Oct. 20, 2009, midnight
According to a government announcement on Tuesday, voters will decide in 2011 whether to retain the mixed-member proportional voting system (MMP) they use for parliamentary elections. The referendum will coincide with general elections, the government said, in order to maximize turnout and the legitimacy of the outcome. The ballot will include two questions: whether voters want to change the system, and which of a list of systems they would prefer. If a majority of voters support change, a second referendum coinciding with the 2014 general elections will pit MMP against the chosen alternative. Cabinet said it was working out the wording of the questions and the list of alternative systems. New Zealand replaced first-past-the-post elections with MMP in a 1993 referendum.