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Frequently Asked Questions Relating to Local Government Elections

 

General Information

 

 

 

When is the next Local Government election?

 

The next election will take place in 2019.

Who is running the election?

The Electoral Officer has full responsibility for running the election.

What is the name of the Electoral Officer/Deputy Electoral Officer?

 

Central Hawke’s Bay District Council
Electoral Officer
Warwick Lammp
electionz.com Ltd, PO Box 3138, Christchurch
Phone:  0800 666 921
Fax:       03 377 1474
Email:   chbdc@electionz.com

Deputy Electoral Officer
Donna Moorcock
Central Hawke’s Bay District Council, PO Box 127, Waipawa
Phone:  06 857 8060
Email:    electoral.officer@chbdc.govt.nz

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council
Electoral Officer
Leanne Hooper
Hawke’s Bay Regional Council, Private Bag 6006
Napier
Phone:  06 833 8017
Email:   leeanne@hbrc.govt.nz

Hawke’s Bay District Health Board
Electoral Officer
Warwick Lammp
electionz.com Ltd, PO Box 3138, Christchruch
Phone:  0800 666 048
Fax:       03 377 1474
Email:   bhbdhb@electionz.com

 

What type of voting method do you use?

 

Two electoral systems are used:

  • First Past the Post (FPP)
  • Single Transferable Voting (STV)

Organisations using FPP are:

  • Central Hawke’s Bay District Council
  • Hawke’s Bay Regional Council

Organisations using STV are:

  • Hawke’s Bay District Health Board

What issues (elections) can we vote for?

 

Elections are for the following issues:

Central Hawke’s Bay District Council
Election of mayor of the Central Hawke’s Bay District Council.

Election of 8 councillors of the Central Hawke’s Bay District council as follows:

  • Aramoana – Ruahine Ward            four (4) councillors
  • Ruataniwha Ward                          four (4) councillors

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council

Election of one (1) councillor to represent the Central Hawke’s Bay constituency.

Hawke’s Bay District Health Board

Election of seven (7) members for the Hawke’s Bay District Health Board.

There are seven members to be elected at large across the DHB area, which covers the areas made up of Wairoa, Hastings and Central Hawke’s Bay District Councils and the Napier City Council.

What is an At Large Councillor?

 

These councillors are elected by the electors of the whole district or city – not just by electors from part of the district or city.

Some councils elect all their councillors At Large (District-wide), while some have councillors who are elected to a specific ward, while others have a mixture of both.

The Mayor of a district or city is elected at large.

Regional councillors are elected on a constituency basis.

What is the role of a councillor/local board/community board member?

 

A Councillor:

  • Participates in strategic and long-term planning for the whole City/District/Region;
  • Develops policy across a wide range of activities and services;
  • Represents the City/District/Region at functions as required;
  • Reviews and develops bylaws for the City/District/Region;
  • Advocates on a wide range of issues;
  • Coordinates and forms partnerships with other spheres of government and other agencies;
  • Participates in the appointment and performance review of the Chief Executive Officer;
  • Acts on all these matters within a legislative and regulatory framework, and setting a budget and rates.
  • Monitors the performance of the Council organisation

 

 

 

Candidates

 

 

 

I want to be a candidate in these elections.  What do I need to do?

 

You must be a New Zealand citizen and your name must be on the Parliamentary Electoral Roll (anywhere in New Zealand).

You will need to have two electors registered in the area of the election you are standing for to nominate you – eg if you stand for the XYZ Ward, the nominators will need to be registered within that Ward.  (Please note the candidate does not need to reside in the area in which they are standing, but will need to disclose that fact on their nomination form which will be shown in their Candidate Profile Statement).

The nominators must also be on the Parliamentary Electoral Roll at the address they are listed on the nomination paper (which must be in the area that they are nominating the person for).

When do nominations open?

Information about the opening of nominations will be released closer to the Election date.

How much will it cost me to stand?

You will need to pay a nomination deposit of $200 GST inclusive. This deposit applies to each issue (election) you stand for.

 If you pay the nomination deposit by cheque and if it is dishonoured after nominations close, your nomination will not be accepted.

