|Straight from city council
A personal view,
by Councillor Steve Morris
There's a change coming to the way Tauranga's mayor and councillors are elected. Last week we adopted the Single Transferable Vote system for both the 2019 and 2022 local elections. Up until now you've ticked the candidates' names that you want on council using the First Past the Post method.
From the next local election in 2019 you'll vote by ranking candidates with a number on the voting paper. For example, you'll write '1' for your preferred candidate, '2' for your second preference and so on. You can rank as many or as few candidates on your voting paper as you want. You may recognise this way of voting from the District Health Board voting papers you get at the same time as council elections.
Why have we changed? STV elections include fewer wasted votes because after you've voted ‘1' your other preferences count to a certain extent too. You could also argue that it's more democratic and there's a greater chance of ‘a more representative council' as women and minorities tend to do better under STV than they do under FPP elections. Although, to be frank, it's hard to get a council table that's representative of the community when you only have one woman out of 15 candidates standing ‘at-large' last election.
Councillors elected by ‘wards' have had a better gender balance in recent years with 50 per cent male and 50 per cent female representatives elected last triennium. That said, next council election, if you're ‘ticked off' remember to write numbers instead!