Voter returns in the Bay of Plenty are lagging behind previous years, as fears grow New Zealand may be heading for a record low local government election turnout.

The trend has some - including the prime minister - calling for the introduction of online voting.

Warwick Lampp, electoral officer for Tauranga and Rotorua, said the country was trending towards an "all-time low" turnout, but it was "too early to call" whether the Bay of Plenty would follow suit.

Premium - Democracy 'under threat': Fears over Hamilton election turnout
Decline in voter turnout alarming
Low Maori voter


Street view: Have you voted?