New boundaries for the country’s 64 General and seven Māori electorates have been finalised – with an additional electorate created in Auckland.
The 2014 Representation Commission has completed its statutory role of reviewing and redrawing electorate boundaries to be used in the next two general elections.
The areas of most change are in Auckland, where population has continued to grow, and the Christchurch area, which has been significantly affected by the Canterbury earthquakes.
“We received 409 objections and 164 counter-objections to the proposed electorate boundaries released in November 2013,” says Bernard Kendall, Chair of the Representation Commission. “This feedback and submissions made at hearings in Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga and Christchurch have helped shape the final boundaries to be used at the 2014 and 2017 general elections.”
The number of general electorates in the Auckland region has increased from 23 to 24. Boundary changes have resulted in the creation of two new electorates: Upper Harbour in north Auckland and Kelston in west Auckland. The existing electorate of Waitakere has been replaced as a result of the boundary changes to the Te Atatū and Helensville electorates and the new Kelston electorate.
“Following the objection and counter-objection process the proposed electorates of Auckland Central, Mt Albert and Epsom have been redrawn, which required consequential adjustments to the boundaries of Mt Roskill, New Lynn and Kelston in the west and Maungakiekie and Tāmaki in the east,” says Mr Kendall.
Major boundary changes in the Christchurch area were required because of significant population movement from Christchurch East, Christchurch Central and Port Hills electorates. At the same time Waimakariri, Wigram and Selwyn had increased beyond the permitted electoral population limit.
“As a result of the objection process the Commission has been able to meet objections to the proposed boundary between the electorates of Wigram and Selwyn. Consequential adjustments have been made to the Port Hills and Selwyn electorates, including the retention of Banks Peninsula in the Selwyn electorate, which remains predominantly rural,” says Mr Kendall.
The Commission has been able to meet in part objections to the Commission’s proposed boundaries for Christchurch Central and Christchurch East in part, having regard to communities of interest while ensuring the electorates are within the allowable population limit.
No boundary changes in 25 electorates or electorate names
The Representation Commission has kept the boundaries of 20 General electorates (seven South Island and 13 North Island) and five of the Māori electorates exactly the same because they are within quota.
There have been no changes to existing electorate names.
The Representation Commission is due to reconvene again in 2018 (after the next scheduled population Census and Māori Electoral Option) to review and redraw electorate boundaries.
More information including maps of the new boundaries a summary of key changes and the Commission’s report can be viewed at www.elections.org.nz.