With just three days to go until the polls close for the local elections only 29.14 per cent have had their say in who they want to be their mayor and district councillors.

Figures released yesterday showed that just 35,874 people out of 123,097 from the five local body areas in the Hawke's Bay Today circulation area, Napier City and Hastings, Central Hawke's Bay, Wairoa and Tararua have cast their votes.

The number of people voting remained below the line in Hastings with only 14,574 votes received, which was 27.42 per cent of the potential 53,143 residents.

Napier was similar with 10,944 votes returned, which was just 25.52 per cent of the potential 42,876 votes.


In the 2013 election, Napier had an eventual polling of 47.76 per cent, the highest in its postal vote history, but the lower poll to date this year is being put down to the lack of a mayoral contest, with first-term Mayor Bill Dalton re-elected unopposed.

Last election Hastings had a 44.9 per cent return, the indications of possibly a lower return this year surprising election-watchers who expected some flow-on from the high polls for last year's vote against local government amalgamation in Hawke's Bay.

The highest number of votes returned in this election was currently in the Wairoa district with 43.2 per cent of people having their say. Out of 5500 residents, 2375 handed their votes in.

In 2013 Wairoa had the highest polling returns in Hawke's Bay with 62.09 per cent.

Central Hawke's Bay was not too far behind with 3857 votes received from the potential pool of 9518.

They sat on 40.52 per cent currently and in 2013 they reached a total of 55.23 per cent.

The Tararua district had 4124 out of 12,060 votes returned, which was 34.2 per cent. In 2013 the district reached 50.47 per cent.

Papers returned by post need to be posted today, or otherwise delivered to council booths, which will remain open until voting closes at mid-day on Saturday.

People not already on the roll and eligible to vote are still able to vote, by enrolling during the week and casting special votes.

Anyone wanting to cast a special vote must contact the electoral officer by Friday at the latest.

Preliminary results will be announced throughout the country from early afternoon on Saturday.