There are a number of detailed rules that candidates standing in a general election or a parliamentary by-election must comply with. These are mainly around election advertisements and broadcasting (including the use of websites and social media during a campaign).

An electorate candidate’s election expenses during the regulated period must not exceed $25,000 (including GST). It is a serious offence to spend more than this. The election expense regime does not apply to people who are list candidates only. Any spending by those candidates promoting the party is an election expense of the party.

Candidate donations, and contributions to donations, of more than $1,500 (inc GST) are required to be declared in the candidate return of expenses and donations.

A candidate's eligibility to stand for Parliament can be affected by a number of things such as the person is a New Zealand citizen but has not been in New Zealand within the last three years, or the person is sentenced to imprisonment.

Public servants or members of the Defence Force who are on duty outside New Zealand, as well as members of their families are exempt from the residency requirements.


Last updated: 02 March 2015