One new North Island electorate

October 7th, 2013 at 12:52 pm by David Farrar

Stats NZ has announced that higher population growth in the North Island compared to the South Island will see one extra electorate seat there. This will mean 16 SI seats, 48 NI seats and seven Maori seats. So there will be 71 electorate MPs and (if no overhang) 49 list MPs in the next Parliament.

The number of new seats is well down on what many were expecting, as the long gap between censuses and the expected drop in Christchurch population had most people expecting three new seats.

When MMP started it was 65 electorate seats to 55 list seats, and now will be 71 to 49. At some stage in the future there won’t be enough list seats to retain proportionality unless one has a fixed ratio.

The three quotas for electorate are:

  • SI 59,679 (56,696 to 62,662 5% tolerance)
  • NI 59,731 (56,745 to 62,717)
  • Maori 60,141 (57,134 to 63,148)

Since the 2006 census, the SI electoral population has grown by 3.7%, the NI by 6.6% and the Maori electoral population by just 0.9%.

The seats that are the most over quota and must lose territory are:

  1. Auckland Central 70,406
  2. Hunua 68,951
  3. Helensville 68,026
  4. Selwyn 67,818
  5. Rodney 67,134
  6. Wigram 65,433
  7. Waitaki 64,962
  8. Hamilton East 64,577
  9. Waimakariri 64,454
  10. Wellington Central 64,374
  11. Rangitata 64,142
  12. East Coast Bays 64,005
  13. Maungakiekie 63,274
  14. Epsom 62,990
  15. Tāmaki 62,779
  16. Tauranga 62,741

So those 16 seats must shrink. What seats are under the 5% tolerance and must grow:

  1. Christchurch East 45,967
  2. Port Hills 53,667
  3. East Cost 53,960
  4. Christchurch Central 54,104
  5. Rangitikei 56,364

The other 49 seats can stay the same size in theory. But it is likely many will have some change because of flow on effects from neighbours.

So where might the extra seat be. Well the seats that are most over quota and in the same city are:

  • Auckland Central 70,406
  • Hunua 68,951
  • Helensville 68,026
  • Rodney 67,134
  • East Coast Bays 64,005
  • Maungakiekie 63,274
  • Epsom 62,990
  • Tāmaki 62,779

Those eight seats are together around 50,000 over the quota so the new seat will be in Auckland. Where in Auckland is harder but Rodney, East Coast Bays and Helensville are close together and are around 25,000 over quota so it could well be up around that area.

Auckland Central is the seat that will lose the most territory – it is 18% over quota.

In Christchurch you have Wigram, Selwyn, and Waimakariri 33% over quota combined and Chch East, Central and Port Hills around 42% under quota. So those three electorates will take territory off Wigram, Selwyn and Waimakariri. You will probably also see Selwyn ahift South to take some of the excess from Rangitata and Waitaki.

In Hamilton, Hamilton East is over the tolerance so will lose some territory.

In Wellington, Wellington Central needs to lose 5,000 or so. Ohariu is over quota (but within the 5% tolerance) and Rongotai is on quota. You could just have Rongotai take some territory off WC, but more likely is Ohariu takes some also and Ohariu loses some territory to Hutt South (which is under).

The two Dunedin seats are under quota but within the tolerance. They could grab some territory off Waitaki and Clutha-Southland,

Tauranga needs to lose a bit of territory also. Bay of Plenty also at the max, so East Coast, Coromandel and Rotorua are the logical places to pick up some territory from them.

Rangitikei needs to expand. Rangitikei may take some off Palmie. Whanganui is under quota so if they lost some they would need to take some off TKC who are also under quota so you could have a ripple effect there.

East Coast also needs to expand. Bay of Plenty is the easiest option. Napier is under quota so can’t give up much.

The Surveyor-General will draw up draft boundaries and bring them to the . The Commission will then consider them, modify them and release proposed boundaries. After that there are public submissions and then the will determine the final boundaries early next year.

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28 Responses to “One new North Island electorate”

  1. kowtow (8,938 comments) says:

    Maori seats?

    That’s racist .

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  2. PaulP (156 comments) says:

    I have two questions for someone more knowledgeable than I on the Maori seats.

    The MSM has reported that the census data would be used to determine the number of Maori seats.

    Should it not come down to how many Maori enrolled on the Maori role rather than the general role? If no Maori enrolled on the Maori role I would expect there to be no Maori seats – is this not correct?

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  3. David Farrar (1,437 comments) says:

    PaulP – you are correct. The number of Maori seats is determined by both the overall Maori population but also the proportion of those of Maori descent who choose to enrol on the Maori roll.

