The Department of Internal Affairs

The Department of Internal Affairs

Te Tari Taiwhenua

Building a safe, prosperous and respected nation


Online voting

Latest information

No trial of online voting during 2016 local elections

On 19 April 2016, the Associate Minister of Local Government, Hon Louise Upston, announced the Government’s decision not to enable a trial of online voting in the 2016 local elections. The Government’s trial requirements and the requirements of the Local Electoral Act 2001 could not be met in time for a trial this year.

Cabinet paper:

The local government sector has been invited to consider whether it wishes to work towards a trial in future local elections.

See the Minister's media release: Further work before online voting proceeds (Beehive website, 19 April 2016)



On 4 September 2013, in response to requests from the Government established a working party to consider the feasibility of online voting in local elections. The Online Voting Working Party's membership included representatives from across government (including the Department of Internal Affairs), local authorities, and information technology experts.

On 12 December 2013 the Terms of Reference and make-up of the Online Voting Working Party was announced.

On 4 August 2014, the Online Voting Working Party report - Online Voting in New Zealand – Feasibility and options for local elections – was released. The report found that online voting for local elections is feasible.

On 9 December 2014, Associate Minister of Local Government, Louise Upston announced the Government had agreed to continue work to enable a small number of local authorities to trial online voting in the 2016 local elections.

Online voting trial requirements

On 12 May 2015, the Government released a set of requirements for a possible trial of online voting. The requirements are a guide for councils to decide if they want to trial online voting at the 2016 local authority elections.

Please note: The Cabinet paper dated 23/4/2015 (above), does not reflect the final decisions made by Cabinet, as there have been some minor changes which are reflected in the Cabinet Minute. For final decisions on a potential trial of online voting, please refer to the Cabinet Minute.

See the Minister’s media release: Online voting trial requirements set (12 May 2015) (Beehive website)

Eight councils invited to report back to Government

On 16 November 2015, the Associate Minister of Local Government, Hon Louise Upston, announced the next steps for the proposed trial of online voting.

Eight councils requested to take part. They were invited to demonstrate they can meet requirements for an online voting trial. The Minister’s announcement is on the Beehive website.

The Minister also issued an updated set of requirements for councils. The revised requirements, and an explanation of the key changes from the earlier version, are attached below.

More information about the Department's role in Local Elections.