 If you poll more than 25% of the final quota as determined by the last iteration (for STV) or greater than 25% of the lowest polling successful candidate (for FPP elections) you will receive your nomination deposit back.

What qualifications and experience do I need?

Nothing formal.  Elected members come from all walks of life and generally have a will/desire to serve the community.

Does a criminal record affect a person standing as a council candidate?

No, not at all for city, district and regional council elections. For DHBs a criminal record may affect your candidacy

How long is the term of the elected member?

Three years

Do I need to be resident in the city, district or region I am standing for?

No, but you must be on the Parliamentary Electoral Roll (anywhere in New Zealand) and be a New Zealand citizen.

How many offices can I stand for? 

You can stand for mayor, at large councillor or ward councillor and local/community board member.  However, if elected to more than one position, you will take up the highest ranked position.

You can stand as a member of the governing body (i.e. Council) and a local/community board if the triennial local election is happening at the same time. However, if you win more than one election, you must take up the highest ranked position.

You cannot stand for both a regional council and one of its constituent district or city councils or a community board.

You cannot stand for more than one district health board.

I am a serving police officer.  Can I stand for council and continue to work as a police officer?

Yes. There are no restrictions on police officers standing for local  authority elections, apart from the normal eligibility criteria.

How much can I spend on my campaign?

If you stand for more than one position, the amount you can spend is the highest amount for one position.  You cannot add positions together to allow you to spend more than the limit.

All candidates are required to lodge an electoral donation and expenses return within 55 days after the day on which the successful candidates are declared to be elected (Public Notice of Final Results). If a candidate is outside NZ on this day, the return must be filed within 76 days after election result day. If this is not done , the non-return will be advised to the NZ Police.  This return needs to be made before a candidate nomination deposit is refunded.

Mayoralty

The total electoral expenses (inclusive of goods and services tax) of a mayoral candidate for the Central Hawke’s Bay District Council must not exceed $14,000.

Councillor

The total electoral expenses (inclusive of goods and services tax) of a ward councillor candidate for the Central Hawke’s Bay District Council must not exceed $7,000.

 

 

Enrolment

 

 

 

 

 

Where can I view the electoral roll that will be used for this election?

The preliminary electoral roll will be compiled closer to the election date.

 

How do I enrol to vote in these elections?

Is this your main place of residence?  Yes

Have you lived at your current address for more than one month?   Yes

Are you on the Parliamentary Electoral Roll at an address in CHB?  Yes

 You will automatically appear on the roll that is used for these elections.

or

Is this your main place of residence?  Yes

Are you on the Parliamentary Electoral Roll at an address in CHB?   No or Don’t Know

You need to complete an enrolment form for this.  You can either:

  • enrol online at www.elections.org.nz
  • ring 0800 36 76 56
  • send your name and address to Freetext 3676
  • download a form at www.elections.org.nz
  • pick a form up at your local electorate office, Council office or any New Zealand Post Shop

Is this your main place of residence?   No

Are you on the Parliamentary Electoral Roll at an address in another district?   Yes

If you own a property in this district and it is not your main residence you may be able to enrol as a Ratepayer elector.  Contact the Deputy Electoral Officer.

 

I am a student and spend my time in different places.  Where should I enrol?

 

You should enrol where you spend the greater part of your time.

I am a New Zealand Maori, do I need to enrol on the Maori roll?

Not necessarily.  If you are enrolling for the first time you can decide whether you want to go on the Maori Electoral Roll or the General Electoral Roll by signing the appropriate panel on the Parliamentary Elector Enrolment form.

However, if you have already made that choice you will have to wait until the next Maori Option period to change, which occurs following the next census, likely in 2018/19. The last Maori Option period was in 2013.

How do I know whether I am enrolled?

You can check your enrolment status on www.elections.org.nz.

 The Electoral Commission will be undertaking a roll update campaign at the end of June 2016 for the Parliamentary Electoral Roll which forms the basis of our roll for the local authority election.

 If you do not receive a letter in the post during late June/early July 2016, the chances are you are not enrolled or your details are incorrect.

I turn 18 on Election Day.  Can I vote?

