About Policy.nz

Policy.nz is the complete guide to the NZ local elections 2022. We make it easy to find out who’s running in your local elections and what they stand for.

Local governments play a huge role in the lives of New Zealanders, providing everyday services such as transport, water, building consents, parks, recycling, art galleries and beyond. But fewer than half of New Zealanders voted in the last local elections.

Not knowing who to vote for is a key factor, according to research by the Electoral Commission. It’s hard for voters to find out what candidates believe in and what they’ll do if they are elected. Policy.nz helps voters find this essential information. We’re strictly neutral, focused only on providing voters with the information they need to exercise their democratic right.

Can I vote using this website?

No – you vote in your local elections by filling out voting papers sent to you in the mail. You can expect voting papers in the mail between 16 and 21 September, provided you’re enrolled and your details are up to date. You can find out more about voting on our how to vote page.

Where does the candidate information come from?

We sent questionnaires to every candidate whose email address we could find. We asked candidates for up to three policies on key topics. These topics broadly relate to the areas of responsibility for the relevant local authority. Candidates were free to speak to the specific issues in their community.

Are all elections included?

Almost. Policy.nz covers the 583 elections for territorial and regional councils. We cannot yet include licensing, health and community trusts because of the way those elections are administered. If you’re eligible to vote in one of those elections, it will be listed on the ballot papers you receive in the mail.

Are all candidates included?

Policy.nz includes all confirmed candidates running in the elections we cover. But a candidate’s policies and biographical information is only included if the candidate completes the Policy.nz questionnaire.

We’ve been unable to contact some candidates because we do not have their email address. If you’re a candidate and haven’t heard from us, please email us with your name and election at candidates@policy.nz – it’s not too late to be included!

Is my list of elections and candidates accurate?

We’ve done our best to provide an accurate list of elections and candidates for each address in NZ. Our system uses data obtained from Statistics New Zealand, the Local Government Commission and Land Information New Zealand, and information supplied by local government electoral officers.

It’s unlikely but not impossible that the voting papers you receive in the mail identify different elections to those identified when you enter your address on Policy.nz. If in doubt, trust your voting papers and please accept our apologies.

Some elections are uncontested because either the same number or fewer candidates stood than there were seats, or no candidates stood at all. These elections are still included in Policy.nz, but you won't be able to vote in them. We've encouraged the elected members in these seats to respond to the questionnaire anyway, so that you can know what to expect from your newly elected representatives.

Why do some candidates not have any policies?

If no policies are showing for a candidate, that’s because we either could not obtain their email address to send them a questionnaire, or they received a questionnaire but did not complete it.

Have candidates’ responses been edited?

Candidates’ responses have been edited for spelling and typos, but have otherwise been left in their own words. We do not publish responses that are off-topic, defamatory or contain hate speech.

Are you telling me how to vote?

Your vote is yours, use it how you like. Policy.nz exists to make it easier to understand what the candidates want to do with your vote, but there’s a lot more to voting than this. You could vote for someone because you trust them, because your mum knows them, or because their name is first on the ballot. But if you do use Policy.nz to help decide who to vote for, there’s some things you should keep in mind.

Some candidates have more policies than others on any given issue. Each candidate was allowed to state up to three policies per topic, but not all candidates did. Simple arithmetic – which is how Policy.nz generates your personalised graph on the Your Favourites page – won’t account for variation in the number of policies each candidate has.

Likewise, it won’t take account of how much you care about different issues. Perhaps you think climate change is more important than sports and recreation. But if you favourite two sports and recreation policies from candidate A and one climate policy from candidate B, candidate A will be ranked higher in your graph.

Is my list of favourite policies and candidates private?

We collect information about what policies and candidates users favourite in a general way, but we cannot connect it to you personally because we do not know who our users are. Although you may enter your address on our site to find out which electorate you’re in, we do not ever see, collect or store your address. You can read more about this in our privacy policy.

I’m a candidate, how do I take part?

If you’re a candidate and are not included in Policy.nz, it’s probably because we don’t have your email. To be included, email candidates@policy.nz with your full name, stating what elections you’re running in.

Complaints, corrections and compliments

Readers should direct any comments, complaints or feedback to contact@policy.nz. Candidates should direct requests to candidates@policy.nz.

Who made Policy.nz?

This tool is a product of Policy. We’re a team from Wellington that makes tools to improve access to election information.

We published websites like this one ahead of the 2017 and 2020 New Zealand general elections and the 2019 New Zealand local body elections. We’re proudly non-partisan and strive to treat all parties and candidates fairly.

Our work is funded through commercial sponsorship, advertising and donations. Our sponsors, advertisers and donors have no influence on editorial decisions.

The 2022 local elections campaign was made possible by Google News Initiative, with support from Jenny Sutton and Greenlight Ventures. Policy.nz is a partner organisation in Local Government New Zealand’s (LGNZ) VOTE2022 campaign.

If you’re interested in working with us, please get in touch at contact@policy.nz.

Credits

Editorial director | Ollie Neas

Editorial advisor | Asher Emanuel

Deputy editor | Heidi Bendikson

Assistant editors | Beth Mountford, Ekatarina Tokareva, Sakshi Chaudhary

Product | Racheal Reeves

Code | Daylight

Publication partner | The Spinoff

Illustration | Ezra Whittaker-Powley

Special thanks | Phantom Billstickers

About Policy.nz

Policy.nz is the complete guide to the NZ local elections 2022. We make it easy to find out who’s running in your local elections and what they stand for.

