Electoral Boundaries Commission Act 2010

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Electoral Boundaries Commission Act 2010


Act 15 of 2010







C
T

ELECTORAL BOUNDARIES

COMMISSION ACT 2010

Electoral Boundaries Commission Act 2010 Arrangement of Sections





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Act No. 15 of 2010 Page 3




C
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ELECTORAL BOUNDARIES COMMISSION ACT

2010

Arrangement of Sections

Section

PART 1 - PRELIMINARY 5

1 Short title ..................................................................................................... 5
2 Interpretation ............................................................................................... 5

PART 2 - THE COMMISSION 6

3 Establishment of Commission ...................................................................... 6
4 Members of Commission ............................................................................. 6
5 Remuneration............................................................................................... 7
6 Officers ........................................................................................................ 7
7 Chairman ..................................................................................................... 7
8 Meetings ...................................................................................................... 7
9 Delegation ................................................................................................... 7
10 Funding of Commission ............................................................................... 7
11 Specialists .................................................................................................... 8
12 Protection of Commissioners and officers..................................................... 8
13 Annual and other reports .............................................................................. 8
14 Accounting and Audit .................................................................................. 8

PART 3 – ROLE OF COMMISSION 9

15 Independence of the Commission ................................................................. 9
16 Principal role of the Commission.................................................................. 9
17 Determination of boundaries ........................................................................ 9

Arrangement of Sections Electoral Boundaries Commission Act 2010





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18 Principles in determining boundaries .......................................................... 10
19 First determinations ................................................................................... 10
20 Regulations determining boundaries ........................................................... 11

PART 4 - GENERAL 11

21 Census and statistics .................................................................................. 11
22 Repeal, saving and transitional ................................................................... 11

Electoral Boundaries Commission Act 2010 Section 1





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Act No. 15 of 2010 Page 5




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ELECTORAL BOUNDARIES COMMISSION ACT

2010

Act No. 15 of 2010

AN ACT TO ESTABLISH AN ELECTORAL BOUNDARIES

COMMISSION TO DEFINE THE BOUNDARIES OF ELECTORAL

DISTRICTS AND KEEP THOSE BOUNDARIES UNDER REVIEW

I assent,
PRINCESS SALOTE PILOLEVU TUITA,

6
th
May 2010.

BE IT ENACTED by the King and Legislative Assembly of Tonga in the Legislature

of the Kingdom as follows:

__________________________________________________________________

PART 1 - PRELIMINARY

1 Short title

This Act may be cited as the Electoral Boundaries Commission Act 2010.

2 Interpretation

In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires —

Section 3 Electoral Boundaries Commission Act 2010





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―census‖ means a national population census made under section 8

of the Statistics Act;

―Commission‖ means the Electoral Boundaries Commission

established by section 3;

―Electoral Districts‖ means one of the following –

(a) Tongatapu;

(b) Vava‘u;

(c) Ha‘apai;

(d) ‗Eua;

(e) the Niuas.

PART 2 - THE COMMISSION

3 Establishment of Commission

There is hereby established a Commission to be known as the Electoral
Boundaries Commission.

4 Members of Commission

(1) The Commission shall consist of –

(a) a person who holds or has held judicial office;

(b) a person with skill and experience as a statistician; and

(c) a qualified land surveyor,

appointed by His Majesty in Council for a term of five years, and –

(i) one Commissioner shall be appointed to be the Chairman;

(ii) His Majesty in Council may revoke the appointment of a
Commissioner for misconduct or incompetence, and appoint

another person to be a Commissioner for the balance of that
Commissioner‘s term.

(2) The Commissioners and any person appointed under section 6 or 11 shall

not be subject to the Public Service Act 2002 in the exercise of their
functions under this Act.

(3) In the event that a Commissioner resigns or is unable to perform his

functions as a Commissioner, then His Majesty in Council may appoint a
replacement Commissioner.

Electoral Boundaries Commission Act 2010 Section 5





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Act No. 15 of 2010 Page 7




5 Remuneration

The Chairman, members of the Commission and any person appointed under
section 6 or section 11, may be engaged on a part-time or full-time basis and

shall be paid such remuneration or allowances, or both, as may be determined by

the Independent Commission on higher salary and remuneration.

6 Officers

The Commission may, with the consent of Cabinet, appoint such qualified

officers and staff, full-time or part-time, as may be required for the proper

conduct of the business of the Commission.

7 Chairman

The Chairman shall be the head of the Commission and shall be responsible for

the efficient and effective operation of the Commission.

8 Meetings

(1) The quorum of the Commission shall be 2 members.

(2) The Chairman shall —

(a) call and attend regular meetings of the Commission;

(b) preside over the meetings of the Commission; and

(c) co-opt any person from the public or a specialist to any meeting of

the Commission if he considers it necessary.

(3) Subject to this Act, the Commission shall determine its own procedure.

9 Delegation

The Commission may delegate to a member, officer or committee of the
Commission the exercise of any of its functions but such delegation shall not

prevent the exercise of the function by the Commission.

10 Funding of Commission

The funds available to the Commission shall be —

(a) moneys allocated by the Legislative Assembly for that purpose;

(b) moneys paid to or for it by an external agency or government for general

purposes, for a specific purpose, or for the remuneration and benefit of
specialists.

Section 11 Electoral Boundaries Commission Act 2010





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11 Specialists

The Commission may, for the purpose of any aspect of its functions or for a
particular undertaking, engage specialists on a fixed term or temporary basis

to—

(a) perform such work or assist in such matters as are specified; or

(b) advise the Commission.

12 Protection of Commissioners and officers

Persons appointed under this Act shall not be liable for any action done by them
in good faith whilst carrying out their functions under this Act.

