Why should you vote?

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 

Get ready to vote in the 2022 Southland District Council elections. 

Firstly, you have to be enrolled with the Electoral Commission. You are automatically enrolled to vote in the 2022 local government elections 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 www.vote.nz (external link) 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 (external link)  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 (external link)   or by calling 0800 36 76 56.

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 https://ratepayers.electionz.com/Ratepayers (external link)

Download the Ratepayer Elector Enrolment Form here [PDF, 145 KB]

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 (external link) www.vote.nz or phone 0800 36 76 56.

How postal voting works

If you are an enrolled voter, you'll receive a voting information pack in the mail.

Voting papers will be sent to all eligible voters from Friday 16 September 2022 to Wednesday 21 September 2022.

To make sure your voting papers are sent to your current address, you need to have either enrolled or updated your address (external link)  before Monday 12 September 2022. 

If your voting pack does not arrive in the post, call the Electoral Office on 0800 922 822 to be posted out a special vote.

Once you have voted, you can drop off your voting papers are a number of locations throughout the District, including some libraries and service centres, or pop it in the post in time to meet the deadline.

Important dates for voters

  • final date for enrolling or updating your details: 12 September 2022

  • voting papers are posted out to enrolled voters: 16 September - 21 September 2022

  • Election Day (Voting closes at 12 noon): 8 October 2022

  • official election results announced: about two weeks later