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Vote in an election

Once you’re enrolled, you can vote in general elections, by–elections, referendums and local elections.

How to vote

To have free and fair elections, the Electoral Commission has in-person voting and options if you cannot get to a voting place to cast your vote.

About elections — Electoral Commission

More information — Electoral Commission

Contact us — Electoral Commission

Types of elections you can vote in

General election

NZ general elections happen every 3 years. In a general election you have 2 votes — 1 vote for a political party and 1 vote for a candidate you want to represent the area you live in (called your electorate).

What happens in a general election? — Electoral Commission


This is where there is a vacancy and you vote to elect a new candidate to represent your electorate. These are held as they are needed.

What is a by–election? — Electoral Commission


A referendum is where you vote on a question. These can be held at the same time as the general election or they can be held separately.

What is a referendum? — Electoral Commission

Local elections

You vote for the people to represent you in your local authority, such as voting for councillors for your local city or district council. Local elections are held every 3 years.

What are local elections? — Electoral Commission

Who to contact for more help

If you need more help or have questions about the information or services on this page, contact the following agency.

Utility links and page information

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