Can't get to a voting place?

If you can't get to a voting place during the voting period, you can still vote.


Voting from a rest home or hospital

If you’re in a rest home or hospital, the Electoral Commission will send teams to deliver voting services.

Voting from overseas

If you’ll be overseas during the general election, you can download and print your voting papers, ask for postal voting papers, or vote in person at an overseas post.

Dictation voting

If you’re blind or visually impaired, or you have another disability that means you can’t vote independently and in secret at a voting place, you can use the Electoral Commission’s telephone dictation service.

Takeaway votes

You can apply for voting papers to be sent to you by post, or to have someone come and collect voting papers for you.

To arrange this before election day, you can:

  • go to voting place. You will be given a declaration form to complete and your voting papers; or
  • complete and post an application for special declaration voting papers to your Returning Officer. They will send your voting papers and declaration; or
  • apply for voting papers by fax, e-mail or telephone from your Returning Officer.

If you need help, you can also complete the application for special declaration voting papers and ask another person to take it to your Returning Officer, or to a voting place. They will then bring you back your voting papers and declaration.

Your completed voting papers must be received by the Returning Officer or a voting place no later than 7pm on election day.

On election day you can go into a voting place. You will be given a declaration form to complete along with your voting papers.

Need help to vote?

Someone may need help to vote if they:

  • are blind or vision impaired, or
  • have severe difficulties reading or writing,
  • or have difficulty with the English language

If you need help to read or mark your voting papers, a friend, family member or electoral officials can help. Just ask when you go to vote or freephone 0800 36 76 56 to find out more.

Anyone who doesn’t speak English can take a friend or family member to the advance voting or voting place to help.

Information about enrolling and voting for people with disabilities

If you are working on election day

You are legally entitled to have time away from work to go and vote on election day.

Section 162 of the Electoral Act 1993 sets out the responsibilities of employers in respect of allowing any employees working on election day time off to vote.

General Employees

Any employee who has not had a reasonable opportunity to vote on election day before starting work, must be allowed to leave her or his work for the purpose of voting no later than 3pm for the remainder of the day. An employer cannot make deductions from the employee’s remuneration for the time taken off.

Employees Carrying Out Any Essential Work or Service

Any employee who is required to work after 3pm for the purpose of carrying on any essential work or service must be allowed to leave her or his work for a reasonable time earlier in the day for the purpose of voting. An employer cannot make deductions from the employee’s remuneration in respect of the time taken off, provided it does not exceed 2 hours.

Crew of Ships

A master of a ship in port in New Zealand shall, at their request, allow any crew members who are registered or qualified electors of the electoral district the ship is located within, to go ashore to vote. 

There are various offences set out in section 162 relating to employers who do not comply with their responsibilities. The maximum fine is $1,000.

Last updated: 26 September 2017