Yes, but you need to make sure you have enrolled which you can do provisionally from the age of 17 and it automatically changes when you turn 18.

You will also need to apply for a special vote.

We own a business in your area and pay rates, but we don’t live in your area – do we get a say in the local elections?

Yes, subject to being eligible to become enrolled as a ratepayer elector and becoming enrolled.

 

 

Voting

 

 

 

Is it a postal vote and will I be sent my voting documents in the mail?

 

All local authority elections will be conducted by postal vote.

I didn’t get my voting documents so I called and got a special vote.  Now I have two documents. Which one should I use?

Use the original and destroy the special vote

 

I received voting documents for (children, parent) and have Power of Attorney for them can I vote for them?

What should I do with the documents?

 

No – Power of Attorney does not apply to voting for that person.

 

If they are overseas, you could airmail  them to the person or destroy them if that is not practicable.

If they are for an elderly parent who is unable to vote please destroy them by ripping/cutting them up.

I received voting documents that do not belong to me and I don’t know these people or where they have gone.

Write GNA (Gone No Address) on the envelope and put them back in the mail.

What is that barcode that I can see through the return envelope or on the front of the voting document?

 

It is a legal requirement to scan the barcode number to mark the electoral roll that you have voted so we can ensure that we do not receive two votes from the same person.

How do you ensure the secrecy of my vote?

Envelopes containing a voting document cannot be opened until there is a JP present.  The JP is required to sign off that the processes used by the Electoral Officer met the legal requirements.

The voter’s name is not on the voting document.

When the envelope is opened the only thing the Electoral Officer is looking for is that the vote for each election is valid.

  • This means that for FPP they are making sure that the voter’s intention is clear and they have not ticked or marked more than the number of candidates than there are vacancies.
  • For STV it is to make sure that no preference numbers are used more than once or omitted, (eg, 1, 2, 3, 3, 4, 5), and that there is always a number one marked against a candidate’s name.  It should be like this:  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, etc, in numerical order up to as many preferences as the voter wishes to vote for.

Do I have to vote?  I don’t know any of these candidates

No you don’t have to vote.  You also don’t have to vote for all candidates or for all elections.  But your vote is important because the people elected will be responsible for making decisions about what happens in your community for the next three years.

 To help you get to know about the candidates:

  • There may be candidate meetings being held if you wish to go and hear what policies the different candidates are advocating for
  • There is a candidate profile booklet that comes out with the voting documents in which there is a photo and a statement from candidates. This information may also be available on the Council website.
  • Candidates may have their own website page, social media page(s), advertise in local newspapers or send out information to letterboxes in your area.
  • Local newspaper(s) are likely to cover information about the election.

Do I have to post my voting document back?

You can post it but make sure you have them in the mail by Wednesday 5 October 2016 to make sure it gets back to us in time (by 12 noon Saturday 8 October 2016)

However, you can also deliver to one of our voting boxes which are at the Council offices in Waipawa and the Waipukurau Library and Service Centre until 12 noon Saturday 8 October)

I have lost my return envelope.

You can use an envelope of your own and put the return address and Freepost number on it.

I am on the Unpublished Parliamentary roll and I want a special vote please.

Contact the Deputy Electoral Officer

Deputy Electoral Officer
Donna Moorcock
Central Hawke’s Bay District Council, PO Box 127, Waipawa
Phone:  06 857 8060
Email:    electoral.officer@chbdc.govt.nz

I spoiled my voting documents / I have made a mistake on my documents.  What can I do?

If you can amend it so that your voting intention is clear, then do so and initial the changes.

If necessary, we can issue you with a special voting document, but this will require you to complete a declaration.

Where can I have a special vote?

Contact the Deputy Electoral Officer

Deputy Electoral Officer
Donna Moorcock
Central Hawke’s Bay District Council, PO Box 127, Waipawa
Phone:  06 857 8060
Email:    electoral.officer@chbdc.govt.nz

I am going away and will not be here when the voting documents are posted out.

Contact the Deputy Electoral Officer

Deputy Electoral Officer
Donna Moorcock
Central Hawke’s Bay District Council, PO Box 127, Waipawa
Phone:  06 857 8060
Email:    electoral.officer@chbdc.govt.nz

Do I have to vote for all the candidates for any issue?

