Elec­toral bound­aries re­view nears

Matamata Chronicle - - News -

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.

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