Which voting system?

This survey has now closed.

Which voting system image collecting pipi

Councillors regularly review the way the Council is elected. Soon, they will look at Maori representation and whether our current wards fairly represent residents. The review also decides which voting system will be used for the next Council election. This survey is your chance to help your councillors select the voting system you want.

We want to know whether the voting system we use to elect the Mayor, councillors and community boards is the best one for the Far North. There is a choice between the system we already use, First Past the Post (FPP), or Single Transferable Voting (STV). If we change the voting system, that will be the one used for the next two Council elections in 2022 and 2025.

The survey is open between 6-21 July 2020. All you need to do is choose the voting system you prefer. All valid entries will go in to a draw to win a $100 VISA Prezzy card.

The decision "Which voting system?" will be made by Councillors at the next Council meeting on 13 August. This is a public meeting. It will be live-streamed on our YouTube channel.

First Past the Post (FPP)

This is the voting system we currently use to elect the Mayor, councillors and community boards. It is easy to understand and most people in Aotearoa New Zealand are familiar with it

Voters place a tick beside the name of the person they wish to vote for and the candidate with the most votes wins. 

Where there are several positions to be filled, you get one vote for each vacancy. Again, candidates with the most votes are elected. 

Single Transferable Voting (STV)

STV is a proportional voting system used in parts of Australia, United States and Ireland.  It is also sometimes used to elect board members to companies like Fonterra.

Instead of ticking the candidate you want, you rank candidates in order of preference – “1” beside your most preferred candidate, “2” beside the second-most preferred, and so on. 

To be elected, a candidate must get a certain number of votes. This is known as the ‘quota’ and is worked out after voting has closed. The quota is calculated by dividing the total number of votes received by the number of vacancies, plus one vote. 

To be elected, a candidate must get enough votes to reach the quota. If there is more than one vacancy, votes received over the quota are partially transferred to other candidates in order of voter preference. Those with fewest votes are eliminated and their votes are partially transferred to other candidates. This process repeats until enough candidates reach the quota and all vacancies are filled.

  1. Wally Hicks
    First Past the Post belongs in the age of Paul Revere, certainly not the computer age!
  2. Brian Jarrold
    I think the STV system is the Fairest.
    1. Cristo Mario
      it is not fair, only looks like it. It allows cheating to flourish and people who could make a difference get voted out. We are a community not a Fontera - which is rive on political games and power structures.
  3. stanley benson
    It seems to leave this system wide open for claims of abuse by the non winner.
    1. Cristo Mario
      you are 100% correct. they will abuse it and cheat like hell.
  4. Desiree de Leeuw
    I choose FPP as it's a straight forward and clear system. With the STV system the results are usually not delivered on the same day as the vote, as more time is required to count the votes (therefore costing more!). And who knows what the "quota" is or will be? Or who decides the "quota"? We already have enough "bureaucrats" costing the taxpayer.
  5. Pauline Evans
    FPP is an easier system to understand, but I prefer STV for local government elections. It is more democratic and would ensure that the winning candidates have a clearer mandate to govern. For example, when there is a crowded field of candidates and the winning candidate has only won by a few votes more than the other candidates, that candidate may not be a clear winner. I would prefer the winning candidates to be clear winners.
  6. Janine McVeagh
    stv is already used in many places, so there is an established method of counting. it is much more nuanced than fpp and offers a fairer result for many more voters.
  7. stanley benson
  8. mike hutchins
    Most things in life that we have a choice with are based on preference. STV is such.
  9. Vivienne Keohane
    I am surprised that you are excluding other family members from having an opinion on this system of voting. All3 of us use the same email.
    1. Catherine Langford
      Hi Vivienne, yes I can see this is frustrating. Unfortunately we do need to take steps to restrict online submissions to one per email so it is harder for any "stacking" to occur, where one person or group submits multiple votes to deliberately sway the results. There are printed brochures available in the libraries and service centres with a form on the reverse - this doesn't require an email, so your family members can add their voice, albeit using more traditional methods! Thanks for taking the time to complete the survey and comment.
  10. Joe Walsh
    Ultimately this should go to a proper vote, the high uptake of online voting that saw the flawed Tuhoronuku mandate kicked for touch suggests online voting is the way to go, especially to get Maori 'buy in' to the process.
    1. Jane Banfield
      Joe, my understanding is that this survey is non-binding and householders in the district can still demand that the Council carry out a 'poll' of all householders. I guess the only downside is that the financial cost of doing a poll may reduce funding for another project. As I see it, it is a 'nobrainer' to move to STV so people's prefereences are taken into acocunt and so that any Mayor must get more than 50% of the votes.
    2. Catherine Langford
      Hi Joe and Jane - thanks both for your comments. Indeed, Jane is correct that this is a non-binding survey that will be reported on at the next Council meeting (13 August) to help elected members make a decision. This is a public meeting. It will be live-streamed on our YouTube channel for those who can't attend in person.
  11. Margaret Spencer
    Why does a computer voting system CLOSE AT 4PM!!!! The same happened for the Council Elections! When a Submission closes on a certain date, it is normal to expect the closing time would be MIDNIGHT OF THAT DAY.
    1. Catherine Langford
      Thanks for your observation, Margaret. It's a fair comment and we'll keep this in mind for future surveys. In this situation we extended the deadline as much as possible to maximise time for public input (rather than closing it a day earlier). There are formal reporting deadlines that we have to conform to, so it's always a juggle.
    2. Cristo Mario
      Because rate payer funded council staff knock off at 4pm, and rate payers who work all day usually only get home at 7pm, so it makes sense to close it at 4pm? Good on you for raising this farce.
  12. Cristo Mario
    This should be performance based. If you haven't performed and did not deliver on your promises, you should be eliminated to ever run again.
  13. Stephen Morrish
    I like my vote to be used for who I voted for, not moved to someone I would never vote for as in the STV system for a quota to be met.
  14. Graeme Cramond
    I do not want my vote to go to anyone other than the person I vote for.
    1. Wally Hicks
      If you only want to vote for one person under STV, you write the number 1 against them on the ballot, and do not fill in any other numbers - (which are your numeric preferences) - against any other candidates. You hence have the option of only voting for the one person you want. This is how the DHB election has operated for some time.
  15. Yvonne Steinemann
    We only just got this survey notice in our rates demand about 2 days before it closed. THIS IS CLEARLY NOT ENOUGH TIME TO PARTICIPATE!
    1. Catherine Langford
      Hi Yvonne, I am sorry that you felt you didn't have time to participate in this survey. We did extend the survey period by a week because of delays to the rates notice as we wanted to take advantage of this communication channel. We also advertised in local newspapers, ran a social media campaign and distributed brochures to our Far North Service Centres and Libraries to try to capture as wide an audience as possible. Clearly we missed you though. It is worth noting that this is not a binding survey. It is an informal gauge of public opinion to support Councillors to make the decision. The results of the survey are part of a report that will be tabled at the 13 August Council meeting (and shared to this page). The meeting will be live-streamed on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRbGkKanqRqARw4Beo1kI9Q/
  16. Missy Wihongi
    Process is unfair as rate payers were not allowed enough time to respond and I didn’t even receive a survey
    Clearly unfair as under 1000 people made a submission