Waikato councils will have to cough up tens of thousands of dollars more to run this year's local body elections because the Waikato DHB won't be sharing the bill after its election was scrapped.

The unexpected costs have angered Waikato mayors who say they plan to fight it and believe the Government should cover their unexpected costs.

The cost to conduct local elections is usually split three-ways between the territorial authority (around 50 per cent), the regional council (about 20 per cent) and the DHB (about 30 per cent).

But with Health Minister David Clark sacking Waikato DHB's dysfunctional board and appointing a commissioner earlier this month, the costs of running the elections will only be split between the local and regional council.


Election Services managing director and electoral officer Dale Ofsoske said councils should expect to pay 15 per cent more to cover items such as posting out voting packs to electors, counting votes, placing public notices and insurance.

Hamilton City councillors have been warned holding the elections could cost ratepayers another $80,000 to $100,000.

Hamilton mayor Andrew King said the councils were collectively trying to fight it which was the right thing to do.

If unsuccessful it would be just one of those unforeseeable things that the council had no choice but to pay it, he said.

All the affected Waikato councils were drafting a letter to send to the Health Minister pointing out the consequences and asking him to reimburse them.

But Waikato District mayor Allan Sanson said it was an estimated $40,000 ratepayers shouldn't have to pay.

"I'm pretty peeved off if that is the case."

Sanson said the council had a contractual agreement and it was up to the minister to honour it.


Thames Coromandel mayor Sandra Goudie said she was hugely annoyed as it was an unbudgeted expenditure the council didn't need.

Thames Coromandel mayor Sandra Goudie was hugely annoyed about the unexpected cost to councils. Photo / Lesley Staniland
Thames Coromandel mayor Sandra Goudie was hugely annoyed about the unexpected cost to councils. Photo / Lesley Staniland

"None of us have budgeted for it... if someone is going to drop out then the Government can pick that up."

Waipa District Council would also have to pay about $20,000 more in costs, a council spokesperson said.

Waikato Regional Council electoral officer Mali Ahipene was unsure of the exact increase, but confirmed it would be paying more due to the Waikato DHB cancelling its triennial election.

There were other factors that also impacted cost such as the number of candidates who stand for election and votes received. In the last election two of the regional council's constituencies were uncontested minimising costs in those areas, she said.

Under the law, city and district councils are expected to cover the costs in the first instance and then the regional council and DHB were expected by law to contribute their share. However, there was no requirement for them to contribute if they were not holding an election.

Waikato DHB spokeswoman Lydia Aydon confirmed the Waikato DHB would not be contributing to the election costs this year. The next Waikato DHB election will be in 2022.