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Number of Electorates and Electoral Populations: 2013 Census
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  07 October 2013
Commentary

Electoral populations increase since 2006

The general electoral population of the North Island is 2,867,110, up 176,673 (6.6 percent) from 2006. For the South Island it is 954,871, up 33,872 (3.7 percent) from 2006.

Based on the latest electoral population figures, the electoral population quota (the average population in an electorate) is 59,731 people for each North Island general electorate and 59,679 people for each South Island general electorate.

The general electoral population quota has increased by 2,488 people for the North Island and by 2,117 people for the South Island. The quotas were last calculated in 2006 and were used by the Representation Commission to set electorate boundaries in 2007.

The Māori electoral population is 420,990, up 3,909 (0.9 percent) from 2006. The electoral population quota for each Māori electorate is 60,141 people, which is an increase of 558 people from the 2006 quota.

Number of electorates will increase

The total number of general electorates will increase by one, up from 63 to 64. The number of Māori electorates will remain at seven.

The number of Māori electorates is calculated using the electoral Māori descent census usually resident population count from the 2013 Census and the results of the Māori Electoral Option 2013.

There will be 48 general electorates in the North Island. The number of general electorates in the South Island is, by law, held constant at 16. In a 120-seat parliament (excluding any overhang seats) having 71 electorates will result in 49 list seats being allocated – one less than in the 2011 General Election.

For information about how the electoral populations and number of electorates are determined, see data quality.

Figures 1–3 below show the current (2007) general and Māori electorates and the variance from the 2013 quota.

Figure 1

Map, North Island current (2007) general electorates.

Figure 2

Map, South Island current (2007) general electorates.

Figure 3

Map, New Zealand current (2007) Māori electorates.

Twenty-one current electorates vary from quota by more than 5 percent

The electoral population of each electorate that the Representation Commission defines must lie within 5 percent of the electoral population quotas. The minimum and maximum electoral populations that apply to the new electorate boundaries are given in table 2 (see the Excel file in the ‘Downloads’ box). The Representation Commission meets in 2013 to begin the electorate boundary review process.

Currently, 21 electorates (2007 boundaries) have electoral populations that vary by more than plus or minus 5 percent of the 2013 quota (see table 4 in the Excel file in the ‘Downloads’ box).

The general electoral population of the Auckland Central electorate currently exceeds the electoral quota by the largest percentage (18 percent). This is followed by Hunua, Helensville, and Selwyn electorates, which currently exceed the quota by 15, 14, and 14 percent, respectively.

The general electoral population of the Christchurch East electorate is below the quota by the largest percentage (-23 percent). This is followed by East Coast, Port Hills, and Christchurch Central electorates, which are below the quota by -10, -10, and -9 percent, respectively.

The current general electorate with the largest electoral population is Auckland Central, with 70,406 people (see table 3 in the Excel file in the ‘Downloads’ box). In contrast, Christchurch East, with 45,967 people, has the smallest general electoral population.

The current Māori electorate with the largest electoral population is Hauraki-Waikato, with 62,309 people, while Waiariki has the smallest at 57,506 people.

The electoral populations of the current general electorates in Greater Christchurch may reflect the impact of the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes, as people have relocated from affected areas. The Christchurch East, Port Hills, and Christchurch Central electorates are now below the quota by -23, -10, and -9 percent, respectively. Selwyn, Wigram, and Waimakariri now exceed the quota by 14, 10, and 8 percent, respectively. Ilam electorate is within 5 percent variance from the quota.

Figures 4–8 below show the current (2007) general electorates and variance from the 2013 quota for selected urban areas. 

Figure 4

Map, Hamilton current (2007) general electorates.

Figure 5

Map, Auckland current (2007) general electorates.

Figure 6

Map, Wellington current (2007) general electorates.

Figure 7

Map, Greater Christchurch current (2007) general electorates.

Figure 8

Map, Dunedin current (2007) general electorates.

Enrolments on Māori roll increase

People of Māori descent are periodically given the choice of moving from one electoral roll (Māori or general) to the other. The outcome of the Māori Electoral Option 2013, and new registrations received, was that the number of people on the Māori roll increased.

A net increase of 7,052 people were enrolled on the Māori roll as a result of the Māori Electoral Option 2013. In terms of new enrolments (individuals previously not enrolled on either roll), there were 2,721 new Māori enrolments on the general roll, and 6,454 new enrolments on the Māori roll. This resulted in a total of 9,175 new Māori enrolments.

Between the end of the Māori Electoral Option 2006 and the end of the latest option on 24 July 2013, enrolments on the Māori roll increased to 256,212 (up 12,091, or 5.0 percent). The number of people on the general roll who declared they were of Māori descent increased to 203,640 (up 25,501, or 14.3 percent) over the same period.

The number of people of Māori descent, as reported in the census, increased from 721,431 at the time of the 2006 Census to 755,598 at the time of the 2013 Census (up 34,167, or 4.7 percent). The electoral Māori descent census usually resident population count and the results of the Māori Electoral Option are used to determine the number of Māori electorates.

For more detailed data see the Excel tables in the ‘Downloads’ box.

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