The Representation Commission is convened by the Surveyor-General every five years, following receipt of a report from the Government Statistician on the New Zealand electoral population. This report is derived from the five-yearly population census and the Māori Electoral Option and will be completed in October 2013. The next Representation Commission is happening soon. Find out more here.
Functions and responsibilities
When developing the electorate boundaries, the Commission must follow prescribed population quotas. It must also take into account existing electorate boundaries, community of interest, communications and topographical features, and, in the case of the Māori electorates, tribal affiliations.
Details of the proposed boundaries are published with provision for objections and counter objections to be lodged and considered before final boundaries are determined.
The Commission then produces its final report on the names and boundaries of electorates. These become the electorates for general elections until the Commission reviews them again.
The Commission comprises:
- The Chairperson, appointed by the Governor-General following nomination by the members of the Commission;
- Four ex officio members (the Surveyor-General, Government Statistician, Chief Electoral Officer, and Chairperson of the Local Government Commission); and
- Two members representing the Government and the Opposition, appointed by the Governor-General following nomination by the House of Representatives.
When determining the boundaries of the Māori electoral districts the Commission also comprises:
- The Chief Executive of Te Puni Kōkiri; and
- Two people of Māori descent who represent the Government and the Opposition, appointed by the Governor-General following nomination by the House of Representatives.
Administrative services are provided by the Electoral Commission, which is responsible for administration of the Electoral Act 1993. Technical services are provided by Land Information New Zealand and Statistics New Zealand.
The Representation Commission, established under authority of the Electoral Act 1993, is responsible for the periodical re-adjustment of electoral district boundaries (both general and Māori) and the naming of electorates.