13 Annual and other reports

(1) The Commission shall report to His Majesty the King and the Speaker of
the Legislative Assembly —

(a) on its activities for each calendar year by 30 March in the next year;
and

(b) upon the conduct of any determination of electoral boundaries,

within 3 months of the determination.

(2) The Speaker shall table such reports before the Legislative Assembly as

soon as possible.

(3) A copy of every report of the Commission, together with properly
authenticated maps of the electoral constituencies fixed by the report,

shall be presented by the Commission to the Legislative Assembly within

3 sitting days after the date of publication if the Legislative Assembly is
then in session, and, if not, then within 3 sitting days after the date of the

commencement of the next ensuing session.

14 Accounting and Audit

(1) The Commission shall keep proper accounts and other records in relation

to its finances and shall prepare in respect of each financial year a

statement of accounts.

(2) The accounts of the Commission shall be audited annually by the Auditor

General.

(3) The audited accounts shall be included in the annual report of the
Commission submitted under section 13.

Electoral Boundaries Commission Act 2010 Section 15





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Act No. 15 of 2010 Page 9




PART 3 – ROLE OF COMMISSION

15 Independence of the Commission

In the exercise of its functions and duties, the Commission shall be independent.

16 Principal role of the Commission

The Commission shall, subject to this Act, —

(a) determine the boundaries of electoral constituencies for the election of
representatives of the people in accordance with this Act, clause 60 of the

Constitution, and any other applicable Act;

(b) by regulations under section 20 define and establish those electoral
constituencies;

(c) after each census, and at other times that it considers justified, review the

results of the census and any other factors and, if the Commission
considers it necessary, re-determine the electoral boundaries and re-define

and establish the electoral constituencies;

(d) make recommendations for changes to the law concerning electoral
boundaries; and

(e) perform any of the functions that are specified for it in the Constitution,

the Electoral Act or any other Act.

17 Determination of boundaries

(1) Subject to subsections (2) and (3) each determination of electoral

boundaries shall be made by dividing the Kingdom into 17 electoral
constituencies containing an equal number of residents.

(2) If, in the opinion of the Commission, in taking into account the

considerations specified in subsection (3), electoral constituencies should
contain unequal numbers of residents, the Commission may in

determining electoral constituencies make an allowance by way of

addition or subtraction of population to an extent not exceeding 10 per
centum more or less:

Provided that it shall not be a ground for contesting the validity of any

election that electoral constituencies vary in population size by more than
10 per centum.

Section 18 Electoral Boundaries Commission Act 2010





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(3) In determining the degree of variation of size between electoral

constituencies (within the 10 per centum allowance specified in

subsection (2)) the Commission shall give due consideration to –

(a) the principle of population equality between electoral
constituencies;

(b) density of population;

(c) physical features including the natural boundaries of islands;

(d) local, town, district and traditional divisions and administrative
areas;

(e) the keeping of villages, estates, districts and communities of interest
intact where possible; and

(f) community of interests within the proposed electoral constituency,
including economic, social and regional interests.

18 Principles in determining boundaries

The Commission shall observe the following general principles in determining

electoral boundaries –

(a) maintaining population equality across all 17 electoral

constituencies (subject to section 17(2));

(b) minimisation of the number of electoral constituencies that span

different island groups;

(c) the drawing of boundaries along roads and coastlines wherever

possible.

19 First determinations

The Commission shall make the—

(a) first determination of electoral boundaries under section 17(1) as soon as
practicable after the commencement of this Act.

Provided that the determination of the electoral boundaries for the 2010

general election shall be based on the recommendations of the Royal
Constituency Boundaries Commission as approved by the Legislative

Assembly; and

(b) second determination of electoral boundaries under section 17(1) as soon
as practicable after it has received the results of the first census taken after

the commencement of this Act.

Electoral Boundaries Commission Act 2010 Section 20





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Act No. 15 of 2010 Page 11




20 Regulations determining boundaries

(1) The Commission shall determine, define and establish by regulations
made under this section and published in the Gazette, the boundaries of

the electoral constituencies into which the Kingdom is to be divided and

those electoral constituencies shall, until altered by regulations under this
section, be the electoral constituencies for the purpose of elections of

representatives of the people.

Provided that the regulations to be enacted to determine the electoral
boundaries for the 2010 general election shall be based on the

recommendations of the Royal Constituency Boundaries Commission as

approved by the Legislative Assembly.

(2) The boundaries fixed by the Commission in respect of the proposed

constituencies shall be defined by the Commission by the use of such

words, maps, and graphic means as are sufficient to define those proposed
boundaries accurately.

(3) Section 9 of the Government Act (rescission of regulations) does not

apply to regulations made under this section.

PART 4 - GENERAL

21 Census and statistics

(1) To facilitate the second determination of boundaries under this Act, the

Minister responsible for the administration of the Statistics Act shall cause
a general population census to be carried out before the next General

Election.

(2) The Government Statistician shall certify and provide to the Commission
such information, calculations and projections that the Commission may

require to enable it to perform its functions under this Act.

22 Repeal, saving and transitional

(1) The Order in Council made in December 2009 under the Royal

Commissions Act for the purpose of establishing the Royal Constituency

Boundaries Commission shall be repealed on the day that this Act comes
into force.

(2) The repeal effected by subsection (1) shall not affect the validity of any

act of the Royal Constituency Boundaries Commission or any of the
protections and immunities attaching to its members.

Section 22 Electoral Boundaries Commission Act 2010





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(3) The offices and assets of the Royal Constituency Boundaries Commission

shall after the repeal effected by subsection (1) become vested in the
Commission.

(4) Until an Independent Commission on higher salary and remuneration is

established, section 5 shall be read as if the reference to such an
Independent Commission was a reference to His Majesty in Council.



Passed by the Legislative Assembly this 20
th
day of April 2010.

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