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Date:
23 March 2012
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Justice and Electoral Committee
Parliament Buildings
Wellington 6160
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Media statement – Justice and Electoral Committee

Inquiry into the 2011 general election

Parliament’s Justice and Electoral Committee has initiated an inquiry into the 2011 General Election.

Committee chairperson, Hamilton West MP Tim Macindoe, says that the 2011 General Election and accompanying referendum on the electoral system raised significant issues of public interest. “There has been some concern about low voter turnout,” says Mr Macindoe. “We expect to consider possible reasons for that along with ideas to encourage all eligible voters to engage in the electoral process.”

The committee intends to examine the maintenance of the dormant roll to ascertain whether all requirements of this aspect of the Electoral Act 1993 are being met as rigorously as specified in the Act.

In conjunction with the General Election, voters chose via the referendum to retain the MMP electoral system. “The committee is interested in finding out how that process was managed, and whether voters had all the information they needed to make their decisions,” Mr Macindoe says.

“And, of course, the Christchurch earthquakes created some unique challenges for voters in the South Island. We hope to hear about their experiences and how those challenges were responded to,” he says.

The terms of reference for the inquiry are to examine the administration of parliamentary elections in light of the 2011 general election, with particular reference to:

  • voter turnout, the maintenance of accurate enrolment data and the dormant roll
  • the conduct of, and education campaign for, the MMP referendum
  • the conduct and performance of the electoral institutions, including the Electoral Enrolment Centre and the new Electoral Commission (merging the functions of the Electoral Commission and Chief Electoral Office), compared with previous elections and in ensuring the integrity of the voting
  • electoral matters arising from the Canterbury earthquakes
  • the statutory and regulatory frameworks governing elections.

The committee is calling for public submissions with a closing date of Friday, 4 May 2012.

Submissions should be forwarded by the due date, either online using Parliament’s website (www.parliament.nz) or in writing to the address below. Submitters who wish to appear before the committee need to state this clearly and provide a name, daytime phone number and email address. Submissions generally become public and are published on Parliament’s website. For further guidance on making a submission, read Making a submission to a Parliamentary Select Committee on Parliament’s website or contact the clerk of the committee at 04 817 9520.

Address for correspondence: Justice and Electoral Committee, Parliament Buildings, WELLINGTON 6160.

ENDS

For more information contact:

Tim Macindoe (Chairperson)

Justice and Electoral Committee

027 280 0203

OR

Pavan Sharma (Clerk of the Committee)

(04) 817 9524 or email pavan.sharma@parliament.govt.nz