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NZ’s first comprehensive local election info site launches

NZ’s first comprehensive local election info site launches today

Wednesday, 11 September 2019

A groundbreaking tool launched today at The Spinoff will help voters across New Zealand see who’s running for local government election in their area and what they stand for.

Policy Local is New Zealand’s first comprehensive and easily accessible local-election candidate information site, covering 573 local elections across the country — that’s every single city, district, and regional council, all DHBs, and all community and local boards, all in one place.

With a majority of candidates across the country who could be contacted participating, Policy Local provides voters with a never-before-seen depth of information about local election candidates’ policies and positions.

Voters can browse candidates from the Auckland mayoralty race to the Stewart Island/Rakiura Community Board to see their policy positions across a range of issues, including climate change, transport and rates. Policy Local also captures their motivations and priorities to help voters get to know who is vying for their vote.

Voters can also favourite the policies they like and see a customised list of their favourite policies for each election — helping to make an often maligned part of politics more engaging. Voters can also browse policies with candidates’ names hidden, to browse policies free from any pre-existing bias.

“We’ve made Policy Local because it’s essential that voters have trustworthy information about local election candidates,” says editor of Policy Local, Ollie Neas.

“Until now, it’s been too hard to find out what candidates stand for and what they’d do if elected. We hope that Policy Local will change that, and help turn around the low voter turnout at local elections.”

Policy Local is sponsored by the Google News Initiative and Meredith Connell, with additional support from The Spinoff Members Fund and Jenny Sutton.

Policy Local is strictly neutral, focused only on providing voters with the information they need to exercise their democratic right. It is created by Policy, a New Zealand-based organisation that creates interactive policy comparison tools. Hundreds of thousands of voters around the world have used Policy tools to inform their vote, including one in 20 voters at the 2017 New Zealand general election.

Readers can find Policy Local at https://policylocal.thespinoff.co.nz


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