Redrawing of Electorate Boundaries Soon To Get Underway

Media releases Electorate Boundary Review

The Representation Commission will soon start its work to redraw the electorate boundaries for use in the 2014 and 2017 general elections.

Under the Electoral Act, the boundaries of the General and Māori electorates must be reviewed after each population census and Māori Electoral Option.

“This is an important step in our electoral process, to ensure electorates have similar population numbers. The Representation Commission’s final decisions may change the electorate or the name of the electorate that some voters are in,” says Representation Commission Chairperson Bernard Kendall.

The Government Statistician will announce the number of General and Māori electorates and the electoral populations on 7 October 2013.

There are currently 70 electorates – 63 General electorates and seven Māori electorates.  The number of electorates may change for the 2014 and 2017 general elections.

The overall size of Parliament will not change, however the number of list seats will if there are any changes to the number of electorates.

The Representation Commission will begin meeting to consider the new electorate boundaries on 16 October.

“Changes to New Zealand’s population mean that the number of electorates may change and a number of current electorate boundaries will need to be redrawn,” says Mr Kendall.  “Our job is to review the existing electorate boundaries to reflect changes in population.

“We will consider factors such as the existing electorate boundaries, communities of interest generally and specifically amongst members of Māori tribes, communications facilities, topographical features and projected population changes to determine the proposed electorate boundaries,” says Mr Kendall.

The Representation Commission expects to release proposed electorate boundaries for public comment on 21 November 2013. Members of the public will have the opportunity to make objections (submissions) to the proposed electorate boundaries and names from 21 November to 23 December.  The Commission will summarise the objections and make them publicly available.  Members of the public will be able to make counter objections between 14 and 29 January and the Commission will conduct public hearings in February 2014.

Final electorate boundaries will be released in mid-April 2014.

The 2013/14 Representation Commission members are:


Bernard Kendall

Government representative     

Hon Roger Sowry

Opposition representative         

Hon Pete Hodgson



When considering Māori electorate boundaries:

Government Māori representative

Dan Te Kanawa

Opposition Māori representative

Whetu Wereta



The ex-officio members will be:

Chief Electoral Officer   

Robert Peden

Deputy Surveyor-General

Anselm Haanen

Deputy Government Statistician              

Vince Galvin

Chairperson of the Local Government Commission

Basil Morrison                  



When considering the Māori electorate boundaries the ex-officio membership will include:

Chief Executive of Te Puni Kōkiri

Michelle Hippolite