Wednesday, August 03, 2016
New Zealand’s local government elections—Local Body elections, we call them—are coming up soon. The video above is a TV commercial currently running and is intended to remind Kiwis to register to vote before August 12. There will be more commercials about the elections in the weeks ahead.
August 12 actually has two events. The first is that nominations for candidates running for office in local government close at 12 noon. The other is that the electoral rolls close and voter enrolment ends.
Any eligible voter who hasn’t enrolled by August 12, or whose details are wrong, will have to cast as “special vote”, but they can vote.
The Local Body elections are held by postal ballot, and voting documents will be delivered to households between September 16 and 24. October 8 is designed as Polling Day, and all ballots must be received by the local council by 12 noon that day. In most cases, prelimary results should be released as soon as possible after that time, though some elections, particularly those using STV, may take longer to be counted. Official results, which includes ordinary and special votes, will be released sometime between October 13 and 19—and sometimes it’s not known until then who’s actually been elected.
All New Zealand citizens and permanent residents are eligible to vote. In addition, people who own property in one council area, but who live in another, can also vote in the council where they own property. However, they cast only ONE vote (no matter how many people own the property together), not one vote per owner as in the council area they actually live in. This is to ensure that all property owners have some say in how their rates (property taxes) are spent.
There will probably be some TV ads from candidates for mayor, and I may share some of them, too. But if the past is any indicator, there will be too many candidates to talk in depth about all of them.
But soon, it’s all on once again as election time begins.