A new Upper Harbour electorate has been confirmed for
Auckland, as well as other major boundary changes in both
Auckland and Christchurch.
The representation commission has released its final boundary
changes after hearing objections to its draft proposals,
saying 387,000 voters will now be in a different electorate.
Bernard Kendall, the chair of the Representation Commission,
said it would bring the number of Auckland electorates to 24.
As well as the new Upper Harbour electorate, the current
Waitakere seat will be removed and a Kelston seat
Finalising the changes will mean parties can now go ahead
with selecting candidates for the seats. Conservative Party
leader Colin Craig has been among those waiting before
deciding which electorate to stand in and National will have
to decide whether to give him a helping hand to win an
The Upper Harbour seat, which is safe National territory on
paper, would be the most likely but National's Paula Bennett
has already said she hopes to stand in it and has the
sanction of both Prime Minister John Key and the party
President Peter Goodfellow.
In feedback to the commission on its draft proposal, the most
controversial issue was a proposed boundary changes between
Mt Roskill, a safe Labour seat, and the Epsom electorate,
currently held by Act MP John Banks. Many had argued that the
areas around Greenwoods Corner and Selwyn Ave should remain
in the Epsom electorate - an argument the commission agreed
The decision to get rid of the Waitakere electorate and put
the Waitakere Ranges and West Coast beach communities in the
Helensville electorate was also controversial - many were
concerned about the loss of the 'Waitakere' name and
community identity if the West Coast beach townships were
included in the Helensville electorate.
However, the Commission said it was unable to achieve that
without a significant redraw of all other west Auckland
Other changes to which there were a significant number of
objections was over Grey Lynn. There was concern that that
the draft boundaries split Grey Lynn between Auckland Central
and Mt Albert and break up a community of interest. The
Electoral Commission altered its plans to keep the suburb
together, but put it in Mt Albert rather than Auckland
Central as at present.
Mr Kendall said there were also significant changes in
Christchurch, because of the population shift out of the
Christchurch East, Christchurch Central and Port Hills
electorates. The changes will mean that the red zone will be
in Christchurch East, rather than Christchurch Central.
Christchurch Central has taken in some of the current
Waimakariri and Port Hills electorates.
In Wellington, the most significant changes was the shift of
the Wadestown suburb from the Wellington Central electorate,
held by Labour, into Peter Dunne's Ohariu electorate. Hutt
South will also lose the Naenae suburb to the Rimutaka
electorate but pick up the Western Hills. Both Hutt South and
Rimutaka are safe Labour electorates.
Twenty general electorates will remain unchanged. The only
change to the seven Maori electorates is a minor shift
between Waiariki and Ikaroa-Rawhiti, affected about 120
Go to www.elections.org.nz to see what
has happened in your electorate.
- By Claire Trevett of the NZ Herald