New Zealand

Articles about voting issues in New Zealand.

New Zealand: Greens’ co-leader says his MP spoke ‘out of turn’ on New Zealand First | The National Business Review

Green Party co-leader James Shaw is distancing himself and his party from comments made by new MP Barry Coates about the party not supporting a Labour/New Zealand First government. In a post on The Daily Blog, Barry Coates –  a list MP who entered Parliament in October last year – said if the Greens are not part of a coalition government, the party would not accept a Labour/New Zealand First government. Mr Coates said this could mean forcing the country back to the polls for another election. “[Labour/New Zealand First] could not count on the support of the Green Party there is no automatic support that is provided for a government under those circumstances,” he wrote. But Mr Shaw says Mr Coates spoke “out of turn.” Read More

New Zealand: How New Zealand’s growing alt-right movement plans to influence the election | New Zealand Herald

A worldwide surge in populist politics has breathed new life into the vestiges of New Zealand’s far right. Kirsty Johnston reports from within the fringe. When outrage over racist posters at Auckland University hit headlines in late March, their white supremacist creators were elated. They’d tricked the media! Their message was being heard! Their Facebook page was up to almost 100 likes! Members of the Western Guard, the supremacists’ secret online group, began to plan a second wave. They decided to mobilise their new recruits and plaster campuses nationwide. They made signs for Nelson, for New Plymouth, for Taupo. “White Lives Matter” the templates read. “You can prevent white genocide. Your country needs YOU!” As more recruits joined in the coming days, energy built. The fledgling club discussed its limits – were gays allowed? No way, the hive mind said. They decreed it was probably best not to use ethnic slurs in public “just yet”. Read More

New Zealand: Push for prisoners’ voting rights continues | Radio New Zealand

Arthur Taylor and six other inmates claim they were unlawfully barred from voting in the 2014 general election. In 2010 Parliament passed a law preventing all sentenced prisoners from voting, regardless of the length of their sentence. However earlier electoral legislation allowed prisoners serving a jail term of less than three years to vote. At the time the legislation was being considered, the Attorney-General warned Parliament that a blanket ban contravened the Bill of Rights, but the law was passed anyway. Read More

New Zealand: Election date set, let the campaigning begin | Radio New Zealand

Mark it in your diary – New Zealand will go to the polls on 23 September. That Saturday has been the most widely-picked date, and will take place almost three years to the day since the 2014 election. Before he resigned as Prime Minister, John Key dropped hints about a September election. Bill English has stuck to that timetable. To go much earlier would have opened the party up to criticism it was panicking, and that it feared Mr English could not hold, or attract, the attention of voters for that many months. He will want to give himself as much time as possible to settle in as Prime Minister, and have as many photo opportunities as possible with world leaders at international events, all of which helps build the “prime ministerial” image. Read More

New Zealand: No Silver Bullet: Online voting and local election turnout | Scoop News

Local body election time is over for another three years, and even before polls closed, there were laments over low turnout. A low turnout undermines the legitimacy of the winners and can point to wider problems: disillusionment with democratic processes, institutions and actors. It is also problematic because some groups are less likely to vote than others, and so candidates appeal to the interests of those who vote over those who don’t. Older people and home owners are more likely to vote in local body elections, which may explain the prevalence of ‘controlling rates’ as a campaign slogan. In the lead up to the 2016 local body elections, a trial of electronic voting was proposed and was some way towards implementation before being abandoned, because of security concerns. A number of commentators have argued the online voting will help turn around declining local body election turnouts, but I want to argue this is not necessarily the solution to the problem. I ask two simple questions: will the proposed solution solve the problem, and what new problems will it create? Not only should the solution work, but, when balancing all effects, it should be worthwhile. Read More

New Zealand: Online voting trial canned | IT Brief NZ

The online voting trial for this year’s local body elections are not going ahead, the Government has announced. Associate Local Government Minister Louise Upston says there is more work to be done to ensure a trial of online voting meets public and government expectations. “Public confidence in local elections is fundamentally important. Given real concerns about security and vote integrity, it is too early for a trial,” says Upston. “Due to timing restrictions, preparations for the proposed trial have not yet met the legislative requirements and cannot guarantee public confidence in the election results,” she explains. Read More

New Zealand: Government scraps e-voting trial | The Register

New Zealand’s online voting trial, slated for local government elections this year, has collapsed with the national government scrapping the plan. Associate minister for local government Louise Upton yesterday sent a statement to Radio NZ saying they couldn’t “meet legislative requirements” in time for the elections. Last November, the NZ government published a requirements document that stated the local governments involved in the trial had to get independent assurance that their proposed solutions meet both national and local government technical requirements, including the security and accuracy of the system. Read More

New Zealand: Online voting trial axed amid security concerns | Newshub

Two councils that signed up to trial online voting at this year’s elections are disappointed at the Government’s decision to can it. Associate Local Government Minister Louise Upston says more work needs to be done and there are “real concerns” about security and vote integrity. “Due to timing restrictions, preparations for the proposed trial have not yet met the legislative requirements and cannot guarantee public confidence in the election results. “Security testing has been planned but has not yet occurred. Without seeing the results of testing, we cannot be confident the systems are secure enough and the trial could not be authorised.” Read More

New Zealand: Time is running out for go-ahead for online voting trials | Manuwatu Standard

Online voting trials are looking increasingly unlikely to take place at October’s local body elections in Palmerston North, Whanganui and six other centres. The Department of Internal Affairs will only say a decision is expected to be announced “shortly”. But at least one Palmerston North City councillor is concerned that with six months to go, time is running out. The council has set aside $100,000 in the budget included in its proposed Annual Plan that is out for consultation. Cr Aleisha Rutherford, who pushed for Palmerston North to sign up for the online trial, said councillors were telling residents who asked in discussions about the Annual Plan that it was “highly unlikely” the money would be spent. Read More

New Zealand: Kiwis vote to keep flag after 56.6% back the status quo | The Guardian

New Zealand has voted to keep its traditional flag in a snub to the prime minister, John Key. Preliminary results announced at 8.30pm local time on Thursday showed that 1,200,003 (56.6%) of voters wanted to keep the Union flag-centred emblem. Only 915,008 (43.2%) opted for the proposed new design by Kyle Lockwood featuring a silver fern. The results of the referendum, which is estimated to have cost NZ$26m (£12m), are expected be confirmed next Wednesday. The long-serving and popular Key had strongly supported the flag change but it was not enough to win a majority, with many suspicious of him trying to use the issue to build a legacy. However, he said after the results were announced that New Zealanders should embrace the current flag and “more importantly, be proud of it”. Read More