New Zealand

Articles about voting issues in New Zealand.

New Zealand: Online voting ‘no silver bullet’ for low turnout, study finds | Stuff.co.nz

Electronic voting is widely regarded as insecure and might not do much to help improve voter turnout, a new study suggests. The study published by Auckland University of Technology said online voting was “superficially attractive” but international evidence suggested it was not a silver bullet for reversing declining voter turnout. A trial of electronic voting planned for next year’s local council elections was scrapped by Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) on Wednesday. But it is “never say die” for the trial’s backers who hope to have another crack in 2022 despite strong criticism of the idea from many  technology experts. LGNZ shelved its trial planned for nine council elections on cost grounds, rather than because of security concerns. It said it had found an unnamed vendor that satisfied all of its security and delivery requirements, but could not justify the $4.2 million cost of the trial. … The Auckland University of Technology study twists the knife, however.

Full Article: Online voting 'no silver bullet' for low turnout, study finds | Stuff.co.nz.

New Zealand: Supreme Court says ban on prisoner voting was lawful | NZ Herald

The Supreme Court says a blanket ban on prisoners voting was lawful. The court has today dismissed an appeal brought by jailhouse lawyer Arthur William Taylor asking them to declare a decision to ban all prisoners from voting was invalid. Taylor and the other appellants, represented by lawyer Richard Francois, have battled through the High Court, Court of Appeal and now the Supreme Court for a declaration that Parliament was wrong to impose a blanket ban on prisoners voting. But while the High Court agreed the ban was inconsistent with the Bill of Rights Act, it did not declare the ban invalid. That decision has now been backed by New Zealand’s highest court. Taylor argued the ban, brought about in the Amendment Act 2010, was invalid because a supermajority of 75 per cent of all the members of the House of Representatives was required to pass the amendment, which did not happen.

Full Article: Supreme Court says ban on prisoner voting was lawful - NZ Herald.

New Zealand: Online voting trial for 2019 local body elections halted because of rising costs | TVNZ

A trial of online voting in next year’s local body will not take place after a working party of nine councils decided to halt the trial because of rising costs. A provider who satisfied the security and delivery requirements had recently been selected but ballooning costs forced the decision to not proceed with the trial in 2019. The working party will continue to work collaboratively with central government and the wider local government sector to deliver online voting for the 2022 local body elections. 

Full Article: Online voting trial for 2019 local body elections halted because of rising costs | 1 NEWS NOW | TVNZ.

New Zealand: Green Party calls on government to urgently repeal prisoner voting ban | The Spinoff

On the 125th anniversary of women exercising suffrage for the first time in NZ, the support party has called for a change in the law that sees incarcerated people ‘unjustifiably denied the right to vote’. The Green Party has added its voice to a growing call for a change in the law that denies people in prison the chance to vote, using parliamentary question time to urge Justice Minister Andrew Little to revisit an issue he has described as “not a priority”. The party’s move follows a landmark decision in the Supreme Court earlier this month and the launch of a campaign today by JustSpeak.

Full Article: Green Party calls on government to urgently repeal prisoner voting ban | The Spinoff.

New Zealand: Prison reform group wants debate on prisoners’ right to vote | RNZ

A prison reform group wants to have a public debate on prisoners’ right to vote, after the Supreme Court ruled it is a right of all New Zealanders. The court earlier this week upheld a High Court decision which found that a law restricting a prisoner’s right to vote was inconsistent with the Bill of Rights. The government said the issue was not a priority, but Howard League for Penal Reform spokesperson Christine McCarthy said the court’s decision should put the issue on the agenda. “What is so dangerous about prisoners voting? The only reason people are put in prison is – supposedly – about safety to the community.

Full Article: Prison reform group wants debate on prisoners' right to vote | RNZ News.

New Zealand: Councils warned electronic voting will not be secure | Stuff.co.nz

Plans to allow online voting in next year’s councils elections have run into a wall of opposition from technology experts, who say internet voting can’t be secure. Local Government New Zealand will issue a tender for an online system that would be used in nine council elections, including in Auckland, Hamilton and Wellington, alongside postal voting. The decision to shop for an online voting system comes amid growing international concern about election interference by foreign powers in the wake of the United States 2016 presidential election and Britain’s Brexit vote. …  James Valentine, chief technology officer of Wellington IT company Fronde, was among dozens of technologists who took to social media to oppose the local government plan, tweeting there were “lots of concerns” including security and ballot secrecy.

Full Article: Councils warned electronic voting will not be secure | Stuff.co.nz.

New Zealand: Plans for online voting at local govt elections ‘dangerous’ | Radio New Zealand

An Australian IT expert says New Zealand would be crazy to adopt online voting for local government elections and would be opening itself up to widespread electoral fraud. Nine councils including Auckland, Wellington, Hamilton and Tauranga want to use it at next year’s elections, despite there being few examples overseas of where it is being used successfully or safely. Online voting was first used at government elections in Estonia in 2005. Its take up by the rest of the world since then has been limited at best, in large part due to vulnerabilities in its systems that allowed hackers to cast fake votes and rig elections. Australian IT expert Vanessa Teague alerted authorities to faults in the 2015 New South Wales state elections, where a quarter of a million voted online. There were plenty of hackers worldwide happy to take money from a vested interest looking to manipulate an election in their favour, she said.

