Two new tables (Tables 5 and 6) were added to this release on 26 February 2007. They can be found in the Excel attachment at the end of this Hot Off The Press.
How electoral boundaries are set
The formula set out in the 1993 Electoral Act calculates electoral districts is as follows:
- The General electoral population of the South Island is divided by 16 to give the South Island quota.
- The North Island general electoral population is divided by the South Island quota and rounded to give the number of North Island General electoral districts.
- The North Island General electoral population is divided by the number of North Island General electoral districts to give the North Island quota.
- The Māori electoral population is divided by the South Island quota and rounded to give the number of Māori electoral districts. The Māori electoral quota is the Māori electoral population divided by the number of Māori electoral districts.
Electoral populations and quotas
The General electoral population is 920,999 for the South Island and 2,690,437 for the North Island. Based on these figures, the electoral quota is 57,562 people for each South Island General electoral district and 57,243 people for each North Island General electoral district. Since the 2001/02 boundaries were set, the North Island General electoral district quota has increased by 2,947 people and the South Island quota has increased by 3,254 people.
The Māori electoral population of New Zealand is 417,081, and the electoral quota for each Māori electoral district is 59,583 people. The quota for Māori electoral districts has increased by 6,484 people since the 2001/02 boundaries were set.
Number of electoral districts
These populations will result in the definition of 63 General electoral districts and seven Māori electoral districts by the Representation Commission. There will be 47 General electoral districts in the North Island. The number of General electoral districts in the South Island is, by law, held constant at 16. In a 120-seat Parliament (excluding any overhang seats) the provision of 70 electoral districts would result in 50 list seats being allocated, one fewer than in the last two elections (2002 and 2005).
The electoral population of each district to be defined by the Representation Commission must lie within 5 percent of the quotas given above. The minimum and maximum electoral populations to apply to the new electoral districts are given in table 2. The Commission are to meet in March 2007 to begin the boundary review process.
Maps for the Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin areas are at the end of this commentary.
Electoral district populations
The current General electoral district with the largest General electoral population is Clevedon, with 68,197 people (table 3). In contrast, Clutha-Southland, with 50,801 people, has the smallest General electoral population.
The current Māori electoral district with the largest Māori electoral population is Te Tai Tonga with 62,606 people, while Ikaroa-Rawhiti has the smallest (55,706 people).
The General electoral population of the current Clevedon and Manukau East electoral districts exceeds the quota by the largest percentage (19 percent), followed by Auckland Central and Hamilton East electoral districts, which exceed the quota by 15 percent. The General electoral population of the Clutha-Southland district is below the quota by the largest percentage (12 percent), followed by Invercargill, Taupo and Wairarapa districts, which are 10 percent below the quota.
Impact of the Māori option
People of Māori descent are periodically given the option of changing registration between the Māori roll and the General roll. The Māori option is managed by the Electoral Enrolment Centre. The outcome of the 2006 Māori option and new registrations received was that the number of people choosing to be registered on the Māori roll increased.
There was a net increase of 14,914 people on the Māori roll during the 2006 option. In terms of new enrolments (that is individuals previously not enrolled on either roll), there were 2,366 new Māori enrolments on the General roll, and 7,914 new enrolments on the Māori roll, which results in a net total of 10,280 new Māori enrolments.
Between the end of the last Māori option in 2001 and the end of the current Māori option on 2 August 2006, registrations on the Māori roll increased from 188,487 to reach 244,121. The number of people on the General roll who declared that they were of Māori descent increased from 151,931 to reach 178,139 over the same period.
Likewise the Māori descent population as reported in the census has increased from 671,293 at the time of the 2001 Census to 721,431 at the time of the 2006 Census.
For further information contact:
Nancy McBeth or Judy Marbeck
Statistics New Zealand
Wellington 04 931 4660
Mark Lawson, Secretary
Chief Electoral Office
Wellington 04 498 2318