With just days until election day, candidates' events are fizzling out with those standing for council nearly at the end of a campaign that started in January.

And yet, despite candidates, Hamilton City Council and media organisations doing all they can to boost voter turnout, at the time of writing (October 2) Hamilton's voter turnout sits at 15,175, with still around 87,000 enrolled residents yet to get their votes in.

There is a slight increase in voting from the 2016 election as of October 2 — roughly two per cent.

Hamilton City Council has asked residents to post their voting papers by October 5, however you will still be able to drop them off at ballot boxes at HCC facilities.


If your voting papers did not come in the mail, then you will need to make a special vote at the HCC Municipal Building, or at one of the libraries around the city.

The responsibility is now on Hamilton residents to play their part in a democratic society and make their voices heard.

I admit, before starting work as a journalist, I took little interest in what my local council did.

However after reporting on Hamilton City Council for three years I now understand just how much an impact the 12 councillors and one mayor can have on the city.

Each councillor at the current table has played a part in the development of Hamilton, whether it was Dave Macpherson and the Hamilton to Auckland train, Mark Bunting's redevelopment of the Claudelands Bridge into a cycle bridge, or Paula Southgate's push to open up the entrance of the Hamilton CBD library.

There was outrage over some of the decisions council has made this term, with many demanding change on social media, yet on the current trend, it seems that currently those voices are not making themselves heard when it matters.

With a diverse set of candidates running for council this year, especially in the East Ward, it is up to the 66 per cent of voters who did not vote last election to get up and make a difference.

It does not take long to read up on some candidates and then tick up to six candidates and one mayor.


If a mailbox is not nearby, keep your voting paper with you when you go out. There may be a library on your route where you can quickly drop it off in one of the ballot boxes.

If you know of people who have yet to vote, remind them.

I implored my Mum and my 18-year-old brother to vote each time I visited home, and found the nearest post box for them to use.

Hamilton is at a crucial point with its development. The current council has started on the development of the Peacocke suburb, the Hamilton to Auckland rail service starts next year, and the construction of the Waikato Regional Theatre seems likely to begin early next year.

Hamilton's Waterworld and CBD Library were also saved this year with council voting to fund the needed costs to repair the run down facilities.

These are all decisions which 13 people have voted on over the past three years.

Most recently the Hamilton Garden's Rhododendron Lawn has caused a stir in the community, and it'll be up to the next council to decide what will be the future of one of Hamilton's event hubs.

There are also bigger decisions around how Hamilton can combat climate change, traffic congestion and housing that are all being made by the next 13 elected members.

Now is the time to make your voices heard; find your nearest ballot box to have that chance to be heard.