Stand

Every three years district and regional council elections give you the opportunity to help lead your community by standing for election. Nominations are now open for the 2019 elections and close at noon on Friday 16 August 2019.

Full information is provided in the Candidate Handbook for each council. Find these from the councils page on this website

Some commonly asked questions

What roles can I stand for?

Mayor

The Mayor is elected ‘at large’ meaning that, as long as there is more than one Mayoral candidate, everyone in the district gets one Mayoral vote, no matter which ward they live in.

A mayor’s job is varied, involving long hours and a wide range of duties, such as chairing meetings, taking a public stand on local issues and being available to constituents. The size of the job differs depending on the size of the district or city with mayors of larger communities working full-time.

One of the most challenging aspects of being mayor is ensuring the orderly conduct of business during council meetings. By keeping order and providing sound leadership elected members help ensure the council decision-making process works at its best. The mayor is normally the spokesperson for the council as well. In addition to these roles, the mayor also fulfils the responsibilities of a Justice of the Peace (while holding office).

Regional Council Chairperson

The Regional Council Chairperson is a Councillor who is elected to the role of Chairperson by the Councillors following the election. The role of chairperson is similar to that of the Mayor.

Councillor

The role of councillor can, at times, be very demanding. You will have to balance a number of competing interests and wear a number of hats, as councillors can be required to act simultaneously as community leaders, representatives and community board members. The role and responsibilities of a councillor fall into two main categories:

  • being a member of the governing body of the council; and
  • being an elected representative of the community.

For the three year term councillors need to juggle work, the community’s demands, their own priorities, the policies of their political team (if they have one) and the challenges facing their council. Being a councillor is a very public role. Whenever councillors appear in public, even though it may not be in an official capacity, they are usually regarded as a councillor and judged accordingly. It is not a nine to five job.

The role of a councillor in a territorial authority is different to a councillor’s role in a regional council. This is due to the different range of service delivered and proximity to communities. A councillor in a city or district tends to be more involved in community matters and will spend, on average, more hours a week in the job.

Community board member

Many councils have community boards, which are elected in tandem with the election of the mayor and councillors. The role of community board member will vary depending on the level of responsibility delegated to them by their parent council. At the least community boards make recommendations to councils on policies, bylaws, and strategies reflecting the views of the communities they represent.

The primary role of a community board member is to represent and advocate for the interests of their communities, liaise with community organisations and government departments, and maintain an overview of the local services provided by the council. Community boards can also make written and oral submissions to their council on local issues.

I want to be a candidate in these elections. What do I need to do?

You must be a New Zealand citizen and your name must be on the Parliamentary Electoral Roll (anywhere in New Zealand). You will need to have two electors registered in the area of the election you are standing for to nominate you – e.g. if you stand for the Bream Bay Ward, the nominators will need to be registered within that ward. (Note the candidate does not need to reside in the area in which he/she is standing, but will need to disclose that fact in his/her candidate profile statement). The nominators must also be on the Parliamentary Electoral Roll at the address they are listed on the nomination paper (which must be in the area that they are nominating the person for).

Nominations open on Friday 19 July 2019.

If you would like a nomination paper and candidate information handbook sent out, please contact the electoral office closer to this date. Nomination papers will also be available from:

Far North District Council

  • 5 Memorial Avenue, Kaikohe
  • Te Ahu, Corner Matthews Avenue and South Road, Kaitaia
  • Leigh Street, Kaeo
  • 60 Kerikeri Road, Kerikeri
  • Gillies Street, Kawakawa
  • 11 Parnell Street, Rawene
  • by telephoning the electoral office on 0800 922 822; or
  • from the council’s website once the forms are available

Kaipara District Council

  • 42 Hokianga Road, Dargaville
  • Unit 6, The Hub, 6 Molesworth Drive, Mangawhai
  • By accessing www.kaipara.govt.nz (when these are available)
  • By telephoning the electoral office on 0800 922 822

Whāngārei District Council

  • Forum North, Rust Avenue, Whangarei;
  • Ruakaka Service Centre, 9 Takutai Place, Ruakaka;
  • by telephoning the electoral office on 0800 922 822; or
  • from the council’s website once the forms are available

Northland Regional Council

  • Council’s Whāngārei Office, 36 Water Street, Whāngārei
  • Council’s Opua Office, Unit 10, Opua Marina Industrial Park, Opua 0200
  • Council’s Dargaville Office, 42 Hokianga Road, Dargaville 0310
  • Council’s Kaitāia Office, 192 Commerce Street, Kaitāia
  • from the council’s website once the forms are available
  • by telephoning the electoral office on 0800 922 822

How much will it cost me to stand?

You will need to pay a nomination deposit of $200 GST inclusive. This deposit applies to each issue (election) you stand for. Your nomination deposit can be paid by cash, cheque, EFTPOS or electronic bank transfer. However, if you pay the deposit by cheque and if it is dishonoured after nominations close, your nomination will not be accepted.

