New Zealand’s Electoral System
applies the MMP, Mixed Member Proportional, electoral system since 1996. It
consists of two ballots, one for an electorate MP and the other for a party.
Parties get a share of the 120 seats in parliament that is close to their share
of all party votes. At the same time, each part of the country has a local
representative in the form of an electorate MP.
Option: New Zealand’s particularity:
Every five years, a census
is held and followed shortly afterwards by the Maori Electoral Option. That
option was installed in 1975.It allows the Maoris, New Zealand citizens from
non-European origins, to choose between being listed on the general electoral
rolls or the Maoris ones.
Over half of
Maori electors are currently on the Maori roll
the Maoris Option: Electorate Determination:
Once the Maoris Option is
held and the Maori rolls total is known, the country is divided up into roughly
same-electors-number Maori and general electorates by applying the following
First, the Maori
electoral population is calculated by taking the ratio of the number of people
registered on the Maori electoral rolls compared to the total number of people
on all the electoral rolls (general and Maori).
Second, the law says there
must be 16 general electorates in the South Island, and then the math's done to
ensure that every North Island or Maori electorate have approximately the same
population as the 16 South Island general ones.
Third, the number of
electorate seats resulting from that calculus is taken away from the 120 seats
available in parliament to give the number of list seats to be filled.
That implies that the
number of Maoris and general seats is variable depending on the population
changes and the Maoris roll’s choice.
Parliament is made up of 120 MPs – 62 from general electorates, 7 from Maori
electorates, and 51 called List MPs who who do not represent a specific
Parliament Seat for Political Parties:
List MPs are selected from
a ranked list of candidates nominated by a registered party before the election.
There are two ways that a
party can qualify to have seats in Parliament allocated on the basis of its
party vote: Either it wins 5% or more of all the party votes, or it wins one or
more electorate seats. This “threshold” system is mainly beneficial for small
For example, if a party
gets 15% of the party vote, but only two electorate seats, then the rest of its
15% share of seats is “topped up” with list MPs. The seats are allocated in
order, down the list, excluding any candidates who won electorate seats.
The Maori Option was opted
in order to ban the political injustice that New Zealand’s indigenous suffered
from for decades. Mainly, it was also installed as temporary positive
discrimination in order to gradually reinsert Maoris in the general
rolls.Nighnteen years later, the MMP system was introduced for a wider
So far, the results aren’t
coinciding the expectations since Maoris rolls and electorate
kept on gradually