Under the Electoral Act, electorate boundaries must be redrawn after each five-yearly population census and Māori Electoral Option. This is to make sure that the number of people in each electorate reflects changes in population and that electorate names remain relevant.
Because of changes to the population between each population census, approximately half of existing electorates are either over or under-populated and many changes to boundaries will result.
The Representation Commission is an independent statutory body that reviews and redraws New Zealand’s electorate boundaries. It needs to ensure that the names and boundaries of electorates are current and reflect the communities within them.
For some voters, a change to the boundaries may mean that the electorate a voter lives in changes. If so, the voter may find that the candidates standing to become members of Parliament in their new electorate may be different to the candidates standing in their previous electorate.
It may also mean that the name of their electorate changes, even if they are not affected by changes to boundaries.