This dataset is the definitive set of ward boundaries at 1 January 2012 as defined by the territorial authorities and/or Local Government Commission, but maintained by Statistics New Zealand (who are the custodian).
Wards were originally set up within any territorial authority with a population of 20,000. Wards are defined under the local Electoral Act 2001 and result from the division, of the district of a territorial authority for electoral purposes. The ward system was designed to allow for the recognition of communities within a district and to increase community involvement in the local government system. Now, territorial authorities can choose whether they would like to maintain electoral wards. As a result, the number of wards has steadily decreased. Ward boundaries are reviewed in the year immediately preceding the triennial local government elections.
Wards are numbered based on their corresponding territorial authority. Each ward has a unique five digit number. The first three digits represent the territorial authority that the ward lies within. The following two digits are sequential, and represent the number of wards within a territorial authority. For example, Westland District (051) has three wards. The numbers of these wards are 05101, 05102, and 05103.
There are various territorial authorities that do not use wards. In the data, these territorial authorities use “99” at the end of the ward code, and the descriptor “Area Outside of Ward”. In 2012, the Territorial Authorities that do not use wards were:
Territorial Authority Name
Upper Hutt City
Chatham Islands Territory
Ward boundaries are defined at meshblock level. They are not able to be defined at areas unit level because the boundaries for ward to not align to area unit.
As at 1st July 2007, Digital Boundary data became freely available.
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
Topic Category Code
Version 6.2 (Build 9200) ; Esri ArcGIS 10.8.1.14362
Digital Transfer Options
Data Quality Info
DQ _ Data Quality
LI _ Lineage
Ward Boundaries are based on the meshblock pattern. Ward boundaries are reviewed every three years, in the year immediately preceding the triennial local government elections. Requests for change can be received from Territorial Authorities and the Electoral Enrolment Centre. Once all changes are prepared, Statistics NZ then passes the requests for changes to the meshblock pattern onto LINZ for the electronic changes to take place. 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 of Population and Dwellings enumeration processes easier. The digital meshblock boundaries, and other boundaries based on dissolved meshblocks, are stored and maintained by Land Information New Zealand within their Landonline database, an ArcInfo suite. To Derive the area unit boundaries clipped to the coastline, meshblock polygons were dissolved to include or exclude land/water attributes attached to each meshblock. From the meshblock pattern, higher geographies, including the 2011 ward boundary pattern were dissolved using the dissolve tool in the Arc GIS suite to create multiple output datasets.