What happens in a boundary review?

At the start of the boundary review, the Representation Commission meets to agree on the proposed boundaries and electorate names that will go out for public consultation.

Each electorate has about the same number of people

The Representation Commission makes sure each electorate has about the same number of people. The number of people in each electorate cannot be more than 5 percent larger or 5 percent smaller than its population quota.

The population quotas are the average populations of North Island, South Island and Māori electorates.

Find out how the Government Statistician works out population quotas

The Representation Commission also considers other factors

The Representation Commission also considers:

  • existing electorate boundaries
  • communities of interest — including iwi affiliations in Māori electorates
  • the infrastructure that links communities, such as main roads
  • topographic features such as mountains and rivers
  • projected variations in electoral populations over the next 5 years.

The Commission also looks at whether the names of electorates are still relevant.

The public can have their say on the boundary review

You can have their say on the proposed boundaries and names. Public consultation happens in three stages:

  • written objections
  • written counter-objections
  • public hearings. 

We’ll publish all objections and counter-objections on this website.

Timetable for the boundary review

Electorate boundary review 2019/20:

21 October 2019 – Representation Commission meets to set proposed electorate boundaries and names
20 November 2019 – The Representation Commission releases proposed electorate boundaries and names
20 November to 20 December 2019 – The public can make objections on proposed boundaries and names
10 to 24 January 2020 – The public can make counter-objections to any objections to the proposed boundaries and names
10 to 19 February 2020 – The Representation Commission holds public hearings of objections and counter-objections
20 April 2020 – The Representation Commission publishes the final electorate boundaries and names
2020 General Election – The new electorate boundaries apply

There will be more information about the boundary review and how you can have your say on this website before the proposed electorate boundaries and names are released on 20 November.