Electoral boundaries review nears
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 Ma¯ ori electorates must be reviewed after each population census and Ma¯ ori Electoral Option.
‘‘This is an important step in our electoral process, to ensure electorates have similar population numbers. The Representation Commission’s final deci- sions may change the electorate or the name of the electorate that some voters are in,’’ said commission chairperson Bernard Kendall.
The Government Statistician announced the number of General and Ma¯ ori electorates and the electoral populations on Monday.
There are currently 70 electorates – 63 General electorates and seven Ma¯ ori 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 commission will begin meeting to consider the new electorate boundaries on October 16.
‘‘ 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,’’ said Mr Kendall.
‘‘Our job is to review the exist- ing electorate boundaries reflect changes in population.
‘‘We will consider factors such as the existing electorate boundaries, communities of interest generally and specifically amongst members of Ma¯ ori tribes, communications facilities, topographical features and projected population changes to determine the proposed electorate boundaries,’’ said Mr Kendall.
The commission expects to release proposed electorate boundaries for public comment on
to November 21.
The public will have the opportunity to make submissions to the proposed electorate boundaries and names from November 21 to December 23.
The commission will summarise the submissions and make them publicly available.
The public will be able to make counter objections between January 14 and 29 and the commission will conduct public hearings in February 2014. Boundaries will be released in mid-April 2014.