This dataset is the definitive set of ward boundaries for 2022 as defined by the territorial authorities and/or Local Government Commission, but maintained by Stats NZ (the custodian).Wards were originally set up within any territorial authority with a population of at least 20,000. Wards are defined under the Local Electoral Act 2001 and result from dividing a territorial authority for electoral purposes. The ward system was designed to allow for the recognition of communities within a territorial authority and to increase community involvement in the local government system.Territorial authorities can now choose whether they would like to maintain electoral wards. As a result, the number of wards has steadily decreased since they were first created in 1989. Ward boundaries are reviewed in the year before the three-yearly 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 (057) has three wards, which are coded 05701, 05702, and 05703. Several territorial authorities do not use wards. In the data, these territorial authorities use “99”at the end of the ward code, and the descriptor“Area OutsideWard”. In 2022, the following territorial authorities do not use wards:TA codeTerritorial authority nameWard code024Rotorua District 02499026 Kawerau District02699037Whanganui District03799040Palmerston North City04099045Upper Hutt City04599048Masterton District04899049Carterton District04999052Nelson City05299054Kaikoura District05499067Chatham Islands Territory06799071Dunedin City07199075Invercargill City 07599Ward boundaries are defined at meshblock levelbut do not align to SA1 or SA2 geographies.Names are provided with and without tohutō/macrons. The column name for those without macrons is suffixed ‘ascii’.Digital boundary data became freely available on 1 July 2007.
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 2022 ward pattern, were dissolved using the dissolve tool in the Arc GIS suite.
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