Filling a vacancy in a list seat

When a vacancy arises in the seat of a list Member of Parliament, the vacancy is filled by the Electoral Commission declaring elected the next available member on the party’s list who remains a member of the party and is willing to be elected.

The process in detail is as follows. When a vacancy arises in the seat of a list Member of Parliament, the Speaker of the House of Representatives publishes a notice of the vacancy in the New Zealand Gazette

The Governor-General then issues a direction to the Electoral Commission to fill the vacancy. 

The Electoral Commission determines who is next on the party list and then finds out from the party secretary of the party whether the person next on the party list remains a financial member of the party. 

If advised by the party secretary that the next person on the list is a financial member of the party, the Electoral Commission then asks that person if they are willing to be a member of Parliament. If they reply that they are, the Electoral Commission then elects them by declaring them elected in a notice published in the New Zealand Gazette.  If they are not willing to be a member of Parliament, the Electoral Commission repeats the process for the next person on the list. If there is no person on the list willing to be a member of Parliament then the seat remains unfilled.

A list vacancy will not be filled if –

(a) The vacancy arises within 6 months of the date on which Parliament would expire; or

(b) The Prime Minister informs the House of Representatives in writing that a general election will be held within 6 months of the vacancy –

and 75% or more members of the House of Representatives resolve that a direction is not to be issued to fill the vacancy.

 

Last updated: 20 December 2012