Enrol to vote
You can’t vote in NZ elections unless you’re on the electoral roll. It's compulsory to be enrolled if you qualify — but voting is optional.
Who can enrol to vote
NZ law requires you to be enrolled
By law, you must be enrolled to vote if you’re:
- over 18, and
- have lived in New Zealand for more than 1 year continuously at some time in your life, and
- are an NZ citizen or permanent resident.
You can’t enrol if you’re:
- an NZ citizen who hasn’t been in NZ for the last 3 years
- a permanent resident who hasn’t been in NZ within the last 12 months.
If you're from the Cook Islands, Niue, Tokelau or Australia
If you're Cook Island Māori, Niuean, Tokelauan or Australian you can enrol once you've lived in NZ continuously for 1 year. You don't have to have permanent residency to vote.
Working for the public service overseas
If you’re on duty outside NZ as a public servant, a member of the Defence Force or you're a family member of one, you can still enrol to vote.
How to enrol
You can also:
- pick up the form called "Enrolling to vote: Application" from your nearest PostShop
- phone free on 0800 36 76 56
- text your name and address to Freetext 3676 and the form will be posted out to you.
Support is available to help you enrol and vote if you have a disability.