Stand for Council

Standing for Council


The Local Electoral Act 2001 provides for a nominations process for candidates to stand for election to Council.

Nominations for the Mayor and councillors opened on Friday 15 July 2022 and closed at noon on Friday 12 August 2022.

A nomination must be made on an official nomination paper for the ward where the candidate is standing for election.

Nomination papers are no longer available.

You were able to drop off completed nomination papers into one of our Customer Services centres or lodge your nomination with the Electoral Officer, by noon Friday 12 August 2022

Nominations and forms 

Nomination forms are no longer available as nominations closed at noon on Friday 12 August 2022.

You can view a final list of candidates on the following page.   


Candidate information

Candidate Handbook 2022

The Candidate Handbook is specific to our local government election and has detailed information to help you during the pre-election period if you choose to stand as a candidate.

Candidate Handbook 2022(PDF, 12MB)


Ward road lists

Road name lists for Mayor and other wards are provided so candidates know which roads are in the ward they are standing for.

Whangārei District road name list - Mayoral candidates(PDF, 682KB)

Bream Bay ward road name list(PDF, 247KB)

Hikurangi-Coastal ward road name list(PDF, 231KB)

Mangakahia-Maungatapere ward road name list(PDF, 185KB)

Whangārei District Māori ward road name list(PDF, 704KB)

Whangārei Heads ward road name list(PDF, 215KB)

Whangārei Urban ward road name list(PDF, 314KB)

Find your ward for the 2022 local elections

The Whangārei District wards have changed for the 2022 local elections.  To find out what ward you will be voting in, view the Election 2022 Wards map and search for your address or choose Use current location. 

Election 2022 Wards map

Who can stand for Council

To be eligible to stand for election, a candidate must be:

  • a New Zealand citizen (by birth or citizenship ceremony); and
  • enrolled as a Parliamentary elector (anywhere in New Zealand); and
  • nominated by two electors whose names appear on the electoral roll within the ward where the candidate is standing for election.

It doesn’t matter where you live or what qualifications you have – all you need is a desire to serve your community.

Some useful capabilities are:

  • political acumen
  • leadership skills
  • cultural awareness
  • strategic thinking
  • knowledge and understanding of Whangarei District Council and local government
  • communication, relationship building and collaboration skills.

There are a few important notes for candidates for the Whangarei District Council:

  • A candidate can stand for mayor and as a ward councillor, but if elected as mayor, the candidate must take up the mayor position.
  • A candidate may not stand for both the Whangarei District Council and the Northland Regional Council.
  • A candidate may stand for one ward only.
  • A candidate for mayor or councillor (or their spouse) cannot be concerned or interested in contracts worth over $25,000 with the Whangarei District Council. This restriction may be waived, and it is recommended that advice from Audit New Zealand is sought.

Candidate social media requirements

The following are the social media guidelines for the 2022 election.

  • Candidates standing for election to the Council must understand and be aware of the status of their social media presence for campaigning purposes at all times. The following requirements apply:
  • The Council's social media channels are not to be used by anyone (candidate or member of the public) for any campaigning purposes or electioneering. This applies to any channel owned by, or affiliated to, the Council (including facilities, partner projects etc.).
  • The Council's social media channels are apolitical during the pre-election period, i.e until election day and they will be closely scrutinised to ensure this is the case.
  • The Council will continue to promote general local government election material including enrolment, dates, times and voting reminders.
  • Candidate social media profiles identifying the candidate as a person seeking election cannot post to any Council social media channel (for example 'John Doe – Candidate for Whangarei'). Posts by candidates in a private capacity (for example 'John Doe') cannot post to Council social media channels for the purposes of campaigning or electioneering on their own or any other person's behalf.
  • Any post made by an individual relating to their own or someone else's nomination or intention to run for Council or election campaign will be removed immediately.
  • The Council's social media pages will not 'like' any candidate pages. Candidates cannot rate, review, check-in or tag the Council's social media channels in posts or comments.
  • The Council's social media channels are actively monitored and content breaching the requirements will be removed at the discretion of the Chief Executive, Governance Manager or the Communication and Engagement Unit. No correspondence will be entered into regarding posts removed.

Election signs - The 'how to guide'

If you are a candidate for the 2022 local authority elections and want to put election signs up on public land under the control of the Whangarei District Council, be aware that the signs need to comply with some of the rules in our Control of Advertising Signs Bylaw 2014 (the Bylaw) and the Local Electoral Act 2001.

The Local Electoral Act 2001 has been amended to require that all electoral advertising must contain a statement setting out the true name and contact details of the person under whose authority the advertising has been produced.

