This page answers questions about standing for election.

Download: Candidate Information Booklet 2016

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 (and not be disqualified from enrolling – e.g. in prison serving a prison sentence).

You will need to be nominated by two electors who are on the Parliamentary Roll and whose names appear on the Electoral Roll for the district (in the case of a Mayoral nomination) or ward for which you are standing. – e.g. if you stand for the Richmond Ward, they will need to be registered to vote in that ward. (Please 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 their Candidate Profile Statement.)

Nominations open on Friday 15 July 2016. If you would like a nomination paper and candidate information handbook sent out, please contact the Electoral Officer closer to this date. Nomination papers and candidate information booklets will also be available at Council offices from Friday 15 July 2016.

Candidate campaigning can commence at any time prior to the election (no time restriction), but any expenditure made, within or outside the three-month applicable period before election day (8 July to 8 October 2016), must be accounted for.

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How much will it cost me to stand?

You will need to pay a deposit of $200 GST inclusive when you lodge your nomination form. This deposit applies to each issue (position) you stand for, i.e. if you stand for Councillor and Mayor, the deposit will be $400 GST inclusive.

Your nomination must be received by 12 noon on Friday 12 August 2016.

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 pay by electronic bank transfer, you must produce evidence of that transaction at the time of lodging your nomination.

If you poll greater than 25% of the lowest polling successful candidate (for Council elections) you will receive your deposit back, and for District Health Board elections more than 25% of the final quota as determined by the last iteration.

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Is there any other information I need to submit with my nomination form and deposit?

You can also provide to the Electoral Officer a recent photograph of yourself and a 150-word profile statement.  These will be published in a booklet which will be sent out with the voting documents.

Please note:  The nomination form, deposit, photograph and profile statement must all be lodged at the same time.

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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.

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Do I need to be resident in the District or Ward I am standing for?

No, but you must be on the Parliamentary Roll 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, and on either the residential or ratepayer roll within the area you are standing for.

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How many offices/positions can I stand for?

You can stand for mayor, ward councillor and community board member. However, if you win more than one you will take up the highest ranked position.

You cannot stand for more than one District Health Board.

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How much can I spend on my campaign?

 Local Government Area Population  Expenditure Limit (inc. GST)
 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 
 250,000-1,000,000  $70,000

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 expenses and donations return within 55 days after the day on which the successful candidates are declared to be elected.

If a candidate is outside NZ on this day, the return must be filed within 76 days after election results day. If this is not done it is possible that a non-return will be advised to the NZ Police for enforcement.

The return needs to be made before a candidate deposit is refunded (see question “How much will it cost me to stand”).

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Important information for candidates who have a contract with their local authority or community board

Are you considering standing for election to a Local Authority or Community Board?

Do you have a financial interest in a contract or subcontract with that authority – either personally, through your spouse or partner, or as a result of a business interest?

Do payments under any of those contracts amount to more than $25,000 (including GST) in any financial year?

If so, there are some important legal rules you need to know about.  These rules might prevent you from standing for election - or, if you are elected, might disqualify you from office.

The rules apply whether you contract personally with the authority or through a business, such as a partnership or company.  They also apply to any contracts between the authority and your spouse or partner, or any other contract in which you have a financial interest. 

The rules don’t stop you continuing to do business with the authority.  However, if you go on to be elected, they limit the value of contracts you can enter into, unless the contract fits specified exceptions or is approved by the Auditor-General.

  • Read more about what the rules are and, if they affect you, what you need to do about it.

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