Stefan Lipa

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Stefan Lipa (born 1953) (LL.B (Auck) 1975) is a former New Zealand politician. He was president of the Social Credit Party (originally the Social Credit Political League; in 1985 its name was changed to the Democratic Party) from 1979 to 1987 and he was a leading advocate of proportional representation in New Zealand.

New Zealand Country in Oceania

New Zealand is a sovereign island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The country geographically comprises two main landmasses—the North Island, and the South Island —and around 600 smaller islands. New Zealand is situated some 2,000 kilometres (1,200 mi) east of Australia across the Tasman Sea and roughly 1,000 kilometres (600 mi) south of the Pacific island areas of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga. Because of its remoteness, it was one of the last lands to be settled by humans. During its long period of isolation, New Zealand developed a distinct biodiversity of animal, fungal, and plant life. The country's varied topography and its sharp mountain peaks, such as the Southern Alps, owe much to the tectonic uplift of land and volcanic eruptions. New Zealand's capital city is Wellington, while its most populous city is Auckland.

Social Credit Party (New Zealand)

The New Zealand Social Credit Party was a political party which served as the country's "third party" from the 1950s through into the 1980s. The party held a number of seats in the New Zealand House of Representatives, although never more than two at a time. It has since renamed itself the New Zealand Democratic Party, and was for a time part of the Alliance.

The New Zealand Democratic Party for Social Credit is a small leftist political party in New Zealand whose policies are based on the ideas of social credit. The party has been known as the Social Credit Political League, the Social Credit Party and the New Zealand Democratic Party and was part of the Alliance for a time.


Early life

Lipa spent his childhood in Auckland and was educated at St Peter's College where one of the influential teachers was Tom Weal, deputy leader of the Social Credit Political League 1970-1972. Lipa studied law at the University of Auckland and practised law in Auckland.

Auckland Metropolitan area in North Island, New Zealand

Auckland is a city in the North Island of New Zealand. The most populous urban area in the country, Auckland has an urban population of around 1,628,900. It is located in the Auckland Region—the area governed by Auckland Council—which includes outlying rural areas and the islands of the Hauraki Gulf, resulting in a total population of 1,695,900. Auckland is a diverse, multicultural and cosmopolitan city, home to the largest Polynesian population in the world. A Māori-language name for Auckland is Tāmaki or Tāmaki-makau-rau, meaning "Tāmaki with a hundred lovers", in reference to the desirability of its fertile land at the hub of waterways in all directions.

St Peters College, Auckland secondary school in Auckland

St Peter's College is a Catholic secondary school for boys, located in Auckland, New Zealand, in the central city suburb of Grafton. With a roll of over 1300, the school is one of the largest Catholic schools in New Zealand. St Peter's College was established in 1939 as a successor of Auckland's earliest school and of St Peter's School, founded in 1857. The Outhwaite family, who acquired the land around 1841, donated the site of the college. The Christian Brothers provided staff for the college for 70 years.

Thomas Kavanagh Weal was a New Zealand politician for the Social Credit Political League, the New Democratic Party and the short lived Christian Democrat party.

Political career

Lipa was elected as a dominion councillor of the party in the 1970s. With Bruce Beetham, the leader of the party, he wrote a major submission on electoral reform to the Parliamentary Select Committee on Electoral Reform. The submission proposed, inter alia , the introduction of proportional representation into the political system of New Zealand to replace the then current first past the post electoral system. [1] On 23 August 1979, at the party's annual conference, he was, at the age of 26, elected as president of the party, [2] a position he held until 1987. In the New Zealand general election of 1981, the party gained the greatest share of votes in its history, 20.65%. But the party only won two seats, giving poignant nuance to the work Lipa had done on electoral reform. From 1985 the Social Credit name was dropped, and the party became the New Zealand Democratic Party with Lipa continuing as president until 1987. In 1996, New Zealand obtained a proportional representation system when the first past the post system was replaced by the Mixed-Member Proportional Representation electoral system.

Bruce Beetham New Zealand politician

Bruce Craig Beetham was an academic and politician from New Zealand, whose career spanned the 1970s and early 1980s.

Mixed-member proportional (MMP) representation is a mixed electoral system in which voters get two votes: one to decide the representative for their single-seat constituency, and one for a political party. Seats in the legislature are filled firstly by the successful constituency candidates, and secondly, by party candidates based on the percentage of nationwide or region-wide votes that each party received. The constituency representatives are elected using first-past-the-post voting (FPTP) or another plurality/majoritarian system. The nationwide or region-wide party representatives are, in most jurisdictions, drawn from published party lists, similar to party-list proportional representation. To gain a nationwide representative, parties may be required to achieve a minimum number of constituency candidates, a minimum percentage of the nationwide party vote, or both.

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  1. B.C. Beetham and S. Lipa for and on behalf of the New Zealand Social Credit Political League, The Parliamentary Select Committee on Electoral Reform, 197?.
  2. "League Picks Lawyer", Dominion, 24 August 1979, p. 3.