New Zealanders urged to practice their democratic right
New Zealanders urged to practice their democratic right before voting closes
New Zealanders have only a few days left to practice their democratic right and have their say on who their leaders will be by voting in the current local authority elections, says Local Government New Zealand Chief Executive, Malcolm Alexander.
“Once every three years, New Zealanders get the opportunity, by casting their ballot, to play their part in deciding who will run New Zealand’s towns, cities, districts, regions and health boards,” says Mr Alexander.
“It is a democratic right that shouldn’t be taken lightly, as the leaders who are elected now, will be the ones who will be making the important decisions on how our communities and cities will be shaped for the future.”
Since late September, local authority ballot papers have been arriving in New Zealanders’ letterboxes around the country. To ensure they are counted, voters need to return or hand deliver their completed ballots in time to reach their electoral office by 12 noon on Saturday 12 October.
“Although it may feel like a chore at the time, don’t leave your voting papers lying on the mantel piece – instead take five minutes out of your day to find out which candidates you believe is best suited to manage your community,” says Mr Alexander.
Finding out about what your local candidates stand for has never been easier. Read the voting papers or simply go to vote.co.nz, key in your postal address and you will immediately be provided with details about the candidates standing in your area.
“Elected representatives oversee a huge range of services, worth millions of dollars, which affect you and your family daily – from the pavements you walk on, to the roads you drive on and the recreation grounds where you cheer on your kids. Our regional councils ensure that the natural resources that everyone relies on for their health and wellbeing are used sustainably. These range from managing the quality of the water you drink and the air you breathe; to the provision of public transport services that you may use to get to work each morning.”
“Often we only begin to have a conversation with local government when we complain about the price of our rates. This is good – it’s healthy to hold our leaders to account. However, by participating in local authority voting, New Zealanders can proactively and more effectively have their say around issues that are important to them.”
Further information about the elections, including how to fill in voting papers and how the STV voting system works, is available at elections.org.nz.
If you are not enrolled you may still vote, however, you will need to contact your local electoral officer in order to make a casting vote.