Rodney-mandering the super city

Gerrymander is an ugly, ugly word. So I won’t use it. Instead I’ve made a beautiful table for you to look at. What it shows is the names and the degree of representation each of the 13 new wards (with 20 councillors between them) created by the Local Government Commission for the Auckland Super City elections will have.

Ward Popn. per councillor % deviation from average popn per councillor Degree of Representation Corresponding Electorates
Rodney 54,100 -24.8 Over-represented Rodney & Helensville
Albany 68,900 -4.2 Over-represented East Coast Bays & Helensville
North Shore 71,600 -0.5 About right North Shore & Northcote
Waitakere 79,350 +10.3 Under-represented Waitakere, Te Atatu & New Lynn
Whau 76,400 +6.2 Under-represented Mt Albert, Te Atatu, & New Lynn
Albert-Eden-Roskill 77,450 +7.7 Under-represented Mt Roskill & Mt Albert
Waitemata and Gulf 79,300 +10.2 Under-represented Auckland Central & Epsom
Orakei 81,100 +12.8 Under-represented Tamaki & Epsom
Maungakiekie-Tamaki 73,000 +1.5 About right Maungakiekie, Tamaki & Manukau East
Te Irirangi 64,050 -10.9 Over-represented Pakuranga, Botany* & Hunua
Manukau 78,100 +8.6 Under-represented Mangere & Manukau East
Manurewa-Papakura 65,750 -8.6 Over-represented ManurewaPapakura
Franklin 64,200 -10.7 Over-represented Hunua** & Papakura**
Average 71,925

* Botany has only existed for one election.

** Both Hunua & Papakura have changed names but the area they cover remains similar to their predecessors, Port Waikato and Clevedon.

As you can see from the table some wards are over-represented on the Super City (most notably Rodney) and some are under-represented. The farthest right two columns of the table show what electorates the ward matches up to (each ward covers about 2-3 electorates) and also what the voting record of that ward since 2002 has been.

Electorates or parts of electorates  that always vote National or Act are marked in blue. Electorates or parts of electorates that always vote Labour are marked red, and electorates or parts of electorates that have a relatively even voting record between National and Labour are in black.

This isn’t an entirely scientific exercise because the boundaries of the electorates and the boundaries of the wards don’t match up a 100%. Also some electorates have changed shape or name slightly since 2002. But it gives you a pretty good idea.

And isn’t it interesting to note that 4 out of the 5 wards that are over-represented consistently vote National/Act. While of the 6 wards that are under-represented 3 consistently vote Labour, 2 are mixed, and only 1 votes National.

Not that I’m saying the Local Government Commission did this on purpose. But given the requirements imposed by Rodney Hide that there be  a separate ward for what is now Rodney District and that there be only 20 Councillors, it was inevitable.

Despite Auckland’s ward structure being skewed to make right wing votes worth more than left wing ones, I suppose Aucklanders can at least be grateful that, unlike Cantabrians, they still get to vote in October this year on who will govern their region.

2 Comments Posted

  1. What would the picture be if you substituted population per counciller with rates paid per councillor. Or average income. Or number of beneficiaries.

  2. Except we’ll be voting for people who get to watch a corporation run the city with almost no imput…

    We need to consider a Auckland wide rates revolt with the rally cry, “NO taxation without representation…”

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