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Public invited to have say on the electoral system

Public invited to have say on the electoral system

A review of New Zealand's electoral administration is underway and is now seeking the views of the public.

The Expert Panel overseeing the review process was appointed by the Minister of Justice in September to review electoral administration and political party funding. This task includes examining the structure, composition, functions and jurisdiction of the various electoral agencies. Panel members are: Associate Professor Andrew Geddis (Chair), Dr Jean Drage and Professor Stephen Levine

Chairperson of the Panel, Associate Professor Andrew Geddis, says the panel is conducting its work in two stages. "The first stage deals purely with the agencies responsible for the administration of the electoral system, namely the Chief Electoral Office, Electoral Commission, Electoral Enrolment Centre and Representation Commission. We are asking whether having four separate agencies involved in running elections is the best approach to take.

"An important part of the Panel's work is public consultation. We are keen to get the views and opinions of as many New Zealanders as possible on whether the current administrative structure is as good as it could be. The more people that provide submissions the better," says Professor Geddis.

"The Panel is looking forward to hearing the views of a wide cross section of New Zealanders. This is an important issue that touches on the very heart of New Zealand's democratic process," says Professor Geddis.

The Panel will also be conducting a second stage of work. In 2009 a Citizens' Forum will be convened to examine the issue of political party funding and recommended reforms. The Panel's role will be to provide information and options for this Forum to deliberate on.

Further information, including how to make submissions, about the review of electoral administration can be found at www.electoralreview.govt.nz

ENDS

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