I blogged about these previously. I thought that there would be a new North Harbour seat and that New Lynn and Maungakiekie would change dramatically.
The draft boundaries have been released and suggest that this will happen but there are some radical changes proposed.
Christchurch will obviously change. Christchurch East will expand dramatically and the surrounding seats will also be affected. I am not qualified to say what the political implications are and I would invite comments from Cantabrians who understand the area.
In Auckland there will be a new seat. Out west the changes are significant. The proposal is that there is a new Upper Harbour seat that takes Massey from Te Atatu, West Harbour and Hobsonville from Helensville, Greenhithe, and part of Glenfield. It will lean National but not strongly so. Waitakere gets divided up so that the rural area gets added to Helensville and some of the urban part gets added to Te Atatu. The balance, and part of Te Atatu and New Lynn, gets added to a new Kelston seat that looks like a Labour stronghold. New Lynn becomes quite marginal but I am sure that David Cunliffe can handle it. Scarily I personally could be living about a kilometre away from being in the electorate of Helensville.
Mount Albert creeps inward to Auckland Central which contracts and becomes safer for National. Mt Roskill becomes slightly less safe and Maungakiekie becomes more likely for Labour.
Out south the changes should not be dramatic although the seat of Hunua has too many voters and sheds these to neighbouring seats.
The big question is what seat will Colin Craig stand in? The new seat of North Harbour is a possibility but I suspect that it is not safe enough for National to risk a Labour candidate coming through the middle and succeeding.
There are rumours that Murray McCully may only seek election on the list and if to then East Coast Bays could be the seat for National to gift to Craig.
The other interesting question is where would Paula Bennett stand? As reported by tv3:
And in some outrageous misfortune for Minister of Social Development Paula Bennett, her Waitakere seat will disappear, instead becoming Kelston – a real Labour seat.
Ms Bennett has called a crisis meeting of her electorate organisation for tomorrow night, signed “proud to be a Westie”.
While she said “there’ll always be a bit of west” in her, there’s now plenty of doubt about whether she’ll have an electorate there.
Bennett may be proud to be a westie but we are not proud that she claims to be one of us. Her options would appear to be to hope that Key goes list only and stand in the seat of Helensville, have a go for the North Harbour seat, or stand in Kelston and get thumped. She may need to rely on the list if she wants to continue her parliamentary career.
Update: Paula has indicated that she will bail and seek the Upper Harbour nomination. This means that it is unlikely to be gifted to Craig and East Coast Bays looks very likely.