Countdown to Northland Local Elections

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Voting closes 8 October 2022 at 12 noon

Vote

Election day is Saturday 8 October 2022 and voting closes at midday.

Local elections are your chance to have your say about who represents you on council. Your local council makes decisions about many important things that impact our day-to-day lives.

Anyone over the age of 18 by law should be enrolled to vote.  Once you enrol, you can vote in the local elections where you live. Your local council will send you voting papers in the mail.

So make sure you:

  • are enrolled
  • find out about your local candidates
  • and vote.

The local elections are by postal vote only. The voting period is three weeks starting from Friday 16 September 2022.

Some commonly asked questions

Do I have to vote?

No you don’t have to vote. 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.

Not on the roll?

Enrol by 12 August so you can vote. If you enrol after 12 August, you will need to cast a ‘special vote’.

How can I find out about candidates?

Candidates are announced on 17 August 2022.

Ways to get to know the candidates:

  • a candidate profile booklet is sent with your voting documents
  • candidate information will be posted on your council website after nominations close (17 August 2022)
  • candidate profile information will be available on this website after nominations close (17 August 2022)
  • local interest groups may host candidate meetings, where candidates discuss their policies – keep an eye out on social media
  • 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

Who can stand for election in a Māori ward?

To be eligible to stand a candidate must be:

  • A New Zealand citizen (by birth or citizenship ceremony); and
  • Enrolled as a parliamentary elector (anywhere in New Zealand); and
  • Nominated by two electors whose names appear on the electoral roll within the ward a candidate is standing for.

Candidates in Māori wards do not need to be of Māori descent, but they do need to be on the parliamentary electoral roll. However, you cannot stand for both a general ward and a Māori ward at the same time.

Do Māori ward elected members only represent Māori?

No. Once elected, all elected members, whether elected from general wards or Māori wards, take a formal oath of office to represent the entire community.

Voting in Māori wards

You must be on the Māori electoral roll to vote for a candidate standing in a Māori ward.

Voting documents will be different than previous local elections for people on the Māori electoral roll. You will be able to vote for:

  • the Mayor
  • candidates standing in their Māori ward, and
  • candidates standing for their community board.

You will not be able to vote for candidates standing in general wards.

Once elected, all elected members, whether from general or Māori wards, take a formal oath of office to represent the entire community.

Who can be on the Māori electoral roll?

Only New Zealand Māori and the descendants of New Zealand Māori can choose to be on the Māori electoral roll. Those who are enrolling for the first time can choose if they want to be on the Māori electoral roll or the general electoral roll.

Change I change rolls?

Those who are already enrolled, either on the Māori electoral roll or the general electoral roll, may want to change electoral rolls before the local elections in October 2022. Unfortunately, they will not be able to change electoral rolls this year.

The Māori Electoral Option governs the process for changing electoral rolls and this can only be done every five years after each 5-yearly population census. The next Māori Electoral Option is in 2024.

What type of voting system - FPP or STV?

Whangārei District Council and Northland Regional Council will use the FPP (First Past the Post) voting system.

Kaipara District Council and Far North District Council, will use STV (Single Transferable Voting). This is the first year the Far North District Council will use the STV system of voting.

What is FPP?

FPP stands for First Past the Post. When voting this way, the candidate or candidates that get the most votes win. When voting in a FPP election 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?

Single Transferable Voting (STV) is a preferential voting system where you rank the candidates.

When voting under the STV system you start by writing the number 1 in the box next to the candidate you most want to be elected. Then you write the number 2 next to your second favourite candidate and so on. You can rank as many candidates (or as few) as you like.

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.

For more information about STV, go to www.stv.govt.nz.

What is the barcode on the voting paper for?

When receiving your vote it is a legal requirement to scan the barcode that marks the voting paper you have returned. This ensures we do not receive two votes from the same person.

How is the secrecy of my vote ensured?

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

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 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 papers?

Yes. Have your vote in the mail by Tuesday 4 October 2022 to make sure it gets to us by 12 noon Saturday 8 October 2022.

You can also hand deliver your voting document to one of our ballot boxes during the voting period – from Friday 16 September 2022 to 12 noon Saturday 8 October 2022.

Ballot box locations

Far North District Council

  • Council’s Main Office (Memorial Avenue, Kaikohe)
  • Kaitāia Service Centre (Te Ahu, Corner Matthews Avenue and South Road, Kaitāia)
  • Kerikeri Service Centre (60 Kerikeri Road, Kerikeri)
  • Kāeo Service Centre (Leigh Street, Kāeo) – until Friday 7th October
  • Kawakawa Service Centre (Gilles Street, Kawakawa) – until Friday 7th October
  • Rawene Service Centre (11 Parnell Street, Rawene) – until Friday 7th October

Kaipara District Council

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

Whangārei District Council

  • Customer Services, Forum North (Rust Avenue, Whangārei)
  • Ruakākā Service Centre (9 Takutai Place, Ruakākā)

I have lost my return envelope

You can use an envelope of your own and put the return address and Freepost number on it – please refer to the list below for these details.

You will not need to put a stamp on the envelope if you write the Freepost number on the envelope.

Whangārei District Council

Freepost number 4170
The Electoral Office
Whangārei 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 available to those who:

  • do not appear on the electoral roll, but who qualify to vote (e.g. a person who has just turned 18 or has recently moved house)
  • have not received their voting document during the voting period
  • have spoilt or damaged their voting document posted to them
  • are incorrectly recorded on the electoral roll
  • are registered on the Unpublished Electoral Roll.

To request a special vote, you can:

  • phone the electoral office on 0800 922 822
  • visit a council service centre.

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

Special votes are available from Friday 16 September 2022 to the close of voting (noon Saturday 8 October 2022).

To update the electoral roll, you can:

  • visit any post shop
  • phone 0800 36 76 56
  • visit Vote NZ
  • text your name and address to 3676

But this must be done by 4pm Friday 7 October 2022.

Why can’t I vote for a candidate in a different ward?

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.

Can I help someone fill out their voting form?

Under the Local Electoral Act 2001, you cannot interfere or influence any person about 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.

Ballot Box Locations

Far North District Council

  • Council’s Main Office (Memorial Avenue, Kaikohe)
  • Kāeo Service Centre,(Leigh Street, Kāeo)
  • Kaitāia Service Centre (Te Ahu, corner Matthews Avenue and South Road, Kaitāia)
  • Kawakawa Service Centre (Gilles Street, Kawakawa)
  • Kerikeri Service Centre (Kerikeri Road, Kerikeri)
  • Rawene Service Centre (11 Parnell Street, Rawene)

Kaipara District Council

  • Council’s Main Office (32 Hokianga Road, Dargaville)
  • Mangawhai Office (Unit 6, The Hub, 6 Moleswoth Drive, Mangawhai)

Whangarei District Council

  • Customer Services, Forum North (Rust Avenue, Whangārei)
  • Ruakākā Service Centre (9 Takutai Place, Ruakākā)