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Single Transferable Vote system for health boards

1 August 2000 Media Statement

Single Transferable Vote system for health boards

Health Minister Annette King says the Government is keen to introduce a new voting system for District Health Board elections in 200, but accepts that further work is needed before that can happen.

"The Single Transferable Vote method (STV) is our preferred option for
District Health Board elections, and has the potential to deliver better representation of minority groups than the system currently used for local government elections," Mrs King said today when releasing more Cabinet papers on planned changes to the health and disability sector.

"The Government has proposed a Taskforce to develop STV for the first board elections in October 2001."

In these elections, which will coincide with local body elections, voters in each DHB district will choose seven residents to serve on the DHB board, and the Minister may also appoint up to four additional members.

Mrs King said board meetings will be open to the public and the media, unlike the meetings of the current hospital and health service companies.

"It is important that local communities have the opportunity to be part of
DHB processes. Open meetings will mean there is good access to information about DHB board decisions."

Mrs King said the cabinet papers also showed the proposed boundaries of the DHB districts.

The boundaries would be the subject of more discussion, she said. Public submissions on DHB boundaries were also expected when the Health Select Committee considered the New Zealand Public Health and Disability Bill.

ENDS

Background information

STV is used in some elections overseas, including the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Malta and Australia. STV was one of the other options for New Zealand general elections considered alongside MMP. It is more suitable than MMP for local elections, however, since MMP is a party-based system.

The following websites may be of help in understanding the details of the
STV voting method. It should be noted however, that there are a number of different ways that an STV election can be run, and no decisions have yet been made about the particular system to be used in New Zealand.

http://www.aceproject.org/main/english/es/esf04/default.htm
part of a United Nations site on the administration and cost of elections

http://www.electoral-reform.org.uk/
the UK Electoral Reform Society, which advocates STV under 'Voting
Systems'

http://www.electoral.tas.gov.au/pages/hareclark.html
outlines the particular STV system currently used in Tasmanian elections.

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