Vote

The Local Government Elections are your chance to have your say on who represents you on Council. Your local council makes decisions on many of the things which matter most in our day-to-day lives so make sure you are enrolled, find out about your local candidates and then make sure you vote.

The Local Elections use postal votes and the voting period is three weeks from Friday 16 September 2016 to noon Saturday 8 October 2016.

Some commonly asked questions

When is the next election?

Election day is Saturday 8 October 2016 and voting closes at midday on that day. As we use postal votes the voting period starts on Friday 16 September 2016.

Do I have to vote?

No you don’t have to vote, but want as many people as possible to vote to exercise your democratic right.

You don’t have to vote for all candidates or for all elections. But your vote is important because the people elected will be responsible for making decisions about what happens in your community for the next three years.

How can I find out about the candidates I don’t know any of them?

To help you get to know about the candidates:

  • there may be candidate meetings being held if you wish to go and hear what policies the different candidates are advocating for;
  • there is a candidate profile booklet that comes with the voting document in which there is a photo and a statement from each candidate. This information will also be available on this website after nominations close (expected 19 August 2016);
  • candidates may have their own website page, social media page(s), advertise in local newspapers or send out information to letterboxes in your area;
  • local newspapers are likely to cover information about the election.

What type of voting method is used?

The Far North District Council, Whangarei District Council and Northland Regional Council use FPP (first past the post).

Kaipara District Council and the Northland District Health Board use STV (single transferable voting).

What is the FPP voting method?

FPP – The candidate or candidates that gets the most votes wins. You should mark those you want to vote for with a tick in the circle. Do not vote for more than the number of candidates shown in the instructions.

What is the STV voting method?

STV – Is a preferential system of voting where you can rank as few or as many candidates as you like. It is a single vote which can be transferred between candidates to ensure the vote contributes to the election of at least one candidate and is not wasted. If a popular candidate does not need all the votes he or she receives, a proportion is transferred to the voter’s next preference. On the other hand, if a candidate is not popular and receives few votes, those votes are transferred to a voter’s next preference.

For more information about STV, go to  www.stv.govt.nz. To exercise a STV vote, start by writing the number 1 in the box next to the candidate you most want to be elected. Write the number 2 next to your second most preferred candidate and so on 3, 4, 5 etc.

You can write as many preferences or as few as you like up to however many candidates are standing for that election.

You must write the number 1 for your vote to be counted. Do not write the same number more than once, e.g., 1, 2, 3, 3, 4, 5, and do not miss a number from your preferences, e.g., 1, 2, 4, 5, 6.

Is it a postal vote and will I be sent my voting documents in the mail?

Yes, all local authority elections will be conducted by postal vote. Voting documents will be delivered by NZ Post between Friday 16 September 2016 and Wednesday 21 September 2016.

What is that barcode that I can see through the return envelope or on the front of the voting document?

It is a legal requirement to scan the barcode to mark the electoral roll that you have returned your vote so we can ensure that we do not receive two votes from the same person.

How do you ensure the secrecy of my vote?

Returned envelopes containing a voting document cannot be opened until there is a JP present. The JP is required to sign off that the processes used by the electoral officer met the legal requirements.

Note that the voter’s name is not shown on the voting document.

When the envelope is opened the only thing the electoral office is looking for is that the vote for each election is valid.

This means that for FPP elections we are making sure that the voter’s intention is clear and the voter has not ticked or marked more than the number of candidates than there are vacancies.

For STV elections we make sure that no preference numbers are used more than once or omitted, (e.g., 1, 2, 3, 3, 4, 5), and that there is always a number 1 marked against a candidate’s name. It should be like this: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, etc., in numerical order up to as many preferences as the voter wishes to vote for.

Do I have to post my voting document back?

Yes, you can post it but make sure you have it in the mail by Wednesday 5 October 2016 to make sure it gets back to us in time (by 12 noon Saturday 8 October 2016).

You can also hand deliver your voting document to one of our ballot boxes during the voting period (Friday 16 September 2016 to 12 noon Saturday 8 October 2016).

Ballot box locations

Far North District Council:

  • Council’s Main Office (Memorial Avenue, Kaikohe)
  • Kaitaia Service Centre (Te Ahu, Corner Matthews Avenue and South Road, Kaitaia)
  • Kerikeri Service Centre (60 Kerikeri Road, Kerikeri)

Kaipara District Council:

  • Council’s Main Office (42 Hokianga Road, Dargaville)
  • Mangawhai Office (Unit 6, The Hub, 6 Moleswoth Drive, Mangawhai)

Whangarei District Council:

  • Customer Services, Forum North (Rust Avenue, Whangarei)
  • Ruakaka Service Centre (9 Takutai Place, Ruakaka)

I have lost my return envelope.