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  4. Tristan (62 comments) says:

    I’ll call it first

    New seat will be called Albany and take Albany North (maybe up to silverdale), Greenhithe, Unsworth heights and bayview. (there by taking population off east coast, Rodney and Helensville)

    The seat will lean blue but there poorer (?) areas of bayview and unsworth will mean the party vote will be more mixed. In terms of residents its half way between a northcote and north shore.

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  5. Michael (913 comments) says:

    As the seats were population based, why has an increase of 215,000 people meant only one new seat of 60,000.

    Or has every seat added 3,000 people to the target population?

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  6. David Farrar (1,437 comments) says:

    Michael – what counts is not the population increase the the difference in population increase between NI and SI. The SI is set at 16 seats by law.

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  7. s.russell (1,649 comments) says:

    SNAP!

    While DDP was writing this post, I was writing my own summary to email to him. This duplicates a bit but may be of interest so I will now post this here:

    Hi David,

    Stats NZ have just released their 2014 electoral population calculations – the first results from the census. There will be just one new electorate, with the quota for each electorate rising by about 3.7% to 59,679 in the South Island general seats, and by very similar numbers in the North Island general and Maori seats.

    Some highlights:
    * Christchurch East has seen its electoral population fall from 55,804 to 45,967 (down 17.6%). It is now 23% under the new quota. There have also been big falls in Christchurch Central and Port Hills (9 and 10% under the new quota). But there have been big gains in Selwyn (now 14% over-quota) Waimakariri (8% over) and Wigram (10% over). This means that overall, Greater Christchurch is close to balance, having 6.9 quotas of population in 7 electorates.
    * The northern and western South Island electorates are nearly spot-on, so are likely to be unchanged.
    * Other South Island electorates are over-quota (!). Waitaki 9%, Rangitata 7% and Clutha-Southland 4%. It is Dunedin that has suffered, with electorates 5% and 3% under-quota.
    * Auckland is a cumulative 107% above the new quotas. So that is where the new electorate will be!
    * The strongest growth in Auckland has been in the centre and on the edges, with Rodney, Helensville, Hunua and Auckland Central becoming more than 10% over-quota.
    * In the Auckland region, South Auckland has grown least, with two electorates (Mangere and Botany) now under the new quotas.
    * Wellington Central is over-quota by 8%, but the other regional electorates are all within the 5% tolerance.
    *Almost all the central NI electorates south of Hamilton/Tauranga are under-quota. But only Rangitikei (-5.5%) and East Coast (-9.7%) are outside the 5% tolerance.

    So what will the effect of these numbers be?
    Remarkably, I think the result will be a less-radical set of changes than usual. There will be some big changes within Auckland and Christchurch, but many rural electorates could escape with minimal change. The usual northward ripple may not happen because a) SI southern rural electorates are not short of population and b) the surplus in Auckland is a close match for the population to be absorbed by the one new electorate.

    I will do some more work on this later, but have to go to work now. Hope you have found it interesting!

    Cheers,
    Stephen

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  8. Camryn (481 comments) says:

    Agree, Tristan… with the added observation that some of the “relieved pressure” will need to move south of the bridge i.e. the new electorate will probably have to take enough of Helensville for it to take a bite out of the West Auckland electorates so that chunks of the over-sized Auckland electorates south of the bridge can give up territory in that direction.

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  9. tvb (4,554 comments) says:

    The electoral boundaries in NZ are the fairest in the world and have been in place since about the mid 1950s. It is quite an elegant process compared with the outrageous gerrymanders that operate elsewhere notably the US and notoriously in Queensland in the 1980s.

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  10. dime (10,213 comments) says:

    Cool. A new electorate that leans to the right.

    Probably including silverdale, albany etc.

    its almost like its made for Colin Craig :D

    National – for the love of god run someone garbage in the new seat. Get craig in (im not a fan but national needs the help) and he will bring another couple of mps with him

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  11. dime (10,213 comments) says:

    “and seven Maori seats”

    unbelievable really. you’d think it was 1913!

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  12. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    If there was ever a good reason not to fill out your cencus papers, this is it. More fucking politicians just what we need.

    Having another MP will help NZ how?

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  13. tvb (4,554 comments) says:

    Pauleastbay there will be no new MPs. The balance between electorate and list will continue to shift slightly in favour of electorate MPs.

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  14. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    tvb

    thanks

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  15. PaulP (156 comments) says:

    Thanks DPF for your response to my comment queries. Guess it’s another case of the MSM reporting things incorrectly – what a surprise.

