Council Electoral Review Is 'Gerrymandering'
7th November 2005
Council Electoral Review Is 'Gerrymandering' And Illegal.
Council Shows Cynical And Blatent Disregard To The Law.
The North Shore City Council's Representation Review of the city's ward boundaries, and levels of elected representation, is a travesty of justice and blatant disregard of the need for fairness and balance in local democracy.
The Council has voted to keep the same number of councillors and community board members for the next election in 2007.
However in order to do this the council has voted to move the boundary between Takapuna and Glenfield so that 1,680 former Glenfield resident now find themselves in Takapuna for local electoral purposes.
The effect of this will be to deny residents west of the motorway fair representation on the 15 member council.
Association chairman David Thornton says, "Moving the boundary in this way, with no valid reason, is blatant gerrymandering to give dominance on the city council to politicians living east of the motorway in Takapuna, Devonport and East Coast Bays"
Mr. Thornton also claimed that the whole review process has been carried out using out-of-date population figures. Latest figures show that the council's decisions will accentuate the bias against residents west of the motorway in Birkenhead, Northcote and Glenfield.
In submissions to the council the Association told the council that the review should not, in any event, have been carried out this year.
Mr. Thornton said "The law says that the review should be carried out in 2006 and by doing it this year the council has broken the law. The City Secretary has confirmed this fact and he advised the council that I was correct in my submission on behalf of the Association. But the council has cynically declined to take any action to stop the process. This is blatant disregard of the law in respect of the right of electors to have fair representation".