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Council to hold public poll on STV or FPP voting

NEWS RELEASE
29 February 2008

Council to hold public poll on STV or FPP voting

Wellington City Council last night agreed that a public poll be held to decide whether the Single Transferable Voting (STV) or First Past the Post (FPP) electoral system is used for the 2010 and 2013 local authority elections.

Under the Local Electoral Act 2001, the Council, having completed two elections under STV, can reconsider what electoral system is used for the 2010 and 2013 elections. If the Council had chosen to retain the STV system and not have a public poll, the public could still have demanded, by way of a petition, that a poll be held.

Poll voting papers will be posted out to all Wellington city residents on the electoral roll on Friday 5 September and results announced three weeks later, after noon on Saturday 27 September. The poll will be conducted using the FPP system with $185,000 allocated to run it.

Mayor Kerry Prendergast, Chair of the Strategy and Policy Committee, is pleased the public poll will take place.

“In September 2002 the Council asked electors what voting system they wanted for the 2003 and 2007 elections. STV was the result. It is appropriate to again ask the public what they want.

“This poll will give our residents the opportunity to tell us whether that system meets their needs and whether they want their Council to continue to be elected under STV or whether elections should revert to FPP.”

Deputy Mayor Ian McKinnon, the Council’s Governance Portfolio Leader, says he feels Wellingtonians are best placed to decide what electoral system is the right one for the city.

“STV versus FFP has provoked a lot of debate and feedback and we believe Wellingtonians themselves should decide what electoral system they want to use to elect their Councillors. It is an issue of such importance that it is only right that the people’s voice is directly heard, as it was in 2002.

“The poll is consistent with the Council’s policy of wanting to involve the public in decision-making that affects them and at the same time making it as easy as possible for them to do so.”

ENDS

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