New Zealand Localities
Voting Form of Proportional Representation
At least eight local councils in
New Zealand will use choice voting (also called "the single
transferable vote") for their next elections, while others having
citizen votes on the issue include the capital city of Wellington.
The New Zealand parliament had
passed a law the required use of choice voting for new health board
elections in 2004 and giving localities the option to adopt the
system. As of September 22, all 86 local councils (15 city councils,
59 district councils and 12 regional councils made their decisions.
Eight councils resolved to change to choice voting immediately for
2004. Many others held off, as many councilmembers apparently did
not want to change the winner-take-all system that elected them.
There are now numerous petition
efforts for a citizen vote on the electoral system -- petitioners
must gathering the signatures off 5% of electors. They have 90 days
to get them, meaning in this case until mid-December 2002. Polls of
electors must then take place within 82 days, which would mean by
the end of March 2003.
In addition, local councils have
until 28 February 2003 to resolve to hold a referendum, regardless
of what decision they made (or, in the case of 14 of them, didn't
make) by the 12th of this month. he poll in Wellington City is on
Saturday, 30 November; the poll in Whangarei District is on
Thursday, 5 December; and the Masterton District Council will
resolve, sometime late-November/early December, to hold a poll in March 2003.
For more information, visit www.stv.govt.nz, a helpful website
run by the Department of Internal Affairs.