The Waitaki District Council has recently resolved to continue to use the First Past the Post (FPP) electoral system for local election purposes.
Electors of the Waitaki District Council have a right to demand a poll to countermand that resolution. Should a valid demand for a poll be received, a poll will be held by 21 May 2021 on whether the First past the Post (FPP) or Single Transferable Voting (STV) electoral system will be used for the next two triennial elections (2022 and 2025).
The criteria for a valid demand are that it is:
- Made in writing
- Signed by at least 5 percent of eligible electors of the Waitaki District Council. This equates to 790 elector signatures
- Delivered to the Waitaki District Council office, 20 Thames Street, Oamaru by 5.00pm, Monday 22 February 2021.
If a valid demand for a poll is received after 22 February 2021 a poll will be held after 21 May 2021 with the outcome applicable to the 2025 and 2028 triennial elections.
Every elector who signs a demand must also set out in it their full name and the address for which they are qualified as an elector of the Waitaki District Council.
Mayor for Waitaki Gary Kircher said the FFP system was chosen for its relative simplicity. "Councillors have been very aware of the confusion caused by STV where it has been used. The number of invalid votes with STV is higher, and anecdotes of the difficulty ranking District Health Board candidates (where STV is used nationally) has convinced us that it is better to stay with FPP for the time being at least. People understand the current system and we believe they will largely support our decision."