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Electoral Commission
Te Kaitiaki Take Kōwhiri
""New Zealand Electoral Commission Logo.jpg
Agency overview
Formed 1 October 2010
Preceding agencies
  • Electoral Commission
  • Chief Electoral Office
  • Electoral Enrolment Centre
Jurisdiction New Zealand
Headquarters Wellington
Agency executives
  • "Hon Sir Hugh Williams KNZM QC, Chair
  • Kristy McDonald,
    Deputy Chair
  • Alicia Wright,
    Chief Electoral Officer
Website www.elections.org.nz

The Electoral Commission ("Māori: Te Kaitiaki Take Kōwhiri) is an independent "crown entity set up by the "New Zealand Parliament. It is responsible for the administration of parliamentary elections and referenda, promoting compliance with electoral laws, servicing the work of the Representation Commission, and the provision of advice, reports and public education on electoral matters. The Commission also assists electoral agencies of other countries on a reciprocal basis with their electoral events.


Objective of the Electoral Commission[edit]

The Electoral Act defines the objective of the Electoral Commission as

“to administer the electoral system impartially, efficiently, effectively, and in a way that –

  1. Facilitates participation in parliamentary democracy; and
  2. Promotes understanding of the electoral system; and
  3. Maintains confidence in the administration of the electoral system.”[1]

Functions of the Electoral Commission[edit]

Orange Guy, mascot of the Electoral Commission

The functions of the Electoral Commission are defined by law and in summary comprise-

""Coat of arms of New Zealand.svg
This article is part of a series on the
"politics and government of
New Zealand


The Electoral Commission is an independent Crown entity. The responsible Minister may not direct the Commission to give effect to, or have regard to, government policy.

In addition:

Electoral Commission Board[edit]

The Electoral Commission Board has three members, appointed by the Governor-General, including one member as the Chairperson, one member as the Deputy Chairperson and the "Chief Electoral Officer, who is the Chief Executive of the Electoral Commission.

Commissioner Position Appointed Finished
"Hon Sir Hugh Williams KNZM QC Chair August 2010 Present
Alicia Wright Chief Electoral Officer January 2017 Present
Kristy McDonald Deputy Chair October 2016 Present

Electoral events conducted by the Electoral Commission[edit]

Electoral Event Date
"Mana by-election Saturday, 20 November 2010
"Botany by-election Saturday, 5 March 2011
"Te Tai Tokerau by-election Saturday, 25 June 2011
"2011 general election Saturday, 26 November 2011
"Referendum on the voting system Saturday, 26 November 2011
"MMP Review February – October 2012
"Ikaroa-Rawhiti by-election Saturday, 29 June 2013
"New Zealand local elections, 2013 12 October 2016
"Christchurch East by-election Saturday, 30 November 2013
"Asset sales referendum 22 November – 13 December 2013
"2014 general election Saturday, 20 September 2014
"Northland by-election Saturday, 28 March 2015
"First New Zealand flag referendum 20 November – 11 December 2015
"Second New Zealand flag referendum 3–24 March 2016
"New Zealand local elections, 2016 8 October 2016
"Mount Roskill by-election Saturday, 3 December 2016
"Mount Albert by-election Saturday, 25 February 2017
"2017 general election Saturday, 23 September 2017


Formation of the Electoral Commission[edit]

The Electoral (Administration) Amendment Bill, passed unanimously by Parliament 19 May 2010, established a new independent Electoral Commission which was given overarching responsibility to administer elections.

The Electoral Commission, which took over the responsibilities of the Chief Electoral Office and the previous Electoral Commission, was formed on Friday 1 October 2010.

On 1 July 2012 the statutory responsibilities of the "Electoral Enrolment Centre of "New Zealand Post were transferred to the Commission in accordance with the Electoral (Administration) Amendment Act 2011.

Previous Electoral Commission[edit]

The previous Electoral Commission of New Zealand (1993–2010) was a governmental body responsible for administering certain aspects of "the country's electoral system.

It was an independent Crown entity, not part of any larger department or "Ministry, and was established under the Electoral Act 1993. It worked alongside two other bodies, the "Chief Electoral Office and the "Electoral Enrolment Centre.

The four primary functions of the previous Electoral Commission were:

For most business, the previous Electoral Commission consisted of four members — a President, a Chief Executive, the head of the "Ministry of Justice, and the Chief Judge of the "Maori Land Court. Formerly, two additional members, one appointed by the Government and one by the Opposition, participated in the allocation of broadcasting funds. This participation is generally condemned by smaller parties, which claimed that "Labour and "National unfairly monopolised funding. These additional members were removed in 2007 by the "Electoral Finance Act.


  1. ^ "Electoral Act 1993". Retrieved 12 June 2012. 

External links[edit]

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