Regional Council (Emergency Meeting)

Open Minutes

Commencing:             Thursday 10 September 2020, 8.30 am

Venue:                         Regional House Chambers, 1 Elizabeth Street, Tauranga and via Zoom

Chairperson:               Chairman Doug Leeder - via Zoom

Deputy Chairperson:  Deputy Chairperson Jane Nees – via Zoom

Members:                    Cr Andrew von Dadelszen

Cr Matemoana McDonald -via Zoom

Cr David Love

Cr Norm Bruning

Cr Bill Clark – via Zoom

Cr Stuart Crosby

Cr Lyall Thurston

Cr Toi Kai Rākau Iti – via Zoom

Cr Stacey Rose

Cr Paula Thompson – via Zoom

In Attendance:            Fiona McTavish – Chief Executive, Warwick Lampp – Electoral Officer, Yvonne Tatton – Governance Manager, Mat Taylor – General Manager Corporate, Tone Nerdrum Smith – Committee Advisor

Apologies:                  Cr Te Taru White, Cr Kevin Winters and Cr Iti (both late arrivals via Zoom)


1.     Apologies


That the Regional Council at its Emergency Meeting:

1           Accepts the apologies from Cr White, Cr Winters and Cr Iti (both late arrivals via Zoom) tendered at the meeting.

Thurston/von Dadelszen



2.     Declaration of Conflicts of Interest

None declared.

3.     Reports

8.40 am – Cr Iti entered the meeting via Zoom.


Electoral System Review

Yvonne Tatton – Governance Manager and Warwick Lampp – Council’s Electoral Officer attended the meeting for this item.


Key Points

·       If passing a resolution regarding the preferred voting system, this had to be done no later than 12 September, which was the reason for today’s Emergency Council Meeting

·       If no resolution was passed by Council, the status quo remained, i.e. First Past the Post (FPP) would be the preferred voting system for the next election

·       It was a legal requirement to issue a public notice by 19 September regarding the preferred voting system and right to demand a poll


In Response to Questions

·       There was no empirical evidence to support that one voting system provided a higher level of diversity than another

·       Councils that had changed to STV had all conducted their own promotional campaigns to increase community/voter awareness, rather than there being nationwide campaigns

·       Council could choose to set its voting system for the 2022 and 2025 elections, however community had the opportunity to seek a poll at any time to challenge the current system.


Key Points – Members

·       Recognised that there was a level of confusion with regards to how STV worked

·       Considered that STV did not necessarily represent an accurate expression of who electors wanted as Councillors, as their first choice candidate might not be voted in, despite getting a high number of ‘1’ votes

·       Recognised the higher number of invalid STV votes, above that for FPP, mainly due to a lack of understanding of how the ranking system worked

·       STV could be used tactically, i.e. you could choose to vote for one candidate only

·       Noted the situation in Eastern Bay where a recount in the FPP system had changed the final outcome with one vote, and that if STV had been used, the outcome could have been different

·       Council should make the decision for the 2022 election and any decision regarding the 2025 election voting system should be deferred to the next Council

·       Recognised the importance of community/voter understanding of the difference between the two voting systems to reduce misunderstanding and confusion

·       There was also positive comments from voters with regards to STV as it provided an opportunity to vote for more candidates

·       Encouraged a future discussion with regards to the pros/cons of both voting systems

·       Noted the steady decline in turnout of voters and adding a level of complexity and confusion, e.g. different voting systems, was not desirable

·       Considered that choosing a voting system should be a decision of the community, rather than councils, however this process was currently regulated by the Local Electoral Act 2001.


9.06 am – Cr Winters entered the meeting via Zoom




That the Regional Council at its Emergency Meeting:

1           Receives the report, Electoral System Review.

2           Pursuant to Section 27 of the Local Electoral Act 2001 agrees to:

(a)   Retain the First Past the Post electoral system for the Bay of Plenty Regional Council for the 2022 triennial election;

3           Notes that public notice be given by 19 September 2020 of the decision and the right of electors to demand a poll on the electoral system to be used.




4.     Closing Karakia

A karakia was provided by Cr Iti.

9.08 am – the meeting closed.



Confirmed 30 September 2020                                                    

                                                                         Chairman Doug Leeder

Chairperson, Regional Council