The government has released its response to the royal commission into Auckland Governance.
According to the 2008 social report, there 579 women were elected to local authorities in 2007 which represents about 32 percent of elected members. Just 3 out of the sixteen city councils are headed by women and 10/57 district councils are headed by an XXer. An interesting nugget of information is that prior to the introduction of MMP, there was a higher proportion of women elected officials in local government than were was in central government.
In Auckland the ARC does fairly well in female representation with 45 per cent but the local councils lag behind at about 37 per cent with the region having only one mayor, Penny Webster up in Rodney.
What is this amalgamation likely to do? Well under the current proposals it looks like a step back. An an article comparing local body amglmations in Toronto and London found:
"At the same time as Toronto's megacity council remains stuck in the 30 per cent women range, much like the old Metro council, London's new metropolitan council has reached and even surpassed the 40 per cent mark — arguably because 11 of the 25 council members have been elected using a proportionality scheme."
Given that a large number of the councillors on the new Auckland City Council will be elected at-large by block vote I suspect the numbers are likely to go down given the size of the constituencies and the method of voting used.