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 objectives and work

We aim to run 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.

Learn more about electoral rolls and their uses

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.

View election rules and guidance

Helping New Zealanders take part in parliamentary elections

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

Get election resources for your community

Supporting voters’ rights and protecting their privacy

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

Understand how we count votes

“In a healthy democracy, people understand their electoral system, trust the electoral process, value their vote and take part in parliamentary elections.”

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