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Boundary change plea by Waitakere Ranges Local Board

17 December 2013

Boundary change plea by Waitakere Ranges Local Board

Waitakere Ranges Local Board is opposed to proposed central government electoral boundary changes for its area.

The Representation Commission is receiving objections on its recommendations until 23 December and at its meeting last Thursday the local board voted to make a submission, which:

• calls for the Waitakere electorate name to be retained, recognising its historic association with west Auckland and as a community of interest.
• seeks adjustment of the proposed boundaries to better reflect the connections between the area’s rural and urban communities.

The boundary of the Waitakere Ranges Local Board area stretches from Waitākere township in the north to the Manukau coast in the south, covering the Waitakere Ranges Heritage Area, the west coast villages, the villages of Swanson and Titirangi and the township of Glen Eden.

Under the proposed central government electoral boundary changes this area would be covered by two Maori electorates and the three general electorates of New Lynn, Kelston, and Helensville.

At Thursday’s meeting, the board highlighted the amalgamation of the rural coastal and bush villages of the Waitakere Ranges into a proposed rural north-west Auckland electorate of Helensville as its main concern.

The board’s submission cites the physical disconnection – including a lack of daily travel – between the rural communities north of Muriwai and the communities south of Muriwai.

“Most residents within the current Waitakere electoral ward would strongly identify as being part of west Auckland,” says Waitakere Ranges Local Board Chair Sandra Coney.

“Using the name Helensville for an electorate representing the coastal and bush villages of west Auckland is confusing and has no association with the area at all.

“Moving west Auckland’s rural coastal and bush communities of Waima, Woodlands Park, Parau, Waiatarua, Laingholm, Huia, Karekare, Piha and Te Henga into this proposed north-west electorate also fails to give due consideration to the area’s community of interest.

“That is with the ‘gateway’ villages and townships of Swanson, Henderson, Glen Eden, Titirangi and New Lynn.”

In its submission, the board also supports the creation of electoral districts where electoral offices are visible to all communities.

It also argues that the loss of alignment between central and local government electoral boundaries and names should be taken into account by the Representation Commission.

The Auckland Council wards of Waitākere and Whau were established in 2010 under the local government restructure and have strong similarities with the current Waitakere and New Lynn electorates.

Timeline for the 2013/14 Electorate Boundary Review

7 Oct 2013Government Statistician releases electoral population figures
16 Oct 2013Representation Commission begins meeting to set proposed electorate boundaries
21 Nov 2013Proposed boundaries released
21 Nov - 23 Dec 2013Public can make objections on the proposed boundaries
14 Jan 2014Representation Commission publishes summary of objections
14 Jan - 29 Jan 2014Public can make counter objections on any objection received
10 Feb - 19 Feb 2014Public hearings of objections and counter objections
17 April 2014Final electorate boundaries published
2014 General ElectionNew electorate boundaries used in the 2014 general election

ENDS

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