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Local Electoral Bill spells end for FPP

The Green Party says the inclusion of STV in the Local Electoral Bill, reported back to the House today, spells the end of the first past the post electoral system.

The Local Electoral Bill now includes most of the substance of Green MP Rod Donald's STV Option Bill, and also requires STV to be used for 2004 District Health Board Elections.

"I'm delighted this parliament will soon make it possible for councils and their communities to dump first past the post and adopt the fairer STV electoral system for local body elections," said Green Party Co-Leader Rod Donald.

"This long overdue change was blocked by the last National government and is still opposed by them, despite widespread support from local authorities."

Mr Donald said the certainty that the 2004 District Health Boards elections will be held using STV will encourage many councils to also switch to STV.

"I look forward to the widespread adoption of STV following this year's local body elections.

"STV will do for local government what MMP has done for parliament - achieve more diverse representation, especially of Maori, women, young people and special interest groups; reduce the level of wasted votes and facilitate the presence of all significant viewpoints at the council table.

"I also hope that getting rid of FPP will lead to higher voter turnouts as many people come to realise that their vote will count for the first time with STV," he said.

The Local Electoral Bill is expected to become law before the May recess.

Rod Donald is willing to demonstrate the Meek's method of computer counting STV votes to any interested journalists.


ENDS

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