Residents say put it to the vote
The South Waikato District Council found no need to ask the public about its choice of voting system for the 2016 local government elections.
Councillors had the chance to change the current First Past the Post ( FPP) system to Single Transferrable Vote (STV).
The council had three decisions; keep it as it is, change the voting system or hold a referendum, but little discussion indicated no desire for STV or the need to consult residents.
Despite a 45 per cent voter turnout in the 2013 elections, councillor Terry Magill did not see a problem with FPP.
‘‘You know what they say, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,’’ he said.
Though the council is in favour of FPP mayor Neil Sinclair said there is every chance the community can overthrow it. And they have a right to, he said.
‘‘If they [the community] disagree, they can get a petition together. I know it’s difficult to get that news out but it’s important.’’
A poll must be held if 5 per cent of electors demand it.
Since the establishment of STV in 2004, the council has continued to vote under FPP.
This is despite a number of councils moving towards the new system.
There are four city, two district and one regional council under STV and all the country’s District Health Boards have made the system compulsary.