Election advertising

Election advertisements (other than election programmes on TV or radio) can be displayed or published at any time, except on election day.

All election advertisements – no matter where they’re published or displayed – must include a ‘promoter statement’ that identifies the person responsible for the advertisement.

If you have concerns about any election advertisement, or you wish to make a complaint, you can email us at enquiries@elections.govt.nz.

What is an election advertisement?

An election advertisement is any advertisement that may reasonably be regarded as encouraging or persuading voters to:

  • vote, or not to vote, for an electorate candidate (whether or not the name of the candidate is stated),
  • vote, or not to vote, for a party (whether or not the name of the party is stated),
  • vote, or not to vote, for a type of candidate or party described by reference to views or positions that are, or are not, held or taken (whether or not the name of the candidate or party are stated).

The following things are not considered to be election advertisements:

  • editorial content
  • personal political views online
  • a member of Parliament’s contact details.

Election signs

It’s up to each local authority to decide where election signs can go up in their area.

They may also have other rules about election signs, such as what size they can be, and how many can be in one location.

As each local authority may have different rules, you should talk to your council if you have any questions or concerns about election signs.

Election day

No election advertising is allowed on election day (from midnight on 22 September until 7pm on 23 September). Billboards and signs must be taken down, and any election advertising on TV, radio or on the internet must stop. This includes things like vehicle signage, bumper stickers and t-shirts.

This also includes social media. On election day, no one is allowed to post anything which is likely to influence which party or candidate a person will or will not vote for. Posts made before election day don’t have to be removed – but they can’t be promoted, boosted or otherwise advertised.

Lapel badges and rosettes

Party lapel badges or rosettes are allowed to be worn by any person including on election day and inside voting places. These can include a political party’s name, logo or slogan, but can’t include a website address or a candidate’s name. They can be worn on clothing, but can’t be placed on vehicles or anywhere else.

Electoral officials employed by the Electoral Commission to work in voting places do not wear party lapel badges or rosettes. 

More information

More details about the rules for election advertising can be found in the Candidate Handbook, Party Secretary Handbook and the Third Party Handbook.

Last updated: 26 July 2017