How to vote using STV   How candidates are elected    How votes are counted

STV legislation, background and further information

Read the legislation relevant to the introduction of STV for local authority elections in New Zealand, get a brief background to STV or get further information.



Until 2004, local authority elections were conducted using the First Past the Post (FPP) electoral system.

STV was used by 10 councils for the 2004 local authority elections. Eight councils used STV in the 2007 elections, six councils used STV in the October 2010 elections. Seven councils will be using the STV in the October 2013 elections.

STV was also used for elections to the Christchurch City Council in 1917, 1929, 1931 and 1933, and for Woolston Borough Council in 1917 and 1919.

In the private sector, Fonterra use STV for their Board of Directors and Shareholders' Council elections. DairyNZ's Board of Directors and the Victoria University's Court of Convocation also use STV

Overseas, STV has been around since the 1850s.

STV elections are currently held in the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Malta and parts of Australia and the United States of America.

Further information

The following guide was prepared to assist councils to make decisions on the choice of electoral system for the 2010 elections: The Local Government Electoral Option 2008 (.pdf) 182k

An earlier resource was prepared prior to the first STV election in 2004: Choosing Electoral Systems in Local Government in New Zealand (.pdf) 365k

Both of these documents provide further information on how the STV electoral system operates in New Zealand.