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District Health Board Electoral Constituencies

Every elector will have a fair opportunity to elect District Health Board members in October, Health Minister Annette King said today.

The Government today gazetted the electoral constituencies approved by the Governor-General. These split the DHB districts into voting areas based on populations and communities of interest.

“We have gone to some lengths to be as fair as possible in determining the constituencies,” Mrs King said. “And we have been very keen to make sure that rural voters and distinct communities get a fair say around the board table.

“It hasn’t been possible to meet everyone’s expectations for a ‘local’ board member because we believe in the ‘one-person-one-vote’ principle. But as much as possible we have married the statistical vote entitlement to defined communities of interest.

“A typical example of this is in the provision for Wainuiomata to elect a local member based on population size and its distinct community,” Mrs King said.

The Order in Council specifies the geography of each electorate (based on local authority boundaries) and the number of board members to be elected from each constituency (based largely on 1996 census data).

One DHB, Tairawhiti, has two constituencies, but all others have between three and five. In total up to seven board members can be elected in each DHB district. The Minister then appoints a further four to add any needed skills and background, and to balance the board.

From early next month, now that the constituencies have been decided, the Ministry of Health will be releasing more information about the arrangements for the DHB elections, said Mrs King.

Ends

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