Pam Jordan of the Dunedin City Council. Photo by Peter
If you care about Otago and how it is run, get ready to
have your say in the 2013 local elections.
Voting papers will be sent to all enrolled voters from Friday
until next Wednesday.
The elections taking place in Otago are for mayors,
councillors and community boards of the Dunedin City Council,
Waitaki District Council, Clutha District Council, Central
Otago District Council and Lakes District Council, and
members of the Otago Regional Council and Southern District
Voters have until noon on Saturday, October 12, to return
their papers and help determine who will represent them for
the next three years.
Registrar of electors Dee Vickers urged all Otago people to
get enrolled and then have their say.
It was up to voters to choose who would best represent them
and their communities and if someone was not in the system
they could not influence it, she said.
It was important for people to understand every vote really
did count and they should use their voice to say who they
wanted to make decisions on their behalf.
''I remember, I think it was two elections ago, it was being
reported that the last person elected made it in by four
votes, but I still had 200 special votes to count at that
"After those were counted it turned out that person lost by
four votes and the next person got in. So don't tell me each
vote doesn't count.''
Electoral officer Pam Jordan said 89,000 people would receive
voting papers for the DCC, ORC and SDHB elections at the same
time as voting papers for all Otago local bodies were
People could vote as as soon as they received the papers and
needed to post their votes by Wednesday, October 9, for them
to be received by noon on October 12.
Candidate information is included with the papers, but people
can also visit
vote.co.nz to read more about candidates and ask them a
On the forms people should simply rank candidates in their
preferred order, as part of voting under the Single
Transferable Vote (STV) system - except for those voting for
the Otago Regional Council, which will be elected under the
First Past the Post (FPP) system, which requires people to
tick their preferred candidates.
Under STV, voters rank their preferred candidates by placing
a ''1'' in the box next to the candidate they most prefer, a
''2'' beside the candidate they next prefer, and so on.
Voters can rank as many or as few candidates as they like,
and do not have to rank them all.
A detailed explanation of how STV works can be found on the
Mrs Jordan said the challenge this year would be that, for
the first time, candidates were listed in random order on
each paper, so voters would have to pay attention to list
their preferred candidates in their preferred order.
If people ticked their papers, their vote would be invalid.
People who did not receive their voting papers by next
Thursday should call into the Civic Centre to make a special
vote, phone 477-4000 and ask for special votes, or email
Mrs Jordan she hoped people would get out and vote.
''They've only got this one opportunity to do this and it
would be so great to have a good turnout.''
In 2010, 45,240 people - or 52.5% of those enrolled to vote -
voted in the DCC, ORC and SDHB elections.
That was compared with 47.5% of those enrolled voting in the
previous election, and 54.7% in 2004.
• A free lunchtime session with Associate Prof Janine
Hayward, of the University of Otago's department of politics,
on everything you need to know about the STV system will be
held at the Dunningham Suite at the Dunedin Public Library on
Friday at 12.15pm.