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Local Electoral Review


The Local Electoral Act was passed by the House on 24 May 2001 and enacted for the October 2001 local authority elections. The Local Government and Environment Select Committee is conducting a review of how the provisions of the new Act worked during the 2001 elections.

  • Link here to the Local Electoral Act 2001 (search statutes by alphabetical listing).

    A set of Local Electoral Regulations accompany the Act. These regulations largely cover detailed electoral processes and prescribe particular forms. The Regulations are prepared by the Department of Internal Affairs and members of the SOLGM Electoral Working Party and Local Government New Zealand.

  • Link to the Local Electoral Regulations 2001 (search regulations by alphabetical listing).

    The Local Electoral Amendment Act 2002 was passed by the House on 25 December 2002. This Act made several amendments to the Local Electoral Act 2001. These amendments were:

  • to implement policy decisions on reviews of representation by local authorities and Maori wards;
  • to implement changes arising from the review of the 2001 local elections by the Justice & Electoral Committee; and
  • to add preparatory provisions for the implementation of STV.

  • Link here to the Local Electoral Amendment Act 2002 (courtesy of the Knowledge Basket website)

    What were the objectives of the electoral review?
  • To update and rewrite the Local Elections and Polls Act 1976 to make it:
    - principle-based and less prescriptive
    - flexible to accommodate changing electoral systems, voting methods and new technologies.

  • To consolidate all local legislation.

  • To implement the Coalition Government's manifesto commitments for:
    - the Single Transferable Vote option
    - candidate campaign expenditure limits.

    Who reviewed it?
    The Department of Internal Affairs had policy oversight and responsibility for the review. However, all the preliminary review work was undertaken by an electoral review team led by the New Zealand Society of Local Government Managers (SOLGM), with representation from Local Government New Zealand and the Department of Internal Affairs.

    What was the process for the review?
    The initial stages of the review included the publication in 1999 of The Electoral Way Forward discussion paper for local authorities on proposed local government election legislation.

    The sector then developed a draft policy position statement - "A New Legislative Framework for Local Government Elections". This was distributed in March/April 2000 to a wide range of key local government stakeholders for their comment. Included in this group were private and community sector organisations, political parties, interested government departments and Parliamentary agencies, and 187 Iwi organisations. The Statement was also forwarded to all local authorities.

    Following feedback on the draft policy position statement, Local Government New Zealand and SOLGM prepared and presented to the Minister of Local Government a final Policy Position Statement for a new legislative framework for local government elections and a draft of a new Local Government Electoral Bill. These two documents underpinned the final Bill as it was introduced to Parliament.

    The Bill was enacted in May and operated for the local authority elections in October 2001. Click here for an electronic version of the Local Electoral Act 2001 (courtesy of the Knowledge Basket website). A set of Local Electoral Regulations accompany the new Act. These regulations largely cover detailed electoral processes and prescribe particular forms. The Regulations are prepared by the Department of Internal Affairs and members of the SOLGM Electoral Working Party and Local Government New Zealand. Click here for a link to the Local Electoral Regulations 2001 (search regulations by alphabetical listing).

    SOLGM has also prepared a Code of Good Electoral Management Practice as a guide to electoral affairs in conducting the local authority elections in October under the new legislation, with input from the Department of Internal Affairs.
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    Last updated: 13/05/2005