Christchurch voters reject change
Christchurch voters reject change for local body election system
Christchurch electors have voted to stay with the First Past the Post (FPP) system for the next two local body elections.
A postal ballot asking voters to choose between FPP and the Single Transferable Vote (STV) system closed at midday today (5 April). The result was 53,204 for FPP and 30,334 for STV. There were 1511 informal votes cast.
Christchurch electoral officer Max Robertson says the 85,049 votes received represent 36.47 per cent of enrolled voters.
¡ñ Results of the Environment Canterbury by-election for Christchurch West are to be released by ECan. For information, phone Peter Berry on 025 339 765.
¡ñ Background to city vote Voting papers were posted
out in mid-March. It was a simple majority decision:
whichever electoral system attracted the most votes would be
used for the 2004 and 2007 Mayoral, City Council and
Community Board elections, and any associated by-elections.
Christchurch is the second of the country¡¯s large cities to
put the issue to a vote. Wellington late last year narrowly
voted in favour of a change to STV. In that vote, fewer than
four in 10 registered voters took part and, of those, just
over half favoured STV. Voters in several other cities and
districts (including Dunedin, Nelson and Banks Peninsula)
are now, or soon will be, taking part in similar polls as a
result of petitions. Nationally, the STV system came into
consideration because of a change in the law under which
local government operates. The Government decided councils
should now regularly review their electoral systems and give
voters an opportunity to decide if a change is needed. Last
year the Christchurch City Council decided it did not favour
change. It had earlier circulated information about the STV
voting system and asked for people¡¯s opinions. The
Council¡¯s vote was close ¡ª 13-12. At the time the Council
decided it would conduct a poll on electoral systems as part
of the 2004 elections. After that decision, a local group
began collecting signatures for a petition to force a
binding vote. Under the law if 5 per cent of voters (in
Christchurch, that¡¯s about 11,000 people) ask for a poll,
the Council is bound to hold one. The petition was presented
just before Christmas, and it was found to contain enough
signatures to require a poll to be held.