An attempt by an outgoing member of the Whanganui District Health Board to change the board's voting system has failed.

However, district health boards may consider discussing how district health boards members are voted in, after the WDHB agreed to ask board chair Dot McKinnon to bring the issue up with the chairs of other DHBs.

At a board meeting on Friday - the first since the October local government elections - Allan Anderson, who did not seek re-election to the board, said he would like to see WDHB ditch "what I believe to be the flawed [voting] system of STV".

Referring to a report on the elections in the board agenda, Mr Anderson said nearly 3000 people either didn't vote for DHB members or had voted incorrectly.


"That doesn't happen with First Past the Post [voting system]. To ask people to rank candidates is absolutely ridiculous.

"We have this pseudo-intelligent nonsense coming at us that STV is fairer. It's not; it's nonsense," Mr Anderson said.

STV, or Single Transferable Vote, is a voting system in which voters rank the candidates in order of preference. In Whanganui, the district council and regional council both use the traditional First Past the Post system, in which voters put a tick beside the name of their preferred candidate, but STV for the DHB.

Mr Anderson suggested a recommendation be given to incoming board "to seek a review of the STV system with a view to returning to the FPP system".

Fellow board member Philippa Baker-Hogan said she agreed with the review, but said the board would need to do some research before agreeing to go back to the FPP system.

WDHB chief executive Julie Patterson said that all DHBs used STV.

"This is a Ministry of Health directive, and Whanganui won't change it on their own. I suggest Dot [McKinnon] take to the board chairs' meeting to see if there is any interest in this. If not, then we will have to suck it up," Ms Patterson said.

Mr Anderson finished the discussion by telling his fellow members that he promised "to never bring this subject up at a board meeting again" - which prompted laughter from his colleagues as this was Mr Anderson's last meeting.