The answer to getting better mayors is to put up better candidates, not to blame the electoral system. Research published earlier this year on New Zealand local elections clearly indicates that those politicians that have an explicit political affiliation are more likely to be elected than those who stay silent.". In fact, it can be a waste of time ranking more than six or eight candidates, because, under NZ STV, the remaining value of most votes, after they have benefitted the first three or four preference candidates, is less than 1% of their total value (of 100%). The problem of voter turnout decline is one that is related to structural change in the capitalist economy and one that requires structural change if it is to be satisfactorily addressed. I suspect the same in NZ for local body elections. 4 (2009), p. 757. Political Roundup: The pressure of survival shows for NZ First. “[…], but your criticism of DPF is unfair”. So under the current model there will be huge variations.". In contrast, he warns against New Zealand's "cult of youth", and suggests that more complicated issues explain declining youth voter turnout. If voters are turning out in low numbers, however, this legitimacy is eroded. Declining voter turnout is a worldwide trend that can only be turned around by young people.  These commitments come at a time when large-scale investment in health, housing, and civic infrastructure, among other critical areas is desperately needed. – see: Why the Auckland local body elections are like Hong Kong. Also, Dylan Taylor and Sandra Grey, ‘From Class-Struggle to Neoliberal Narratives: Redistributive Movements in Aotearoa/New Zealand,’ New Zealand Sociology vol. 1 (2011), pp.  An Electoral Commission survey using this approach found that 6% of respondents felt that it ‘makes no difference who the government is’, suggesting feelings of low political efficacy among these respondents.. The disproportionate influence of the wealthy, and the contemporary propensity for the privatisation of essential services, leads to economic inequality and inequality in political representation becoming mutually reinforcing dynamics. However, from Survey results, the Working Party also knows that plenty While a demographic profile of the typical non-voter is useful when considering who needs to be targeted in campaigns to increase voter turnout, it reveals little in itself about why turnout has declined or why it is most pronounced in these demographics. © Crown Copyright. Learn how your comment data is processed. And nearly half of respondents did not know the name of their local councillor. Agreed, but how many people actually do that, most simply rank the half dozen candidates with any sort of acceptable name recognition and leave it at that…, As to whether STV ( or ranking candidates) affects turnout, If you read the paper, one of the over arching conclusions is that the biggest driver of turnout in US local elections is whether your election is in an even or odd numbered year…. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. The Germans are here!  Examining turnout decline in Aotearoa New Zealand between the 1996 and 1999 general elections, Vowles concludes that two of the biggest reasons for turnout decline over this period were ‘weaker party identifications and reduced party campaign contact’. Another paradox: the vote share of minor parties decreased after the introduction of MMP in NZ. stabilised at 43% in 2016. 8, no.
The vast majority of us are currently disobeying the instruction to vote in the current local government elections.
In the 2008 General Election, 4.7% of the estimated eligible population were not enrolled to vote; 2011 saw this increase to 6.3%, and 2014 to 7.4%, with it staying relatively steady in 2017 at 7.6%. 96–114.  After two general elections in 2011 and 2014 in which the lowest and second-lowest voter turnout was recorded since the introduction of universal suffrage in 1893, the Electoral Commission noted that ‘New Zealand has a serious problem with declining voter participation’.. One theory for low voter turnout is the inability to sneak away from work. The results from 2016 however show a slight stabilisation in voter turnout, with 43% voting compared to 42% in 2013. not interested – 14% (d)too busy – 14%. via credit card when these options first become available. They changed tack, however, after the historically low turnout in the 2011 General Election and survey research that found that non-participation was ‘less about institutional barriers and more about a lack of interest and motivation’.  In Aotearoa New Zealand, this is largely the result of the liberalisation of trade and capital flows, the deregulation of labour, and the lowering of tax rates that began here in 1984. And a system that will keep in check the 'independent' mayor and the wayward 'council controlled' agencies. Whose job is it anyway? Expectations about the impact on voter New Zealand’s turnout is higher than in Australia, England and Canada. You’re talking two different things there, pdm.
I, for one, have never had a problem voting in DHB elections. 2 (2012), p. 238–265.  Statistics New Zealand.  New Zealanders of Asian descent had the lowest turnout per-capita for the 2008 and 2011 elections, something that can be partially attributed to the large number of recent migrants in this demographic.
Practical, down-to-earth decisions have to be delegated to council managers or its appointed agencies, designated in Orwellian newspeak 'council controlled organisations'." (i.e timed with Federal elections,), Also, US local ballots are already notoriously long, with many voters facing a barrage of referenda ( props) along with having to select everything from the Mayor through to the fire and police chiefs, and often the parks and cometary commissioners….
Further, strong unions have historically pulled left parties’ further leftwards.
Finally, could further decentralisation be the answer for making local government more relevant, and therefore engaging for citizens? Young people running in local elections say they're reaching part of the population that wouldn't otherwise vote.