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Rural health threatened by new voting system

Dr Lynda Scott National Health Spokeswoman
19 November 2003

Rural health threatened by new voting system

The new health voting system threatens rural health by reducing rural representation on District Health Boards, says National Health spokeswoman Dr Lynda Scott.

Dr Scott was responding to a Ministry of Health document outlining the introduction of a Single Transferable Vote voting system for next year's DHB elections.

"The Government's preferred STV voting system will mean city voters will outnumber their rural counterparts, making way for city candidates," says Dr Scott.

"When the New Zealand Public Health & Disability Bill was before a select committee, I lobbied hard for zones and promoted rural representation.

"Under the new system some areas will miss out entirely on having any representation. For example in Nelson-Marlborough, the larger Nelson urban population may see Marlborough miss out on representation entirely," says Dr Scott.

"The Government promised community representation, but it seems the only communities it wants represented are urban ones.

"Our rural communities deserve better. They have specific health challenges and they need representation to make sure these challenges are addressed," says Dr Lynda Scott.

Ends

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