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Source: Hutt City Council

Lower Hutt residents are being urged to have their say on how people and communities are represented on Hutt City Council.
Paul Swain, Chair of the Independent Panel carrying out the review of current representation arrangements, says community input into Council representation is critical.
“We want to make sure that Council representation is fair and effective for Lower Hutt residents and communities, so we are reviewing the arrangements that are currently in place to see if they should continue or if they need to be changed for the future.”
The panel is looking at things such as how many councillors there should be, whether those councillors should be elected from local wards, from across the whole city, or a combination of both (as at present), and whether there should be community boards.
In addition to a survey that is being released today, the panel is also meeting with a wide range of community groups and organisations over the coming months to hear first-hand how well they think they are currently represented on Council.
“We will carefully consider all the feedback we receive, along with other information about the city’s communities, before making recommendations to the Council next year about the representation arrangements that should be in place for the 2025 Council elections.
“Your input will help us with our recommendations to Council, so head to the website to have your say now,” said Paul Swain.
Hutt City Council has appointed an independent panel to assist with its Representation Review.
The panel is comprised of:
Mr Paul Swain (Panel Chair)
Mr Swain has extensive local and central government experience having served as a Councillor on the Greater Wellington Regional Council, as a Member of Parliament representing the Hutt Valley, and as a Cabinet Minister. He has chaired Government inquiries, reviews, boards and committees. As a former Chief Crown Negotiator for Treaty of Waitangi Settlements, Mr Swain is acutely aware of the importance of providing Mana Whenua with real opportunities to engage meaningfully in the decision-making process.
Mrs Ana So’otaga
Mrs So’otaga has a background leading local and national public policy, strategy, systems change, and equity-centred programme design and delivery. She is of Tokelau heritage and along with her family and four children has been born and raised in the Hutt Valley. Ana is well-connected to the Hutt Valley health, sports and Pacific community. She has held leadership roles at the Ministry for Pacific Peoples and Te Awa Kairangi Primary Health Organisation and is now the Strategy and Performance lead with Sport New Zealand.
Sir (Tā) John Clarke
Sir John has over 40 years of management experience in a wide range of public sector environments including education, justice, health, housing, human rights, Crown Law, audit, social welfare, environment and heritage. He is a fluent speaker of Te Reo Māori and has a thorough understanding of Māori issues and wide networks within Māori communities. Sir John has played a major part in Māori-Crown relations and has been the principal cultural adviser to all Ministers of Treaty Settlements.
Ms Meenakshi Sankar
Ms Sankar is a highly experienced research and evaluation practitioner, internationally respected for her leadership in analysis and strategic thinking. Over the last 35 years, she has delivered evaluation assignments for a range of government agencies in New Zealand and multilateral agencies including UNESCO HQ and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Large-scale community engagement using participatory principles is central to her research and evaluation practice, and well demonstrated in her work for the Department of Labour, Ministry of Social Development, Ministry of Education, the Education Review Office and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Mr Matt Richardson
Mr Richardson is an accomplished project manager with expertise in delivering large-scale landscape and ecological mitigation projects across New Zealand. He is passionate about Lower Hutt and brings experience in engaging with a diverse mixture of community groups, including iwi representatives, on a range of projects.