A case for ‘citywide voting’

The Hamilton City Council (NZ) is currently “consulting” on it’s Representation Review.  It looks at the number of Councillors, how many wards we have and whether we have community boards.

The Councillors voted to consult on keeping the status quo which means keeping two separate wards (East and West) rather than bringing in “citywide” or “at large voting”.

I had lots of discussions / interviews on the topic, read lots of comments and ultimately disagree with their choice.  Rather than staying silent for the status quo to be passed, it’s imperative that anyone who would prefer to vote city-wide in 2019 will need to let them know by making an online submission (and preferably speaking to it in the chamber).

I have made my submission and have pasted it below – I’m happy for anyone to copy and paste  the reasons outlined into their own submission.

To all elected members… 

Be bold, be brave and vote for change.

I am asking you to put forward / and vote for “at large voting” in this representation review. I believe it is an opportunity to ‘shake up the status quo’ and potentially improve voter turnout in 2019. (Proof of the status quo not working is the 32% voter turnout in 2016).

All Councillors (should) make decisions based on what is best for the city as a whole.

We need more choice, so that we can have the best possible candidates representing us.

I believe that at large voting will improve diversity of elected members, by allowing communities of interest (be it ethnicity, environment, social justice etc) to rally support for a candidate citywide.

‘At large voting’ is a better form of representation for voters who are transient or in unstable accommodation.

* I applaud the decision to implement Maaori representation in committees. I believe at large voting in 2019 and STV voting from 2022 would serve the communities well by ensuring we have the best people representing us.

I hope your decision will be based on the overall vision which is to improve participation of your constituents.

Ngaa mihi

You can read more about the Representation review on their website.   If you agree with me and even if you don’t – equally please  Make your submission here.

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