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Illustration: Ezra Whittaker-Powley
Illustration: Ezra Whittaker-Powley

Local ElectionsSeptember 12, 2019

Your place, your vote: welcome to Policy Local on The Spinoff

Illustration: Ezra Whittaker-Powley
Illustration: Ezra Whittaker-Powley

The candidate comparison super-tool is now live, making it easy to find out who is offering what in local elections from the top to the bottom of New Zealand.

Here it is. Last time round, it was called “the stand-out success of the 2017 election”. Today Policy returns to The Spinoff, sharper, shinier, and a whole lot bigger. Covering a whopping 573 elections across the country, from territorial and regional authorities to local boards and community boards to district health boards, Policy Local makes it easy to find out who’s standing and what they’re promising where you live. 

Click here to visit Policy Local.

Simply enter your address at Policy Local and you’ll see which elections you get to vote in, with the rival candidates’ pitches side by side. You can see each candidate’s positions together, or sort by topic. And those topics include:

  • Climate change and resilience
  • Environment and biodiversity
  • Freshwater
  • Governance and engagement
  • Housing and planning
  • Jobs and economy
  • Rates and revenue
  • Recreation and culture
  • Transport
  • Utilities and services
  • Community and public health
  • Equity and access
  • Governance and staff
  • Health services
  • Hospitals

It’s a properly fascinating way to flick through the concise (don’t worry, it’s brisk) prospectuses. Some may find this hard to believe, but it really does make local elections enthralling.

Already more than half the candidates in contested elections all over New Zealand have taken the opportunity to talk directly to voters. (If you’re a candidate and haven’t provided your information, it’s not too late: email immediately!) 

A huge shout out to Google News Initiative and Meredith Connell, our principal sponsors, for backing the vision of this innovative tool. Policy puts the internet’s muscle to real democratic purpose: lucid, direct and non-partisan, it’s all about helping people cast informed votes.

Support also comes from Spinoff Members (thank you beloved Spinoff members!) and Jenny Sutton & Greenlight Ventures NZ, whose contributions help to make the project possible. Policy Local is also partnering with Local Government New Zealand as part of the nationwide VOTE2019 campaign. 

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