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Redrawing of Electorate Boundaries About to Start

MEDIA RELEASE

Thursday 22 March 2007

2007 Representation Commission


Redrawing of Electorate Boundaries About to Start

The 2007 Representation Commission is about to start its work redrawing electorate boundaries for use in the 2008 and 2011 general elections.

Under the Electoral Act, the boundaries of the general and Maori electorates must be reviewed after each population census and Maori Electoral Option.

The 2007 Representation Commission will begin meeting to consider the new boundaries on 26 March and will complete its work at the end of September.

“Changes to New Zealand’s population mean one additional general electorate will be created and a number of current electorate boundaries will need to be redrawn,” says 2007 Representation Commission Chairperson Judge Bernard Kendall. “Our job is to review the existing electorate boundaries to reflect those changes in population.

“Over the next six weeks or so we will consider factors such as the existing electorate boundaries, communities of interest generally and specifically amongst members of Maori tribes, communications facilities, topographical features and projected population changes to determine the proposed electorate boundaries,” says Judge Kendall.

The Representation Commission expects to release proposed electorate boundaries for public comment on 3 May 2007. Members of the public will have the opportunity to make objections (submissions) to the proposed electorate boundaries and names from 3 May to 5 June. The Commission will summarise the objections and make them publicly available. Members of the public will be able to make counter objections between 14 and 28 June and the Commission will conduct public hearings in July.

Final electorate boundaries will be released in late September 2007.

There are currently 69 electorates – 62 general electorates and seven Maori electorates. For the 2008 and 2011 general elections there will be 70 electorates – 63 general electorates and seven Maori electorates.

The overall size of Parliament will not change, however the creation of one new electorate will result in the number of list seats reducing from 51 to 50.

The Representation Commission’s work will result in final electorate boundaries to be used for the next two general elections.

“This is an important step in our electoral process, to ensure electorates have similar population numbers. The Representation Commission’s final decisions may change the electorate or the name of the electorate that some voters are in,” says Judge Kendall.

The 2007 Representation Commission members are:

* Chairperson Judge Bernard Kendall
* Ex-officio Members

o Chairperson Local
Government Commission Sue Piper
o Chief Electoral Officer Robert Peden
o Deputy Government Statistician Cathryn Ashley-Jones
o Surveyor General Don Grant

* Government representative Hon David Caygill
* Opposition representative Hon Roger Sowry

When considering Maori electorate boundaries, the Commission includes the following additional members:

* Ex-officio Member
o Chief Executive of Te Puni Kokiri Leith Comer

* Government Maori representative Whetu Wereta
* Opposition Maori representative John McEnteer


ENDS

www.elections.org.nz

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