MPs' views on multiple property-owners getting extra local votes

Source: 1News

New Zealand has a rule where some ratepayers who own property and pay rates in different local body areas can have additional votes at the local body elections.

Voting in NZ general election

It's called the non-resident ratepayer roll. Here's what some New Zealand politicians think about the rule:

Justice Minister Kiritapu Allan: I think there could be an equity issue and I would be interested in understanding that more. I think there is an argument to be made where you are a property owner and you pay rates to local council and they make decisions that impact the infrastructure and spend of your rates, there's an argument to be made that you have the right to make decisions in that election.

However, I would be interested in a broader discussion on that issue.

Kiri Allan.

Deputy National leader Nicola Willis: I think the principle of one person, one vote is critically important, but what we are seeing with the issue of people who are resident in two jurisdictions is that they are not being afforded anymore vote in that jurisdiction than someone else. These are the sorts of issues I would be interested in seeing how many people are actually in that position. But my view is they're not actually altering the proportionality of representation in that region.

Some Kiwis received the payment on Monday despite being ineligible, National finance spokesperson Nicola Willis said.

ACT's Brooke van Velden: The ACT Party's point is that we always go back to one person one vote, we do believe in one person one vote, so if this is a particular area that is causing concern, we are open to looking into it but I don't think it is the problem that it looks like, really anyone bringing this up on Twitter is just trying to deflect from the Labour Party's problem that we actually have a cost of living crisis, crime is going through the roof...

I don't think this is a real problem.

Brooke van Velden says Kiwis should care because they're paying for it through taxes.

Green co-leader Marama Davidson: I think it's unfair and again it privileges people with more resource and power. That's not something I was aware of so I would be keen to look into that.

The co-leader says she's aware of members' concerns over climate change action.

National MP Chris Bishop: I think it's legitimate that people vote in the areas that they live but also own property, because ultimately they're paying rates on those. I think there is a legitimate public policy debate, but I think that the status quo is more than defensible and that's the system we have and that's what we support.

National MP Chris Bishop.

Immigration Minister Michael Wood: It's something I've personally questioned as someone being in local government myself, very interested in the National Party's strong stance of one vote, one person and interested to see if they apply that consistently to that issue. There are some counter arguments which get applied to it, which is that in respect of local government if you genuinely have a stake in that community, you should have a say.

We'd want to consider the policy and the issue carefully before we jump to a conclusion on it, but I think it's a reasonable question to ask.

More than 2,500 displaced people were unable to come to New Zealand due to Covid-19 border closures.

Conservation Minister Poto Williams: I wasn't aware of that, that's an interesting process, I would've assumed your home base was your home base.

Poto Williams.