Polling day for the local elections is a week from today. As of October 3, about 15 per cent of eligible Rotorua voters have voted, 12.65 per cent of Tauranga City Council voters have had their say, and 16.33 per cent of Western Bay voters have returned their voting documents. Reporter Zizi Sparks finds out everything you need to know about who is standing, how to vote and when the results are due.
What are we voting for?
The local elections are when the community decides who represents them on local and regional councils and health boards. They happen every three years.
Why should I vote?
Electoral officer Warwick Lampp said it was important people had a say.
"It's very important for people to vote to have a say in who's going to be leading the city for the next three years."
He encouraged people to do their research to work out who they thought would be the best people for the jobs.
"Turnout is down a bit so far. We're probably about a day behind. We're keen for people to get out and vote as soon as possible."
Local Government New Zealand vice-president Stuart Crosby, who has also been re-elected to the Bay of Plenty Regional Council unopposed, said local government had a "huge impact" on people's daily lives.
"It is very important they exercise their democratic right to elect a mayor and councillors they believe can move a city forward in the best interests of the community.
"A good council is one that listens first and foremost, then has the skillset to enact the requirement to build a strong community in all aspects - socially, economically, culturally and environmentally.
"That's easier said than done."
Crosby said he appreciated local government could be confusing and difficult, but "material is available, and they [the public] should read it".
How to vote
The election period runs from September 20 until October 12 and if enrolled with the correct details, voters should have received a voting pack in the mail already.
Those who have not received their packs, or enrolled after August 16, need to cast a special vote. The last day to enrol to vote in the local elections is October 11.
Some councils and district health boards use the first past the post system where voters tick who they wanted to be elected.
Other use the STV (single-transferable vote) system where voters rank candidates in order of preference. In STV, each person's vote is split into the number of rankings they chose to give. The higher the ranking, the more weight given to each piece of the vote.
How to cast a special vote
Anyone wanting to cast a special vote must contact the electoral officer by the day before polling day at the latest. Special votes can be cast at council offices.
Where do I post my vote?
To make sure voting papers are returned to the electoral officer in time, post them by Wednesday. Voting papers can also be dropped off at the council buildings.
When will we know the results?
Election results will be online from the afternoon of October 12.
Progress results will be available from 2pm but results could change because not all ordinary votes would have been counted at that time.
Preliminary results are released after all ordinary voting papers are received and counted but will not include special votes, so could change. They will be announced on October 12 or 13.
Official results are released after all ordinary and special votes are counted and will be released on October 17. These results are final.
Who's standing where?
Bay of Plenty Regional Council
Eastern Bay of Plenty General Constituency – two vacancies, uncontested
- Bill Clark, Douglas Leeder
Rotorua Constituency - two vacancies
- Katie Paul, Lyall Thurston, Kevin Winters
Tauranga Constituency - five vacancies, uncontested
- Stuart Crosby, David Love, Stacey Rose, Paula Thompson, Andrew von Dadelszen
Ōkurei Māori Constituency - one vacancy, uncontested
- Te Taru White
Kōhi Māori Constituency - one vacancy
- Toi Kai Rakau Iti, Tiipene Marr
Mauao Māori Constituency - one vacancy
- Matemoana McDonald, Riki Nelson
Western Bay of Plenty Constituency - two vacancies
- Norm Bruning, Matthew Farrell, Jenny Hobbs, Jane Nees
Tauranga City Council
Mayor - one vacancy