You can use an envelope of your own and put the return address and Freepost number on it. (You will not need to put a stamp on the envelope if you write the Freepost number on the envelope).

Whangarei District Council:

Freepost number 4170
The Electoral Office
Whangarei District Council
PO Box 5135
Wellesley Street
Auckland 1141

Far North District Council:

Freepost number 4170
The Electoral Office
Far North District Council
PO Box 5135
Wellesley Street
Auckland 1141

Kaipara District Council:

Freepost number 4170
The Electoral Office
Kaipara District Council
PO Box 5135
Wellesley Street
Auckland 1141

Northland Regional Council:

Freepost number 4170
The Electoral Office
Northland Regional Council
PO Box 5135
Wellesley Street
Auckland 1141

What are special votes?

Special votes are votes available to people:

  • whose names do not show on the Electoral Roll, but who qualify as electors (for example a person who has just turned 18 years old or recently moved house);
  • who have not received their voting document posted to them;
  • who spoil or damage their voting document posted to them;
  • whose names are on the Unpublished Electoral Roll.

To request a special vote, you can:

  • phone the electoral office on 0800 922 822, where a special vote will be posted out; or
  • visit one of the special voting venues listed below.

Special votes require the completion of a statutory declaration – a legal requirement which protects you against possible duplicate voting.

If you request a special vote and are:

  • not on the Electoral Roll (just turned 18 years); or
  • on the Electoral Roll but at another address (recently moved house)

you must also update the Electoral Roll.

To update the Electoral Roll, you can:

  • visit any postshop, or
  • phone 0800 36 76 56
  • access elections.org.nz, or
  • send your name and address to Freetext 3676

but this must be done by 4pm Friday 7 October 2016.

Special votes are available from Friday 16 September 2016 to the close of voting (noon Saturday 8 October 2016) by calling the electoral office or visiting one of the council offices.

Where can I have a special vote?

Special votes can be obtained from:

Far North District Council:

  • Council’s Main Office (Memorial Avenue, Kaikohe)
  • Kaitaia Service Centre (Te Ahu, Corner Matthews Avenue and South Road, Kaitaia)
  • Kerikeri Service Centre (60 Kerikeri Road, Kerikeri)

Kaipara District Council:

  • Council’s Main Office (42 Hokianga Road, Dargaville)
  • Mangawhai Office (Unit 6, The Hub, 6 Moleswoth Drive, Mangawhai)

Whangarei District Council:

  • Customer Services, Forum North (Rust Avenue, Whangarei)
  • Ruakaka Service Centre (9 Takutai Place, Ruakaka)

or by phoning 0800 922 822.

I spoiled my voting documents / I have made a mistake on my documents. What can I do?

If you can amend it so that your voting intention is clear, then do so. If necessary, we can issue you with a special voting document (0800 922 822), but this will take time and require you to complete a declaration.

I am going away and will not be here when the voting documents are posted out.

You will need to contact the electoral office for a special vote on 0800 922 822.

Do I have to vote for all the candidates for any issue? If I don’t vote for all the candidates or all the issues on my voting document, will all my votes be informal?

Under FPP you can vote for as many candidates as you want to but not more than the number of positions available on the voting document. So if you are electing two Councillors then you can vote for up to two candidates. Remember, for FPP you tick the candidates you want to elect.

With STV you can vote for all or as many candidates as you wish but these must be in order of your preference and no number can be repeated. Remember for STV, you rank the candidates you want to elect from number 1 onwards.

Why can’t I vote for a certain candidate who is standing for a different ward, or other issue?

You can only vote for the elections relevant to the area in which you live. You cannot vote for a candidate who is standing in another ward because you are not an elector of that other ward.

My partner’s paper and mine are different and there are more/less things to vote for. Why is the list of candidates different?

You will need to call the electoral office on 0800 922 822.

Do all the staff working on the election know who I voted for?

No, your vote remains secret under the required separate roll scrutiny and vote counting procedures.

Can I help someone fill out their voting document?

Under the Local Electoral Act 2001, you cannot interfere or influence any person as to how they can vote. If authorised by a voter who is physically impaired, visually impaired or for whom English is a second language, a person can assist them to vote as directed by the voter.