Elections - Advice for voters
Our local authority elections are held every three years, and give you the chance to vote for the Mayor, local council, and District Health Board. The last election was held on 8 October 2016: the next election will be held on Saturday 12 October 2019.
How do I vote?
First you need to make sure you're on the New Zealand electoral roll - and that you either live in Napier, or own property here.
You're eligible to enrol if you:
- are 18 years of age or older, and
- are a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident, and
- have lived in New Zealand continuously, at any time, for one year or more, and
- have lived at your current address for more than one month.
We often get asked if people with multiple properties in Napier receive multiple voting papers. No, they don't. However, people who own property in other districts may also be able to vote there as well as here in Napier. You'll need to contact the electoral officer of the local council area where you own property but don't (usually) live. They'll send you a form to complete, sign and return, and then check your eligibility.
But what if you're a non-Napier resident - but own property in Napier? Can you vote? Yes, you can - but you'll need to register on our ratepayer roll.
Why is your address important?
Because voting papers are mailed out to everyone and we want to make sure you get yours. If you've recently moved, you'll need to update your address one of these three ways.
- complete the appropriate form at any Post Office
- phone 0800 ENROLNOW (0800 367 656)
- go to the Elections New Zealand website.
Where do I vote?
Our local body elections are mostly by postal vote. Your papers should arrive around three weeks before election day - usually in an unremarkable, plain(ish) white envelope (don't look for an orange man like with the national elections). We recommend that you read the candidate booklet when it arrives, vote and mail your papers back quickly (in the prepaid envelope provided. You can also drop them back into the Council offices.
If your papers don't arrive for some reason, or they are significantly damaged or destroyed (or 'creatively enhanced' by a small person), then you can come into Council before election day and cast a special vote.
Special Voting? What's that about?
Special Votes are available to electors:
- whose names do not appear on the final electoral roll, but who nevertheless qualify. Usually this is when the elector has enrolled after the roll closed
- who did not get a voting paper that had been posted to them
- who spoiled or damaged a voting paper that had been posted
- who are going to be overseas over the election period (if you're super-organised, we may be able to send papers to your overseas address)
- who are on the unpublished roll.
You can either pick up your special voting pack from us, or we can post it out to you. However, the completed voting papers must be returned to the Electoral Officer in the envelope supplied. This is very important as special votes also require the completion of a statutory declaration. Why? It's a legal requirement, and it also offers electors protection against possible duplicate voting.
If an elector wants to make a special vote, but is not on the Parliamentary Roll (e.g. they have just turned 18), they must enrol at a Post Office during normal business hours. Special vote declarations are forwarded to the Registrar of Electors who check that the elector is eligible.
NOTE: Special Votes cannot be collected by candidates or their assistants for distribution to electors.