Becoming a candidate in the 2020 General Election

This page summarises the nomination process for candidates in the 2020 General Election. Democracy is only possible if people are prepared to put themselves forward for a chance to represent their community.

For the general election, there are two types of candidates:

  • Electorate candidates who stand for election in electorates, and
  • List candidates on party lists who may be elected through the party vote.

Candidate eligibility

To be a candidate you must be both:

  • enrolled to vote
  • a New Zealand citizen.

If you were born overseas, you will be asked to provide evidence with your nomination that you are a New Zealand citizen (such as a certificate of citizenship or a copy of your New Zealand passport).

Individual electorate candidate nominations

Individual nominations are made by

  • independent candidates
  • candidates for unregistered parties and
  • candidates for registered parties not making a bulk nomination.

Nominations for individual electorate candidates open on Monday 10 August 2020. Nominations cannot be accepted before then.

Two voters enrolled in the electorate to be contested must nominate a candidate. You cannot nominate yourself. You cannot stand for more than one electorate. A $300 deposit must be paid with an individual nomination.

Individual nominations must be lodged with the Returning Officer no later than noon on Friday 21 August 2020. The Returning Officer cannot extend this deadline.

Returning Officer contact details will be available here from early August 2017. The individual candidate nomination form can be downloaded at the bottom of this page.

Further information about the individual candidate nomination process can be found in the Candidate Handbook.

Bulk nomination of electorate candidates by registered parties

Only registered parties can make a bulk nomination of electorate candidates. This is where the party secretary nominates all the electorate candidates representing the party by lodging a bulk nomination schedule with the Electoral Commission. The bulk nomination of electorate candidates must be lodged with the Electoral Commission no later than noon Thursday 20 August 2020.

Nominating list candidates

Only registered parties can stand list candidates. Party list candidates are lodged by the party secretary to the Electoral Commission. The party lists must be lodged with the Electoral Commission no later than noon on Thursday 20 August 2020.Further information about nominations for registered parties can be found in the Party Secretary Handbook.

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