Contact details means one or more of the following:

  • a residential or business address
  • an email address
  • a post office box number
  • a phone number
  • a link to a page on a website containing contact details.

Some public places are Crown Land or administered by the Department of Conservation – if you want to put your election sign up on this kind of public land you must get permission from whoever is in charge of that land.

The following 'how to guide' puts all the relevant Bylaw clauses into simple rules that you need to follow:

  • Election signs can be erected for a maximum period of 2 months prior to polling day (Monday 8 August 2022 to midnight Friday 7 October 2022).
  • If your sign is in an area zoned as “Residential” (formerly ‘Living Environment’) under Council’s District Plan, then your sign can measure up to 3m2.  If your sign is in an area zoned as “Open Space” (formerly ‘Open Space Environment’), then your sign can measure up to 2m2.  Signs in any other zones of the District Plan can measure up to 6m2.
  • All election signs need to be removed the day before polling day (by midnight Friday 7 October 2022).
  • Your signs must be erected or placed in a way that they do not pose a danger to property or the public.
  • The locations of your signs must not affect traffic safety, in particular the following:
    • obstructing views on corners, intersections and at traffic signals
    • distracting road users, including having flashing lights or reflective materials that might affect road user vision.
  • If your sign is on private property, but that property is next to a public space (e.g. a fence or a building that is built on the boundary next to a road), or the sign is on a verandah that overhangs a footpath, then there are specific rules in the Bylaw that you must comply with. See clauses 7 and 8 of the Bylaw for more information.
  • Election signs are not permitted in Council’s sign parks or in the Cameron Street Mall.
  • You can have a vehicle with election advertising on it, but you can’t park the vehicle somewhere just to display the sign.
  • Signs cannot be offensive or discriminatory.

Frequently asked questions

What is the role of the Mayor?

The Mayor leads the Council.

Some of the Mayor’s responsibilities include:

  • Promoting a vision for the Whangārei District.
  • Providing leadership to achieve the vision.
  • Leading the development of Council plans, policies and budgets.
  • Performing civic duties.
  • Civil Defence responsibilities.
  • Presiding at Council meetings and speaking on behalf of Council.
  • Monitoring Council performance. 

The Mayor also appoints the deputy Mayor, establishes the committees of Council and appoints the committee chairs.

What is the role of a Councillor?

Councillors are elected to represent their communities for three-year terms. There is no limit on the number of terms they may serve.

Some Councillor responsibilities include:

  • Promoting a vision for the Whangārei District.
  • Providing leadership to achieve the vision.
  • Setting Council plans, policies and budgets.
  • Making regulatory decisions.
  • Monitoring Council performance. 

Do Elected Members have responsibilities to anyone?

Yes. The Mayor and Councillors are responsible to the local community.

The Minister of Local Government and Auditor-General have a role in ensuring the Council follows the law.

How many Elected Members make up the Council?

Elections are being held for:


  • 13 councillors in total:
  • 11 general ward councillors elected by ward, by electors enrolled on the general roll
  • 2 Māori ward councillors elected by one district-wide ward, by electors enrolled on the Māori roll
  • The Mayor elected at large.


Six wards in total:

  • Five General Wards:
    • Bream Bay General Ward
    • Hikurangi - Coastal General Ward
    • Mangakahia - Maungatapere General Ward
    • Whangārei Heads General Ward
    • Whangārei Urban General Ward
  • One Māori Ward:
  • Whangārei District Māori Ward

Further information about Wards can be found on the following page:


How much time is involved?

Being an Elected Member is a busy job that involves meetings, events and speaking with community members.

The role of Mayor is considered a full-time job while councillor positions are generally part-time roles. However Elected Members are often required to work outside of normal working hours.

Flexibility and the ability to prioritise and manage time efficiently are essential to the role. You will be required to balance a high volume of reading, paperwork and emails with meetings and public commitments.

Do Elected Members get paid?

Yes. A remuneration pool is set by the Remuneration Authority. The newly elected Council will decide how to apply the remuneration pool. Some expenses are also reimbursed.

Currently, Elected Members are paid the following*:

Office Annual remuneration



Deputy Mayor


Chairperson Infrastructure Committee


Chairperson Community Development Committee


Chairperson Strategy, Planning and Development Committee


Chairperson Te Karearea Strategic Partnership Forum Standing Committee


Chairperson Civic Honours Committee


Councillor with no additional responsibilities


Councillor (minimum allowable remuneration)


You can find further information on the Remuneration Authority's website.

