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Government locks councils into STV for 2007

Government locks councils into STV for 2007

“Communities frustrated with the debacle over the counting of STV votes will be horrified to learn that Labour’s local electoral law requires them to keep the system in 2007,” says National’s Local Government spokesman, Nick Smith.

Section 27 of the Local Electoral Act 2001 requires that any decision by resolution or by referendum to change a council’s electoral system applies to at least the next two triennial elections. This is confirmed on the LGNZ website which states in the Election code 4.3

‘If the electoral system changes (either by local authority resolution or poll), the new electoral system remains in use for at least two triennial elections and may only be changed following this period by way of a local authority resolution or by a poll.’

“The STV system has failed miserably. It has delivered over a fortnight of uncertainty, a record low turnout and a record high level of invalid votes. It is madness that councils must keep the failed system for another election.

“The law also makes for a nightmare in fixing this mess. Any change in the electoral system has to be made not later than September 12th 2005 for the 2007 local election. The select committee inquiry is unlikely to report back until next year, which will leave insufficient time to pass a bill before the Election.

“The Government created this shambles with its new politically correct Local Electoral Act 2001. It must start the work now to correct its blunder or Councils will get caught in a legal log-jam.

“A National Government will make legislation for a single system of local voting a top priority,” says Dr Smith.

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