The Local Electoral Act 2001 allows Councils to use one of the two electoral systems during its elections, First Past the Post (FPP) and Single Transferable Vote (STV).
First Past the Post
Under the First Past the Post (FPP) electoral system, the candidate with the most votes wins. This is a very simple method of electing candidates and is widely used throughout the world.
It was used in New Zealand for Parliamentary elections up until the introduction of MMP (Mixed Member Proportional) in the 1996 general election and has been used by Whangarei District Council since 2001.
With the First Past the Post system:
- Electors place ticks next to the names of their preferred candidate(s), and
- The candidate that received the most votes is declared the winner.
Under First Past the Post, you would place ticks next to the names of three candidates, which means you would have three votes.
You can learn more about First Past the Post on the Department of Internal Affairs website.
First Past the Post (dia.govt.nz)
Single Transferable Vote
Under a Single Transferable Vote (STV) electoral system, voters rank candidates in their order of preference.
With a Single Transferable Vote system:
- Electors rank candidates in their order of preference - '1' for your first choice, '2' for your second choice, '3' for your third choice and so on.
- The number of votes required for a candidate to be elected (called the quota) depends on the number of positions to be filled and the number of valid votes.
- The necessary number of candidates to fill all vacancies is achieved:
- First by counting of the first preferences;
- Then by transfer of a proportion of votes received by any candidate where the number of votes for that candidate exceeds the quota.
You can learn more about Single Transferable Vote on the Department of Internal Affairs website.
Single Transferable Vote (dia.govt.nz)
Whangārei District has used the First Past the Post electoral system since 2001. On 24 August 2023, Council resolved to change the electoral system from First Past the Post to Single Transferable Vote for the 2025 and 2028 triennial local elections.
Public Notice about Council Resolution
Under section 28 of the Local Electoral Act 2001, electors of the Whangarei District Council have a right to demand a poll at any time to countermand the resolution to use the Single Transferable Voting electoral system.
Should a valid demand for a poll be received by 11 December 2023, a poll will be held by 14 March 2024 on whether the Single Transferable Voting or the First Past the Post electoral system will be used for the next two triennial elections (2025 and 2028) of the Whangarei District Council.
If a valid demand for a poll is received after 11 December 2023, a poll will be held after 14 March 2024 with the outcome applicable for the 2028 and 2031 triennial elections.
A valid demand must be:
- made in writing;
- signed by at least 5 percent of eligible electors of the Whangarei District Council. This equates to 3,344 elector signatures;
- delivered to the Whangarei District Council, Te Iwitahi, 9 Rust Avenue, Whangārei;
- by 4:30pm, Monday 11 December 2023 (for the outcome of the poll to apply for the 2025 and 2028 triennial elections of the Whangarei District Council).
Every elector who signs a demand must also set out in it his or her full name and the address for which he or she is qualified as an elector of the Whangarei District Council.