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Health Board STV Debacle Unacceptable

Health Board STV Debacle Unacceptable

ACT New Zealand Health Spokesman Heather Roy today labelled the STV District Health Board elections an unacceptable shambles, and said that blaming the higher numbers of votes received in the last days was nothing more than a cop-out.

"It is completely unacceptable that, three full days after the close of polling, only four out of the 21 DHBs have their results determined," Mrs Roy said.

"The citing of high numbers of voting contradicts other publicity about record low voter turnouts around the country. Further, most of the votes were received by post in the weeks leading up to October 9, so delays should be minimal."

"It is the STV voting system itself that is the problem. This system was chosen for political reasons and forced on to communities. Already we have seen local areas missing out on representation - such as Kapiti, in Capital & Coast DHB. This pattern will likely be repeated as more results are determined.

"Health Minister Annette King is going to have a tough time using her appointments to balance skills, gender, ethnicity and regional imbalances.

"Local communities should have been given the option of keeping a First-Past-the-Post system with local wards, as with the last DHB elections. That system worked well, and had much higher participation rates.

"In light of the fiasco surrounding the STV DHB elections, I am now contemplating drafting a Members Bill to give local communities the right to choose the FPP voting for the next elections. Communities should have the right to choose what works best for them," Mrs Roy said.

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