At stake in this Referendum:
- Non-binding referendum on making corporal punishment a criminal offense for parents.
Description of government structure:
- Chief of State: Queen ELIZABETH II *
- Head of Government: Prime Minister Helen CLARK **
- Assembly: New Zealand has a unicameral House of Representatives with 121 seats. ***
Description of electoral system:
- The Queen is hereditary.
- The Prime Minister is appointed by the governor-general.**
- In the House of Representatives, 70 members are elected by plurality vote in single-member constituencies to serve 3-year terms and 50 members are elected through a party-list proportional representation system to serve 3-year terms.***
** The leader of the majority party or the leader of a majority coalition is usually appointed prime minister.
*** The electoral system is MMP. The voter has two votes: one for a party, one for the respective single-member constituency. Seven constituencies are reserved to the Maori people. Once constituency seats are filled, PR list seats are allocated to each party until its overall seat share is proportional to its share of party votes. Parties must clear a national threshold of 5 percent or win at least one constituency seat in order to qualify for seats in the ordinal tier. If a party wins more seats in the nominal tier than it would have been entitled to based on its share of ordinal tier votes, it keeps these seats, known as "overhang."
Main provisions in the Referendum:
- Should a smack as part of good parental correction be a criminal offense in New Zealand?
- Voting will be by mail. Voters must return ballots between July 31 and August 21.
Population and number of registered voters:
- Population: 4,302,600 (2009)
- Registered Voters: 3,002,968 (August 2009)
· Female Population: 2,190,618 (2009)
· Is New Zealand a signatory to CEDAW: Yes (17 July 1980)
· Has New Zealand ratified CEDAW: Yes (10 January 1985)
· Gender Quota: No
· Female candidates in this election: N/A
· Number of Female Parliamentarians: 41 (following the 2008 elections)
· Human Development Index Position: 9 (2014)
· Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI) Categorization: N/A
· Is New Zealand a signatory to CRPD: Yes (30 March 2007)
· Has New Zealand ratified CRPD: Yes (25 September 2008)
· Population with a disability: 645,390 (est.)