Countdown to Northland Local Elections

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Voting closes 8 October 2022 at 12 noon

Stand

Local government elections are an opportunity for you to put yourself forward as a candidate for local government. Nominations open on Friday 15 July and close at noon on Friday 12 August 2022.

If you have leadership qualities and take the time to listen and engage with people in your community, then have a think about whether standing as a candidate is right for you.

Future Councillor Information Sessions

  • June 22 – Future Councillors Information Evening - Whangārei

    5pm, Hihiaua Cultural Centre, 56-58 Herekino Street
    Northland Regional Council and Whangarei District Council

  • 14 July – Virtual Hui

    7 – 8pm, Online – register via NRC website
    Northland Regional Council

  • 20 July – FNDC Q&A Panel Session

    5.30pm - 7.30pm, Kaikohe HQ Chamber
    Details TBC

  • 25 July - Future Councillors Information Evening - Kaitāia

    5pm Kaitāia Digital Hub, 66-70 Commerce Street
    Northland Regional Council and Far North District Council

  • 28 July - Future Councillors Information Evening - Dargaville

    5pm, Sportsville, Memorial Park, Logan Street
    Northland Regional Council

  • 02 August - Future Councillors Information Evening - Kawakawa

    5pm, Te Hononga – Kawakawa
    Far North District Council

  • 03 August - Future Councillors Information Evening - Kaikohe

    5pm, Te Kona – Digital, Business and Learning Hub, 74 Guy Road
    Northland Regional Council and Far North District Council

For Kaipara District, candidate information briefings are a one-to-one appointment with a Kaipara District Council Governance Advisor. Appointments are available online, over the phone, or in person. To make an appointment, contact Gavin Dawson on 09 439 7059 or

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 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

Far North District Council has 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.

How do I become a candidate?

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 ward of the election you are standing for to nominate you. For example, 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 15 July 2022.

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

  • Council’s Main Office, 5 Memorial Avenue, Kaikohe
  • Kaitaia Service Centre, Te Ahu, Corner Matthews Avenue and South Road, Kaitāia
  • Kāeo Service Centre, Leigh Street, Kāeo
  • Kerikeri Service Centre, John Butler Centre, 60 Kerikeri Road, Kerikeri
  • Kawakawa Service Centre, Gillies Street, Kawakawa
  • Rawene Service Centre, 11 Parnell Street, Rawene
  • by accessing www.fndc.govt.nz
  • by telephoning the electoral office on 0800 922 822

Kaipara District Council

  • Kaipara District Council’s Main Office, 32 Hokianga Road, Dargaville
  • Mangawhai Service Centre, Unit 6, The Hub, 6 Molesworth Drive, Mangawhai
  • by accessing www.kaipara.govt.nz
  • by telephoning the electoral office on 0800 922 822

Whāngārei District Council

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

Northland Regional Council

  • Council’s Whangārei Office, 36 Water Street, Whangārei
  • Council’s Dargaville Office, 32 Hokianga Road, Dargaville
  • Council’s Kaitāia Office, 192 Commerce Street, Kaitāia
  • Council’s Waipapa Office, Shop 9, 12 Klinac Lane, Waipapa
  • by accessing www.nrc.govt.nz
  • 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, EFTPOS or electronic bank transfer. Cheques will not be accepted.

If you poll more than 25% of the final quota as determined by the last iteration (for STV elections) or greater than 25% of the lowest polling successful candidate (for FPP elections) you will receive your nomination deposit back. Your nomination must be received by 12 noon on Friday 12 August 2022.

What qualifications or experience do I need?

Nothing formal. Elected members come from all walks of life and generally have a will/desire to serve the community. All (or some) of the following capabilities will be useful in the elected member role:

  • quality decision-making
  • political acumen
  • leadership
  • cultural awareness
  • strategic thinking
  • knowledge and understanding of the community, district or region you are standing in
  • communication and engagement
  • relationship building and collaboration

Does a criminal record affect me standing as a council candidate?

No.

How long is the term for an elected member?

Three years.

Do I need to be a resident in the area I am standing as a candidate?

No, but you must be on the Parliamentary Electoral Roll (anywhere in New Zealand) and be a New Zealand citizen (by birth or citizenship ceremony). 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.

Do I need to be on the Māori electoral roll or of Māori descent if I am standing for election in the Māori ward?

No. To be eligible 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 be nominated by two electors whose names appear on the Māori electoral roll within the area of election for which you are standing.

Equally, if you are on the Māori electoral roll you can stand in a general ward, and will need to be nominated by two electors whose names appear on the general electoral roll within the area of election for which you are standing.

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 cannot stand for both a District Council and the Northland Regional Council.

Can I withdraw my nomination as a candidate?

Only if it is withdrawn before the close of nominations. You cannot withdraw voluntarily after nominations have closed. If you decide to opt out, your name will still appear on the voting document. If you do change your mind and decide not to run for election after you have been nominated, let the electoral officer know who will talk through the issues with you.

