This page answers questions about voting in local elections.

Do I have to vote?  I don’t know any of these candidates

No you don’t have to vote, but we do encourage you to vote and exercise your democratic right.

You don’t have to vote for all candidates or for all elections.  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.

To help you to get to know the candidates:

  • There will be candidate meetings being held if you wish to go and hear what policies the different candidates are advocating for.  Please check our website later in the year for details of meetings:
  • There is a candidate profile booklet that comes out with the voting documents in which there is a photo and a statement from candidates.  This information will also be available on the Council website after the close of nominations.
  • 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 newspaper(s) are likely to cover information about the election.

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What are special votes?

You can apply for a special vote during the three-week voting period if one of these situations apply:

  • Your name does not appear on the final electoral roll at your current address, but you qualify as an elector;
  • You did not receive a voting document;
  • Your voting document previously posted to you has been spoiled (other than errors which can be corrected) or damaged;
  • Your name appears on the unpublished electoral roll.

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Where can I have a special vote?

Special voting facilities are available at the Tasman District Council Richmond Office, or phone the Electoral Officer (03 543 8554) who can mail out special voting documents.

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I didn’t receive my voting paper, how do I obtain a special vote?

Are you on the Parliamentary Roll for the address you want to vote for? 

If Yes

You will need to apply for a special vote.  Please call the Electoral Officer (03 543 8554) or visit the Council’s Richmond Office.

If No or Don’t Know

If you are not enrolled or not enrolled correctly, you will need to complete an enrolment form for this.  You can pick one up at any NZ Post Shop, enrol online at or ring 0800 36 76 56 or send your name and address to Freetext 3676.

This form needs to be with the Registrar of Electors, Private Bag 999030, Nelson Mail Centre, Nelson 7042 before the close of business on Friday 7 October 2016.

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I am going away and will not be here when the voting documents are posted out

Call the Electoral Officer (03 543 8554) who may be able to organise for the voting document to be sent out to you at the address you will be staying at.

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I have spoiled my voting documents/made a mistake on them.  What can I do?

If you can amend it so that your voting intention is clear, then do so and initial the changes.

If necessary, we can issue you with a special voting document.  This will also require you to fill out a declaration form. 

Special voting facilities are available at the Tasman District Council Richmond Office, or phone the Electoral Officer (03 543 8554) who can mail out special voting documents.

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Can I help someone fill out their voting documents?

Under the Local Electoral Act 2001, you cannot interfere or influence any person as to 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.  An authorisation to do this should be completed (LER 34).

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Do I get a vote for the Nelson Marlborough District Health Board?

Yes, if you are a resident elector.  Ratepayer electors cannot vote for the District Health Board elections.

Please note that the District Health Board elections are conducted under STV and so you will exercise your vote by ranking your preferred candidates.

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What is STV and how do I vote in an STV election?

Single Transferable Vote (STV) is used for the Nelson Marlborough District Health Board elections.  STV is a preferential system of voting where you can rank as few or as many candidates as you like. 

It is a single vote which can be transferred between candidates to ensure the vote contributes to the election or at least one candidate and is not wasted. 

If a popular candidate does not need all the votes he or she receives, a proportion is transferred to the voter’s next preference.  On the other hand, if a candidate is not popular and receives a small number of votes, those votes are transferred to a voter’s next preference.

To exercise your vote, start by writing the number 1 in the box next to the candidate you most want to be elected.  Write the number 2 next to your second most preferred candidate, and so on 3, 4, 5 etc.

For more information about STV, go to

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What is FPP?

First Past the Post (FPP) is used for the Tasman District Council elections. The candidate or candidates that get the most votes wins.

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.

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What happens to all the voting documents after the elections?

They are delivered to the Nelson District Court and kept for 21 days so that the Court can access them should there be an application for recount or petition for inquiry.

After 21 days, the court is responsible for destroying them.

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