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Greens Call for STV in Auckland Mayoral Race

11 October 2001
Greens Call for STV in Auckland Mayoral Race

Metiria Turei, Green Party mayoral candidate for Auckland, is calling for a referendum on STV voting before the next local body election. An STV system would avoid the appalling possibility that Auckland’s mayor could have less than 25% of total voter support, a situation quite possible under the current First Pass the Post, (FPP) electoral system.

“The current system discourages voters, who are being asked to vote for candidates which they do not support." said Metiria Turei "The 'panic vote' campaign being run by some candidates in Auckland promotes very negative voting, encouraging people to vote against their preferred candidate in many cases. STV and preferential voting
promotes positive voting and ensures that the majority of votes will support the eventual mayor" she continued.

The Green Party have been promoting STV and preferential voting for local body elections under the Local Electoral Act, passed earlier this year.

The Act allows Councils and communities to decide to use STV and preferential voting instead of FPP. Councils can either resolve to change or hold a referendum of local voters. The community can also petition the council by gathering signatories from 5% of voters to force a referendum

The Auckland mayoralty race has been soured by accusations of vote splitting on the left, leaving many Aucklanders fearful that the right wing candidate, John Banks, may take office even though he would only be supported by a a small minority of the eligible voters in the city.

"The FPP system does not support or value voter choice to the extent demanded by an increasingly sophisticated voter. Voters have a real difficulty voting for issues under FPP. The Greens are committed to Positive Politics which focuses on issues not personalities. But an FPP environment does not support the issues-based campaigns sought by voters. This 2001 Auckland mayoral race starkly illustrates the need for a new style of political approach, an approach supported and conducted by the Greens. The STV system would eliminate much of the 'vote-splitting' issues that currently dog the Auckland mayoral race" said Metiria Turei, Green Party mayoral candidate. END

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