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The Department of Internal Affairs

The Department of Internal Affairs

Te Tari Taiwhenua

Building a safe, prosperous and respected nation


Resource material › STV Information

The Department's role in providing this information is to inform the public about the Single Transferable Voting system (STV) and the processes by which local authorities may choose to adopt it. For a concise summary of STV and how it works, go to:

  • See also: Local Elections for an explanation of the Department's role in local authority and district health board elections.

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: 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). 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)

Click here for:

When is STV used in New Zealand?

STV was used to elect members of district health boards in 2013 and to elect members of 7 local authorities.

District health board elections are held at the same time as local authority elections and are required to use STV, so all voters had at least one STV election on their voting documents.

Local authorities include city, district and regional councils. Some areas also have licensing trusts. Local authorities had the option of adopting STV for the elections in 2016 and 8 local authorities have chosen to do so. See table below. The Local Electoral Act 2001 sets out the steps that must be taken for STV to be adopted.

A guide for local authorities on this choice was prepared in 2008.

Click here for:

Which Electoral System Local Authorities will use in 2016

The following table shows the electoral system used by each local authority.

First Past the Post:
    Ashburton District Council
    Auckland Council
    Buller District Council
    Carterton District Council
    Central Hawkes Bay District Council
    Central Otago District Council
    Chatham Islands Council
    Christchurch City Council
    Clutha District Council
    Environment Bay of Plenty
    Environment Southland
    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 Regional Council
    Horowhenua District Council
    Hurunui District Council
    Hutt City Council
    Invercargill City Council
    Kaikoura District Council
    Kawerau District Council
    Manawatu District Council
    Masterton District Council
    Matamata Piako District Council
    McKenzie District Council
    Napier City Council
    Nelson City Council
    New Plymouth District Council
    Northland Regional Council
    Opotiki District Council
    Otago Regional Council
    Otorohanga District Council
    Queenstown-Lakes District Council
    Rangitikei 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 City Council
    Thames-Coromandel District Council
    Timaru District Council
    Upper Hutt City Council
    Waikato District Council
    Waimakariri District Council
    Waimate District Council
    Waipa District Council
    Wairoa District Council
    Waitaki District Council
    Waitomo District Council
    Wanganui District Council
    West Coast Regional Council
    Western Bay of Plenty District Council
    Westland District Council
    Whakatane District Council
    Whangarei District Council
Single Transferable Vote (STV):
    Dunedin City Council
    Kaipara District Council
    Kapiti Coast District Council
    Marlborough District Council
    Porirua City Council
    Wellington City Council
    Greater Wellington Regional Council
    Palmerston North City Council

Contact Us
If you have a query about STV, contact the Department of Internal Affairs