Res­i­dents say put it to the vote

South Waikato News - - NEWS - By CAITLIN WAL­LACE

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.

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