Local body elections  |  12 Sep 2022

People taking part in October’s local elections may find they are voting in a different ward than in the last election, even though they have not changed addresses.

How it works

Christchurch is comprised of 16 wards, 15 of roughly the same population size, and the Banks Peninsula ward. Although fewer people live there, the unique nature and geographic isolation of Banks Peninsula means that it warrants its own ward.

Each ward elects one Councillor.

Electors in each of the city wards also elect two people to represent them on the local Community Board.

The Banks Peninsula Community Board is made up of members elected from four subdivisions.

The Mayor is elected ‘at large’ by all of Christchurch and Banks Peninsula’s voters.

“In 2021 people around Christchurch and Banks Peninsula had a chance to help decide how many elected members there are, how they’re elected and what communities they represent,’’ explains Christchurch City Council Electoral Officer Jo Daly.

“As a result of that Representation Review, some ward boundaries and representation arrangements were changed so people may find that they are in a different ward or community board area than in the previous election.

“The voting papers that enrolled voters will start to receive from 16 September will be for the ward they are in, but there is also an interactive map on the Council’s website that people can use to find out their ward,’’ Ms Daly says.

A Representation Review is carried out every six years to ensure there is fair representation at elections, with each Councillor representing around the same number of people.

The review also looks at the names and boundaries of wards and whether or not there should be Community Boards.

In the 2021 Representation Review some minor changes were made to the ward boundaries. The review also resulted in a reduction in the number of Community Boards, from seven to six.

Due to that change, the Waikura Linwood-Central-Heathcote Community Board will cease to exist after October’s local elections. Its three wards are being incorporated into other Community Boards.  The Linwood ward is joining the Waitai Coastal-Burwood Community Board, the Central Ward is joining the Waipapa Papanui-Innes Community Board, and the Heathcote Ward is joining the Waihoro Spreydon-Cashmere Community Board.