Christchurch City Council has two decision-making parts, the Council and Community Boards. During local elections, you can vote for the Mayor, a ward councillor and community board members. Throughout the three-year term, there may also be by-elections.

Elections and by-elections are conducted by postal vote, with voting papers sent to enrolled electors.

Electors at the same address may receive their voting documents on different days. Each elector, after receiving their voting document, should complete it, seal it in the return postage-paid envelope and post or deliver it to the Electoral Officer.

People who are eligible to vote but who do not receive a voting paper in the post will be able to request and complete a special vote. Anyone who is not able to complete a postal vote independently due to disability is invited to contact the Electoral Officer. 

Posting your vote

When an election or by-election is underway, put your completed voting papers in the self-addressed return envelope. Don’t include anyone else’s voting papers in your envelope. Seal the envelope and post it.

You can use the PostShop/Kiwibank locator(external link) to find out where post boxes are located in your area. You can also view details(external link) showing where to post or deliver your vote.

When posting, voting documents should be posted in time to guarantee delivery before the close of voting.

Hand-delivering your vote

Completed voting documents for an election or by-election can be returned to the voting bins at Council libraries and service centres within the ward. A list of those locations will be available here.

Who you can vote for

The details and profile statements for all candidates in local elections and by-elections are made available after the nominations close. This information will also be sent to electors with voting documents.

Christchurch City Council has two decision-making parts: the Council and Community Boards.

During the triennial local elections, you can vote for:

  • The Mayor and a ward councillor.
  • Community board members.

You can find your ward and community board on this map

The term for elected members is three years.


The Council is made up of the Mayor and 16 councillors. It makes decisions important to Christchurch as a whole.

All Christchurch voters elect the Mayor, while councillors are elected by voters from the ward they represent.

Community Boards

The six community boards represent their individual areas and cover three wards, with the exception of the Banks Peninsula ward, which has its own community board.

Each community board in the city has nine members, elected by voters from the areas they represent. The Banks Peninsula community board has eight. Councillors are also appointed to the community board covering their ward.

Community boards make decisions on local issues, activities and facilities, and help build strong communities.

Environment Canterbury also holds elections at the same time as us. Find out more.(external link)

Special voting

There are many reasons you could cast a special vote in an election, including:

  • Your name does not appear on the final electoral roll, but you qualify as an elector. 
  • You have chosen to put your name on the unpublished (confidential) roll.
  • You have moved since the electoral roll was compiled (and have lived at your new residential address for one month or more).
  • You spoilt, lost or did not receive your ordinary voting document.
  • You will be away from your residential address during the voting period.
  • You are eligible to vote for some positions in the elections as a ratepayer elector (for a property you own but do not live in).

If you aren't on the electoral roll and you need to request a special vote, you'll need to enrol. Visit the Electoral Commission(external link), call 0800 36 76 56, or freetext your name and address to 3676. 

When an election or by-election is underway, special voting documents can be posted to electors. The completed voting paper must be returned to the Electoral Officer by noon on election day.

You will need to complete a statutory declaration when you cast a special vote. This is a legal requirement to protect voters against possible duplicate voting. The statutory declaration will be provided to the person casting a special vote, along with a special voting paper and candidate information booklet.

If an elector requests a special vote and is not on the parliamentary roll (for example, they have just turned 18 years of age), the person must enrol. An application for registration as a parliamentary elector may be obtained by:

After voting closes, special vote declarations are forwarded to the Registrar of Electors for verification that the elector is eligible and has enrolled as a parliamentary elector.

Special voting documents cannot be collected by candidates or their assistants for distribution to electors. 

When an election or by-election is underway you can request special voting documents to be posted out you, or if you have any questions about special voting, please contact the Electoral Officer at 03 941 8581 or

Ngā Pōti ā-Taiohi – Youth voting

Local Government NZ wants more Kiwis to get involved in the local elections and that includes tamariki – our future voters.

The Ngā Pōti ā-Taiohi – Youth Voting(external link) initiative is for tamariki aged 11 to 15 years old (school years 7 to 10) that takes place during triennial elections.

Youth voting gives tamariki a chance to try out the election process by discussing what’s important to them, voting for candidates on real issues, and comparing their results against the official election results.

Youth voting is designed to align with the civics education theme in the existing school curriculum.