This dataset is the definitive set of regional council constituency boundaries for 2021 as defined by the regional councils and Local Government Commission but maintained by Stats NZ (the custodian).Constituencies are established under the Local Electoral Act 2001 and result from the division of a region for electoral purposes.If a regional council decides to have a Māori constituency, the constituencies within the council are known as general constituencies and Māori constituencies.Constituencies are divisions of regional council areas. They are defined at meshblock level, and do not coincide with the statistical area 1 (SA1) geography or the statistical area 2 (SA2) geography. They are created, based on population, to be the voting areas within councils. Constituencies are required to reflect communities of interest. Their boundaries, so far as is practicable, coincide with those of territorial authorities or wards. The boundaries of constituencies may be reviewed before each three-yearly local government election. Regional councils must review their representation arrangements at least once every six years. The provisions for such reviews are in the Local Government Act 2002. Constituencies are numbered based on their corresponding regional council. Each constituency has a unique four-digit code. The first two digits represent the regional council that the constituency lies within. The last two digits are sequential and represent the number of constituencies within a regional council. For example, the West Coast Regional Council (12) contains three constituencies, which are coded 1201, 1202, and 1203.The following table lists the total number of constituencies by year, excluding Area Outside Constituency:YearConstituency totals198996199278199583199872200067200167200269200369200469200569200669200769200862200962201062201156201256201356201459201559201659201755201855201955202058202158Digital boundary data became freely available on 1 July 2007.
Constituencies are based on the meshblock pattern. Non-alignment of meshblock and cadastral boundaries are one of a number of reasons for meshblock boundary adjustments. Other reasons include requests from local authorities, Local Government Commission, Electoral Representation Commission and to make census enumeration processes easier. From the meshblock pattern, higher geographies, including the 2021 constituency pattern, were dissolved using the dissolve tool in the Arc GIS suite.
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