About the Electoral Commission Mō Te Kaitiaki Take Kōwhiri

We’re responsible for running New Zealand’s parliamentary elections and keeping the electoral rolls up to date. We’re a Crown Entity which means we work independently from government. We administer the Electoral Act 1993 which provides the rules for parliamentary elections and the electoral roll.

Our purpose

We work to provide an effective and impartial electoral system that New Zealanders understand and trust.

Running parliamentary elections

We run every part of parliamentary elections (general elections, by-elections and referendums). Some of our main responsibilities are:

  • registering political parties and their logos
  • guiding people to comply with electoral law
  • helping the public to understand how to enrol and vote
  • allocating funding to parties for election broadcasting
  • running voting places
  • counting and processing votes
  • publishing timely and accurate election results.

The next general elections are in 2020 and 2023. We run referendums and by-elections when required.

Registering voters and maintaining electoral rolls

We register voters and add them to the electoral roll. We keep the electoral rolls up to date and accurate so:

  • all registered voters can take part in parliamentary elections
  • elections run smoothly.

We also supply electoral rolls to local authorities for use in local authority elections.

Maintaining confidence in the electoral system

To keep confidence in the electoral system, we stay neutral, uphold and follow electoral law and work independently from government. We also advise:

  • political parties, candidates, and third parties on how to comply with electoral rules
  • the government on proposed or desirable changes to electoral laws.

Helping New Zealanders take part in parliamentary elections

We educate New Zealanders about enrolling and voting. We also work with communities to help them understand and take part in elections, especially communities with low participation rates.

Supporting voters’ rights and protecting their privacy

New Zealanders have the right to decide freely who they will vote for. We run elections and make sure that your vote remains secret when you’re voting and when we’re counting votes.


The Electoral Commission is led by Chief Electoral Officer, Alicia Wright and is made up of nine business units. 

Office of the CEO

Carol Slappendel, Chief of Staff.

The Office of the CEO provides advice and assurance to the Chief Electoral Officer and executive support to the Board and other governance groups.

Voting Services

Graeme Astle, National Manager Voting Services

The Voting Services team provide the resources, training and support to field staff who are responsible for delivering front-line voting services to the public during events, like the general election.

Enrolment and Community Engagement

Mandy Bohté, National Manager Enrolment and Community Engagement

A nationwide team of community-based staff, proactively compiling and maintaining an accurate electoral roll for New Zealand. They communicate, educate and inspire people to actively participate in the electoral process.

Strategy

Mark Lawson, Manager Strategy

The Strategy team undertakes organisation-wide strategic reviews, long term planning, reviews of legislation, the design of end to end processes and provides advice and support for the business.

Information Technology

James Willcocks, Manager IT

Delivering systems and technology that supports the Commission’s day-to-day operations, as well as helping the organisation to define, design, build, test and deliver new technologies and business solutions.

Legal and Policy

Kristina Temel, Manager Legal and Policy

The Legal and Policy team helps with in-house legal and policy advice on electoral legislation. They also provide advice and guidance to political parties, candidates, MPs and the public, the Minister of Justice, Ministry of Justice and the wider government.

Communications and Education

Suzanne Knight, Acting Manager Communications and Education

The Communications and Education team ensures the right message is delivered through the right channels at the right time, to both internal and external audiences.

International

Deidre Brookes, Manager International

The International team provides development assistance to electoral agencies in the Pacific, in association with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade under the NZ Aid Programme and in coordination with other donor partners. 

Corporate Services

Elizabeth Lowndes, Manager Corporate services

The Corporate Services team provides technical and administrative expertise to support the Commission’s people and activities.

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