Nau mai Welcome to the Electoral Commission

Supporting you to trust, value, understand and take part in New Zealand's democracy

Illustration of the Beehive

Our system of government

Each voter has a say in who represents them in Parliament and in local government.

What is MMP?

MMP is the voting system we use in New Zealand. It stands for ‘Mixed Member Proportional’.

What is a by-election?

A by-election is held to fill a vacant electorate seat — for example, if a member of Parliament resigns.


A referendum is a vote on a question.

Citizens or the government can start referendums.

Local elections

In local elections, you choose who represents you on your councils and health boards.

If you’re enrolled, you can vote in local elections where you live.

Māori Electoral Option

The Māori Electoral Option lets voters of Māori descent choose which electoral roll they want to be on.

Resources for your community

Click on the icons below to explore our resources.


From the Ancient Greek δῆμος (dêmos, “the people”) and κράτος (krátos, “power, rule”)

Democracy in NZ

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