With local body elections only six months away, people in Christchurch and Banks Peninsula are being encouraged to consider becoming a candidate and to make sure they are registered to vote.
“The people we elect will make decisions – big and small - on our behalf for the next three years.
“Some of those decisions will shape the city for generations. This year’s local body elections are a great opportunity for residents to have a say in the decision-making and to get their views heard,” says Christchurch City Council’s Electoral Officer Jo Daly.
The local body elections are being held on 12 October. The Mayoralty, 16 Christchurch City Council seats and 37 Community Board seats will be up for grabs.
Elections will also be held at the same time for Environment Canterbury and the Canterbury District Health Board.
All enrolled voters can cast a vote for their preferred Mayoral candidate, while Councillors and Community Board members will be elected by voters from the wards they represent.
“Voting is incredibly easy in Christchurch, and, as usual, will be done by post. Online voting won’t happen this year, but Councils around New Zealand are investigating how it could work in future elections,’’ Ms Daly says.
People wanting to participate in the elections will need to make sure they are on the Electoral Roll by 16 August. If they miss that deadline, they can still cast a special vote.
Voting papers will be delivered to everyone on the Electoral Roll from 20 September.
Ms Daly urges everyone aged 18 and over to make sure they are enrolled so they can participate in the election by casting a vote. She says people should also consider standing for a Council or Community Board seat.
“There’s no need to wait for someone else to represent you. There are many wonderful people throughout the community who have just the right sort of skills for these vital roles, but they may not realise it,” she says.
“We want representation from all communities across our city so that our elected members reflect the diversity of Christchurch.’’
Candidate nominations open on Friday 19 July and close at noon on Friday 16 August. Positions are open to New Zealand citizens aged 18 and over who are on the Electoral Roll.
People thinking of standing for election can find information about what is involved on the Christchurch City Council’s Elections website. The Council will run information sessions for prospective candidates in June and July. Details of these sessions will be released closer to the time.
Voters wanting more information about the election are also encouraged to check out the Council’s Elections website. They can also email Jo Daly at email@example.com or call her on 03 941 8581.