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ORC retains First Past the Post voting system

Media Release - 05 September 2014

The First Past the Post voting system will be retained for Otago Regional Council elections in 2016 unless this is changed by a poll of electors.

The Local Electoral Act 2001, under which local elections and polls are held, sets out the voting systems that may be used, and the processes under which a local authority may change those systems.

ORC currently uses the First Past the Post system for its triennial election, unlike the Dunedin City Council and Southern District Health Board, which both use the Single Transferable Voting (STV) system.

ORC’s finance and corporate committee yesterday considered whether to change from First Past the Post to STV for the 2016 elections.

After discussion, the committee voted 5-5 on a proposal to change the ORC voting system to STV. However, the absence of a conclusive decision means the status quo (retaining First Past the Post) remains for 2016.

ORC director corporate services Wayne Scott said to be successful, a demand for a poll must be signed by at least five percent of voters eligible to vote at the last triennial election.

Mr Scott said the council would formally advertise the outcome of today’s committee debate.

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