ACT gerrymanders Auckland for the rich

Written By: - Date published: 3:05 pm, March 11th, 2010 - 23 comments
Categories: act, supercity - Tags: , ,

The Local Government Commission released its final ward boundaries for Auckland today and the result is a city gerrymandered by ACT to favour the interests of the rich.

That’s the verdict from No Right Turn:

There is significant deviation from equal representation, with wards ranging from 24.8% undersize in the case of Rodney, to 12.8% oversize in the case of Orakei. Here’s the full table:

What’s interesting is when you compare which wards are under and oversize (boundaries on the Herald here) with the DHB maps from the Atlas of Socioeconomic Deprivation in New Zealand. Notice a pattern? The rich, in Rodney, Te Irirangi and Franklin, seem to be systematically over-represented (meaning their wards are undersized), while the poor, in Waitakere, Whau, Albert-Eden-Roskill, Manukau, and Papakura, are systemtically under-represented. In a ciy designed by ACT. Funny, that.

It is impossible to get wards of exactly equal size, and the Local Electoral Act recognises this by allowing a 10% variation in ward size (the Electoral Act only allows 5%). But while many of the variations fall within the allowance in the Local Electoral Act, their overwhelming direction suggests a systematic bias. The Auckland SuperCity has been gerrymandered in favour of the rich.

Can’t wait for the full page screamer editorial on Rodney’s “attack on democracy” in tomorrow’s Herald. No doubt John Boscawen is already organising the protest march.

23 comments on “ACT gerrymanders Auckland for the rich”

  1. What do you expect from faceless Government-appointed bureaucrats at the the Local Government Commission? Pretty much the same mindset as the supercity structure. Each CCO destined to be a juicy privatisation bone to be flogged off at mates’ rates.

    Captcha: loan

    • Bright Red 1.1

      to be fair, Sue Piper the chair of the LGC is a good old Labourite. But they had to work with what they were given, could only improve it so much.

  2. The boundaries of an improvement and it is clear that the many submissions received by the commission has had an effect.

    The best result was the severing of the Orakei-Mangakiekie ward into two. As it originally stood it was almost inevitable that there would be two right wing candidates. Now at least Richard Northey will have a chance. All that it took was a snip in the middle. It is a shame that they did not do it with the other wards as two member wards play havoc with progressive aspirations as shown in Christchurch.

    It is still are real uphill battle and the left will struggle to get a majority on the Council. Len Brown may find the mayoralty a very lonely place.

    • Aargh

      I can assure everyone I was not drunk when I typed the above although it may appear because of my typos that I was.

    • lukas 2.2

      “The best result was the severing of the Orakei-Mangakiekie ward into two. As it originally stood it was almost inevitable that there would be two right wing candidates.”

      Not familiar with the area at all, but surely having two right wing candidates would work in the favour of the left if they only have the one candidate?

      • mickysavage 2.2.1

        Typed in a hurry and sloppy sorry. I meant to say

        “The best result was the severing of the Orakei-Mangakiekie ward into two. As it originally stood it was almost inevitable that there would be two right wing councillors now there is the chance of one from each camp

  3. prosaic 3

    It strikes me that Te Irirangi, Franklin and Manurewa-Papakura are actually pretty much the same size (when you look at population per councillor). I would have thought Orakei was one of the ‘richer’ areas however it has a high population. And Rodney, well, I guess it’s limited by the actual population of Rodney. I’m very much against gerrymandering (especially to benefit the rich) but is there any stronger evidence for your claim that this is what has happened?

  4. I think that the stuff up theory may apply but I am surprised that the commission could not get the boundaries moved so that the tolerances could actually be met.

    This is certainly evidence of the rush that the job has been done in and is a further indicator of the continuous stuff ups that Aucklanders will experience over the next couple of years.

  5. vidiot 5

    “while the poor, in Waitakere, Whau, Albert-Eden-Roskill, Manukau, and Papakura, are systemtically under-represented.”

    Hrrm so that would be why they (Papakura) have 3rd best representation.

    • Bright Red 5.1

      yeah, ignore everything else there vidiot.

      • vidiot 5.1.1

        So let’s spin this the other way then… the rich in Waitakere, Whau, Albert-Eden-Roskill, Manukau, and Papakura, are systemtically under-represented. !!!

        Doesn’t really have the same ring does it ? ding ding

        I notice the original writer doesn’t harp on about the poor representation of Waitemata & Gulf (2nd worst), which CBD wise is ‘grass roots’ Labour country. Or are they not poor ?

        • lprent

          You vidiot… I suspect that you keep missing the point…

          The easiest fix would have been to simply have more councillors and wards. Then it gets a lot easier to make workable boundaries. From memory there are 25 general electorates in this area. Why didn’t they just use those? They’re already set up for the right voting population sizes, have definitive boundaries, and are based around communities of interest.

          Because some hidiot in wellington decided that they wanted fewer city councillors for Auckland than there were electorate seat MP’s.

          NRT’s explanation is about the ONLY possible reason for having such a screwed up out of balance ward system, which was mandated by the ACT’s that the minister in charge of unbridled power shoved through without bothering to get any scrutiny (that was listened to) on…

          Rodney Hide is toast…

          • Rich

            Yup, more councillors would sort it (at a huge cost of less than $100k per councillor, an infinitesimal fraction of the new councils budget). But that would enable more scrutiny and thus not be acceptable to ACT.

            Some form of MMP (having 12 ward councillors and 12 list councillors, for instance) would also totally fix the unfairness, as well as allowing a range of voices on council, rather than just NACT (Citrats) and Labour/Greens/Alliance (City Vision).

            Democracy isn’t in it.

  6. Bored 6

    Rick, you are right “Democracy isn’t in it.”

    Both barrels time. Hide does not believe in democracy. He is a fascist, lets shout a little louder FASCIST. Check the historic record for Mussollini and corporatism before you accuse me of over reaction.

  7. Bill 7


    Pistols at dawn if you want to jump the gun and go straight to fascism. You can call somebody a corporatist without having to fight your way through all types of knee jerk reactions…and they can’t defend themselves without invoking fascist arguments, which is kind of nice.

    • Bored 7.1

      Thanks Bill, “bald corporatist bastard” it is then (personal invective and factual…goodo). Great hint.

  8. Rodel 8

    Never ceases to amaze me how tyrants work the system and get political power.
    Idi Amin, Papa Doc, Saddam Hussein, George Bush and so on.

    Interesting to watch how Hide as the tail ( I prefer to think of him as a close but different part of a dog’s anatomy) wagging Key has got his evil ACT policies accepted even though he was sort of elected by brainless Epsom tories who didn’t really want him but just wanted two for the price of one and his party vote was less than Winston’s.

    What was the saying? “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance,” or something like that, but our ‘elected’ government is not vigilant (they’re relaxed- read ‘asleep, ‘) and Rodney is having a field day. Hey we didn’t vote for that stuff!

  9. Jum 9

    Has anyone spotted the odd job in Momentum’s whole page advert for people in the new supercity;

    ‘Manager: Democracy Services’

    I kid you not.

  10. Cameron 10

    I think the post should be titled ‘National and ACT gerrymanders Auckland for the rich”.

    National are just as responsible for this as ACT. Without National, Rodney Hide could never do this. National has been getting off a bit lightly on this issue because everyone is focussing their attention on Hide.

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