Becoming a candidate in the 2017 General Election

This page summarises the nomination process for candidates in the 2017 General Election. Democracy is only possible if people are prepared to put themselves forward for a chance to represent their community. For the general election, there are two types of candidates:

  • Electorate candidates who stand for election in electorates, and
  • List candidates on party lists who may be elected through the party vote.

Electorate candidates may be nominated by an individual nomination or a bulk nomination. A $300 deposit in cash, bank draft or bank cheque made out to the "Electoral Commission Trust Account" must be lodged with a nomination.

Candidate eligibility

To be a candidate you must:

  • be enrolled as a voter
  • be a New Zealand citizen, and
  • not be disqualified from enrolling.

The main grounds of disqualification for enrolment that could affect eligibility to be a candidate are:

  • being a New Zealand citizen outside New Zealand who has not been in New Zealand within the last three years
  • being in prison serving a prison sentence.

There are exceptions to these rules, for example, in relation to public servants or members of the Defence Force who are on duty outside New Zealand, as well as members of their families.

There are other grounds of disqualification that affect a very small number of people. [For more details see section 80 of the Electoral Act]

Bankruptcy is not a ground for disqualification.

If you were born overseas, you will be asked to provide evidence with your nomination that you are a New Zealand citizen (such as a certificate of citizenship or a copy of your New Zealand passport).

Individual electorate candidate nominations

Individual nominations are made by independent candidates, candidates for unregistered parties and candidates for registered parties that will not make a bulk nomination.

Nominations for individual electorate candidates open on Thursday 24 August 2017 and close midday on Tuesday 29 August.

Two voters enrolled in the electorate to be contested must nominate a candidate. You cannot nominate yourself. You cannot stand for more than one electorate. Nominations for electorate candidates will open on 24 August 2017. Nominations cannot be accepted before then.

Individual nominations must be lodged with the Returning Officer no later than noon on Tuesday 29 August 2017. Returning Officer contact details are available here. A copy of the form for individual nominations can be found here.

Further information about the individual candidate nomination process can be found in the Candidate Handbook in Part 1: Nomination of Candidates.

Bulk nomination of electorate candidates by registered parties

Only registered parties can make a bulk nomination of electorate candidates. This is where the party secretary nominates all the electorate candidates representing the party by lodging a bulk nomination schedule with the Electoral Commission’s National Office. The bulk nomination of electorate candidates must be lodged with the Electoral Commission no later than noon Monday 28 August 2017.

Nominating list candidates

Only registered parties can stand list candidates. Party list candidates are lodged by the party secretary to the Electoral Commission’s National Office. The party lists must be lodged with the Electoral Commission no later than noon on Monday 28 August 2017.

Further information about nominations for registered parties can be found in the Party Secretary Handbook in Part 2: Nominating Electorate and List Candidates.

Last updated: 24 August 2017