If you poll greater than 25% of the lowest polling successful candidate (for FPP elections) or more than 25% of the final quota as determined by the last iteration (for STV elections) you will receive your nomination deposit back. Your nomination must be received by 12 noon on Friday 16 August 2019.

What qualifications and experience do I need?

Nothing formal. Elected members come from all walks of life and generally have a will/desire to serve the community.

Does a criminal record affect a person standing as a Council candidate?

No, not for the District Council or Regional Council elections. For the Northland District Health Board election a criminal record may affect your candidacy.

How long is the term of the elected member?

Three years.

Do I need to be resident in the area I am standing for?

No, but you must be on the Parliamentary Electoral Roll (anywhere in New Zealand) and be a New Zealand citizen. You will however need to disclose whether or not you reside in the area you are standing for in the candidate profile statement. The two people who nominate you must be on the Parliamentary Electoral Roll within the area you are standing for.

How many positions can I stand for?

You can stand for Mayor and a Ward Councillor, but if you are elected to both Mayor and Ward Councillor, you will take up the highest ranked position. You can also stand for the Northland District Health Board, but you cannot stand for more than one district health board in New Zealand. You cannot stand for both a District Council and the Northland Regional Council.

How much can I spend on my campaign?

There is a limit on what you can spend on your campaign and it relates to the population of the area you are standing for. The maximum amount that can be spent by a candidate cannot exceed the limits set out below:

Local government area population Expenditure limit
Up to 4,999 $3,500
5,000 – 9,999 $7,000
10,000 – 19,999 $14,000
20,000 – 39,999 $20,000
40,000 – 59,999 $30,000
60,000 – 79,999 $40,000
80,000 – 99,999 $50,000
100,000 – 149,999 $55,000
150,000 – 249,999 $60,000
250,000 – 999,999 $70,000
1,000,000 or more $100,000*

For example, a candidate for the Dargaville Ward (which has a population in the range of 4,999) can spend up to $3,500 inclusive of GST. If you stand for more than one position, the amount you can spend is the highest amount for one position. You cannot add positions together to allow you to spend more than the limit. All candidates are required to lodge an electoral donations and expenses return within 55 days after the day on which the successful candidates are declared to be elected.

If a candidate is outside New Zealand on this day, the return must be filed within 76 days after election result day. If a return is not submitted within the required time period, the non-return will be advised to the New Zealand Police for enforcement. The return needs to be received before a candidate nomination deposit is refunded if appropriate.

How much do elected members get paid?

  • The Remuneration Authority has set the rates to apply from the day after the date on which the official results of the election are declared.
  • Council recommends allocation of the pool across Council, including Councillors holding positions of authority, for example Deputy Mayor, Committee Chairs. Proposal approved by Remuneration Authority.
  • There will be a transition period following the election where minimum Councillor salary applies, until the new Council confirms the committee structure and allocation of the pool.
  • All changes to remuneration will be backdated to the effective date of the decision, ie appointment of the Deputy Mayor, Committee Chairs. Adjustment to Councillor salaries will be backdated to the date on which the official results of the election are declared.

Far North District Council

Mayor – $150,000 per annum
Deputy Mayor – $87,756 per annum
Committee Chairperson – $66,979 per annum
Councillor – $54,074 per annum

  • Pool of $707,201 (excluding Mayoral salary) available for allocation by the new Council following the election. The whole pool must be allocated.

Bay of Islands–Whangaroa Community Board

Chairperson – $31,273 per annum
Member – $15,637 per annum

Kaikohe–Hokianga Community Board

Chairperson – $26,806 per annum
Member – $13,403 per annum

Te Hiku Community Board

Chairperson – $27,365 per annum
Member – $13,682 per annum

Kaipara District Council

Mayor $100,857
Deputy mayor $58,893
Councillor $29,470

  • Pool of $359,424 (excluding Mayoral salary) available for allocation by the new Council following the election. The whole pool must be allocated.

Whangarei District Council

Mayor: $156,000
Councillor: $48, 871 minimum

  • Pool of $815,063 (excluding Mayoral salary) available for allocation by the new Council following the election. The whole pool must be allocated.
  • WDC Policy on Elected Members Allowances and Recovery of Expenses sits alongside remuneration. WDC to decide on whether to adopt new Childcare allowance in July 2019.

Northland Regional Council

Base remuneration for members of the Northland Regional Council (as at 1 July, 2019) is as follows:

Chairperson – $122,056 per annum
Deputy Chairperson – $79,153 per annum
Committee Chairperson – $69,459 per annum
Portfolio – $69,459 per annum
Councillor – $56,537 per annum

Where do I return my nomination paper?

To the main office of the Council you are standing for:

Far North District Council
5 Memorial Avenue, Kaikohe

Kaipara District Council
42 Hokianga Road, Dargaville

Whāngārei District Council
Forum North, Rust Avenue, Whangarei;

Northland Regional Council
36 Water Street, Whāngārei

Or posted to the Electoral Officer

The Electoral Officer
PO Box 5135
Wellesley Street
Auckland 1141