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House of Representatives

Compare data for parliamentary chambers in the Electoral system module

Parliament name House of Representatives
Structure of parliament Unicameral
Electoral Law 17 December 1993
Electoral Act 1993 (Last modified:16.05.2005)
Mode of designation directly elected 120
Constituencies - 63 single-member general electoral districts
- 7 single-member Maori electoral districts
- a further 50 members are elected from party-lists
Voting system Mixed: Mixed-member proportional system. Voters have two votes, known as a "party vote" and an "electorate vote".
- simple majority vote for 63 members elected from single-member General electoral districts and for seven members elected from single-member Maori electoral districts
- the remaining 50 members are elected from nationwide party lists, according to each party's share of all the party votes. A party must get at least five percent of all the party votes or win an electorate seat to get a share of the list seats in the House of Representatives. If a party does not have enough electorate members to reach the total number of members that it is entitled to according to its share of all the party votes, it "tops up" to its rightful number with list members.
Under the New Zealand electoral system, seats are first allocated to candidates winning electorate seats. Parties will then get a share of seats in Parliament close to their share of "party votes". If parties win more electorate seats than their share of seats determined by the party vote then they can keep the extra seats, called "overhang seats".
Vacancies arising between general elections are filled through by-elections (for electorate members) or by the next available candidate on the same party-list (for list members).
Voting is not compulsory but enrolment is.
Voter requirements - age: 18 years
- New Zealand citizenship or a lawful permanent resident of New Zealand
- continuous residence in the country for at least one year
- continuous residence in electoral district for at least one month, or current residence therein
- Maoris may register and vote either in the General electoral district in which they reside or in the appropriate Maori electoral district
- disqualifications: citizens and permanent residents abroad who fail to meet certain residence requirements, various forms of insanity or mental disorder, conviction for corrupt electoral practices within the preceding three years, undergoing a prison sentence of three years or more
Eligibility Qualified electors
- age: 18 years
- New Zealand citizenship
Incompatibilities - state servant (placed on leave of absence until after the election and, if elected, vacates office)
Candidacy requirements Electorate candidates must:
- be nominated by at least two electors registered in the electoral district for which the candidate seeks election
- be nominated in the period between writ day and noon on nomination day
- pay a deposit of NZ$300, reimbursed if the candidate wins five percent or more of all the electorate votes cast in the electoral district in which he or she stands for election
List candidates must:
- be on a list that is submitted by noon on the nomination day to the Chief Electoral Officer by a party registered by the Electoral Commission; no monetary deposit is required.

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