First Past the Post or Single Transferable Vote for our local elections – what’s your preference?

We want to hear your feedback on the system you would prefer for the next local government election in 2019.

The two options are First Past the Post (FPP) or Single Transferable Vote (STV).

First Past the Post (FFP) means:

  • You tick the name of the candidate you most prefer.
  • When the votes are counted, the candidate with the most votes is elected.

Single Transferable Vote (STV) means:

  • You rank the candidates in your order of preference. You write “1” next to the name of the candidate you most prefer, “2” next to your second choice, and so on.
  • Once a candidate has enough votes to be elected based on a quota, their excess votes are transferred to voters’ second preference and so on, until enough people have been elected.

Still not sure which is the better of the two voting options? Have a look at this link that provides more information.

You can tell us your preference by voting below.

Let us know what your preferred voting system is by Friday 1 September 2017. The Council  will make their decision at their meeting on Wednesday 6 September 2017.

WDC Administrator

13 thoughts on “First Past the Post or Single Transferable Vote for our local elections – what’s your preference?

  1. To the Mayor and Councillors Whanganui District Council

    Re Voting System.

    I am writing to you urging you to abandon the proposal to change the voting system to Single Transferable Vote (STV), and stay with First Past the Post (FPP).

    The experience I have had with voting for the Hospital Board elections has convinced me that STV, is DEFINITELY NOT THE WAY TO GO, for the following reasons.

    Sorting out who to vote for takes a bit of time. There are candidates who appear as an obvious choice, and others that one would never vote for. Then there are the candidates that for all sorts of reasons one thinks could possibly become suitable councillors, but how does one rank them. As a voter I don’t think I am given enough information or have the expertise to make a ranking that is meaningful.

    The candidates that stand out will always get elected regardless of the voting system. All that STV may perhaps do, is alter the placings of the last few candidates. I think it would make little difference to the overall calibre, ability and intelligence of the Whanganui District Council.

    Democracy is not perfect and regardless of the voting system, never will be. In my opinion because of the difficulties in ranking candidates, STV will deter people from voting. FFP is simple, just a tick and then the votes are counted. The results are easy to understand. No complicated transferable votes that without a computer are impossible to comprehend and could be manipulated.

    It seems to me that the push to change the system stems mainly from one unsuccessful candidate in the last election. Not sure of his motive but unless there is some obvious advantage to the Whanganui District if the voting system is changed, I would suggest that this proposal is abandoned.

    Please WDC take note of the 2013 referendum held by Hamilton City Council where 70% of voters preferred FFP.

    Yours Faithfully
    John Carson

    As a postscript; you were all elected under FPP and I think you are a good council. I doubt if STV would have made the council any better.


    1. Thank-you. I agree. But I do think STV is much more preferable for the Mayoral choice where it is important to have someone that is more generally favoured and can suffer from split votes more. Would you agree?
      Kind regards, Cr Hadleigh Reid


      1. I do not agree because of the following reason; Looking at the results for Mayor, there is no question that Hamish, with a lead of 2900 votes from his nearest rival had won the poll.

        He won with almost 38.5% of the vote. Under STV he would have to have 50% plus 1 votes to win. Because he didn’t reached that figure what would then happen is that the lowest polling of the seven candidates would be removed from the list of candidates, and all the people that voted for that person would have their second choices distributed to the remaining six candidates. In other words each of those voters who voted for the lowest polling candidate has two votes. The process is repeated until a candidate achieves 50% plus 1 votes and that candidate is declared the winner. Not all voters get two votes and that is a major reason why I think the STV system is flawed.


  2. Please publish the “30-signature petition from “community leaders” asking council to change to STV” which apparently prompted this review (Zaryd Wilson’s article 10 August).
    We need to have some understanding of what the petitioners perceive as the problem they hope to address.
    With thanks,


    1. 30 signatures is less than 0.1% of the Wanganui voting population. Why are we wasting ratepayers money even discussing this topic.
      It should only be considered if a majority of ratepayers request it. After all the ratepayers are the ones paying the money.


  3. Could you please make it possible for people who are not on Internet to have a say as well? And explain how the STV system works in the local papers?

    I am all for STV!
    Anne Mohrdieck


    1. Hi Anne,

      Thanks for sharing your view on Viewpoint.
      At the public meeting from 5.30pm – 7.00pm on Wednesday, August 24, at the Pioneer Room, War Memorial Hall, Council staff will have computers an Ipads available for people to use to complete the survey.

      We also encourage people to visit the Davis Central City and Gonville Café library to use the computers and free internet access to complete the survey.

      The best place to go to find out more about STV, is or

      It will also be explained further at the public meeting.



  4. So the choices are:
    a. Legalised ‘majoritive’ extortion racket type A
    b. Legalised ‘majoritive’ extortion racket type B
    Might that strike people as a ‘false alternative’. Where is the offering ‘none of the above’.
    The Founding Fathers new the threat posed by the majority. They just didn’t appreciate that its threats would be wrapped up in a plethora of ‘measures’ to conceal those dangers. The prevailing system is far removed from their expectations.
    Democracy is dead because ‘the measure of it is cheap populism’, not discerning thought. Let’s however bemoan the people who think about these issues as ‘elitists’. Let’s celebrate populist mandates, no matter how bad the results. Not that you’d ever see results, because North Korea or UN literacy standards are the measure of success in politics and education.


  5. With reference to the W.D.C. FPP / STV option explanation laid out in W.C. p5, 16/8/2017.
    I feel that in the example given, the ranking of the STV candidates could read 14325 and definitely not 13524.


  6. The trouble with voting with STV is the fact that candidates have to be ranked. I have never managed to get to know local body members well enough for preferential numbering. That is why i am asking to keep FPP.


  7. There is an old but true adage; “If t ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
    I see no fault in First past the post and it has served the voters, be they here in New Zealand or other democratic countries well for aeons .
    It seems now that because historically one Wanganui Councillor had insufficient merit to be elected by the voters, he wants to change the voting system so he could then have ” wriggled in to office.
    Compared with his Peers at that time he lacked merit for election, “so suck it up” and case closed.



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