Local Government Elections are held every three years on the second Saturday in October. The next local government elections will be held in 2019.
If you have a passion for your community and leadership qualities why not consider standing for election. The larger the pool of skilled candidates that stand the more we can improve local democracy and ensure the value Council delivers to our communities remains high.
Local government works best when it represents all sectors of society. Newly elected members can take advantage of training through Local Government NZ and Council's own induction programme.
If you want to stand at an election you do not need any special qualifications. However, you do need to meet some requirements and complete the nomination process.
- You must be a New Zealand citizen over the age of 18 and enrolled on the parliamentary electoral roll.
- You must have lived in your current address for at least one month.
- You do not need to live in the area you wish to stand in.
- People current serving a prison sentence of three or more years cannot stand (as not a parliamentary elector).
- If you are elected then convicted of an offence punishable by imprisonment for two years or more you automatically lose office.
The nomination process
You will need to:
- Complete a nomination form.
- Get two people to nominate you. These people must be over 18 years old and enrolled to vote in the area you wish to stand in.
- Send your Nomination form to Council with the required deposit.
- You may include a 150 word profile and policy statement and a recent photograph of yourself.
Standing for election
You can stand for:
- your local Council (Mayor, Councillor, or local/Community Board member)
- Your Regional Council.
- Your local District Health Board (DHB)*.
- Your district licensing trust (if applicable).
You cannot stand for:
- Both a Regional Council and a Territorial Council, or a Regional Council and a local/Community Board position, at the same election and in the same region.
*Provisions will vary for DHBs, for more information go to www.moh.govt.nz or contact your local DHB.
If you are elected to a District Health Board and a local authority you can accept both positions.
However, if you are elected to a Council and a local/Community Board, you must vacate the local/community board position and the vacancy will be filled by the next highest polling candidate.
Similarly, if you are elected to both the positions of Mayor and Councillor, the position of Councillor is deemed vacated. This will happen automatically and be handled by the Electoral Officer.
Roles of elected members - governance and community representation
As a member of the governing body, Councillors are required to participate in the decision-making processes that guide and govern the affairs of Council. This includes:
- Establishing a policy framework.
- Deciding on financial resources to be raised for delivery for determined programmes.
- Ensuring Council is fulfilling its regulatory functions in an appropriate manner.
- Developing a management plan for conduct of Council’s activities.
- Regularly reviewing Council’s performance.
The governing body is responsible for employing the Chief Executive and then being accountable for the performance of the Chief Executive and the organisation as a whole.
As an elected representative of the community, an elected member is required to:
- Represent the interests of all local citizens.
- Provide leadership and guidance to the community.
- Facilitate communication between Council and the community and promote the overall interests of Council to the Government, other councils and relevant bodies.
You may also be concerned with a number of other important issues, such as the level of investment in community infrastructure, provision of community services, direction of social change and support for particular political values.
Also keep in mind that as an elected member you will be expected to speak on behalf of individuals and organisations in your community and this may include people who didn’t vote for you.
Part of the role of an elected member is to attempt to understand the needs and demands of people on the community and explain to them the reasons for a particular Council decision.
If you would like more information about what is involved in standing for election for either Mayor, Council or a Community Board please contact Council with 'Local Authority Elections' in the subject line.