However, if you become incapacitated with serious illness or injury and unlikely to be able to perform the functions and duties if elected to office, an application to withdraw your nomination on those grounds can be made. Verification from a doctor or a lawyer about your situation will be required. See the electoral officer if you need more information about this process.

What is a candidate profile statement?

You may provide a candidate profile statement when you lodge your nomination. This is a statement of up to 150 words containing information about yourself and your policies and intentions if elected to office.

The profile statement will be included in the voting packs that all electors receive. Your candidate statement can be submitted in both Māori and English, but the information contained in each language must be substantially consistent with the information contained in the other language.

Each language has to be within a 150-word limit. In addition, your candidate profile statement must state whether or not your principal place of residence is in the area you are seeking election, e.g., ‘My principal place of residence is in the Otamatea General Ward’, or ‘My principal place of residence is not in the Otamatea General Ward’. This is not part of the 150-word limit.

Your profile statement must be true and accurate. The Electoral Officer is not required to verify or investigate any information included in your statement.

Your profile can include a recent passport size colour photograph.

See section 61 of the Local Electoral Act 2001 for more information.

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*

*Plus 50 cents for each elector

For example, a candidate for the Wairoa General Ward (which has a population in the range of 5,000 – 9,999) can spend up to $7,000 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.

Please note, any expenditure made by a candidate for an election campaign is funded by the candidate and is not refundable by the council to the candidate. 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 (by 7 December 2022).

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.

Can I raise campaign funds from donations, and can I claim expenses?

Yes, you can raise funds and claim expenses from your campaign. There is very specific legislation about donations and expenses which you need to abide by. See the electoral officer if you need more information.

When is the campaign period?

Election campaigning can start at any time and continue up to and including election day. Each Council has rules about where and when candidate’s signs can be erected.

Can people already elected onto council use council resources?

No, elected members cannot use council resources for their campaigns.

Are there any rules about using social media?

Yes. Councils have policies or guidelines for web and social media use related to campaigning. They will not permit council social media pages to be used by anyone (candidates or members of the public) for electioneering or campaigning in the three months before election day. Councils monitor their websites and take down any campaign related posts.

If I’m a candidate, can I help people vote or collect their voting documents to send in?

No, candidates or their assistants should not collect voting documents from electors. Each elector should post or deliver their own voting document to the Electoral Officer. It is an offence (carrying a fine of up to $5,000 if convicted) to interfere in any way with an elector with the intention of influencing or advising the elector as to how he or she should vote. Candidates and their assistants should be mindful of this particularly if campaigning occurs in facilities such as rest homes or hospitals.

How much do elected members get paid?

Far North District Council

  • Mayor – $155,000 per annum
  • Deputy Mayor – $112,721 per annum
  • Committee Chairperson – $91,250 per annum
  • Councillor with no additional responsibilities – $70,370 per annum
  • Councillor (Minimum Allowable Remuneration) – $55,147 per annum

Bay of Islands–Whangaroa Community Board

  • Chairperson – $31,742 per annum
  • Member – $13,604 per annum

Kaikohe–Hokianga Community Board

  • Chairperson – $27,208 per annum
  • Member – $13,604 per annum

Te Hiku Community Board

  • Chairperson – $27,775 per annum
  • Member – $13,888 per annum

Kaipara District Council

  • Mayor – $119,000 per annum
  • Deputy Mayor – $55,837 per annum
  • Councillors with no additional responsibilities – $44,139 per annum
  • Councillor (Minimum Allowable Remuneration) – $30,497

Whangārei District Council

  • Mayor – $156,000 per annum
  • Deputy Mayor – $86,087 per annum
  • Chairperson Infrastructure Committee – $75,327 per annum
  • Chairperson Community Development Committee – $75,327 per annum
  • Chairperson Strategy, Planning and Development Committee – $75,327 per annum
  • Chairperson Te Karearea Strategic Partnership Forum Standing Committee – $75,327 per annum
  • Chairperson Civic Honours Committee – $59,185 per annum
  • Councillor with no additional responsibilities – $53,805 per annum
  • Councillor (Minimum Allowable Remuneration) – $49,360 per annum

Northland Regional Council

  • Chairperson – $126,500 per annum
  • Deputy Chairperson – $79,181 per annum
  • Councillor (with additional responsibilities) – $71,681 per annum
  • Councillor (Minimum Allowable Renumeration) – $53,710 per annum

Further information can be found at www.remauthority.govt.nz

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

32 Hokianga Road, Dargaville

Whangārei District Council

Forum North, Rust Avenue, Whangārei

Northland Regional Council

36 Water Street, Whangārei

Or posted to the Electoral Officer

The Electoral Officer,
PO Box 5135,
Wellesley Street,
Auckland 1141