Local body elections

Where can I find information about local body elections?

Voting enrolment display by Christchurch City Libraries on Flickr.

Entry last updated: 19/12/19


Local body elections are held every 3 years on the second Saturday in October. This is when people in New Zealand get to choose people for their local council, regional council, district health board and a few other important organisations in their local area.

Local government in New Zealand

These websites have information about the history of local government, types of councils, and the rolls of mayors and council members.

Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand

Te Ara is an excellent starting point for all questions about New Zealand Aotearoa. If we scroll down to the bottom of the page we can see that the website belongs to the Ministry for Culture & Heritage, so the information is well-researched and reliable.

  • Go to the section on Government and Nation.
  • The link Institutions of Government will take you to the history of Local and regional government in New Zealand.
  • The link on Political participation will take you to Elections and campaigns about elections, election day and voter participation.
Tips: We like sites like this because they’re reliable. You can tell because of their web address – they have either .govt or .ac, meaning they are from government or educational organisations. They’re also New Zealand sites, so relevant for us.

Local Councils

This site covers general information about local government and helps us understand more about regional, district and city councils in Aotearoa, New Zealand.

Tips: We like sites that are from government or other reputable organisations, because we can trust the information. You can sometimes tell these sites by their web address – they might have .govt or .edu in their address – or by looking at their About us or Contact pages.

Elections and voting

These government websites cover local body elections, why these elections are held, and important information for voters and candidates standing for elections.

Local Government New Zealand

This official website of local bodies of New Zealand has all the information you need to understand local bodies, their work and how members get elected.

Tips: Websites that have .com or .co in the address can have good information, but you need to assess how reliable it is. Check the About us link on this website. This can tell you what the company’s mission and values are.

Vote NZ

Vote NZ belongs to the New Zealand Electoral Commission who conduct voting for general elections, local elections and elections on referendum ( meaning a vote on a question started by a citizen or the government).

  • Go to Elections & more to select 2019 local elections.
  • This page has information for voters on how to enroll, voting packs, key dates, and how to vote if you are overseas.
  • On the left hand side you will find links to view this information in New Zealand Sign Language, Māori, Chinese, Pacific Languages and other languages spoken in New Zealand.
Tips: Some websites have .au, .nz, .uk or other codes in their url. This can tell you which country this website comes from eg .au is from Australia or .nz is from New Zealand. You can check the ‘ About Us ’ link on the website for more information.


This is another website of New Zealand Electoral Commission. It has important facts on democracy in New Zealand, different types of elections, and rules for campaigning, candidates and political parties.

  • The tab called Elections in New Zealand has a link to What are local elections.
  • The 'plus signs' will take you to why local body elections are held and important election information for voters.
Tips: Many web pages have links to further information or to other recommended sites. Following these links is a great way to find out more. This searching method is called “pearl growing” because you are picking up pieces of sand to make a beautiful pearl!


Check with your local public library or school library to see what they have on local body elections.

Here are some titles we recommend:

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