9 Oct 2022

Luxon calls for local body elections reform

3:50 pm on 9 October 2022
Collage of orange voting bin, hand with envelope, voter brochure and vote 2022 sign.

Turnout is expected to be well under 50 percent in most races. Photo: RNZ

National leader Christopher Luxon has joined calls for urgent reform to the voting system for local body elections.

Luxon said today there needs to be changes to lift the low rates of voting.

His call echoes that of the Local Government Association which represents councils, which is calling for what it calls a "short, sharp, independent" review of the voting system.

While final figures are still being collated, preliminary voting totals show a little more than a third of electors cast their votes.

Luxon also told reporters that those who did vote had sent a message to the Labour government by supporting most right-leaning candidates such as Auckland's new Mayor Wayne Brown.

National Party Leader Christopher Luxon

Christopher Luxon Photo: RNZ / Angus Dreaver

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said last night in a statement congratulating the day's winners that voting did need to be made easier in local body elections.

"I'm also keen to work with local government on how we make voting more accessible. Greater participation in elections is good for democracy!"

Local Government New Zealand chief executive Susan Freeman-Greene said it wants to work with the government to review how elections are handled.

She said practical steps are needed to make voting more accessible.

The association's analysis shows turnout in the major cities was down by a little over one percent this election, but rural turnout fell seven percent, to 45 percent.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs