Nominations for candidates wishing to stand in this year's local council elections have now opened.
Electoral officer Warwick Lampp said anyone wishing to stand as a candidate should get their nominations in now.
Nominations for mayor, 10 councillors and four members on each of the two community boards, Rural and Lakes, close at noon on Friday August 12.
"We are encouraging anyone who wants to make a difference in the local community to stand," Mr Lampp, who is running his 11th council elections and fifth for Rotorua, said.
"It is very important for people to have their say on council elections, if you don't vote, you're not in a position to make any comment or complaint about what the council might do or not do that you don't like.
"Councils do a very crucial role in the community and in our daily lives and it's most appropriate for people to take close attention to that and vote accordingly.
"It's not about being a ratepayer, it's being a resident. As a resident you are touched by council every day, when you turn on your water, and flush the loo, drive on the roads and deal with parking, go for a boardwalk or a bike ride, register your dog - all that stuff is managed by council. Being a ratepayer is not the issue, it's because you are a resident," said Mr Lampp.
Rotorua Lakes Council is participating in Local Government New Zealand's Vote 2016 campaign which aims to lift nationwide voter turnout in local elections to more than 50 per cent - a first since the 1980s.
The national Vote2016 campaign will showcase the value local government provides to communities across the country, with a strong focus on inspiring more New Zealanders to vote, and building a pool of skilled candidates to stand in their communities.
Voting papers will be sent out from September 16 and must be received by the council before midday on Election Day, October 8 2016.
For further information on standing as a candidate visit www.rotorualakescouncil.nz/Vote2016 or www.vote2016.co.nz