Voting method - New Zealand

New Zealand
Voting method
Personal Postal e-voting Fax

Legislative Elections

Electoral Act 1996, Section 61(1): electors may apply for a ‘special declaration vote’ (special vote) for a number of reasons, including “if the elect or is outside his or her electoral district and intends to be, or is, outside New Zealand on polling day.”

Electoral Regulations 1996, Regulations 45 and 45A authorise ‘Overseas Returning Officers’ and ‘Overseas Issuing Officers’ to issue paper or electronic special ballots to electors.

Electoral Regulations 1996, Regulation 47 permits electors who have been issued a paper or electronic (special) ballot to return ballot in person or by post to either a Returning Officer, the Electoral Commission in New Zealand, or an Overseas Returning Officer.

Electoral Regulations 1996, Regulation 47A permits electors who have been issued a paper or electronic special ballot by an Overseas Returning Officer to return the ballot by facsimile.

See also: New Zealand, Electoral Commission Website, Vote from overseas, accessed 19 October 2020

“When you’ve marked your voting papers, return them to us in one of the following ways:

- Upload them online

- Fax them back to us: Fax: +64 4 494 2300

- Post or hand deliver them to your nearest overseas voting place

You cannot return your voting papers by email. Your voting papers will include full information on how to return them.”

Referenda (conducted by post)

Legislation provides for both postal and non-postal referenda.  The Referenda (Postal Voting) Act does notspecifically exclude voting by overseas electors.  All electors may vote: Referenda (PostalVoting) Act, Section 31.  Ballot papersare posted to the registered address of the elector: Referenda (Postal Voting)Act, Sections 32-34.

Electors may apply to have a ballot faxed to them for a number ofreasons, including if they are “in some remote location overseas”: Section 35(1)

Referenda (conductedtraditionally)

Non-postal voting referenda arrangements provide that the Electoral Actwill apply except where explicitly excluded: see Citizens Initiated Referenda Act 2000, Section 24

Since none of the provisions governing special voting (see Citizens Initiated Referenda Act 2000 Sections 61 and 172) are excluded, the voting from abroad arrangements established for legislative elections extend to non-postal referenda. 

Local Government

There is no explicit provision permitting or excluding overseas votersto vote in local authority elections.  Localauthority elections are conducted exclusively by post, at least by default: see Local Electorate Act Section 36