Waikato voters will elect 14 regional councillors from six general and two Maori constituencies at the 2013 local body elections following Waikato Regional Council's review of its representation arrangements. One representative would be elected from the Taupo-Rotorua region.
The Local Electoral Act requires councils to review how many councillors they have and how they represent their communities at least every six years.
After hearing submissions on its proposed boundary changes the council confirmed it would reduce the number of general constituencies from eight to six, with 12 councillors, and establish two Maori constituencies with one councillor each.
The council said the changes encourage greater participation in local democracy, ensure fair and effective representation and better align with both local councils' and the regional council's river management zones.
A new general constituency called Waihou would be formed by joining Matamata-Piako, South Waikato and part of the North Waikato constituencies with the aim of better supporting river catchment management.
A new Taupo-Rotorua general constituency would be formed by joining parts of the Rotorua district with Taupo.
A key challenge for the council is ensuring fair representation for people in smaller districts with declining populations.
The northern Maori seat covering Hamilton city and Waikato district will be called Nga Hau e Wha (the four winds) while the Maori seat covering Thames-Coromandel, Hauraki, Matamata-Piako, Waipa, Otorohanga, Waitomo, South Waikato and parts of Taupo and Rotorua districts will be called Nga Tai ki Uta (from coastal to inland).