Local elections are held by postal vote. Once voting opens, New Zealand Post delivers voting papers to all enrolled voters.

Voting is now underway for the by-election to fill an extraordinary vacancy for the Coastal ward of the Christchurch City Council. Find out more.

Voting closes at noon on Friday 8 October 2021. See below for more details about how to vote.

When an election is underway, once received you should complete your voting document, seal it in the return postage-paid envelope and post or deliver it to the Electoral Officer. Locations for delivery will be published with elections information. 

Anyone who is not able to complete a postal vote independently due to disability is invited to contact the Electoral Officer. 

Voting papers for the Coastal ward councillor by-election have been mailed out to all enrolled Coastal electors from 16 September. If you don't receive any voting papers by 21 September, you can request a special vote. There are many reasons you could cast a special vote, 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  • you have chosen to put your name on the unpublished (confidential) roll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. 

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.

Where can I get my special voting documents?

Special voting documents for the 2021 Coastal ward councillor by-election are now available.

A polling place for the issue of special voting documents and for the receipt of completed voting documents is available Monday to Friday at the following locations between Thursday 16 September 2021 and midday on Friday 8 October 2021:

  • The Council’s Civic Offices, 53 Hereford Street, Christchurch, Monday to Friday 9am–5pm.
  • Shirley Library and Service Centre (Customer Services Desk), 36 Marshland Road, Shirley
    Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.
  • By contacting the Electoral Officer on 03 941 8581 or jo.daly@ccc.govt.nz to get special
    voting papers posted to you.

All completed voting documents must be returned by midday on Friday 8 October 2021.

If you have any questions about special voting, please contact Electoral Officer Jo Daly on 03 941 8581 or jo.daly@ccc.govt.nz

There are seven candidates contesting the by-election for the Coastal ward Council seat in the 2021 by-election.

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

During the 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

Christchurch's seven community boards represent their individual areas and cover two to three wards.

Each community board has between six and nine members, elected by voters from the areas they represent.

Councillors are also members of the community board covering their ward.

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

Kids voting gives young people aged 11 to 15 years (school years 7 to 10) the opportunity to experience an election first hand.

Students vote for real candidates on real issues and can see how their results compare to the official election results.

Find out more about kids voting on Local Government New Zealand's website.(external link)