He tohutohu mā ngā kaitono
Candidates’ guidance

We want Aotearoa New Zealand to be the most active and inclusive local democracy in the world.

Local government only succeeds if people who represent and care for communities are prepared to serve in local government.

Successful local election candidates are those that take the time to listen to their communities and go on to champion their voice as their representative.

As an elected member, you’ll have our backing and support.

We are committed to providing all elected members with the advice, support, and professional development they need to do the best job they can for their communities.

What type of person makes a good local government representative?

People who are driven by caring for their community. Undoubtedly, being involved in local government can be a challenging experience but equally an extremely rewarding one.

You must balance competing demands for your time, be able to work well with others from a wide range of backgrounds and communicate a range of views and perspectives.

Effective communication, collaboration and engagement skills are fundamental along with an open mind! You will need to be able to engage with new and complex information and be open to learning financial concepts so you can make sound decisions about your community’s future.

You will need to get involved with your community, commit to ensuring all voices are heard and work to build and protect a culture of inclusion and belonging. You will also need to prove your commitment to honouring the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi – The Treaty of Waitangi.

Community Board Member and Former Deputy Mayor of Wellington, Jill Day talks about what it takes to run for council, the need for diversity, and why you should make a stand.

Roles you can stand for

There are a few roles in local government that candidates can stand for:

  • mayor
  • councillor (in either a territorial authority or regional council)
  • local board member
  • community board member
  • local licensing trust (if your district or city has one)

Nomination process

The process involves:

  • Completing an official nomination form and sending to the council’s electoral officer.
  • Nominations from two people. Candidates cannot nominate themselves, and people who nominate candidates must be over 18 years old and enrolled to vote in the area the candidate is planning to stand.
  • Candidates must consent to their nomination going forward.
  • A $200 deposit must be paid, which may be refunded depending on election results.
  • Candidates must be New Zealand citizens who are over 18 years old and enrolled to vote.

Our comprehensive 2022 guide outlines important information about standing for local government, how councils/kaunihera work, nomination requirements and common questions. You can also check out the inclusive campaign guide.