Electoral Commission (New Zealand)

New Zealand Electoral Commission
Te Kaitiaki Take Kōwhiri
Agency overview
Formed 1 October 2010
Preceding agencies
  • Electoral Commission
  • Chief Electoral Office
  • Electoral Enrolment Centre
Jurisdiction New Zealand
Headquarters Wellington
Agency executives
Website www.elections.org.nz

The New Zealand Electoral Commission (Māori: Te Kaitiaki Take Kōwhiri) is an independent crown entity 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

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

Orange Guy, mascot of the Electoral Commission

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

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

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
Robert Peden Chief Electoral Officer August 2010 Present
Jane Huria CNZM Deputy Chair July 2011 Present

Electoral events conducted by the Electoral Commission

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
Christchurch East by-election Saturday, 30 November 2013
Asset sales referendum 22 November - 13 December 2013
2014 general election Saturday, 20 September 2014
Northand by-election Saturday, 28 March 2015


Formation of the Electoral Commission

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 NZ Post will be transferred to the Commission in accordance with the Electoral (Administration) Amendment Act 2011.

Previous Electoral Commission

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.
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 11/5/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.