If I don’t vote for all the candidates or all the issues on my voting document, will all my votes be informal?

Under FPP you can vote for as many candidates as you want but not more than the number of positions available on the voting document.  So if you are electing 4 councillors then you can vote for up to four candidates. Remember, for FPP you tick the candidates you want to elect.

With STV you can vote for all or as many candidates as you wish but these must be in order of your preference and no number can be repeated. Remember for STV, you rank the candidates you want to elect from number 1 onwards.

You can decide not to vote for one or more of the different elections on your voting document.  This does not invalidate all your other votes.

Why can’t I vote for a certain candidate who is standing for a different ward, community board or other issue?

You can only vote for the elections relevant to the area in which you live..  You cannot vote for a candidate for the same city, district or region who is standing in another ward or constituency because you are not an elector of that ward or constituency.

Do all the staff working on the election know who I voted for?

No, your vote remains secret under the required roll scrutiny and counting procedures.

Can I help someone fill out their voting documents?

Under the Local Electoral Act 2001, you cannot interfere or influence any person as to how they can vote.

If authorised by a voter who is physically impaired, visually impaired or for whom English is a second language, a person can assist them to vote as directed by the voter. An authorisation to do this should be completed (LER 34).

What happens to all the voting documents after the elections?

They are delivered to the District Court and kept for 21 days so that the Court can access them should there be any application for recount or petition for inquiry.

After 21 days, the court is responsible for destroying them.

Do I get a vote for the DHB?

Yes, if you are a resident elector.  Ratepayer electors cannot vote for DHB elections.

Please note that DHB elections are conducted under STV and so you will exercise your vote by ranking your preferred candidates.

What is STV and how do I vote in an STV election?

STV stands for Single Transferable Vote.  STV is a preferential system of voting where you can rank as few or as many candidates as you like.  It is a single vote which can be transferred between candidates to ensure the vote contributes to the election or at least one candidate and is not wasted.  If a popular candidate does not need all the votes he or she receives, a proportion is transferred to the voter’s next preference.  On the other hand, if a candidate is not popular and receives few votes, those votes are transferred to a voter’s next preference.

For more information about STV, go to www.stv.govt.nz.

To exercise a STV vote, start by writing the number 1 in the box next to the candidate you most want to be elected.  Write the number 2 next to your secondmost preferred candidate and so on 3, 4, 5 etc. You can write as many preferences or as few as you like up to however many candidates are standing for that election. You must write the number 1 for your vote to be counted. Do not write the same number more than once, eg, 1, 2, 3, 3, 4, 5, and do not miss a number from your preferences, eg, 1, 2, 4, 5, 6

What about FPP?

This is the First Past the Post voting system.  The candidate or candidates that gets the most votes wins.

You should mark those you want to vote for with a tick in the circle.  Do not vote for more than the number of candidates shown in the instructions.

 

 

Election Results

 

 

 

When will we know the results of the election?

Progress and preliminary results will be announced as soon as possible after the voting closes

The official results will be announced when the final count is complete and special votes have been checked.

How will I find out?

Candidates: Will be advised as soon as possible after Preliminary results are known.  This may be by email or phone.

The Voters: Preliminary Results will be released to the media and placed on our website as soon as possible www.chbdc.govt.nz       

 

 

Members

 

 

 

When do elected members take up their roles?

Elected members take up office the day after the official result has been declared by public notice.  However, they cannot act until they have sworn the oath of office which is usually at the first meeting of council.  This first meeting is usually held as soon as practicable after the final election results are known.

DHB board members take up office 58 days after election day.

Who are elected members responsible to?

Ultimately the elected members’ final responsibility is to the local community.  The Minister of Local Government and the Auditor–General do have a role in ensuring that councils follow the law.

All DHB board members are accountable to the Minister of Health.

Do elected members get paid and if so how much?

This is set by the Remuneration Authority.  Some expenses are also reimbursed.

DHB board members are paid on the basis of the Cabinet Fees framework.

 

 

 

 

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