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STV Information

For a concise summary of STV and how it works, go to:

This site is hosted by the Department of Internal Affairs and is here to provide you with information about:

NOTE: The Department’s role in providing this information is to inform the public about STV and the processes by which local authorities may choose to adopt it. We are not supporting either STV or FPP.

What is STV?

STV stands for Single Transferable Vote. In its simplest form, STV means that voters are able to rank candidates in order of preference, rather than simply pick their most preferred candidate for each vacancy. Meek's method has been selected as the system for counting votes in New Zealand STV elections.

Click here for:
STV is new to most New Zealanders. Until 2004, local authority elections were conducted using the FPP (First Past the Post) electoral system. (STV was used for elections to the Christchurch City Council in 1917, 1929, 1931 and 1933, and for Woolston Borough Council in 1917 and 1919. STV has also been used in some private capacities, such as the election of members to the Board of Directors and Shareholders Council of Fonterra in April 2002). FPP was the system used to elect Members of Parliament until the introduction of MMP (Mixed Member Proportional) in 1996.

Click here for: (Please note that this has been scanned from an old document and may be a little difficult to read)

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When is STV used in New Zealand?

STV will be used to elect members of District Health Boards in 2007 and will be used to elect members of 9 local authorities.
See table below

District Health Board Elections
District Health Board elections are held at the same time as local authority elections.

District Health Board elections are held using STV, so voters will have some voting papers that do not look like FPP voting papers.

Other local authority elections, held at the same time, will be held using either STV or FPP.

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The option for local authorities to adopt STV
Local authorities include city, district and regional councils. Some areas also have licensing trusts. The time has passed for local authorities to change the electoral system to be used at the 2007 local elections. If a local authority has not changed its electoral system, and if a poll has not been held, the option of adopting STV arises again in 2008, ahead of the elections in 2010. Local authorities that are using STV in the 2004 elections must also use it in 2007. The
Local Electoral Act 2001 sets out the steps that must be taken for STV to be adopted.

Polls on Electoral Systems - FPP or STV
A number of polls, asking communities to decide between STV and FPP, were held around the country between March and May 2003.

A brochure that explains the reason for the poll and gives some information on STV and FPP, was included with poll voting documents. Link below to mock-ups of English and Maori language versions of the brochure featuring the Department of Internal Affairs logo. (Individual local authorities will use their own logo.)

Note: These documents are in Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) format. You need to have the Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer. You can download a free version from the
Adobe site.

Which Electoral System Territorial Authorities will use in 2007
The following table shows which electoral system will be used by each local authority. Some of these decisions (where indicated) are the result of public polls held between March and May 2003.

This table was last updated on 20 April 2006.

First Past the Post
    Ashburton District Council
    Auckland City Council
    Auckland Regional Council
    Banks Peninsula District Council
    Buller District Council
    Carterton District Council
    Central Hawkes Bay District Council
    Central Otago District Council
    Christchurch City Council
    Clutha District Council
    Environment Bay of Plenty
    Environment Canterbury
    Environment South
    Environment Waikato
    Far North District Council
    Franklin District Council
    Gisborne District Council
    Gore District Council
    Grey District Council
    Hamilton City Council
    Hastings District Council
    Hauraki District Council
    Hawkes Bay Regional Council
    Horizons Manawatu-Wanganui
    Horowhenua District Council
    Hurunui District Council
    Hutt City Council
    Invercargill City Council
    Kaikoura District Council
    Kawerau District Council
    Manawatu District Council
    Manukau City Council
    Masterton District Council
    Matamata Piako District Council
    McKenzie District Council
    Napier City Council
    Nelson City Council
    New Plymouth District Council
    North Shore City Council
    Northland Regional Council
    Opotiki District Council
    Otago Regional Council
    Otorohanga District Council
    Palmerston North City Council
    Queenstown-Lakes District Council
    Rangitikei District Council
    Rodney District Council
    Rotorua District Council
    Ruapehu District Council
    Selwyn District Council
    South Taranaki District Council
    South Waikato District Council
    South Wairarapa District Council
    Southland District Council
    Stratford District Council
    Taranaki Regional Counicl
    Tararua District Council
    Tasman District Council
    Taupo District Council
    Tauranga District Council
    Timaru District Council
    Upper Hutt City Council
    Waikato District Council
    Waimakariri District Council
    Waimate District Council
    Waipa District Council
    Wairoa District Council
    Waitakere City Council
    Waitaki District Council
    Waitomo District Council
    Wanganui District Council
    Wellington Regional Council
    West Coast Regional Council
    Western Bay of Plenty District Council
    Westland District Council
    Whakatane District Council
    Whangarei District Council
    Chatham Islands Council
    Dunedin City Council*
    Kaipara District Council
    Kapiti Coast District Council
    Marlborough District Council
    Papakura District Council
    Porirua City Council
    Thames-Coromandel District Council*
    Wellington City Council*

    * These councils have adopted STV as the result of a public poll.

Further Information
Contact Us
If you have a query about STV, contact the STV Communications Advisor on: (04) 495 9399 or email:

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Last updated: 21/04/2006