Voter turnout for the Western Bay of Plenty District Council election has dropped compared to previous years.

This year's local body election preliminary turnout went down 3.3 per cent, from 37.9 per cent in 2013 to 34.5 per cent. Turnout was even higher in 2010 at 38.9 per cent.

Western Bay had the third lowest voter turnout in provincial district councils, with only Matamata-Piako District with 23.3 per cent and Waikato District on 27.2 per cent lower.

This drop in voter turnouts went against the trend on October 5, when returns were sitting higher than they were at the same time in the 2013 and 2010 elections.

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Community Relationships Manager Frank Begley said as of Wednesday night, the returns were sitting at 29.41 per cent.

This was compared to the 2013 election which sat at 26.5 per cent at the same point, and 28.3 per cent in 2010.

Tauranga City Council's preliminary voter turnout fell by 1.8 per cent, with 36 per cent turnout this election.

In 2013 37.8 per cent of people voted, and 43.8 per cent in 2010.

As at October 6, Tauranga City Council local body election returns sat at just 33.02 per cent, with just 29,928 people returning their votes by that day.

This is compared with 32.03 per cent in 2013, 34.26 per cent in 2010 and 38.21 per cent in 2007 at the same point.

Tauranga City had the fifth highest voter return of the 10 metro councils.

Nelson City had the highest return with 48 per cent.

For more information on voting returns across the country, go to: www.lgnz.co.nz/vote2016/preliminary-voter-turnout-2016/