News | 28 July 2022

Elections 101: Ward do you mean?

Did you know that where you live in Wellington has an impact on how the Council is run? This is due to wards and representation review. But ward do those things even mean? We’re here to break it down for you.

Map of Wellington.

What is a ward?

A ward is a geographical area, which is broken down by suburbs across the city. In Wellington, we have six wards and 16 elected members.  

The elected members all represent different wards, and their job is to set the city’s overall strategic direction, approve budgets, make bylaws, policies and plans aimed at meeting community needs. 

 A key part of their role is to talk to the public before making decisions. The Mayor and Councillors are supported in their role by the Tawa and Mākara/Ōhāriu community boards.  

Every election, the number of councillors for each ward is based on how many people reside in each geographical area and the population of the city. 

For the first time, a councillor will be elected for a new Māori ward, Te Whanganui-a-Tara Māori Ward, which is dedicated to Māori representation. 

Why should I care?  

As councillors represent different wards in the city, it’s important that you vote for someone who you think will add value to your community. If there are things that could improve in your suburb or the surrounding areas, you should vote for someone who will be able to advocate for those changes. 

You can enrol at vote.nz

Wellington City boat sheds and marina.

 Find out which ward you are in and how many councillors are elected for your area.

All city 

One mayor, who is elected ‘at large’ by all the city’s voters.  

Takapū/Northern General Ward 

There are three councillors for this ward, and they stand for: 

  • Churton Park 
  • Glenside 
  • Grenada North 
  • Grenada Village 
  • Horokiwi 
  • Johnsonville 
  • Newlands 
  • Ōhāriu
  • Paparangi 
  • Takapū Valley 
  • Tawa
  • Woodridge 

Wharangi/Onslow-Western General Ward  

There are three councillors for this ward, and they stand for: 

  • Broadmeadows 
  • Crofton Downs 
  • Kaiwharawhara 
  • Karori 
  • Khandallah 
  • Mākara
  • Mākara Beach 
  • Ngaio 
  • Ngauranga 
  • Northland 
  • Wadestown
  • Wilton 

Pukehīnau/Lambton General Ward  

There are three councillors for this ward, and they stand for: 

  • Aro Valley 
  • Highbury 
  • Kelburn 
  • Mount Cook 
  • Mount Victoria 
  • Oriental Bay 
  • Pipitea 
  • Te Aro 
  • Thorndon 
  • Wellington Central 

Motukairangi/Eastern General Ward   

 There are three councillors for this ward, and they stand for:  

  • Breaker Bay 
  • Hataitai 
  • Houghton Bay 
  • Karaka Bays 
  • Kilbirnie 
  • Lyall Bay 
  • Maupuia 
  • Melrose 
  • Miramar 
  • Moa Point 
  • Rongotai 
  • Roseneath 
  • Seatoun
  • Strathmore Park 

Paekawakawa/Southern General Ward 

There are two councillors for this ward, and they stand for: 

  • Berhampore 
  • Brooklyn 
  • Island Bay 
  • Kingston 
  • Mornington 
  • Newtown 
  • Owhiro Bay 
  • Southgate 
  • Vogeltown

Te Whanganui-a-Tara Māori Ward  

There is one councillor for this ward, and while most wards are based on a geographic area, the people voting will be those on the Māori electoral roll. 

In the Wellington region, Wellington City, Porirua, and Masterton are the only councils that have a Māori ward.  

Having a Māori ward councillor is not the only way that Council involves Māori in decision-making. We also have mana whenua representatives on most Council committees and have recently agreed the Tūpiki Ora Māori Strategy.  

What is representation review?  

To make sure that there is fair representation at the elections, the electoral arrangements are reviewed every six years. This review looks at how many councillors there should be for the city, and whether or not they should be elected from wards or ‘at large’ by all voters. 

This ensures that our communities are represented fairly, with each councillor representing around the same number of people. 

It also reviews the names and boundaries of wards, and whether or not there should be community boards.  

For the 2022 elections, 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. 

Find out more about wards and representation review.