Calls for electorate boundaries to be renamed

Some of the 50-plus objections to proposed electorate boundaries in Canterbury calls for two of them to be renamed while others are unhappy with either gaining or losing certain communities.

The Representation Commission has just released details of the objections it received on its redrawing of several electorates nationwide.

Throughout New Zealand, it received 409 objections with 55 of those dealing with Canterbury electorates.

Two electorates included petitions with their objections while some called for Christchurch Central to be renamed Avon or Otakaro.

In the Port Hills electorate there were suggestions to have it renamed Banks Peninsula.

In Christchurch East, 11 people made objections​ with one petition of more than 200 signatures opposed to losing the Bromley community which has been shifted to Port Hills under the proposal.

There were also objections raised about the plan to move Mairehau and part of St Albans from Christchurch Central to Christchurch East.

Electors in Christchurch Central made 15 objections including a petition signed by more than 20 people that opposed to the northern boundary with the Waimakariri seat.

One petition with more than 60 signatures came out of the Port Hills electorate, angry at gaining the Halswell area from the existing Selwyn electorate.

Voters in Selwyn filed 10 objections including one 180-signature petition opposed to the communities of Hornby, Islington and Hei Hei moving into Selwyn from Wigram, while there were two objections about Rakaia moving into Selwyn from Rangitata.

The last time electorate maps were redrawn was in 2007 and that proposal attracted 331 objections.

Commission chairman Bernard Kendall said over 1700 people this time contributed to the process through individual, form submissions and petitions.

"Objections include suggestions for electorate name changes and changes of boundaries to reflect their communities of interest. Some objectors want to see the existing electorate boundaries retained.''

The public can now make counter-objections which close on January 29.The final boundaries, to be used for the next two general elections, will be released on April 17.


Mairehau should stay in Christchurch Central because its community of interest is in that electorate, a sitting MP says.

Christchurch Central MP Nicky Wagner was one of 55 locals to make objections to the proposed electorate boundary changes. 

A summary of objections revealed Wagner called for Mairehau not to move to Christchurch East "as their community of interest is with St Albans, Merivale and Papanui".

She also did not like the proposed northern boundary with Waimakariri because it split communities.

Wagner said Marshland Road and QEII Drive were "the natural boundaries''of the community.

Meanwhile, National's candidate in last November's Christchurch East by-election, has also had his say.

Matthew Doocey said the proposed boundary extended so far north the Christchurch Central name was "no longer relevant".

He suggested renaming the seat "Avon".

Others calling for a new Avon or "Christchurch'' name included lawyer Andrew Riches who was involved in last year's Aaron Gilmore saga.

Former Christchurch deputy ma​yor Ngaire Button also made an objection - in the Christchurch Central seat where she lives with her family.

She was against including Mairehau in that seat "as its connections are not with the east.''

She was also concerned the proposed new boundary could split the St Albans and Mairehau communities.

Button also wanted "community discussion'' about a new name for Christchurch Central "as the electorate is now bigger than central Christchurch".

Meanwhile, Selwyn MP Amy Adams, in her objection, supported the proposed Selwyn boundaries "however it leaves two small areas isolated from their communities".

She wanted all houses on Old Tai Tapu Rd contained within Selwyn.

Adams also called for the detour down Sawyers Arms Rd and Harewood Rd removed and to have that boundary "run consistently'' along Russley Rd.

The Press