MMP review feedback sought next year

Sandra Grey. Photo / APN
Sandra Grey. Photo / APN

MMP's flaws will be scrutinised in a review of the electoral system, with public feedback to be sought from February.

The Electoral Commission will lead a review of the system in two stages. The first begins in February with a call for submissions, followed by public hearings in April and May.

A proposals paper will be available in August for public comment before the commission gives its final report to the Minister of Justice, Judith Collins, in October.

As well as the proportionality of the system, the review will consider the more contentious aspects of MMP, including the thresholds parties must achieve to win a seat and dual candidacy.

The dual candidacy rule allows candidates to stand for an electorate and on a party list, meaning that in some cases, an electorate MP can be thrown out by their local constituency but can get back into Parliament on the list.

Another aspect that has drawn wide opposition is the one-seat threshold, which allows an elected electorate MP to bring in "coat-tail" MPs from their party list, even if they do not pass the 5 per cent party vote threshold.

Maori representation and the number of MPs will not be considered in the review.

Chief Electoral Officer Robert Peden said: "We are very keen to hear the views of the public and will be seeking to make it as easy as possible for individuals and groups to have their say in the review."

However, Keep MMP spokeswoman Sandra Grey said the Electoral Commission could be more proactive in getting people's views and should consider speaking to existing community groups to get a wide range of perspectives.

"It is crucial that the views of the public expressed during the campaign to keep MMP, are heard and addressed before the 2014 election. Voters must not just leave it to politicians to make changes that suit them."

- APNZ

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