Representation Commission Appointments

Justice Minister Andrew Little today announced the appointment of the four political nominees for the Representation Commission. Nominations are confirmed by Parliament.

“I am pleased to announce that the Government’s nominated representatives will be Hon Rick Barker and, for the Māori electoral boundaries, Moana Mackey. The Opposition parties nominations will be Hon Roger Sowry and, for the Māori electoral boundaries, Daniel Te Kanawa.”

“I welcome the nominees and the diverse backgrounds they will bring to the Representation Commission,” says Andrew Little.

The Representation Commission is the body charged under the Electoral Act 1993 with determining the number of electoral districts in New Zealand and fixing the boundaries for those electorates.

When the Representation Commission carries out the task of setting the boundaries of the general electoral districts, the Commission consists of the Chairperson, four ex officio members (the Surveyor-General, the Government Statistician, the Chief Electoral Officer and the Chairperson of the Local Government Commission) and two political representatives, appointed by the Governor-General on the nomination of the House of Representatives, one to represent the Government and one to represent the Opposition.

When setting the boundaries of the Māori electoral districts, the Commission’s membership consists of all the members described above, plus the Chief Executive of Te Puni Kokiri, and two political representatives, who must be Māori, appointed by the Governor-General on the nomination of the House of Representatives, one to represent the Government and one the Opposition.

Biographical information

Mr Barker is the principal of Rick Barker Consulting, undertaking a wide range of work including as Chief Crown Negotiator on Treaty of Waitangi settlements.  Between 1993 and 2011 he served as a Member of Parliament and held a number of ministerial posts including Minister of Customs, Minister of Courts, Associate Minister of Justice and Minister of Internal Affairs.

Mr Sowry was a Member of Parliament from 1990 to 2005 and served as a Cabinet Minister between 1996 and 1999.  He retired from Parliament in 2005 moving to become Chief Executive of Arthritis New Zealand.  In 2008 he joined the government relations consultancy firm Saunders Unsworth.

Ms Mackey has been employed at the Wellington City Council since 2014, most latterly as Chief Advisor to the Chief City Planner.  From 2003 to 2014 she served as a Member of Parliament and between 2008 and 2014 she was the Opposition spokesperson for the Environment, Climate Change, Science, Energy and Resources, Research and Development, Housing, Rural Affairs and Associate Health. 

Mr Te Kanawa is the Chief Executive of the Tuhono Māori Affiliation Service and and is a Trustee of the Ngāti Maniapoto Marae Pact Trust representing the Oparure Marae since 1981.  He holds a New Zealand Certificate in Draughting (Civil Engineering).