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The demographic characteristics of the 2022 Auckland Council election candidates and elected members

Jesse Allpress; Danielle David
Auckland Council Research and Evaluation Unit, RIMU
Publication date:  

Executive summary

This report presents a summary of the demographic characteristics of 2022 Auckland Council election candidates, as well as a comparison between candidates and the Auckland adult population (aged 18 years and older).

The information presented here is from self-reported data. All candidates who stood for election were invited to provide their demographic details, and over half (260 out of 431 unique candidates, or 60%) did so. The voluntary nature of the survey, and associated non-response from 40 per cent of candidates, means that the percentages reported are an estimate of candidate characteristics only.

The analysis shows that, for the 2022 Auckland Council election:

  • Female candidates were underrepresented within the total candidate pool. A higher percentage of female candidates were elected than male candidates, however, resulting in a more representative balance of male and female elected members.
  • The age distribution of candidates tended to be skewed toward ‘older’ age groups, compared to that of the Auckland adult population. Most candidates were aged 35 years or older; very few younger candidates aged between 18-34 stood for election.
  • A higher percentage of European and Māori candidates stood for election than might be expected from looking at the Auckland adult population. Both groups were also more likely to be elected, resulting notable ‘over representation’ of both groups amongst elected members, compared to the characteristics of the Auckland population. The percentage of candidates standing who identified as Pacific Peoples or ‘Middle Eastern/Latin American/African (MELAA) and other ethnic groups’ was similar to the underlying Auckland population. Asian candidates were notably underrepresented, however, with only 12 per cent of candidates identifying as Asian (compared to 29% of the Auckland population).
  • Candidates were more likely to be born in New Zealand than the Auckland adult population, with 74 per cent of candidates born in New Zealand, compared to 51 per cent of the Auckland adult population.
  • Almost one third (30%) of candidates were able to hold a conversation in at least one language other than English. This percentage was higher for unelected candidates (34%) than elected candidates (22%).

Auckland Council technical report, TR2023/3

February 2023