Voting in the 2017 election has started in earnest in Tauranga and the Bay of Plenty district, with advance voting booths for opening business yesterday.

A total of 485 advance voting places are being set up around the country, including a dozen booths set up in the Tauranga and Waiariki electorates and 13 for Bay of Plenty electors. An advance voting booth will also open at Te Puke War Memorial Hall from September 18.

To find out where in the Bay of Plenty you can vote early, scroll below.

The first EasyVote packs started to arrive in people's mailboxes, with a total of 3.16 million packs nationwide due to be delivered in the next week. That includes 104,891 EasyVote packs being sent to those who enrolled before August 23 in the Tauranga, Bay of Plenty, and Waiariki electorates areas.


Read more: 60,000 voters could miss out on voting in General Election

Omokoroa couple Pamela and John Jeffery were among those voting early at an advance
voting booth at the Bethlehem Town Centre yesterday.

Mr and Mrs Jeffery said they also voted early in 2014, and wanted to do so again this time so it left election day free to do other things.

Mr Jeffery, 78, said he had voted in every election since he was 21 and believed it was his duty to do so.

"If you have any grizzles you only have yourself to blame if you don't vote. I think voting should be compulsory," he said.

Mrs Jeffery, 76, said given the advance polling place was just down the road from home it made sense to vote early.

"I had made up my mind so I thought why wait, and it was so much quicker than doing it on election day," she said.

Mr Jeffery said that from 4pm on September 23 he and his wife and a couple of friends would get together to share a meal and then watch the election results unfold on the television.

"It's become an election-day tradition which we all enjoy, and the results of this election are going to be extremely interesting for sure," Mrs Jeffery said.

Tauranga electorate returning officer John Ellis said 19,000 voters chose to vote early in the electorate in 2014, with 50 per cent doing so in the last three days of the election.

"This election we expect over 30,000 people to advance vote, and if we get that number that would be a significant increase on the last election," he said.

Advance voting places in Tauranga, Bay of Plenty and Waiariki electorates

Opened on September 11:

Arataki Community Centre, Zambuck Way.
Bethlehem Town Centre, 19 Bethlehem Rd.
Church of Christ, 1400 Cameron Rd, Greerton.
Electorate Headquarters, 97 Grey Street, Tauranga.
Papamoa Community Centre, 15 Gravatt Rd.
Senior Citizens' Hall, 346 Maunganui Rd, Mount Maunganui.

Opens on September 13:
Katikati War Memorial Lounge, 29-31 Main Rd

Opens on September 16:
Papamoa Plaza, Shop 60, 7 Gravatt Rd.

Opens on September 18:
Former Frank Casey building, 89 Grey St, Tauranga
Te Puke War Memorial Hall, 130 Jellicoe St.
Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology, 70 Windermere Dr.

Opens on September 20:
Baden Powell Centre, 46 Harrisfield Dr, Hairini.
Omokoroa Settlers Hall, 334 Omokoroa Rd.

For opening hours visit here.