Local governments play a huge role in the lives of New Zealanders, providing everyday services such as transport, water, building consents, parks, recycling, art galleries and beyond. But fewer than half of New Zealanders voted in the last local elections.

Not knowing who to vote for is a key factor, according to research by the Electoral Commission. It’s hard for voters to find out what candidates believe in and what they’ll do if they are elected. Policy.nz helps voters find this essential information. We’re strictly neutral, focused only on providing voters with the information they need to exercise their democratic right.

Can I vote using this website?

No – you vote in your local elections by filling out voting papers sent to you in the mail. You can expect voting papers in the mail between 16 and 21 September, provided you’re enrolled and your details are up to date. You can find out more about voting on our how to vote page.

Where does the candidate information come from?

We sent questionnaires to every candidate whose email address we could find. We asked candidates for up to three policies on key topics. These topics broadly relate to the areas of responsibility for the relevant local authority. Candidates were free to speak to the specific issues in their community.

Are all elections included?

Almost. Policy.nz covers the 583 elections for territorial and regional councils. We cannot yet include licensing, health and community trusts because of the way those elections are administered. If you’re eligible to vote in one of those elections, it will be listed on the ballot papers you receive in the mail.

Are all candidates included?

Policy.nz includes all confirmed candidates running in the elections we cover. But a candidate’s policies and biographical information is only included if the candidate completes the Policy.nz questionnaire.

We’ve been unable to contact some candidates because we do not have their email address. If you’re a candidate and haven’t heard from us, please email us with your name and election at candidates@policy.nz – it’s not too late to be included!

Is my list of elections and candidates accurate?

We’ve done our best to provide an accurate list of elections and candidates for each address in NZ. Our system uses data obtained from Statistics New Zealand, the Local Government Commission and Land Information New Zealand, and information supplied by local government electoral officers.

It’s unlikely but not impossible that the voting papers you receive in the mail identify different elections to those identified when you enter your address on Policy.nz. If in doubt, trust your voting papers and please accept our apologies.

Some elections are uncontested because either the same number or fewer candidates stood than there were seats, or no candidates stood at all. These elections are still included in Policy.nz, but you won't be able to vote in them. We've encouraged the elected members in these seats to respond to the questionnaire anyway, so that you can know what to expect from your newly elected representatives.

Why do some candidates not have any policies?

If no policies are showing for a candidate, that’s because we either could not obtain their email address to send them a questionnaire, or they received a questionnaire but did not complete it.

Have candidates’ responses been edited?

Candidates’ responses have been edited for spelling and typos, but have otherwise been left in their own words. We do not publish responses that are off-topic, defamatory or contain hate speech.

Are you telling me how to vote?

Your vote is yours, use it how you like. Policy.nz exists to make it easier to understand what the candidates want to do with your vote, but there’s a lot more to voting than this. You could vote for someone because you trust them, because your mum knows them, or because their name is first on the ballot. But if you do use Policy.nz to help decide who to vote for, there’s some things you should keep in mind.

Some candidates have more policies than others on any given issue. Each candidate was allowed to state up to three policies per topic, but not all candidates did. Simple arithmetic – which is how Policy.nz generates your personalised graph on the Your Favourites page – won’t account for variation in the number of policies each candidate has.

Likewise, it won’t take account of how much you care about different issues. Perhaps you think climate change is more important than sports and recreation. But if you favourite two sports and recreation policies from candidate A and one climate policy from candidate B, candidate A will be ranked higher in your graph.

Is my list of favourite policies and candidates private?

We collect information about what policies and candidates users favourite in a general way, but we cannot connect it to you personally because we do not know who our users are. Although you may enter your address on our site to find out which electorate you’re in, we do not ever see, collect or store your address. You can read more about this in our privacy policy.

I’m a candidate, how do I take part?

If you’re a candidate and are not included in Policy.nz, it’s probably because we don’t have your email. To be included, email candidates@policy.nz with your full name, stating what elections you’re running in.

Complaints, corrections and compliments

Readers should direct any comments, complaints or feedback to contact@policy.nz. Candidates should direct requests to candidates@policy.nz.

Who made Policy.nz?

This tool is a product of Policy. We’re a team from Wellington that makes tools to improve access to election information.

We published websites like this one ahead of the 2017 and 2020 New Zealand general elections and the 2019 New Zealand local body elections. We’re proudly non-partisan and strive to treat all parties and candidates fairly.

Our work is funded through commercial sponsorship, advertising and donations. Our sponsors, advertisers and donors have no influence on editorial decisions.

The 2022 local elections campaign was made possible by Google News Initiative, with support from Jenny Sutton and Greenlight Ventures. Policy.nz is a partner organisation in Local Government New Zealand’s (LGNZ) VOTE2022 campaign.

If you’re interested in working with us, please get in touch at contact@policy.nz.

Credits

Editorial director | Ollie Neas

Editorial advisor | Asher Emanuel

Deputy editor | Heidi Bendikson

Assistant editors | Beth Mountford, Ekatarina Tokareva, Sakshi Chaudhary

Product | Racheal Reeves

Code | Daylight

Publication partner | The Spinoff

Illustration | Ezra Whittaker-Powley

Special thanks | Phantom Billstickers