This dataset is the definitive set of Māori ward boundaries for 2021 as defined by the territorial authorities and/or Local Government Commission but maintained by Stats NZ (the custodian).The Local Electoral Act 2001 provides that Māoriwards may be established in territorial authorities. The statutory provisions for establishing Māori wards are set out in sections 19Z to 19ZH of the Local Electoral Act 2001. Establishing Māori wards can be achieved by a local authority resolution or a favourable outcome of a poll of electors.The first Māori ward was established by representation review in 2019 and first appeared in the 2020 geographic boundaries released by Stats NZ. The first Māori ward to be created was Wairoa Māori ward (02901) in the Wairoa District.Māori wards are numbered based on their corresponding territorial authority. Each Māori ward has a unique five-digit code. The first three digits represent the territorial authority that the Māori ward lies within. The following two digits are sequential and represent the number of Māori wards within a territorial authority. Māori ward boundaries are defined at meshblock level. Digital boundary data became freely available on 1 July 2007.
Maori wards 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 Maori ward pattern, were dissolved using the dissolve tool in the Arc GIS suite.
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