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STV is Simply Fairer

STV is Simply Fairer

The first of over a dozen referenda on the local voting system will start this Friday in Banks Peninsula, which was obliged to hold a poll when enough local residents signed a poll demand asking to have a say in their own democracy.

“We are thrilled that over half a million New Zealanders voters now have the chance to decide for themselves which voting system they want to use in local body elections,” said Lynne Serpe, national STV coordinator.

“We’re confident that voters in Banks Peninsula and around the country will recognise that STV is simply fairer.”

In addition to Banks Peninsula, citizen-triggered polls will be taking place in Tararua, Christchurch, Dunedin, Carterton, Waipa, Horowhenua, Palmerston North, Thames and South Wairarapa over the next few months. Masterton District Council is sponsoring its own poll while Opotiki District Council will be voting next week on whether to hold one.

“We’re pleased the Government has allocated some resources to voter education,” continued Ms. Serpe. “Local activists plan on supplementing that information with public awareness campaigns which will include mock elections.”

Several councils adopted STV last year and Wellington voters chose it in their referendum, meaning that over a quarter of a million voters are already scheduled to use STV for their local body elections. In addition, all voters in the country will be using STV to elect District Health Boards starting in 2004.

Volunteers in Hutt, Tasman, Napier and Gisborne are still gathering signatures on their poll demands. An amendment to the Local Electoral Act passed last year extended the deadline to 28 February 2003.

More information about STV and each campaign is available on our web site at www.stvnz.org

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