The Representation Commission reviews and adjusts electorate boundaries after each 5-yearly population census and the Māori Electoral Option.
The next boundary review will get underway after the next Census, scheduled for March 2023 and the next Māori Electoral Option, scheduled for 2024.
Adjusting electorate boundaries gives all New Zealanders equal representation
Regularly adjusting the electorate boundaries makes sure each electorate has about the same number of people. This gives all New Zealanders equal representation in Parliament.
The Representation Commission uses total populations to adjust boundaries, rather than just registered voters, because members of Parliament represent everyone living in their area, not just those who can register to vote.
Before the boundary review
Before the boundary review, the Government Statistician works out how many electorates there should be, and the average populations of those electorates.
What happens in a boundary review
The Representation Commission has 6 months to:
- agree on the boundaries and names of the proposed electorates
- release the proposed boundaries for public consultation
- consider public submissions and finalise the boundaries
- publish its report on the final electorate names and boundaries.
Who reviews electorate boundaries
The Representation Commission is an independent body. Public officials and government and opposition appointees make up the Commission.
The Local Government Commission runs local council boundary reviews
The Representation Commission is not responsible for local council boundary reviews. The Local Government Commission reviews local council boundaries.