About 3800 Whangarei residents are set to shift to a different ward within the district - but it's not the people who will be moving but the boundary lines.
The Whangarei District Council is reviewing the way residents are arranged and represented in the electoral system, a review required by law every six years.
The process, which will include a period for public submissions, needs to be finished this year because local body elections will be held next year.
Change is necessary because the population in the Denby Ward has outgrown the legal ratio of citizens per councillor.
The law states that each ward should have a population/councillor ratio within 10 per cent (plus or minus) of the total district population/councillor ratio.
Councillors were presented with a range of options to remedy the situation, from adding another councillor to merging wards or changing the ward boundaries.
At an extraordinary meeting on Thursday, they chose to keep the number of councillors as it is and shift the boundaries to shuffle the population numbers around. Community boards were considered but have not been included in the proposed changes because councillors felt the current ward structure provided constituents with effective and fair representation.
To bring the Denby Ward back into an acceptable ratio, several streets in the Kensington Avenue area have been re-assigned to the Okara Ward, and 896 people in the Dip Rd area have been moved into the Hikurangi-Coastal Ward.
While they were at it, councillors decided to shift some of the other boundaries to better reflect "communities of interest".
In doing so, they had to move more boundaries to compensate for the increased numbers in some wards.
The final proposal is illustrated on the adjoining map, which shows the existing boundaries and the proposed areas of change.