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This article examines the extent to which Auckland Council candidates and elected members have reflected the diversity of the unitary city’s population since the amalgamation in 2010 of eight former local authorities. The findings confirm that electoral candidates have become more ethnically and gender diverse at the local board level, but city-wide the trend away from New Zealand’s traditional European, male and older local representatives has been less pronounced. Overall the research presents an optimistic picture of post-reform representation in Auckland local democracy. There has been a significant increase in representation of women and Pacific and Asian people. However, the ongoing challenges facing Māori to achieve fair and effective representation in Auckland raise questions about the efficacy of the Local Electoral Act 2001, as the Auckland Council persistently chooses to retain first-past-the-post voting for its electoral system.
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