Note: New Zealand's electorate decided in favor of keeping the Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) voting system, so the responses to the second question regarding a replacement voting system were not applicable. Results for the second question as well as the first can be found here.
At stake in this Referendum:
- A referendum to determine if the country will keep its MMP electoral system, or move to an alternative system. The referendum has two questions. Voters may vote for both, or only one of the questions if they wish.
Description of government structure:
- Chief of State: Queen ELIZABETH II *
- Head of Government: Prime Minister John KEYS **
- Assembly: New Zealand has a unicameral House of Representatives with 121 seats. ***
Description of electoral system:
- The Queen is the hereditary head of state.
- 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 closed-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:
- A referendum to decide whether to retain the mixed member proportional (MMP) voting system currently used in New Zealand. Should New Zealand keep the Mixed Member Proportional Representation (MMP) voting system? * I vote to keep the MMP voting system. * I vote to change to another voting system.
- A provision to determine which alternative voting system the voter would prefer if New Zealand were to change voting systems "If New Zealand were to change to another voting system, which voting system would you choose?"
- A plurality of voters must vote in favor.
Population and number of registered voters:
- Population: 4,290,347 (July 2011 est.)
- Registered Voters: 3,070,847 (November 2011)
· Female Population: 2,233,129 (2011)
· 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: Yes
· Number of Female Parliamentarians: 39 (following the 2011 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: 657,600 (est.)