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Decision sits with Local Government Commission

22 November 2006

Decision sits with Local Government Commission

Objections to Auckland City's review of ward boundaries are being forwarded to the Local Government Commission for a final decision in the new year.

A decision is required from the commission by 11 April 2007, once the hearing of public objections is held in February. The council received 310 objections to its proposal - 305 opposed it and five were in support.

The purpose of the Representation Arrangements Review is to ensure the populations of each ward are fairly represented by the ratio of population to councillors. With 19 elected councillors, Auckland City's ratio is currently set between 20,150 and 24,627 for each councillor.

Currently all wards reflect this ratio except for the Hobson ward which has experienced significant population growth through inner city apartment developments and higher density sub-divisions. The population of Hobson ward was estimated to be 84,500 in June 2005.

Deputy Mayor Bruce Hucker, who chairs the Electoral Working Party, says reviewing the ward boundaries is not about who belongs where.

"It's about ensuring that as the city grows, these changes are reflected in the fair representation of ward populations to councillors."

The electoral working party, made up of seven councillors, agreed that to correct the ratio in the Hobson ward it was preferable to move the ward boundary rather than appoint an additional councillor to that ward.

In September, following the hearing and consideration of 94 submissions received to its initial proposal, Council agreed on a final proposal being:

* Eden-Albert ward to be enlarged to include Eden Terrace and part of Grafton (south and west of Park Road and the southern motorway)

* Eastern Bays ward to be enlarged to include the Abbotts Park area (southeast of Greenlane East/Remuera Road); part of St Johns (east of College Road and north of Merton Road) to be taken out of this ward and added into Tamaki-Maungakiekie ward

* Tamaki-Maungakiekie ward to be enlarged by the addition of part of One Tree Hill (south of Green Lane West and to the east of, and including, One Tree Hill Domain) and part of St Johns (east of College Road and north of Merton Road)

* Hobson ward reduced accordingly as outlined above.
Currently Hobson ward includes the central city, Epsom, Greenlane, Newmarket, One Tree Hill, Parnell and Remuera.

The law states that if there are any objections to council's final proposal it must forward the proposal to the commission for the final determination.

The new boundaries, once determined by the commission, will be in place for next year's local government elections held in October.

ENDS

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