I know it’s not exactly transport-related, but it is pretty big news today that the future structure of the Auckland Super City has been released. Well, by that I mean the boundaries of the different wards have been released, as have the boundaries of the local boards, and how they will be comprised. The southern boundary of the region has also been finalised.
At a basic level, the 20 councillors will be elected from 12 wards. Eight wards will have two councillors and four will have one councillor. The full report is available here, and the associated maps can be downloaded here. The population, names, number of councillors and so forth are included in a useful diagram below: Probably the most interesting column in this table is the one on the far right – which effectively shows the level of ‘unfairness’, or deviation from the idea of everyone having their votes count equally. Some level of discrepancy is to be expected, as the ward boundaries have been generally aligned with the local board boundaries – which need to take into account ‘communities of interest’. Plus the legislation required that Rodney and Franklin would have their own wards, with one councillor each.
However, despite this, I really think there’s a problem here. Some discrepancy is not the 24% under-representation that we’ll get in the Mangawhau-Hauraki Ward (which just happens to be where I live, which probably explains part of my annoyance) or the 24% over-representation in Rodney District. This basically means that someone’s vote in Rodney counts almost the same as two votes in my ward.
In terms of the local boards, things are a bit fairer. The Mangahwau-Hauraki ward gets split into three wards: one for the central area, one for Waiheke and one for Great Barrier Island. I guess the gulf islands are different enough to warrant a local board, but once again the central area seems particularly big to be one single local board. However, this is nothing compared to pretty much all of existing Waitakere City – which gets lumped into a single local board. One last thing that’s strange, is that the Central Auckland Local Board will be called Mangawhau. Mangawhau is the Maori name for Mt Eden, which is fine, but really the central part of Auckland isn’t Mt Eden. In fact, the suburb of Mt Eden is not even in the Mangawhau local board area, while the mountain itself is only just within the local board area. What’s wrong with “Central Auckland”?
I think I’ll be making a submission on this. Submissions can be emailed to [email protected]