- Greg Brownless, Kelvin Clout, Murray Guy, Andrew Hollis, RangiMarie TeAmopiu-Kaa Kingi, Jos Nagels, Tenby Powell, John Robson, Christopher Stokes, Les Wallen
Councillor at large - four vacancies
- Geoffrey Brown, Danny Cancian, Tony Christiansen, Kelvin Clout, Rhys Craig, Rick Curach, Matthew Gill, Bernie Gillon, Caleb Hall, Andrew Hollis, Heidi Hughes, Buddy Mikaere, Linda Munn, Suzi Paige, Hugh E. Robb, John Robson, Pare Taikato, Josh Te Kani, Kim Williams
Mount Maunganui-Papamoa ward - two vacancies
- Shona Delaney, Peter Gregson, Deborah Johnston, Dawn Kiddie, Steve Morris, Peter Stanley, Christopher Stokes
Otumoetai-Pyes Pa ward - two vacancies
- Jako Abrie, Larry Baldock, Dave Bridgens, Murray Guy, Erika Harvey, Anne Pankhurst, Barry Pollett
Te Papa-Welcome Bay ward - two vacancies
- Alan Davidson, Bill Grainger, David Grindley, Anna Larsen, Terry Molloy, Rob Poad, Tina Salisbury, Jim Sherlock, A.J. Tuhoro, Sharon Waetford, Waitsu Wu
Rotorua District Council
Mayor - one vacancy
- Stephanie (Steve) Chadwick, Dennis Curtis, Rob Kent, Reynold Macpherson
Council at large - 10 vacancies
- Peter Bentley, Liz Carrington, Richard Collins, Kevin Coutts, Brendan Davis, Alan Deverson, Dave Donaldson, Mark Gould, Ryan Gray, Bill Hedges, Trish Hosking, Peter Jones, Sandra Kai Fong, Rob Kent, Julie Kerry, Raj Kumar, Reynold Macpherson, Matthew Martin, Trevor Maxwell, Lachlan McKenzie, Lance Mutlow, Oscar Nathan, Conan O'Brien, John Rakei-Clark, Merepeka Raukawa-Tait, Linda Rowbotham, Harina Rinaha Rupapera, Alan Tane Solomon, Kaya Sparke, Tania Tapsell, Shirley Trumper, Fisher Wang, Bam Whare, Mercia Yates
Rotorua Lakes Community Board - four vacancies
- Nick Chater, Reina Engelen, Allan Estcourt, Sandra Goodwin, Robyn Manuel, Jennifer Rothwell, Phill Thomass
Rotorua Rural Community Board - four vacancies
- Rachel Clark, Janine Dorman, Bryce Heard, Ben Hollier, Sarah Thomson, Shirley Trumper
Western Bay of Plenty District Council
Mayor - One vacancy
- Stephen Fawcett, Margaret Murray-Benge, Garry Webber
Councillor - Te Puke-Maketu Ward - four vacancies
- Grant Dally, Stephen Fawcett, Mike Lally, Monique Lints, Kevin Marsh, John Scrimgeour
Councillor - Kaimai Ward - four vacancies
- Suaree Borell, Mark Dean, John Evans, Murray Grainger, Margaret Murray-Benge, John Palmer, Don Thwaites
Councillor - Katikati-Waihi Beach Ward - three vacancies
- Neil Candy, John Clements, James Denyer, Anne Henry, Christina Humphreys, Tangiwai Manihera-Palmer, David Marshall, Allan Sole, Kevin Tohiariki, George Van Dyke
Maketu Community Board – Member - four vacancies
- William Ra Anaru, Shane Beech, Juliette Brawn, Wendy McFadyen, Laura Rae, Stephan Simpson
Te Puke Community Board – Member - four vacancies
- Richard Crawford, Gina Davies, Joan Dugmore, Kassie Ellis, Stephen Fawcett, Larissa Hika, Richard McNair, Tupaea Rolleston, Dale Snell
Omokoroa Community Board – Member - four vacancies
- John Evans, Peter Presland, Derek Sage, Teresa Sage, Puran Bhag Singh
Katikati Community Board – Member - four vacancies
- John Clements, Neil Harray, Christina Humphreys, Norm Mayo, Kate Sutherland, George Van Dyke, Ben Warren, Kamal Yadav
Waihi Beach Community Board – Member - four vacancies, uncontested
- Ross Goudie, Bob Hulme, Marilyn Roberts, Don Ryan
- There are four wards and two community subdivisions on the Taupō District Council with 18 vacancies in total, including the mayor.
- There are one mayor and eight councillor positions on the Kawerau District Council.
- There are three wards and one community board on the Ōpōtiki District Council with 11 vacancies in total, including the mayor.
- There are four wards and four community boards on the Whakatāne District Council with 37 vacancies in total, including the mayor.
District health boards
- There are 17 candidates for the Lakes District Health Board and seven positions to fill. Seven of the 11 members will be elected, with the remaining four members appointed by the Minister of Health.
- There are 21 candidates for the Bay of Plenty District Health Board and seven positions to fill. Seven of the 11 members will be elected, with the remaining four members appointed by the Minister of Health.