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Experts to speak on Beehive and MMP

Experts to speak on Beehive and MMP

Two Victoria University experts will give free public lectures on the architecture of the Beehive and the future of MMP in Wellington next week.

Dr Robin Skinner from Victoria’s School of Architecture will speak on the design of the Beehive and the behind-the-scenes story of its history and political scientist Professor Nigel Roberts will discuss the upcoming referendum on MMP.

The startling Beehive design was presented to the public by Sir Basil Spence in 1964. Despite strong opposition the building went ahead, but Sir Basil withdrew from the project a year later.

Dr Robin Skinner from the School of Architecture says 40 years of close examination of the events reveals what really happened.

“It is a fascinating story because it tells us so much about how things were done in the 1960s, architecturally and politically.

“It’s a story of architectural intrigue, political machinations and wounded pride. At the end of the day, it’s about whether the Beehive was or is good enough for New Zealand’s government.”

Professor Nigel Roberts is an expert on voting systems and was an election-night commentator for TVNZ from 1987 until 2008. He will discuss the upcoming November 26 referendum on New Zealand’s electoral system and the various options that will be presented.

“In 2008 John Key promised New Zealanders a chance to ‘kick the tyres on MMP’ and as a result we are going to have a referendum at the election. It’s very much ‘back to the future’, because this was how we originally chose MMP.

"There’s no such thing as a perfect electoral system, and New Zealanders are going to be given an opportunity for public debate and discussion about the good points and the bad points—or, if you will, the strong points and the weak points—of a range of voting system options."

What: Free public lectures by Dr Robin Skinner and Professor Nigel Roberts.

When: Wednesday 19 October, 5.30-8pm (there will be refreshments between the lectures).

Where: Rutherford House, Lecture Theatre 1, Bunny Street, Wellington.

RSVP: If you would like to attend, please email with ‘Beehive’ in the subject line or phone 04-472 1000 by Tuesday 18 October

Media are welcome to attend.


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