This dataset is the definitive set of ward boundaries at 1 January 2013 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 at least 20,000. Wards are defined under the Local Electoral Act 2001 and result from the division of 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 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 (057) has three wards. The numbers of these wards are 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 Outside of Ward”.