Too few seats in South Island

November 21, 2019

The Boundaries Commission has announced proposed changes to electorate boundaries:

Where possible the current boundaries have been retained to minimise the number of people affected by electorate boundary and name changes. Of the 71 existing electorates, 36 are unchanged. The adjustments in other electorates reflect changes in population since 2014 when the boundaries were last reviewed,” says Representation Commission chair Judge Craig Thompson.

The biggest areas of change are in the Auckland region, Christchurch, and Otago and Southland. . .

North Island general electorates

  • Rodney is redrawn to include Dairy Flat and Coatesville, and renamed Whangaparāoa
  • Helensville is extended into Northland, Rodney (now Whangaparāoa) and Upper Harbour, and loses the Waitakere Ranges to New Lynn
  • The addition of population to New Lynn from the north means changes are also required to Mt Roskill, Maungakiekie, Manukau East, and Manurewa
  • Flat Bush is created by drawing population from the existing electorates of Hunua, Manurewa and Papakuraand includes Wattle Downs and Takanini
  • Population from Waikato is added to Hunua which is renamed Port Waikato. Adjustments are also made to the boundaries of Waikato with Coromandel, Hamilton West and Taupō
  • Adjustments are also made to the boundaries of Whangarei and Bay of Plenty

South Island general electorates

  • Brightwater is moved from Nelson to West Coast-Tasman
  • Selwyn is redrawn and no longer includes Banks Peninsula. Adjustments are also made to Ilam, Wigram, Port Hills (renamed Banks Peninsula), Christchurch East and Rangitata
  • Clutha-Southland gains the Alexandra and Clyde area from Waitaki
  • Otago Peninsula is moved from Dunedin South to Dunedin North, and South Otago is added to Dunedin South from Clutha-Southland
  • Winton and The Catlins are added to Invercargill from Clutha-Southland.

Few if any of these changes are unexpected.

In the south, Dunedin South might be regarded as a little more marginal, Invercargill will probably be a bit bluer and Dunedin North will still be red.

Clutha Southland and Waitaki will cover a little less area, still be larger than some countries, and still be blue.

Banks Peninsula will be a bit bluer than the Port Hills one it replaces.

Māori electorates

  • Tāmaki Makaurau gains an area around Te Atatū South from Te Tai Tokerau and an area in East Manurewa from Hauraki Waikato
  • A minor adjustment between Ikaroa-Rāwhiti and Te Tai Tonga is made in Naenae.

Names of electorates

Four electorate name changes are proposed: Rodney to Whangaparāoa, Hunua to Port Waikato, Rimutaka to Remutaka and Port Hills to Banks Peninsula.

The proposals create one new general electorate bringing the total number of electorates to 72: 16 general seats in the South Island, 49 in the North and seven Maori seats.

That will mean one less list seat – 48, down 12 from the 60 when MMP was introduced.

The number of seats in parliament is set at 120 (unless there’s an overhang) and the number of South Island seats is set at 16.

After every census the South’s population is divided by 16 to set the number of people per seat plus or minus 10%. The North’s population is growing faster than the South’s which is why it keeps getting an extra seat. That is likely to continue and it enough more people opt for the Maori roll rather than the general one, another Maori roll would result in the loss of another list seat.

Politik asks if there’s too many South Island seats.

There are not, there are too few.

Clutha Southland and Waitaki, the biggest and third biggest general electorates are getting a little smaller but are still far too big geographically and proposed changes will make West Coast Tasman, the second biggest general electorate, even bigger. They’re all bigger than all but one of the Maori electorates, Te Tai Tonga, which covers the whole of the South Island, Stewart Island and a bit of Wellington.

The difficulties of servicing electorates as large as these mean no matter how good their MPs are, they can’t possibly give their constituents the same attention that those with smaller electorates do.

If MMP’s proportionality is to be maintained, the number of MPs will have to be increased and I’d argue for at least one more South Island electorate to make the bigger ones a little more manageable.

You can find existing a proposed boundaries on a map here.


February 16 in history

February 16, 2010

On February 16:

1032 Emperor Yingzong of China, was born.

Yingzong.jpg

1646  Battle of Great Torrington, Devon – the last major battle of the first English Civil War.

Burton, William Shakespeare- The Wounded Cavalier.jpg An allegory of the English Civil War by William Shakespeare Burton. It depicts a Cavalier lying on the ground wounded, while a Puritan in black stands in the background.

1770 Captain James Cook sighted what he called Banks Island but later discovered is was a peninsula.

James Cook sights Banks 'Island'

 1804  First Barbary War: Stephen Decatur led a raid to burn the pirate-held frigate USS Philadelphia (1799).

Burning of the uss philadelphia.jpg

1838 Weenen Massacre: Hundreds of Voortrekkers along the Blaukraans River, Natal were killed by Zulus.

1852 Studebaker Brothers wagon company, precursor of the automobile manufacturer, is established.

 The Studebaker brothers

1859 The French Government passed a law to set the A-note above middle C to a frequency of 435 Hz, in an attempt to standardize the pitch.

1899 President Félix Faure of France died in office.

1899 – Knattspyrnufélag Reykjavíkur Iceland‘s first football club was founded.

