Title “Local government and youth voter turnout: Obstacles and solutions for Aotearoa New Zealand".
Abstract Local government youth voter turnout in New Zealand is very low. Although it is not too dissimilar to other western democracies where voting is not compulsory, the low rates are ineffective in terms of a healthy democracy. Low voter turnout amongst 18- to 24-year-olds can undermine the political process. Research has shown that youth are not turning out to vote in local government elections, mainly due to a lack of available information, a feeling that local government is a second-order election, and because they feel they have no influence in the political process. This thesis asks: “Would eVoting, compulsory voting, and a reduction in the voting age increase voter turnout amongst youth (18 to 24 years old) in New Zealand local government elections?”
This research explores the causes of low youth voter turnout for 18- to 24-year-olds in local government elections in Dunedin and Palmerston North, New Zealand, as described by young voters themselves. The research explores, through a survey and focus groups, the motivations of young people who did turn out to vote. The focus here is on young voters in two specific cases—Dunedin and Palmerston North—both with high percentages of potential youth voters at tertiary institutions. The thesis proposes and considers the effectiveness (in theory and practice) of three solutions to boost youth turnout: 1) introducing eVoting; 2) lowering the voting age to 16 years; and 3) moving to compulsory voting. Insights into youth not feeling that they had sufficient information to make informed decisions when voting were unearthed and explored.
The research draws the following conclusions: 1) eVoting appeals to young voters and could potentially increase youth voter turnout; 2) young people are divided about introducing compulsory voting, particularly at local government level; 3) youth are opposed to reducing the voting age to 16 because they feel that it is too young. Whilst not initially set as a focus of the current research, civics education was raised by so many participants in both the surveys and the focus groups, that it needs to be addressed. The current research limitations, including the need to explore the generalisability of the results across New Zealand and ideas for future research directions, are also covered. For more information please email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Title “DHB Board Skills - an analysis of the current situation in New Zealand".
Abstract This report aims to evaluate the skill mix and skill requirements for District Health Boards (DHBs) in New Zealand at the current time.
The research was conducted by utilising an online anonymous survey that was sent to all current DHB board members. The results from the survey with current literature around governance, health sector governance, as well as requirements and skills needed for public sector boards.
The findings of this report show that the DHB boards current structure is too large and that the size and number of board members need to decrease from 11 members to nine. It also shows that the make-up of boards will benefit from having six appointed members and three elected members.
Further, the findings also show that by having an independent “Commissioner for Public Appointments” may be a way forward for the future. By having, a Commissioner would reduce the amount of political appointments onto all public sector boards (not exclusively for DHBs). Thus ensuring that the process of appointing board members is more efficient which would enable more public confidence in the process.
The report concludes the research with a set of recommendations for action and an area has been identified for further research in the future.
MBA Thesis - DBA Board Skills - An Analysis of the Current Situation in New Zealand