Better Democracy NZ is a non-partisan, non-profit organisation.

Our mission is to foster the improvement of New Zealand's democratic system and encourage the use of direct democracy through the

Veto, Citizens' Initiated and Recall referendum.


Thursday, 22 April 2010

MMP Bill passes first reading

Press Release: New Zealand Government
MMP bill passes first reading with unanimous support

Thursday, 22 April 2010, 5:00 pm

The Electoral Referendum Bill passed its first reading unanimously in Parliament today and has been referred to a special select committee.

The Electoral Legislation Committee has been established to consider the MMP bill and the upcoming electoral finance reform bill. All parliamentary parties are represented on the committee.

“I’m pleased all parties have agreed to the special select committee, and I look forward to seeing constructive work on this important democratic issue,” Justice Minister Simon Power said.

The bill empowers the referendum on MMP to be held in conjunction with the 2011 general election.

“The referendum fulfils one of the Government’s pre-election promises to reassess how MMP is working after five general elections under the voting system.”

The bill sets out the two questions to be asked of voters: first, whether they wish to retain the MMP voting system, and secondly, what alternative voting system they would prefer from four options, regardless of how they voted in the first question.

The Government is committed to holding a second binding referendum in conjunction with the 2014 general election if there is a vote for change. That referendum would be a run-off between MMP and the most preferred alternative.

The bill provides that if more than 50 per cent of voters opt to retain MMP, the new Electoral Commission will undertake a review to consider whether changes are necessary or desirable, and report back to the Minister of Justice by 31 October 2010.

The bill also sets out the conduct for the referendum, including rules around advertising.

Further information on the referendum, including previous announcements, can be found here.

Information on how to make a submission to the select committee can be found click here



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