KR Reykjavík.png

1918 The Council of Lithuania unanimously adopted the Act of Independence, declaring Lithuania an independent state.

1923 Howard Carter unsealed the burial chamber of Pharoh Tutankhamun.

1926 Margot Frank, German-born Dutch Jewish holocaust victim, was born.

1934Austrian Civil War ended with the defeat of the Social Democrats and the Republican Schutzbund.

1934 – Commission of Government was sworn in as form of direct rule for the Dominion of Newfoundland.

1936 – Elections brought the Popular Front to power in Spain.

1937Wallace H. Carothers received a patent for nylon.

Nylon 6,6 unit

1940 Altmark Incident: The German tanker Altmark is boarded by sailors from the British destroyer HMS Cossack. 299 British prisoners were freed.

Altmark Incident.jpg

1941  –Kim Jong-il, North Korean leader, was born.

1947 Canadians granted Canadian citizenship after 80 years of being British subjects. Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King became the first Canadian citizen.

1954 – Iain Banks, Scottish author, was born.

1956 Vincent Ward, New Zealand director and screenwriter, was born.

1957 The “Toddlers’ Truce“, a controversial television close down between 6.00pm and 7.00pm was abolished in the United Kingdom.

1959 John McEnroe, American tennis player, was born.

John McEnroe by David Shankbone.jpg

1959 Fidel Castro becomes Premier of Cuba after dictator Fulgencio Batista was overthrown on January 1.

1960 Pete Willis, English guitarist (Def Leppard), was born.

1961 Andy Taylor, English musician (Duran Duran, The Power Station), was born.

 

1961Explorer program: Explorer 9 (S-56a) was launched.

1968 – In Haleyville, Alabama, the first 9-1-1 emergency telephone system goes into service.

1973  Cathy Freeman, Australian athlete, was born.

1978 – The first computer bulletin board system was created (CBBS in Chicago, Illinois).

 Ward Christensen and the computer that ran the first public Bulletin Board System, CBBS

1983 – The Ash Wednesday bushfires in Victoria and South Australia claimed the lives of 75 people.

Ash Wednesday bushfires

1985 – The founding of Hezbollah.

Hezbollah emblem

1986 – The Soviet liner Mikhail Lermontov ran aground in the Marlborough Sounds.

Mikhail lermontov 1972.jpg

1987 – The trial of John Demjanjuk, accused of being a Nazi guard dubbed “Ivan the Terrible” in Treblinka extermination camp, starts in Jerusalem.

1991Nicaraguan Contras leader Enrique Bermúdez is assassinated in Managua.

1999 – Across Europe Kurdish rebels took over embassies and hold hostages after Turkey arrested one of their rebel leaders, Abdullah Öcalan.

PKK.svg

2005 – The Kyoto Protocol came into force, following its ratification by Russia.

 Participation in the Kyoto Protocol, as of June 2009, where green indicates the countries that have signed and ratified the treaty, grey is not yet decided and red is no intention to ratify.

2005 – The National Hockey League cancelled the entire 2004-2005 regular season and playoffs, becoming the first major sports league in North America to do so over a labor dispute.

05 NHL Shield.svg

2006 – The last Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH) was decommissioned by the United States Army.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


Banks Peninsula biodiversity workshop

October 6, 2009

If you’re near Banks Peninsula you may be interested in this media release:

A free learning opportunity to help enhance the “ecological treasure” of  plant and animal life on Banks Peninsula is being offered at Akaroa on Thursday 8 October.

 It’s a Biodiversity Workshop open to everyone interested in improving the natural ecology of the peninsula and it’s being held in Akaroa’s Gaiety Theatre from 9.00am – 7.00pm.

 The workshop, hosted by the Banks Peninsula Conservation Trust and Lincoln University, is especially suitable for farmers and landowners but is open to everyone interested in the enhancement and conservation of the Peninsula’s native flora and fauna.

 “Banks Peninsula is a unique and valuable ecological treasure,” says Lincoln University ecologist Mike Bowie, one of the organisers of the Workshop.

 “It is an area where nature and diverse human activity, including farming, fishing, recreation, and habitation, can interact and, with care and knowledge, co-exist successfully.”

During the day Hugh Wilson’s new book Natural History of Banks Peninsula will be launched  and the programme also includes an outside field session (weather permitting) and, at the end of the afternoon, an address by guest speaker Dr Simon Pollard of Canterbury Museum, which will be accompanied by a simple dinner (gold coin donation).

 Sessions throughout the day include Farming and Conserving Biodiversity; Conserving Weta and Other Invertebrates: the forgotten fauna; Native Fish: research on Banks Peninsula; the Christchurch City Council Trapping Programme; Threatened Plants; Bush Birds: early findings from surveys; and, towards the end, an open discussion on what can be done to improver biodiversity on Banks Peninsula.

 “Come armed with your ideas for the discussion and build on the earlier sessions throughout the day,” says Mr Bowie.

 In addition to the Banks Peninsula Conservation Trust and Lincoln University, the Workshop sponsors are Christchurch City Council; Ecan; Department of Conservation; and the Josef Langer Charitable Trust.

 For catering purposes please register interest with Rachel Barker, Banks Peninsula Conservation Trust Coordinator, telephone (03) 329 6340; email: rachel.barker@bpct.org.nz


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