Voting forms need to be received by October 12, so if you are posting them, try to get them in the mail early. Photo: Kate Russell.

Weekly’s guide to how to vote


With just over one week left until election day and voting forms now in letterboxes, it’s time to start thinking about casting your vote if you haven’t already. Kate Russell runs you through what to do (if you don’t know what to do).

If you are enrolled to vote, you should have already received your voting papers in the mail.

They need to be with the returning officer by midday on October 12 – so if you’re posting them back, try to get them in the mail on or before October 5, to make sure there’s enough time.

If you’re cutting it fine, you can drop them off to one of the ballot boxes located at the Nelson City Council customer service centre or at the Elma Turner/Stoke/Nightingale libraries.

In Nelson, we are voting for 12 councillors at large, one mayor and seven members for our district health board.

The council uses the First Past the Post (FPP) system in which you just tick the candidate/s you prefer. You don’t need to choose 12 candidates – only ones you really want to see elected.

The DHB, however, uses the Single Transferable Vote (STV) method.

It may sound confusing, but it’s easy.

You just rank the candidates in order from your favourite to least favourite with numbers – e.g., put a one next to the candidate you most want to win, a two next to your next favourite, a three for the next person and so on. You don’t have to rank all of them.

If you are not enrolled to vote – fear not, it’s not too late.

You can still enrol any time up until 11 October at the address you have lived at for at least one month. Once you have enrolled you can apply for a Special Vote.

Application forms for enrolments are available from all NZ Post outlets, libraries and the council, or you can do it online at You can then request a Special Vote by contacting the council on (03) 546 0200 or [email protected]

You can also cast a Special Vote if you are away during the voting period, are on the Unpublished Roll, if you didn’t receive your voting papers by 27 September or if you spoil your voting paper.

Once completed, you can post your Special Vote in the envelope provided or drop it into one of ballot boxes mentioned above.

Also remember, if you don’t live in Nelson but own a property within the area, you can apply to go on the ratepayer roll. You can then vote in the area where you pay rates as well as the area where you live.

To apply, contact the electoral officer for the local council area where you pay rates but do not live. They will send you a form to complete, sign and return so they can check you’re eligible.