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Voters’ rights compromised under new boundaries

Auckland City Council
Media release
11 December 2009

Voters’ rights compromised under proposed new ward boundaries

Auckland City Council has approved the council’s submission on the boundaries and representation arrangements for the new Auckland Council proposed by the Local Government Commission.

Auckland City Council recognises the difficult job the Commission has had in drawing the boundaries for the wards and local boards, and has provided options to address the imbalance in representation across the region.

Councillor David Hay, chairperson of the Regional Governance Committee, says: “The most significant issue for Auckland City Council is the under-representation in three of the four isthmus wards.

Based on the current proposals, all votes are not treated equally in the super city structure.  If you live in Waitakere, your vote will be worth two thirds of a vote from someone who lives in Rodney. For the people of Manukau, a vote will be worth three quarters of a vote from Rodney. This under representation is even worse for those who live within Auckland City.”

The Commission has cited expected growth as justification for the over-representation in the Hibiscus-Albany-East Coast Bays and Howick-Pakuranga-Botany wards. Population forecasts from statistics New Zealand suggest that the isthmus part of the Maungawhau ward will grow faster than anywhere else in the region. This growth will exacerbate the proposed under representation for central Auckland.

In Auckland City Council’s submission, council recommends that the boundaries for the four isthmus wards be amended to ensure the four isthmus wards and Waitakere fall within the 10 percent margin for fair representation, while not disrupting the underlying communities of interest. Key features of the recommendation are

Otahuhu is moved to the Manukau ward
Kelston is moved to the Waitakere ward
Those parts of Mt Eden, Eden Terrace, Eden Valley, Kingsland and Epsom that are in the Maungawhau-Hauraki ward are moved to the Mt Albert/Mt Roskill ward
The boundaries between the three south Auckland wards (excluding Franklin) are amended to ensure all are fairly represented
Parts of the Massey subdivisions are moved to the Hibiscus-Albany-East Coast Bays ward

Auckland City Council also calls for the local board electoral subdivisions to be dropped. Electoral subdivisions do not aid effective decision-making and could prove to be divisive, especially in boards where an uneven split of members is proposed. 

Additional resources
- Auckland City Council Submission to the Local Government Commission

<<091211 Auckland City Council's submission to the Local Government Commission .pdf>> <<091211 map to accompany Auckland City Council's submission to Local Government Commission.pdf>>

Ends

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