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  16. tvb (4,554 comments) says:

    It is interesting that the drop off in CHCH has not been as great as I would have thought. The fall in CHCH East while high has not been massive. It would seem that the reduction is CHCH overall has not been very great. Rather there has been some shifting in population. to the South and West from central and East. the various school closures in CHCH has reflected that. None of that would be a difficult sell for Ms Parata as Education Minister surely.

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  17. Graeme Edgeler (2,972 comments) says:

    PaulP – census data are used. It’s not just enrolment data as boundaries (and numbers of seats) are calculated including people under 18. This information comes from the census. If 55% of Maori voters are enrolled on the Maori roll, then 55% of Maori under 18 are included in the numbers for the Maori seats.

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  18. backster (2,196 comments) says:

    to avoid the unfair regional domination of Auckland I suggest the all the Auckland seats be consolidated into one to be known as the Auckland Super Seat.

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  19. Nigel Kearney (1,096 comments) says:

    As long as we still have MMP it doesn’t really matter, but the electorates should be based on voting age population not total population. Otherwise your vote counts more if you live in an area with a higher proportion of under 18s.

    The SI ones being fixed at 16 is also unnecessary. We have ways of communicating with MPs that don’t involve a journey on horseback.

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  20. Graeme Edgeler (2,972 comments) says:

    As long as we still have MMP it doesn’t really matter, but the electorates should be based on voting age population not total population.

    Don’t those under 18 deserve representation? Why should some MPs serve 80,000 people while other MPs serve 50,000 people? Shouldn’t every voter live in an electorate with the same number of people in it as other electorates? etc.

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  21. JMS (368 comments) says:

    Why should some MPs serve 80,000 people while other MPs serve 50,000 people? Shouldn’t every voter live in an electorate with the same number of people in it as other electorates? etc.

    I f we still had FPP it would be a problem, because it makes a vote worth more if you live in an electorate with a large under 18 and non-NZ resident population.

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  22. Nigel Kearney (1,096 comments) says:

    Under 18s don’t get representation under the present system. They can’t vote and parents don’t get to vote for them. What happens is that the votes of everyone over 18 have more weight when there happen to be more under 18s in the same electorate. But each vote should have equal weight. That is more important than preventing electorates from having a different number of people, if the difference is those under 18.

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  23. Graeme Edgeler (2,972 comments) says:

    Under 18s don’t get representation under the present system. They can’t vote and parents don’t get to vote for them.

    Just because you can’t or don’t vote doesn’t mean you aren’t represented.

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  24. Sir Cullen's Sidekick (899 comments) says:

    Good – one more seat to David Cunliffe’s massive victory in 2014!!!

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  25. bringbackdemocracy (429 comments) says:

    David Cunliffe is New Zealand’s Kevin Rudd.

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  26. gatcollie (7 comments) says:

    On a purely political anorak level, the results in Chch could be quite interesting and change the electoral make-up of the city considerably. Depending on how they choose to draw the new boundaries (although one would think that the expectation would be seats shifting north and westward – with one exception), you could see Bank Peninsular reincorporated in to Port Hills, as well as Port Hills moving westward into Labour territory in Barrington and Hoon Hay. Chch Central could potentially move west into Merivale and riccarton, which might help Nicky’s majority (especially if the EC keep Chch East as an electorate – since it would take in more of the Labour Linwood areas in the east of Nicky’s seat). Also if East moves northward it could also make Waimak safer for National as well. We could potentially see at the next election Chch with four ‘safe’ or ‘leaning’ National seats (Ilam, Waimak, Selwyn and Chch Central), two safe Labour (Chch East and Port Hills/Banks Peninsular) and a toss-up (Wigram). Unusual for the People’s Republic!

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  27. s.russell (1,649 comments) says:

    The ways of the Representation Commission are mysterious and hard to predict. But it seems to me the simplest option for Chch (entailing least change) would be for Chch Central to top up its deficit from Waimakariri by stretching north into Redwood. That would get rid of Waimak’s surplus. Then Chch East would top up its deficit by stretching south to gain Bromley and Woolston from Port Hills. Port Hills would then sort out Wigram’s surplus by picking up Somerfield/Hoon Hay, and also picking up the surplus from Selwyn in the form of Westmoreland, Oaklands, Prebbleton etc.

    The political effect (I guess) would be to help Labour a bit in Chch Central, perhaps decisively given how close it is, but to create a huge and decisive shift National-wards in Port Hills. Labour would be reinforced in Chch East, and hold on in Wigram. National would be reinforced in Waimakariri.

    Only a guess of course…

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  28. iMP (2,456 comments) says:

    New electorate in West/NW Christchurch. Chch East will be cannibalised.

    http://conzervative.wordpress.com/2013/10/08/parliamentary-redraws-in-christchurch/

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