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

Period-specific information
This section contains information that has changed since the last release.

General information
This section contains information that does not change between releases.

Period-specific information

Reference period

The electoral populations in this information release were calculated using data from the electoral rolls at 24 July 2013 (following the Māori Electoral Option 2013) and the Census of Population and Dwellings conducted on 5 March 2013.

The 8 March 2011 Census was called off following the 22 February 2011 Christchurch earthquake. The national state of emergency and the likely effect on census results meant that the 2011 Census could not have been successfully completed at that time.

General information 

Calculating electorates, numbers, and quotas

The number of electorates, quotas, and other data in table 1 (see the Excel file in the ‘Downloads’ box) are based on calculations laid down in the Electoral Act 1993. The formula to calculate electorates 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 electorates.
  • The North Island general electoral population is divided by the number of North Island general electorates 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 electorates. The Māori electoral population quota is the Māori electoral population divided by the number of Māori electorates.

Calculating electoral populations for different areas

The Electoral Act 1993 requires that the base totals (census usually resident population count, and electoral Māori descent census usually resident population count; and enrolments on the Māori and general rolls for people of Māori descent) are first aggregated to the geographic level needed, before calculating the electoral populations. A different order of processing may lead to different results. Calculating electoral populations and the number of electorates requires separate calculations at the North Island, South Island, New Zealand, and general and Māori electorate levels.

Projected populations used to form electorate boundaries

The Representation Commission must consider a number of factors when forming electorates, including any projected variation in the electoral population during each electorate's life. As the commission reviews the boundaries, Statistics New Zealand provides it with projections of the general electoral population of proposed general electorates, and of the Māori electoral population of proposed Māori electorates.

For both general and Māori electorates, the commission can allow the electoral population to vary from the quota by up to plus or minus 5 percent.

Calculating Māori descent from the census

The Māori electoral population is calculated using the results of the Māori descent question in the census, with some adjustments. The electoral Māori descent census usually resident population count includes the people who provided a clear 'yes' response to the Māori descent question. The count also includes a proportion of those who did not provide a clear 'yes' or 'no' response to the question. This proportion takes account of respondents who answered 'don't know', who provided a multiple response (eg 'yes' and 'don't know'), or who did not provide a response at all to the question.

Liability

While all care and diligence has been used in processing, analysing, and extracting data and information in this publication, Statistics NZ gives no warranty it is error-free and will not be liable for any loss or damage suffered by the use directly, or indirectly, of the information in this publication.

Timing

Our information releases are delivered electronically by third parties. Delivery may be delayed by circumstances outside our control. Statistics NZ does accept responsibility for any such delay.

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