You have a voice and it needs to be heard. Healthy democracy depends on it.

We want more Southlanders and communities to be represented so make your vote count in this year’s local government elections.

From critical infrastructure to our parks and reserves, elected representatives will make decisions that impact many aspects of your life and your community so have your say on what matters to you. Elected representatives will made decisions on:

  • the rates you pay and the services and assets they pay for
  • investment for vital infrastructure
  • how we monitor and protect our natural environment
  • play spaces for children in your local parks
  • visiting libraries or hiring a community hall
  • rules around where you can walk your dog
  • the quality of water from your tap
  • local development and a thriving community
  • a range of other services, like checking buildings are built properly, restaurant health rules and alcohol licences.

How to enrol

Firstly, you have to be enrolled with the Electoral Commission. You are automatically enrolled to vote in a local government election if you're a Southland resident and are already on the parliamentary electoral roll for the general election.

If you're not sure if you're already enrolled or your details have changed, simply head online to or call 0800 36 76 56.

To be eligible to vote you must:

  • be at least 18 years old
  • currently live in New Zealand
  • be a New Zealand resident, permanent resident, or citizen
  • have been living in New Zealand continuously for 12 months or more.
  • To enrol you must verify your identity and will need one of the following documents:
  • New Zealand driver licence
  • New Zealand passport
  • your RealMe verified identity.

If you are not able to enrol online, there are other ways to enrol or to update your details. Go to other ways to enrol for more information.

If you have changed address, be sure to update the Electoral Commission. When voting papers are returned as undelivered, the Electoral Commission removes you from the electoral roll. You can check and update your details at Enrol or update online | Vote NZ or by calling 0800 36 76 56.

Ratepayer electors

Voters who own property within a local council area, but who usually live outside this, can apply to go on the ratepayer roll. They will then be able to vote in the area where they pay rates, and the area where they live.

Find out more here

Download the Ratepayer Elector Enrolment Form here

To go on the ratepayer roll, you need to apply to the electoral officer for the local council area in which you own property but do not usually live. The electoral officer will send you out a form to complete, sign and return so they can check your eligibility.

If you are registered on the unpublished roll, you will need to apply to the electoral officer at your local council to receive your voting papers.

Overseas voters can take part, but must ensure that they are correctly enrolled with an overseas postal address in order to receive their voting papers. Voting papers for local elections cannot be downloaded.

Contact the Electoral Commission if you:

  • have any queries about enrolling
  • need to update your details
  • want to check your electorate/ ward / local board area
  • have changed home address.

Visit the Electoral Commission website or phone 0800 36 76 56.