Full Article: Plans for online voting at local govt elections 'dangerous' | RNZ News.

New Zealand: Legal battle over prisoner voting ban heard at Supreme Court | Radio New Zealand

The career criminal, Arthur Taylor, has taken his legal battle challenging a ban on prisoner voting to this country’s highest court. The High Court and Court of Appeal have already ruled against them, but in December the Supreme Court agreed to give them one last hearing. 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.

Full Article: Legal battle over prisoner voting ban heard at Supreme Court | Radio New Zealand News.

New Zealand: Supreme Court told ban on prisoner voting infringes on rights | NZ Herald

The Solicitor-General has told the Supreme Court justices they risk undermining New Zealand’s democracy, if they rule on whether prisoners should be able to vote. Notorious “jailhouse lawyer” Arthur William Taylor has fought through the High Court, Court of Appeal, and now the Supreme Court, against the 2010 law which banned all prisoners from voting in elections. Previously prisoners could vote if they were serving a term of less than three years. The High Court did not overturn the ban, but did declare it was inconsistent with the Bill of Rights Act because it infringed on the rights of New Zealand citizens to vote. The Court of Appeal upheld that decision. Solicitor-General Una Jagose is presenting the Crown’s case to the Supreme Court this morning. She said prisoner voting rights were not an issue that should be decided by the courts.

Full Article: Supreme Court told ban on prisoner voting infringes on rights - NZ Herald.

New Zealand: ‘Kingmaker’ extends election limbo | AFP

New Zealanders’ agonising wait for a general election winner is set to enter a third week, as populist “kingmaker” Winston Peters on Thursday again delayed announcing who he was backing. The South Pacific nation has been in political limbo since the September 23 polls failed to deliver a clear majority for either conservative Prime Minister Bill English or his centre-left rival Jacinda Ardern. They both require Peters’ support to pass the 61 seats needed to form a government, but the 72-year-old has drawn out the negotiations as he seeks maximum advantage for his New Zealand First (NZF) party. Peters initially gave himself until Thursday to announce his decision but reneged on the pledge earlier this week.

Full Article: New Zealand's 'kingmaker' extends election limbo.

New Zealand: Opposition says kingmaker Winston Peters won’t be Prime Minister | AFP

New Zealand opposition leader Jacinda Ardern on Tuesday (Oct 10) ruled out giving Winston Peters a stint as prime minister if she forms a government with the populist “kingmaker”. Ardern and her conservative rival Prime Minister Bill English are both in coalition talks with Peters, who holds the balance of power after the country’s Sept 23 election ended in a deadlock. There has been speculation that Peters could demand a year in the prime minister’s role as the price of his support, with some seeing it as the 72-year-old’s last chance for a shot at the top job.

Full Article: New Zealand opposition says kingmaker Winston Peters won't be PM, Australia/NZ News & Top Stories - The Straits Times.

New Zealand: As Jacinda Ardern falls short in election, New Zealand gets hung parliament | The Guardian

The future of New Zealand’s new government has been put in the hands of Winston Peters, a cantankerous, anti-immigration politician who prefers fishing to politics, after vote counting finished in the general election. Neither of the major parties – National, led by the incumbent prime minister, Bill English, or Jacinda Ardern’s Labour – secured enough seats to form a majority government in a frustrating poll on Saturday. National secured 46% of the vote, giving it 58 seats in parliament, while Labour took home 35.8% and 45 seats. Both parties were scrambling to form coalitions with the minor parties in order to reach 61 seats and the ability to govern in the 120-seat parliament. Peters, the unpredictable leader of the populist New Zealand First party, became kingmaker after gaining 7.5% of the vote and nine seats, although not his own seat of Northland. The 72-year-old lawyer made a teasing statement to the media about his intentions before rushing to board the last ferry home on Saturday night.

Full Article: New Zealand gets hung parliament as Jacinda Ardern falls short in election | World news | The Guardian.

New Zealand: Record numbers of advance voters ahead of 2017 general election | New Zealand Herald

A record 806,043 New Zealanders have already voted, two days ahead of Saturday’s election. The advance voting statistics from the Electoral Commission show that by this day three years ago, 717,579 people have been to the polls. And by this stage in the election run-up in 2011, a total of just 334,558 votes had been cast. The numbers do not include overseas votes. A staggering 133,781 people voted yesterday alone, in what has been one of the most hotly-contested general elections in years. The release last night of the latest 1 News Colmar Brunton poll, conducted from September 16-19, saw National arrest a slide in the polls to rise six points to 46 per cent. Labour was down seven points to 37 per cent.

Full Article: Record numbers of advance voters ahead of 2017 general election - NZ Herald.

