The Independent Electoral Review is considering the future of Aotearoa New Zealand’s electoral system

The Independent Electoral Review has been established by the Minister of Justice to review our electoral law. The Review is an opportunity to take a thorough look at our elections as times and technology change and to make election rules clearer and fairer for current and future generations.

On 13 September, the Independent Electoral Review Panel released its consultation document. From September to mid-November, the Review Panel met with a broad range of organisations and members of the public to hear their views about our electoral system. Hundreds of written submissions have also been received.

The first stage of public consultation is now closed, while the Panel considers what it has heard and develops recommendations on what could change. In May next year, the Panel will release an interim report with draft recommendations and invite feedback on these. Its final recommendations are due with the Government in November 2023.

The Review is considering a range of issues that are of interest to all New Zealanders, including:

  • voting age
  • overseas voting
  • the length of the parliamentary term
  • the funding of political parties
  • the party vote and one electorate seat threshold
  • election advertising

This review is about the law governing parliamentary elections. Some matters relating to local elections are currently being considered by the Future for Local Government review.

Broader constitutional matters are not being considered by the Review. This includes alternatives to the MMP voting system, re-establishing an Upper House, the role and functions of the Head of State, the current size of Parliament, and the future of the Māori electorate seats. Online voting is also out of scope.

Last updated: 9 November 2022

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