Local Government Elections

Insights in Regional New Zealand Issues

What’s exciting about local government?

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This is the local government election year, so potentially exciting opportunities for our cities and regions. Over the next few months, we will look at what people are tweeting about…

Insights – Engaging voters in local government elections

In the lead up to the 2019 Local Government elections, we will be looking at what is being communicated via social media platforms – predominantly twitter and identifying the insights things that are of interest to voters and councils.

@lgnz 7-11 June
Good to see young #women stepping forward to contest local elections 🗳 in NZ in October. All levels of government need strong voices of women &; #youth. Full diversity of society should be reflected in councils. 322 Retweeted 90
Most liked and retweeted message in the network
Insight – diversity of candidates

Functions of Local Government

Sustainable Environmental Development

Sustainable Economic Development

Cultural Well-being

Sustainable Social Development

Natural and Physical Resources, Ecosystems and soil

Water allocation, quality, quantity, rivers, dams and flood prevention

Maritime, coastal management

Public transport

Local Government is required to administer the following Acts

  • Resource Management Act 1991
  • Biosecurity Act 1999
  • Maritime Act 1993
  • Local Government Act 2002
  • Local Government (Rates) Act 2002

Local Government and Social Media

Twitter 41 of the 78 councils have a twitter account

    • 13 regional councils
    • 9 city councils
    • 19 district councils have a twitter account
  • Of the 13 regional councils with a twitter account, the most active is @aklcouncil

Facebook is the most prevalent social media platform with 67 councils having a Facebook page.

Those councils with no Facebook page are:

Buller DistrictSouth Waikato District
Hastings DistrictTararua District
Kaipara DistrictWaimate District
Kapiti DistrictWaitomo District
Marlborough District Council (Unitary)Chatham Islands Council (Unitary)
Masterton District
  • Instagram  
    • 7 councils have an Instagram account

There are a total of 78 local government entities.

17 Regional and Unitary councils

Regional Councils

New Zealand is divided into 16 regions (takiwā) for local government purposes (specified in the Local Government Act 2002).

  • 11 are administered by regional councils (the top tier of local government),
  • 5 are administered by unitary authorities, which are territorial authorities (the second tier of local government) that also perform the functions of regional councils.
  • Finally, the Chatham Islands Council is similar to a unitary authority, authorised under its own legislation.
Regional AuthoritiesUnitary Authorities
1Bay of Plenty Regional Council1Auckland Council
2Canterbury Regional Council2Gisborne District Council
3Hawke’s Bay Regional Council3Chatham Islands Council
4Northland Regional Council4Nelson City Council
5Otago Regional Council5Marlborough District Council
6Southland Regional Council6Tasman District Council
7Taranaki Regional Council
8Wellington Regional Council
9West Coast Regional Council
10Waikato Regional Council
11Manawatu-Wanganui Regional Council

11 City Councils

1Christchurch City Council7Palmerston North City Council
2Dunedin City Council8Porirua City Council
3Hamilton City Council9Tauranga City Council
4Hutt City Council10Upper Hutt City Council
5Invercargill City Council11Wellington City Council
6Napier City Council

50 District Councils

1Ashburton District Council
2Buller District Council
3Carterton District Council
4Central Hawke’s Bay District Council
5Central Otago District Council
6Clutha District Council
7Far North District Council
8Gore District Council
9Grey District Council
10Hastings District Council
11Hauraki District Council
12Horowhenua District Council
13Hurunui District Council
14Kaikoura District Council
15Kaipara District Council
16Kapiti Coast District Council
17Kawerau District Council
18Mackenzie District Council
19Manawatu District Council
20Masterton District Council
21Matamata-Piako District Council
22New Plymouth District Council
23Opotiki District Council
24Otorohanga District Council
25Queenstown-Lakes District Council
26Rangitikei District Council
27Rotorua District Council
28Ruapehu District Council
29Selwyn District Council
30South Taranaki District Council
31South Waikato District Council
32South Wairarapa District Council
33Southland District Council
35Tararua District Council
36Taupo District Council
37Thames-Coromandel District Council
38Timaru District Council
39Waikato District Council
40Waimakariri District Council
41Waimate District Council
42Waipa District Council
43Wairoa District Council
44Waitaki District Council
45Waitomo District Council
46Wanganui District Council
47Western Bay of Plenty District Council
48Westland District Council
49Whakatane District Council
50Whangarei District Council

Election timetable 2019

Election timeable

1 July 2019Electoral Commission enrolment campaign starts.
19 July 2019Nominations open for candidates. Nominations have to be sent to the electoral officer for the council, district health board or licensing trust. Rolls open for inspection at council offices and other sites locally.
16 August 2019Nominations close at 12 noon. Rolls close. After this date, anyone who is entitled to vote and who is not enrolled as an elector, or whose details are incorrectly recorded on the roll, will have to cast a ‘special vote’.
21 August 2019Election date and candidates’ names publicised by electoral officers.
20-25 September 2019Voting documents delivered to households. Electors can post the documents back to electoral officers as soon as they have voted.
12 October 2019Polling day — The voting documents must be at the council before voting closes at 12 noon. Preliminary results (i.e. once all ‘ordinary’ votes are counted) will be available as soon as possible afterwards.
17-23 October 2019 (or as soon as practicable)Official results (including all valid ordinary and special votes) declared.