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The Department of Internal Affairs

The Department of Internal Affairs

Te Tari Taiwhenua

Building a safe, prosperous and respected nation


Services › Local Elections

Under the law, local government is responsible for local electoral issues such as:

  • the system of voting used by councils
  • the appointment of electoral officials
  • the conduct of local elections and polls including the contracting of companies to count votes.
Central government’s role is largely one of oversight and information, and responding to suggestions for improvement in the legal basis of the system.

The Department of Internal Affairs has a number of particular roles in local authority and district health board (DHB) elections. In summary, the Department:
  • administers the relevant legislation
  • approves voting document formats
  • supports local authorities by supplying an independently certified vote-counting calculator for STV elections
  • participates in the analysis of election results and recommends improvements where appropriate
  • in conjunction with other bodies, provides information and responds to queries relating to local elections.

Local Election Statistics

Local Authority Election Statistics - reports of election statistics for regional councils, territorial authorities (district and city councils), community boards, DHBs and licensing trusts, prepared by Research Services of the Department of Internal Affairs.

Local Authority Election Candidates Report - covering the results of a survey of local authority election candidates, prepared by Research Services of the Department of Internal Affairs. The survey includes those standing for community boards, licensing trusts, district and city councils (including mayoralty), regional councils, and DHBs.
*This document is in Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) format. You need to have the Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer. You can download a free version from the Adobe site.

2010 local elections

Elections of local authority members, including DHBs are held once every three years. Elections were last held in October 2010 for city and district councils, regional councils and DHBs. In some parts of New Zealand elections were also held for community boards, licensing trusts and some other organisations. All elections are currently held by postal voting.

Most elections were conducted using the First Past the Post (FPP) electoral system. However, some were conducted using the Single Transferable Vote (STV) system.

Voting document formats

Section 77 of the Local Electoral Act 2001 provides that a voting document may not be used at an election or poll unless it is consistent with at least one of the general formats that have been approved by the Secretary for Local Government. The formats approved by the Secretary for Local Government may be found by clicking on the links below:

Important election dates

23 July 2010
Candidate nominations open
Electoral roll opens for inspection

20 August 2010
Candidate nominations close (12 noon)
Electoral roll closes

25 August 2010
Public notice of elections and candidates

17-22 September 2010
Voting documents delivered

9 October 2010
Voting closes (12 noon)
Preliminary results announced

11-20 October 2010
Final results declared

November 2010
Elected members sworn in

Further Information