Fairer Representation

Change to the Single Transferable Vote (STV) voting system for local elections in Auckland, so citizens get the Mayor and councillors they most prefer.

Mayors in New Zealand local authorities are elected "at large" (directly by the voters), unlike our regional councils, which are led by a chairperson elected by the councillors, from among themselves.

In a regional council, if the chairperson loses the confidence of the council they can replace him or her and carry on. But in Auckland, and all other local authorities, if the Mayor loses the confidence of the other councillors they must resign or carry on until the next election.

I would prefer that Auckland's Mayor was elected in the same way as a regional council chair. But that's just not possible under the current legislation (The Local Electoral ACT 2001).

However it is possible to change the voting system so that the Mayor has a clear majority and a stronger mandate from Auckland's voters. The Local Electoral Act 2001 permits council elections to use either one of two voting systems: First Past the Post (FPP) or Single Transferable Vote (STV).

In Auckland, FPP is currently used for the Mayor, Councillors and Local Boards while (on the same set of voting papers), STV is used for the District Health Boards.

STV voting means you can vote for more than one Mayoral candidate, in order of preference (numbering your votes 1, 2, 3, etc). If your first choice doesn't get in then your vote goes to your second choice, and so on until the Mayor is elected with a clear majority of votes - including second and subsequent preferences.

I propose that, after this forthcoming election, the Auckland Council make a resolution under section 27 (1) of the Local Electoral Act, to change the voting system in Auckland to STV for the 2019 election. This will ensure that the Mayor of Auckland is the one most preferred by a majority of voters.
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