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Identity loss feared in boundary shifts

DUBBY HENRY
Last updated 05:00 22/01/2014

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Some voters are seeing red over plans to change the electoral boundaries of Papakura and Hunua.

The Representation Commission last month announced plans to shift the boundaries of the two electorates to the east and move 1400 people from Papakura to Hunua. Parts of Hunua would also move to the Waikato and Coromandel electorates.

The proposal follows the latest census showing both Papakura and Hunua electorates have grown substantially and are now overpopulated for voting purposes.

The new proposed boundaries would apply for the next two general elections.

But certain details of the changes do not sit well with some residents who raised concerns about a potential loss of historic and community identity.

Among them is Franklin Local Board chairman Andy Baker, who also wants the Hunua electorate to be renamed Franklin.

He is concerned that the Papakura electorate could eventually lose Hingaia and Karaka as well.

Papakura councillors Sir John Walker and Calum Penrose and Papakura Local Board chairman Bill McEntee submitted in favour of the changes, which would see parts of Redoubt Rd included in Papakura.

The United Future Party objected to those changes on the grounds that Redoubt Rd aligned more closely with Clevedon.

In total 409 objections were received, with more than 1700 people contributing through individual submissions and petitions. That compares with 331 objections when the boundaries were last redrawn in 2007.

Objections are now closed but people have until 5pm on January 29 to make a counter-objection, either online or by post, email or fax.

A summary of objections can be viewed online at elections.org.nz or printed copies can be viewed at the library and at the Papakura council offices at 35 Coles Cres.

The Representation Commission plans to hold public hearings between February 10 and 19, and the final boundaries will be released on April 17.

Go to elections.org.nz for more information.

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- Papakura Courier

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