Representation review

For electoral purposes, Wellington City is divided into six wards. They serve the same function as electorates for Parliamentary elections.

Representation Review

Councils have elections every three years. To make sure that we have fair and effective representation at these elections, the Local Electoral Act 2001 requires us to review our electoral arrangements at least every six years.

A representation review looks at how many councillors there should be for the our city and how they should be elected – deciding whether councillors should be elected from wards or ‘at-large’ by the whole city. It also looks at the names and boundaries of wards, and whether or not Wellington should have community boards.

A review of representation needs to ensure that our communities are represented fairly, with each councillor representing approximately the same number of people.

Three key factors are considered during the review:

  • What are Wellington’s communities of interest?
  • How can those communities be effectively represented?
  • How can those communities be fairly represented?

Council last conducted a review in 2021 ahead of the 2022 local elections. This review was triggered by the decision in May 2021 to establish a Māori ward for Wellington City.

On in August 2021, Council decided it’s final proposal for representation arrangements. The proposal was to keep the current ward system and add one more councillor to represent the new Māori ward. Community board representation was proposed to stay the same.

You can find see the full final proposal here:

Public Notice of the Final Proposal for the 2021 Representation Review (200KB PDF)

Because three of the proposed wards have a population per councillor more than 10% from the average, the proposal has been referred to the Local Government Commission for a final decision. This decision will happen by 11 April 2022.

The Local Government Commission has released its determination which upheld Councils final proposal and made some minor tweaks to the names of the wards.

You can read the full determination here: Wellington City Council Determination of representation arrangements 2022 (293KB PDF).