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Local elections

Learn how to vote and what it means to vote

Vote

Why voting matters

Every three years enrolled voters have the opportunity to say who they want to represent them at the Council table. The people elected to Council make decisions on behalf of the community that they represent. They will set the rates for the Westland District, and decide how the community's money is spent for the economic, environmental, cultural and social well-being of the district.

Vote to have a say on Westland's future

Voting in the local elections is important if you want to have your say on what matters to you. Council delivers many services to our communities across the Westland District, such as: 

  • investment for vital infrastructure
  • having a say on how we monitor and protect our natural environment
  • playgrounds and recreation areas
  • visiting libraries and swimming pools
  • maintenance of community halls and other community structures
  • rules around where you can walk your dog
  • the quality of water from your tap and at your local beaches
  • local development and a thriving community
  • making it safer for cyclists and pedestrians around the district
  • a range of other services, like checking buildings are built properly, restaurant health rules, alcohol licences and assisting the community to secure funding for events and sports travel.

The people you vote for will also decide on funding and maintenance of critical infrastructure around the Westland District. Your vote can make a difference.

The elections are held by postal vote. Voting documents will be sent to electors from 16 September 2022 and voting opens.

Votes must be in the Electoral Officer’s hands by 12 noon, Saturday 8 October 2022 to be eligible to be counted.

You can either post your documents back in the pre-paid envelope or drop them into the voting box at the Council Offices in Hokitika. The office will be open on the Saturday morning of 8 October for the return of voting documents and special voting.

If you do not receive your voting pack, you will need to request a special voting document from the Electoral Officer (0800 666 048) or Deputy Electoral Officer ((03) 756 9010  EXT. 778) . You can also get special votes by visiting the Council office in Hokitika.

Every VOTE counts so make sure you return yours.

You can vote if you:

  • Are recorded on the Parliamentary Electoral Roll as a resident in the Westland District, or
  • Own a property in the Westland District but live outside the region (i.e you are a ratepayer elector), and are on the Parliamentary Electoral Roll (at the address where you live) and the Ratepayer Roll (in respect of the property you own in the Westland District). 

If you are unsure whether you are enrolled or whether your details are correct, you can go to the Electoral Commission website

Every Westland voter can vote for:

  • the Mayor who is elected at large.
  • West Coast Regional Council – Westland Regional Constituency - 2 Councillors
  • Development West Coast – Westland Constituency - 1 representative

Depending on the Ward you live in, you can vote for:

  • Northern Ward - 3 elected representatives
  • Hokitika Ward - 3 elected representatives
  • Southern Ward - 2 elected representatives

Ward maps are available here.

Find out about enrolling to vote here.

For electors away from Westland District during the voting period  voting papers will be mailed out to electors at their normal residential or postal addresses. If you are returning prior to the close of voting, complete your papers and return by no later than 12 noon, on election day.

If an elector is leaving Westland District before voting opens, and not returning until after voting closes, then they can contact the Electoral Officer or Deputy Electoral Officer to arrange for special voting papers to be sent to a temporary address where they will be staying.

When received at the temporary address, the voting papers should be completed and returned immediately in the return envelope provided. If the voting papers are being sent from overseas, the required local postage stamps must be affixed to cover the return airmail postage to New Zealand.

Special votes cannot be issued until the voting period opens.

Special votes are available from the beginning of the voting period for electors:

  • whose names do not appear on the final Electoral Roll, but who qualify as electors
  • who did not receive a voting document previously posted to them
  • who spoil or damage a voting document previously posted to them
  • whose names appear on the Unpublished Roll

Special votes require the completion of a statutory declaration. This is a legal requirement and protects against possible duplicate voting.

Contact the Electoral Officer or Deputy Electoral Officer or visit the Westland District Council Customer Service desk in Hokitika to make a Special Vote, you can also email jenny.kirk@westlanddc.govt.nz to request a special vote.

If an elector requests a special vote and is not on the Parliamentary Roll (e.g. they turn 18 years of age after the Electoral Roll closes), the person must enrol by close of business on the Friday prior to the election day on Saturday.