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Electoral Populations Calculated: 2006 (updated 26 February 2007)
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  01 February 2007
Technical notes

Calculating electoral populations

Section 3 of the Electoral Act 1993 contains the following definitions:
"'General electoral population' means total ordinarily resident population as shown in the last periodical census of population and dwellings with the exception of the Māori electoral population. 'Māori electoral population' means a figure representing both the persons registered as electors of the Māori electoral districts and a proportion of persons of New Zealand Māori descent who are not registered as electors of any electoral district and a proportion of the persons of New Zealand Māori descent under the age of 18 years, ... [the proportion]… shall be determined by dividing the total number of persons registered ... as electors of Māori electoral districts, and persons on the dormant rolls for Māori electoral districts by the total number of persons of New Zealand Māori descent registered ..."

Application

Electoral populations are calculated by using data from the electoral rolls as at 2 August 2006 (following the Māori option) and the Census of Population and Dwellings conducted on 7 March 2006.

The Māori descent figure derived from the 2006 Census includes an allocation of a proportion of those people who did not provide a clear 'yes' or 'no' response to the Māori descent question. The allocation includes a proportion of those people who answered 'don't know', provided a multiple response (for example 'yes' and 'don't know'), or who did not provide a response at all to the question.

Quotas and electoral districts

The number of electoral districts, quotas and other data in table 1 are based on calculations laid down in the Electoral Act 1993.

The Act provides that the South Island has 16 General electoral districts. The General electoral population of the South Island is divided by 16 to give the South Island quota. 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.

Forming electoral districts

In forming electoral districts, the Act instructs the Representation Commission to consider a number of factors, including any projected variation in the electoral population during each district's life. Statistics New Zealand will be providing the Commission with sets of nationally integrated projections of the General electoral population of proposed General electoral districts, and of the Māori electoral population of proposed Māori electoral districts, as the Commission works on these boundaries.

For both General and Māori electoral districts, the Commission may allow the electoral population to vary from the quota by up to plus or minus 5 percent.

Details of calculations

The Act requires that the base totals (total and Māori descent ordinarily resident population; and enrolments on the Māori and General rolls by people of Māori descent) be first aggregated to the geographic level needed, before calculating the electoral populations. A different order of processing may lead to different results. The calculation of electoral populations and number of electoral districts requires separate calculations at the North Island, South Island, New Zealand, General and Māori electoral district levels.

Copyright

Information obtained from Statistics NZ may be freely used, reproduced, or quoted unless otherwise specified. In all cases Statistics NZ must be acknowledged as the source.

Liability

While care has been used in processing, analysing and extracting information, Statistics NZ gives no warranty that the information supplied is free from error. Statistics NZ shall not be liable for any loss suffered through the use, directly or indirectly, of any information, product or service.

Timing

Timed statistical releases are delivered using postal and electronic services provided by third parties. Delivery of these releases may be delayed by circumstances outside the control of Statistics NZ. Statistics NZ accepts no responsibility for any such delays.

Next release

Details of proposed electoral districts are expected to be released in May 2007.

Statistics New Zealand: The first source of independent information for your key decisions.

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