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Voting in local elections

Find out who can vote, how to vote, and the constituency for where you live.

Who can vote in the local elections?

Anyone who is correctly enrolled can vote in the local elections where they live.

Also, voters who own property within a local council area, but who usually live outside this, can apply to go on the ratepayer roll. They will then be able to vote in the area where they pay rates, and the area where they live.

To go on the ratepayer roll, you need to apply to the electoral officer for the local council area in which you own property but do not usually live. The electoral officer will send you out a form to complete, sign and return so they can check your eligibility.

If you are registered on the unpublished roll, you will need to apply to the electoral officer at your local council to receive your voting papers.

Overseas voters can take part, but must ensure that they are correctly enrolled with an overseas postal address in order to receive their voting papers. Voting papers for local elections cannot be downloaded.

Check you are enrolled here

Why your vote matters

Voting gives you a say on the people who will represent you on regional issues around the Council table. The elected representatives are responsible for representing the interests of the residents and ratepayers in the region when making decisions on behalf of their communities. Decisions that will deliver on the Regional Council’s purpose of Te whakapakari tahi i tō tātau taiao | Enhancing our environment together

The regional council is this region’s environmental management authority with a focus on the Hawke’s Bay rohe from Mahanga to Pōrangahau, particularly on protecting our natural environment – the air, land, lakes, rivers, aquifers, and the marine areas – that sustain all of us.

How can I vote?download

You can only vote, or be nominated as a candidate, if you are enrolled on the NZ Parliamentary electoral roll.

Check if you need to update your voting papers or enrol to make sure you receive your voting papers.

General roll or Māori roll?

Māori rohe pōti
Māori wards or constituencies

In 2020-21, many local authorities resolved to establish Māori wards or constituencies for at least the 2022 and 2025 triennial elections. For the 2022 local elections there are 35 councils across the country with Māori wards or constituencies, up from only 3 previously. The ability to successfully achieve this was due to a change in legislation which removed the poll provision that could overturn council resolutions to establish Māori wards/ constituencies.

Māori wards or constituencies guarantee Māori representation on a local authority and provide for Māori participation in council decision-making.

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council resolved to introduce two new Māori constituencies for the 2022 and 2025 elections. Find out more.

Only those electors on the Māori electoral roll will be able to vote for candidates standing for the Māui ki te Raki or Māui ki te Tonga Māori constituencies. Similarly, only those on the general electoral roll can vote for candidates standing for a general constituency.

For the Regional Council’s Māori constituencies, the following applies.

  • Only those electors on the Māori electoral roll can vote for candidates standing for a Māori constituency. Similarly, only those on the general electoral roll can vote for candidates standing for a general constituency.
  • Any eligible person can stand as a candidate for either a Māori constituency or a General constituency – to be eligible you must be a New Zealand citizen, a parliamentary elector anywhere in New Zealand and nominated by two electors registered to vote in the area you are standing in.
  • A person does not need to be of Māori descent or be on the Māori electoral roll to stand for a Māori constituency.

Choosing your electoral roll

If you are of Māori descent and enrolling for the first time, you have an important choice to make. You need to decide which electoral roll you want to be on: the general roll or the Māori roll.

After you have enrolled, you can only change rolls during the Māori Electoral Option which takes place every 5 or 6 years (after the Census). The next Māori Electoral Option is currently scheduled for 2024.

Enrolling or updating your details is easy.

  • Do it online. Enrolment information is available in several languages here.
  • To get an enrolment form sent to you in the mail, either:
  • phone 0800 367656, a 24-hour Freephone, or Freetext your name and address to 3676.
  • Complete, sign and return the form as per the instructions on the form.

If you are enrolled at your current address you should receive an enrolment information pack from the Electoral Commission in late June/early July by mail.

If you are registered on the Unpublished roll, you will need to apply to the Electoral Officer to get your voting papers.

If you are overseas, you can still take part in the elections. Just make sure you’re correctly enrolled with an overseas postal address to get your voting papers. You cannot download voting papers for a local election.

What can I vote for?

Eligible voters in the Hawke’s Bay region will elect 11 councillors in 7 constituencies, being:

  • Māui ki te Raki Māori constituency – 1 councillor
  • Māui ki te Tonga Māori constituency – 1 councillor
  • Wairoa general constituency – 1 councillor
  • Ngaruroro general constituency – 1 councillor
  • Ahuriri/Napier general constituency – 3 councillors
  • Heretaunga/Hastings general constituency – 3 councillors
  • Tamatea/Central Hawke’s Bay general constituency – 1 councillor

Māori rohe pōti
Māori constituencies

For the Regional Council’s Māori constituencies, only those electors on the Māori electoral roll can vote for candidates standing for a Māori constituency. Similarly, only those on the general electoral roll can vote for candidates standing for a general constituency.

Check your consituency

When can I vote?

Voting papers for the local elections will be sent by mail to all eligible voters (on the electoral roll) from Friday, 16 September 2022.

Voting will start on Friday, 16 September 2022 and close at 12 noon on Saturday, 8 October 2022.

If you are returning your voting paper by mail you must post your voting papers in a NZ Post box before Tuesday, 4 October to reach the Electoral Officer before the close of voting on 8 October 2022.

You can also drop your completed voting paper into a ballot box at your local council office or library.

If you do not receive a voting paper in the mail, or spoil your voting paper, contact the Electoral Officer and ask about casting a special vote.

What is special voting?

Special votes can be made in the voting period under particular circumstances including:

  • Your name is not included on the printed roll used for this election or has been wrongly deleted from that roll.
  • The address shown alongside your name on the printed roll is out of date and you have been living continuously for one month or more at your new residential address which is in a different ward/Community/constituency.
  • You have spoilt, lost or not received your ordinary voting documents.
  • You are on the unpublished roll.
  • You enrolled as an elector after the printed roll closed.
  • You have satisfied the Electoral Officer that it will not be possible or practical for you to vote by casting an ordinary vote without incurring hardship or undue inconvenience.

Special voting will be available at City and District council offices during the voting period 16 September to 12 noon on Saturday 8 October 2022. Other special voting opportunities will be publicly notified closer to the time.)

You wil be able to either pick up your special voting pack from the Council Office or it can be posted out to you. However, the completed voting papers and statutory declaration must be received by the Electoral Officer in the envelopes supplied before the close of voting.

You can find more information on the Vote Local website.

Ngā Pōti ā-Taiohi - Youth Voting

The Ngā Pōti ā-Taiohi - Youth Voting initiative is aimed at 11-15 year old students (school years 7 to 10) to experience the election process first hand: considering and discussing key issues, voting for candidates on real issues, and being able to compare their results against the official election results.

More information is available on the Local Governance NZ website.


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While every endeavour has been taken by the Hawke's Bay Regional Council to ensure that the information on this website is accurate and up to date, Hawke's Bay Regional Council shall not be liable for any loss suffered through the use, directly or indirectly, of information on this website. Information contained has been assembled in good faith. Some of the information available in this site is from the New Zealand Public domain and supplied by relevant government agencies. Hawke's Bay Regional Council cannot accept any liability for its accuracy or content. Portions of the information and material on this site, including data, pages, documents, online graphics and images are protected by copyright, unless specifically notified to the contrary. Externally sourced information or material is copyright to the respective provider.

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