registered as ratepayers to vote in KDC elections because they own a property here. These ‘absentee local body electors’ can still have one Kaipara vote for each second home.
The 2019 Roll shows that 259 people enrolled as ‘absentee electors’ for Kaipara District – 169 were in the Kaiwaka/ Mangawhai ward. However a quick review of the roll shows that around 85 per cent of owners of eligible homes have not registered to vote locally. If you have a property and spend time in Mangawhai then you are very much affected by the Council’s decisions.
So, what do you do if you are eligible to vote for the Council, but you are not on the roll? You need to enrol. Here’s how:
· You can download the Enrolment Form For Ratepayers Electors from the Mangawhai Matters website mangawhaimatters.com. This details the information you need to complete and where to send the form to have it verified and your name included on the roll.
Alternatively, phone Mangawhai Matters Committee member Peter Nicholas on 021 066 5746 and he will email you the form. You can also obtain it by contacting the Kaipara District Electoral Officer by email at email@example.com
· There are strict criteria to note when you sign up as an ‘absentee elector’.
While this is a bit complicated and time-consuming, remember that democracy is precious. Your vote can make very little difference in Auckland but you can make a real difference here. Stand up. Have your say… or don’t complain when your lifestyle and property value is devalued by decisions from a Council that can seem focused elsewhere.