Carter seeks more cash for big Northland electorate

Northland MP John Carter wants to increase the allowance he receives for servicing his electorate by changing the classification of the constituency.

His proposal is set out in a submission to the Representation Commission, which called for public input to proposed electorate boundary changes.

Although the commission has left unchanged the boundaries of Mr Carter's large Northland electorate, the MP made his submission anyway.

Northland was one of four "F" electorates that had a greater geographical area than two of the "G" electorates, Mr Carter said.

The electorate stretches from Kaiwaka to Cape Reinga.

MPs in "G" electorates receive more allowances to carry out their electorate duties than their "F" colleagues.

Representation Commission secretary Hugh Garland said the classifications were set depending on how difficult it was for MPs to service their electorate.

The criteria on which the classifications were based were set by the Higher Salaries Commission, and once new boundaries were confirmed the Representation Commission decided how each electorate would be classed, he said.

He agreed that even with no changes to the Northland boundaries, it was still possible the electorate could be reclassified.

Mr Carter had not been happy about his electorate's classification the last time boundaries had been redrawn, but had not made a submission that time, Mr Garland said.

This was the fifth electorate boundary change process he had worked on, and it was the first time he could remember anyone challenging a classification.

The one electorate with Northland links where a boundary change is proposed is Dover Samuels' Maori seat of Te Tai Tokerau.

As a result of growth in the Maori electoral population in the greater Auckland area, Te Tai Tokerau's southern end has contracted, but it still retains North Shore City and part of Waitakere City.

The Representation Commission said no submissions had been made about the proposed change.

From the country as a whole, the commission had received 199 objections to the proposed electoral boundaries announced in November, it said.

Any counter-objections must be made by January 24.

- NZPA

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