A council may take a poll of electors for its information and guidance on any matter.
A constitutional referendum is a poll initiated by a council in order to give effect to a matter referred to in section 16.
A council may not do any of the following unless approval to do so has been given at a constitutional referendum:(a) divide its area into wards or abolish all wards in its area,(b) change the basis on which the mayor attains office (that is, by election by the councillors or by election by the electors),(c) increase or decrease the number of councillors in accordance with the limits under section 224,(d) change the method of ordinary election of councillors for an area divided into wards.(e) (Repealed)
(1) The decision made at a constitutional referendum binds the council until changed by a subsequent constitutional referendum.(2) However, such a decision does not apply to a by-election held after the constitutional referendum and before the next ordinary election.
Part 1 and Part 6 (except Divisions 3, 4 and 5) of Chapter 10 (How are people elected to civic office?) apply to a council poll, and Part 1 and Part 6 (except Divisions 3 and 5) of that Chapter apply to a constitutional referendum, with such modifications as may be necessary, in the same way as they apply to an election.Note. Part 1 of Chapter 10 identifies the people who are entitled to vote in council elections, and Part 6 governs the conduct of those elections.
Division 3 of Part 6 of that Chapter deals with nominations for election, Division 4 with failure to vote and Division 5 with miscellaneous matters such as irregularities of form or procedure in elections, overdue elections and those declared void.
A council poll or constitutional referendum may be taken on any Saturday, including the Saturday of an ordinary election.
(1) The question at a council poll or constitutional referendum is carried if it is supported by a majority of the votes cast.(2) The reference to votes in subsection (1) does not include a reference to any vote that, pursuant to the regulations, is found to be informal.
Expressions of community opinion
Types of expression
Question to be determined
• Creation or abolition of all wards• Change in the way in which the mayor is chosen• Change in number of councillors• Change in the way councillors are elected for an area divided into wards
Result of Poll
Council chooses whether or not to proceed
Change must proceed
Change cannot proceed until passed by a later constitutional referendum