The Local Government Commission has upheld Auckland Council’s proposed changes to electoral ward boundaries affecting which ward some voters will belong to for voting in the October local government elections.
The changes are the result of a representation review required by legislation to ensure community interests are fairly represented on the council.
This means that councillors in each ward should each represent similarly sized populations without too much variation across the whole of Auckland.
Public consultation on changes proposed by the council attracted more than 1200 submissions. The council’s final proposals received five appeals and objections, and these were heard by the Local Government Commission in March.
The changes will affect which ward some voters belong to in the isthmus area.
The communities of Newmarket, Parnell and part of Grafton will move to the Orakei Ward, while communities around Ellerslie and the eastern end of St Johns will become part of the Maungakiekie-Tamaki Ward.
A small area on the western boundary of Maungakiekie-Tamaki will become part of the Albert-Eden-Puketapapa Ward (currently called the Albert-Eden-Roskill Ward).
Local board boundaries cannot be changed. However, some local boards have subdivisions within them for the purpose of electing local board members.
The only changes to local board subdivision boundaries are in the Rodney Local Board area. To recognise that the communities adjacent to the Kaipara Harbour do not share a community of interest with the rest of the Warkworth Subdivision, their current subdivision, the northern boundary of the Kumeu Subdivision will extend further north.
There will also be an area at Matakana that moves from the Wellsford Subdivision to the Warkworth Subdivision.
Great Barrier Local Board will become known as Aotea Great Barrier Local Board.
Chair of the council’s joint governance working party, Mr Richard Northey, acknowledged while there may be some confusion now council wards and local board boundaries will not be aligned in some areas, residents and businesses can be reassured that their local board boundaries will not be changed.
“The huge increase in apartment dwellings in the central city made it necessary to reduce the area covered by the Waitemata and Gulf Ward hence that major change,” he said.
“The council will ensure that Aucklanders will be fully informed about how they may be affected before the October local elections.”
Maps showing the new boundaries will be available on the council’s website with the council’s other election information.
Mr Northey welcomed the certainty brought about by the Local Government Commission upholding the council’s full proposal, which was recommended by the working party.
“The changes only drew a small number of appeals to the Commission, so they appear generally acceptable to the public,” he said.
The Local Government Commission determination can be found here.
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