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Information for votersNgā kōrero whakamārama mā ngā kaipōti

If you’re not a Napier resident but own property here, you can vote in local body elections. You also need to make sure your current address is up-to-date so voting forms get to you on time. Read on below for how to vote on election day and important info about special voting.

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.

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. 

Nominations - 2016 Elections

This is some information we provided to prospective candidates prior to the 2016 Elections. If you're planning to take over Napier in 2019, this information here will be interesting background reading. However, it may change significantly before the 2019 elections - please check back here in July 2019 for the most up-to-date information and guidelines.

Some rules for nominations are:

  • At Large Councillor candidates do not need to live within the Napier City Council area, but must be a New Zealand citizen and enrolled as a parliamentary elector.
  • Both nominators of an At Large Councillor candidate must be enrolled as parliamentary electors in the Napier City Council area.
  • No person can be elected to a local authority if he/she is concerned or interested in contracts over $25,000 with that local authority. This restriction is waived if prior approval from the Office of the Controller and Auditor-General is obtained.
  • A candidate may stand for either the regional council or city/district council/community/local board in the regional council's district but not both [see section 58 of the Local Electoral Act (LEA) 2001].
  • A candidate cannot nominate themselves for office.
  • A candidate may be nominated under a name by which the candidate is commonly known, provided that the name will not: cause offence to a reasonable person; be unreasonably long; include or resemble an official rank or title; cause confusion or mislead electors [section 56 LEA].
  • Where no affiliation is claimed, or an affiliation is disallowed by the Electoral Officer under section 57 of the LEA, nothing will be shown in the public notice or the voting paper against the candidate's name. A candidate with no affiliation may request that 'Independent' be shown.
  • Under section 121 of the LEA, any person is liable to a fine of up to $2,000 who: Knowing themselves to be ineligible for election, consents to being nominated for election; or Nominates any person as a candidate whom he/she knows to be ineligible for election; or Not being the candidate signs any nomination paper knowing that they are not qualified to vote at the election.
  • A candidate may, in accordance with section 61 of the LEA and clauses 26 to 29 of the LER, provide a candidate profile statement and/or a recent photograph for dispatch to electors with the voting documents. For further information about candidate profile statements please refer to the Candidate Profile section of the Candidate Handbook for this election.
  • Each nomination must be accompanied by the required deposit of $200.00 (inclusive of GST) or proof of an electronic deposit.
  • Evidence of NZ citizenship may be requested at the time of candidate nomination. Acceptable evidence includes NZ Passport, NZ Birth Certificate, NZ Citizenship documentation.
  • Nominations of candidates must be in the hands of the Electoral Officer, Napier City Council, 215 Hastings Street, Private Bag 6010, Napier 4142.
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