Remuneration Authority (

*Note: Committees and Committee Structures are reviewed at the beginning of the term of the new Council.

Does a criminal record affect a person standing as a Council candidate?

No, not for the local government elections.

Do I need to be resident in the area I am standing for?

No, but you must be on the Parliamentary Electoral Roll (anywhere in New Zealand) and be a New Zealand Citizen (by birth or citizenship ceremony).

You will however need to disclose whether you reside in the area you are standing for in your candidate profile statement.

The two people who nominate you must be on the Parliamentary Electoral Roll within the area you are standing for.

Do I need to be on the Māori electoral roll or of Māori descent if I am standing for election in the Māori ward?

No, to be eligible you must be a New Zealand citizen and your name must be on the Parliamentary Electoral Roll (anywhere in New Zealand).

You will need to be nominated by two electors whose names appear on the Māori electoral roll within the area of election for which you are standing.

Equally if you are on the Māori electoral roll, you can stand in a general ward, and will need to be nominated by two electors whose names appear on the general electoral roll within the area of election for which you are standing.

Can I withdraw my nomination as a candidate?

Only if it is withdrawn before the close of nominations - 12 noon, Friday 12 August 2022.

You cannot withdraw voluntarily after nominations have closed.  If you decide to opt out, your name will still appear on the voting document.

If you do change your mind and decide not to run for election after you have been nominated, you can discuss this with the electoral officer who will talk through the issues with you.

However, if you become incapacitated with serious illness or injury and are unlikely to be able to perform the functions and duties if elected to office, an application to withdraw your nomination on those grounds can be made.

Verification from a doctor or lawyer about your situation will be required.

You can discuss this with the electoral officer who will talk through the issues with you.

I’m interested in standing for Council, will it cost me anything?

Yes, each nomination requires a deposit of $200.

This will be refunded once your Electoral Donations and Expenses Return has been received within the allotted timeframe.

How much can I spend on my campaign?

There is a limit on what you can spend on your campaign and it depends on the population of the area you are standing for.

The expenditure limits per ward are as follows:

Ward Population estimate Expenditure limit

Bream Bay General Ward


$14,000 (including GST)

Hikurangi Coastal General Ward


$14,000 (including GST)

Mangakahia-Maungatapere General Ward


$7,000 (including GST)

Whangārei Urban General Ward


$30,000 (including GST)

Whangārei Heads General Ward


$7,000 (including GST)

Whangārei District Māori Ward


$14,000 (including GST)

The Mayor campaigns over the whole Whangārei District (which has a population in the range of 100,000 – 149,999) and has an expenditure limit of $55,000 (including GST).

If you stand for more than one position, the amount you can spend is the highest amount for one position. You cannot add positions together to allow you to spend more than the limit.

Please note that any expenditure made by a candidate for an election campaign is funded by the candidate and is not refundable by the Council to the candidate.

All candidates are required to lodge an Electoral Donations and Expenses Return within 55 days after the day on which the successful candidates are declared (by 7 December 2022).

If a candidate is outside New Zealand on the day the results are declared, the return must be filed within 76 days after election result day.

If a return is not submitted within the required time period, the non-return will be advised to the New Zealand Police for enforcement.

The Return needs to be received before a candidate nomination deposit is refunded.

Can I raise campaign funds from donations, and can I claim expenses?

Yes, you can raise funds and claim expenses from your campaign. You can discuss the legislation relating to donations and expenses with the electoral officer.

When is the campaign period?

Election campaigning can start at any time and continue up to and including election day.

Are there any rules using social media?

Yes. Council’s social media pages cannot be used by candidates or members of the public for electioneering or campaigning in the three months before election day.

Council monitors its online sites and will take down any campaign related post.

More information can be found under "Candidates social media requirements" on this page. 

Can I help people vote or collect their voting documents to send in?

No, candidates should not collect voting documents from electors. Each elector should post or deliver their own voting document to the electoral officer.

It is an offence (carrying a fine of up to $5,000 if convicted) to interfere in any way with an elector with the intention of influencing or advising the elector as to how they should vote.

How will I find out if I am elected?

Candidates will be advised by email as soon as possible after the progress results are known on the afternoon of Saturday 8 October 2022 and the preliminary results are known on Sunday 9 October 2022.

What do I need to do if I want to challenge the results of the election?

Under legislation a candidate can challenge the declaration of results through either a judicial recount or a judicial enquiry. A candidate will have to provide reasons for the challenge and a deposit of $750 with the application to the Whangārei District Court.