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LGNZ to step up action to lift decline in voting numbers

LGNZ to step up action to lift decline in voting numbers

Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) has welcomed the announcement by the Minister of Local Government that a working party will explore the viability of on-line voting for the 2016 local authority elections.

LGNZ will be contributing to the deliberations and has also announced its intention to explore further initiatives to lift voter numbers.

LGNZ President, Lawrence Yule, confirmed a record low voter turnout of 41.3 per cent in this month’s local authority elections.  Final national turnout, and breakdowns by individual councils and sectors, is located here.

“This is clear evidence that New Zealand needs to introduce measures to lift its engagement with local government and in particular increase voter turnout at elections,” says Mr Yule.

“Over coming months, LGNZ will be working with its members around the country to identify a set of initiatives which will make a difference in improving citizen engagement and lift voter turnout around the country.

“While LGNZ supports fast-tracking on-line voting as a necessary requirement, this cannot be the only solution.

“New Zealanders need a wider view of local government and the value it delivers to communities.  In support of this, LGNZ sees value in a nationwide campaign that informs New Zealanders about their councils and the importance of democracy in our communities.

“We need to make local government and elections relevant, and voting an event that people rate as important.  Reintroducing polling booths, on-line voting and having a shorter period in which to vote are all options,” says Mr Yule.

ENDS

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