Local Elections

Local Elections Archive

Owen Gill on how this local body election will define Auckland’s future

Auckland in 2019 is in the same moment as Los Angeles was in 1945. What we do now will define our future.

What are DHB elections and can we get rid of them? A Spinoff explainer

If you’ve ever voted in a local election, you’ll know the confusion, boredom, and anger that comes from trying to fill out the DHB section of your ballot.

Race briefing: New Plymouth aka the poo emoji election

In our latest local elections 2019 race briefing (read the rest here), Tara Ward goes into the New Plymouth election campaign, which is notable for being filled with pictures of turds.

My doppelgänger is trying to save the world and you should listen to her

After being confused for an 18-year-old climate activist multiple times, Alex Casey hunts down her heroic doppelganger.

Penny Hulse wraps up her council career with a plea to end petty politics

Penny Hulse made a call for collaboration and unity in the final meeting of her 27-year council career today. What are the chances her plea will be granted? Hayden Donnell delivers a grim assessment.

No-one wants to stand in our local elections. No seriously, it’s bad

The headlines still haven't conveyed the true extent of the problem.

Tubby Hansen’s voting booklet blurbs are precious works of art

Every three years, veteran election candidate Tubby Hansen releases major new literary works in the form of his Christchurch voting booklet blurbs. Often they go unappreciated, but not this time.

Race briefing: Christchurch, where misconduct allegations are derailing the election race

In our latest local elections 2019 race briefing, Hayden Donnell and Josie Adams delve deep into Christchurch, home to the Crusaders, Hagley Park, and iconic election veteran Tubby Hansen.

The true impact of New Zealand’s wildly uneven voting statistics

Tim Muller and Logan Penniket studied how our dire youth voting turnout disconnects local governments from the communities they serve.

The civics project trying to turn around our godawful youth voting statistics

A civics education programme is giving teenagers a first sweet taste of local democracy before they're legally permitted to vote for real.

Race briefing: Queenstown, jewel of New Zealand Incorporated

In our latest local elections 2019 race briefing (read the rest here), Don Rowe looks at the two horse race to control the tourism capital of New Zealand.

Pay-for-play accusation as Māori TV offers mayoral candidates $500 interview

An Auckland mayoral candidate has reacted furiously to an advertising approach from Māori Television, which he says was a pay-for-play offer of coverage. Alex Braae reports. 

These are the climate angels and deniers standing in our local elections

We read thousands of policy statements to find the climate change deniers, fudgers, prevaricators (and believers) running in our local elections.

All the scorecards being put out by our emerging election watchdogs

Voting papers are being sent out today, and lots of people say they won't fill them out because they don't know anything about the candidates. Respected website 'The Spinoff' is trying to fix that through its Policy Local tool. But it's not the only one. Catherine Jeffcoat talks to the rest of the watchdogs.

Queenstown’s benevolent dictator prepares for battle

Freedom camping, public transport and affordable housing are challenges Queenstown's Mayor Jim Boult says he’s uniquely poised to solve – if only people would do what they’re told. 

The two loud, angry campaigns that could swing the Auckland local elections

The power balance of the incoming Auckland Council could be decided by two overheated local debates about a golf course and a carpark. Hayden Donnell reports.

We moderated a rebel debate for the Wellington mayoral candidates RNZ excluded

It's a hard road getting attention for outsider candidates in local elections. Alex Braae, writer of The Bulletin and stout defender of the political little guy, thought he’d lend a hand by moderating a rebel Wellington mayoral debate.

Cheat sheet: How to not say Nazi stuff at an Auckland mayoral debate

Last night Auckland mayoral contender John Tamihere said "sieg heil" when answering a question on diversity. Sadly that has forced us to put together a cheat sheet on how not to say Nazi phrases in debates.

Race briefing: The highly successful Māori wards in the Bay of Plenty

The Bay of Plenty Regional Council was the first in New Zealand to vote in Māori ward seats. This election, the region's longest-standing Māori councillor is up against some fierce competition.

Race briefing: Dunedin, the left-wing utopia/drunken hellhole of the south

In our latest local elections 2019 race briefing (read the rest here), Josie Adams assesses the bastion of progressive virtue that is Dunedin/Ōtepoti.

Scandal: Councils spending too little on staff Christmas parties

Yesterday Newshub revealed something shocking and disheartening about the spending practices of our local councils. Hayden Donnell registers his disappointment.

Race briefing: Hutt City, where a 28-year-old might become mayor

In our latest local elections 2019 race briefing (read the rest here), Alex Braae breaks down the surprisingly bitter Hutt City mayoral race.

Going way back with Auckland’s monorail-promising mayoral candidate

An Auckland mayoral candidate has broken the internet* by announcing a plan for a monorail around the central city. Who is Craig Lord, and is he serious? Alex Braae spoke to him shortly after his campaign launch to find out.

Hope, change, and a sprinkling of bigotry at Hamilton’s big mayoral debate

Hamilton councillors have drawn headlines this year for being anti-science and insensitive to terror victims. At a mayoral debate on Wednesday, there were signs a campaign for change is gathering …