New Zealand: Jet fuel ‘debacle’ disrupts election campaign | The Guardian

New Zealand’s jet fuel crisis is worsening by the day with airlines restricting ticket sales, politicians limiting travel to essential flights only on some routes in the final days of the election campaign and all but the most critical exports halted. Rationing is set to continue for another week after a digger on Thursday struck the sole jet fuel, diesel and petrol supply pipe to Auckland, the country’s biggest city and major transport hub for international visitors. Three thousand people a day are being affected by cancelled domestic and international flights. Another 6,000 people will be impacted by delays or disruptions to normal service, Air New Zealand said, and it had taken the “unusual” step of restricting ticket sales to all but essential or compassionate travel to try and manage the shortage.

Full Article: New Zealand jet fuel 'debacle' disrupts election campaign and chokes off exports | World news | The Guardian.

New Zealand: Advance voting begins in closely fought New Zealand election | The Washington Post

Advance voting began Monday for New Zealand’s general election, which could see a change of government in the South Pacific nation for the first time in nine years. Election officials say just over 3 million voters are enrolled for the Sept. 23 election, in the country of nearly 5 million people. Opinion polls indicate it will be a close race between the conservative National Party, led by Prime Minister Bill English, and the liberal Labour Party, led by Jacinda Ardern. Six weeks ago the conservatives were comfortably ahead in the polls and appeared to be coasting to a fourth consecutive victory. But then the Labour Party leader quit and 37-year-old Ardern took the reins, sparking a rapid rise in the party’s fortunes that some are calling “Jacindamania.”

Full Article: Advance voting begins in closely fought New Zealand election - The Washington Post.

New Zealand: Confirmed: 534 candidates gear up for the election | New Zealand Herald

There are 534 candidates contesting next month’s election – with more women standing than in 2014. The Electoral Commission has officially released the electorate and party list candidates for the September 23 election. There are 16 registered parties, fielding a total of 534 candidates – slightly down on the 554 people who ran in the last election. This year the gender split is 341 men, 190 women and three gender diverse or not specified. In 2014, there were 390 men and 164 women candidates.

Full Article: Confirmed: 534 candidates gear up for the election - NZ Herald.

New Zealand: Third party leader quits in close election race | Associated Press

Three weeks ago, New Zealand’s conservative National Party appeared to be cruising to a fourth straight election victory. Opinion polls showed the party had strong support and the opposition was struggling to inspire people ahead of September’s general election. But much has changed since then due to the rise of opposition leader Jacinda Ardern, and the latest polls indicate the election will be closely contested. The latest shift came Monday, when United Future leader Peter Dunne resigned, the third party leader to quit in as many weeks. His small party supported the government and his move came as a blow to Prime Minister Bill English and his National Party. Dunne said there’s a mood for change in the district where he has served as a lawmaker for 33 years, something that’s become apparent to him only in recent weeks.

Full Article: 3rd New Zealand party leader quits in close election race | Miami Herald.

New Zealand: ‘Jailhouse lawyer’ Arthur Taylor loses appeal to allow prisoners to vote | New Zealand Herald

One of New Zealand’s longest-serving prisoners has lost an appeal to allow inmates to vote behind bars. Arthur William Taylor, who has spent about 40 years of his life in prison, and prisoners Hinemanu Ngaronoa and Sandra Wilde – brought their cases to the Court of Appeal, arguing it was discriminatory to ban prisoners from voting. The case was originally taken in 2013 by Taylor – a self-described “jailhouse lawyer”. He also sought and won a “declaration of inconsistency” in the High Court, saying a broad-sweeping ban on prisoners’ voting was an unjustified limitation on the right to vote. That decision was upheld on appeal this year, but does not mean Parliament must repeal the ban.

Full Article: 'Jailhouse lawyer' Arthur Taylor loses appeal to allow prisoners to vote - NZ Herald.

New Zealand: 60,000 voters could miss out on voting in General Election | New Zealand Herald

Around 60,000 voters could miss out on voting in the September General Election after their enrolment update packs were returned marked “gone no address”. Enrolment update packs were sent to 3.15 million enrolled voters at the end of June to check their details were correctly listed on the electoral roll for the September General Election. Voters whose packs are returned to sender are taken off the electoral roll. “Those voters need to get back on the roll now so their vote will count this election,” chief electoral officer, Alicia Wright said.

Full Article: 60,000 voters could miss out on voting in General Election - NZ Herald.

New Zealand: Another Party Leader in New Zealand Resigns as Campaign Turns Tumultuous | The New York Times

A suddenly tumultuous New Zealand election campaign was rocked by the resignation of another party leader on Wednesday, just over a week after the leader of the country’s largest opposition party also quit. The resignation on Wednesday of Metiria Turei, the Green Party’s co-leader, came after her party surged in the polls following her candid admission last month that she had lied to the government about her living situation while on welfare as a single mother in the 1990s. The revelation stole the political spotlight from the larger Labour Party before the Sept. 23 general election, and started a polarizing conversation in New Zealand about poverty and the challenges of surviving on welfare. But Mrs. Turei’s admissions also led opponents and reporters to dig into her past, prompting more revelations about her living situation while on welfare and the disclosure that she had lied about where she lived in order to cast a vote for a friend seeking office.

Full Article: Another Party Leader in New Zealand Resigns as Campaign Turns Tumultuous - The New York Times.