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Local government boundaries

Use the boundary descriptions button on the left to search for a particular local authority. Other information about how to define or change boundaries can be found below.

Defining boundaries

The normal practice is for boundaries to be defined on plans, although sometimes boundaries may be described in written form in an Act of Parliament or Order in Council.

Boundaries are usually described by reference to

  • property boundaries:
  • roads:
  • geographic features such as rivers and other waterways, and the tops of mountain ranges:
  • lines between two or more identified points:
  • in the case of seaward boundaries, a tidal level such as the mean high water mark or mean low water springs; or the 12 mile limit

Changing boundaries

External boundaries

The Local Government Act 2002 contains four mechanisms through which the external boundaries of a local authority may be changed:

  • Notices in the New Zealand Gazette signed by the Minister of Local Government (clause 5(1)*, Schedule 2)*.
  • Clause 5(2)*, Schedule 2 which provides that land reclaimed from the sea automatically forms part of the adjoining district.
  • Orders in Council implementing a reorganisation scheme issued under Schedule 3 of the Local Government Act 2002 (Schedule 3)*
  • Orders in Council implementing a determination of the Local Government Commission under section 26 of the Local Government Act 2002.

Occasionally boundaries may be altered or defined by an Act of Parliament (see Chatham Island Council Act 1994, section 5)*

Internal boundaries

Ward, constituency, community and subdivision boundaries can be defined or changed by a representation review carried out under the Local Electoral Act 2001.

Communities may also be constituted under Schedule 6 of the Local Government Act 2002.

Representation Review plans

When boundaries are defined as a result of a representation review a description or plan of those boundaries is required to be certified by the Surveyor General to ensure the description or plan makes the boundaries capable of identification.

To assist the preparation of plans the Surveyor-General has published a standard - Standard for Plans of Local Authority Electoral Areas LINZS5000.