Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


South Island suffers if MPs cut, say Greens

The South Island will suffer if the number of MPs is cut to 99, says Green Party Co-Leader and MP Rod Donald.

A referendum is to be held during the general election about whether to reduce the size of parliament from the present 120 seats to 99.

"Clearly any reduction in the number of South Island electorate seats, currently 16, would mean even larger electorates and less representation," Mr Donald said.

If only list seats were cut this could threaten the level of South Island representation. This is because the number of electorate MPs rises according to a formula based on the ratio of the number of people living in the North Island compared to the number in the South Island and the number of list seats is reduced to compensate for the number of extra constituency seats.

Already, because of the population growth in the North Island, at this year's election there are two more constituency seats than for the last election, and two fewer list seats.

"If this trend continues, as expected, then the number of list seats would soon fall below 30, increasing the likelihood of a Party winning more constituency seats than its share of the Party vote. When this happens a Party is, obviously, entitled to keep all its constituency seats," Mr Donald said.

"Not only would that mean there would be more than 99 seats for that parliament, but proportionality would also be lost because of this overhang."

To avoid undermining our system of proportional representation, either the number of South Island constituency seats would need to drop below 16, or the population size in each North Island seat would become increasing larger than in the South. Either option would be very unpopular, Mr Donald said.

The physical size of the South Island electorates already makes them very difficult for MPs to service.

There are currently 28 constituency and list MPs representing the South Island - roughly equivalent to its proportion of the population of New Zealand.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Werewolf: What Does Winston Peters Want His Legacy To Be?

A lot of people in New Zealand seem to resent Winston Peters and the power that he appears to have. “Appears” being the operative word. In reality, Peters will have power only up to the point that he uses it.

By next week, he’ll have become just another junior player in an MMP governing arrangement, battling to hold onto the gains he was promised. More>>


Rising Toll: Road Safety Needs To Be A Higher Priority

Official advice released to the Green Party under the Official Information Act shows that the previous National Government dismissed an option to make road safety its most important transport priority after being told the road toll was rising. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>


Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>


Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>


Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>


Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election