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Thursday, 14 July 2022

Local election nominations now open

Voting papers will be sent in the mail in mid-September.

Interested candidates looking to stand for a seat at the Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC) in this year’s local election can now put their name forward.

Nominations open today with candidates invited to stand for the following roles:

  • Mayor

  • Arrowtown-Kawarau Ward (three Councillors)

  • Queenstown-Whakatipu Ward (four Councillors)

  • Wānaka-Upper Clutha Ward (four Councillors)

  • Wānaka-Upper Clutha Community Board (four members)

QLDC Chief Executive Mike Theelen said he hoped a range of people would put their hand up for the roles.

“We strongly encourage anyway who may be thinking about it to give it a go. It’s a great way to take a leading role in your community and district,” he said.

“Being an elected member is both rewarding and challenging. You’ll be involved in governance and strategic decisions for our district, long term plans, capital investment programmes, setting the rates for the district, making or amending bylaws, approving high-level strategies and much more. You’ll participate in some tough decision-making, but you have the opportunity to shape the future direction of Queenstown Lakes.”

Anyone can stand for election as long as they are 18 or over, a New Zealand citizen and enrolled to vote, said Mr Theelen.

“We welcome people from all walks of life to stand – we want our elected members to represent our diverse communities.”

Interested candidates are encouraged to come along to Council meetings to get an idea of what Council does and the types of decisions elected members are involved in. A list of upcoming meetings is available on the Council website.

“We also have a Candidate’s Handbook which I encourage people to read. It covers a range of topics from the different roles, to pay rates, the nomination process, and what happens on election day. The Pre-election Report is also worth a read to get a good overview of major projects and the big issues facing our communities.”

The Candidate’s Handbook and Pre-Election Report are both available on the Council website.

Mr Theelen said he also encouraged candidates to participate in candidate debates to make their values and position understood.

Debates are usually held by community groups, Chambers of Commerce, and other stakeholders in the run up to the election. QLDC will share details of debates and meet the candidate events on its Facebook page.

QLDC is also hosting a candidate information evening on Monday 18 July in the Council Chambers and online. Starting at 6.00pm, the session is presented by Warwick Lampp from Electionz.com covering the business of local government and detail the ‘job description’ of a Mayor, Councillor or Community Board member as well as the nuts and bolts of the election process itself. Otago Regional Council (ORC) will also have staff at the event to provide information on standing in the elections for the ORC. Anyone interested can find out more on the ‘events’ section of the QLDC Facebook page or come simply come along on Monday.

Candidate nominations close on 12 August at noon and Mr Theelen stressed the importance of meeting this deadline and ensuring nomination forms are filled in accurately and completely.

As part of the nomination, candidates need to include a completed form, proof of citizenship, a candidate profile statement of up to 150 words, a photograph, and a $200 deposit which in most cases is refunded. 

The nomination form is available on the Council website and the nomination process is detailed in the Candidate’s Handbook.

Mr Theelen said now was also a good time for people to check they were enrolled to vote.

A person can vote in the elections if they are:

  • 18 years or older AND

  • a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident AND

  • have lived in Aotearoa New Zealand for one year or more continuously at some point.

“Voting is a way for you to have your say on who you want to represent our district. It’s an important way to participate in our democracy and ensure your voice is heard.”

Voting papers will be sent in the mail in mid-September. They can be posted back or delivered to a Council office in Queenstown or Wānaka.

ENDS|KUA MUTU.

Media contact: communications@qldc.govt.nz or call 03 441 1802.

FURTHER INFORMATION | Kā pāroko tāpiri:

Nomination forms, the Candidate’s Handbook, and election information is available here.

Details of the 18 July candidate information evening can be found here.