The Department of Internal Affairs

The Department of Internal Affairs

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Services › Local Elections › Local Authority Election Statistics 2013

Background *

The Department of Internal Affairs compiles the statistics for local authority elections, which are held every three years.
Local authorities include city, district and regional councils, district health boards (DHBs), community boards and particular trusts (such as licensing trusts). The information includes the number and types of votes for each ward or constituency, voter turnout, and the number of women standing as candidates and elected.

The 2013 elections were the ninth since nationwide restructuring of local government in 1989, and the 1989 elections represent the base year for comparisons.

The Department of Internal Affairs thanks all electoral officers and local authorities for providing the data. While every effort has been made to ensure accuracy there may be some errors that are beyond our control.
This release is the first time the information is being provided as “open data” (in the form of spread sheets) to encourage reuse. The Chief Executive of the Department of Internal Affairs notes that the release reflects the government’s commitment to make more public data available. Providing the data in the form of spread sheets makes the information more readily accessible to, and useable by, key users of the election statistics (such as government agencies, councils and researchers) who often combine it with other information.

Voting statistics from the 2007 and 2010 local authority elections are also included in this release. Data summarising 2013 local authority election expenses of candidates will be released later in 2014.

Previously, the Department provided the information in a detailed analytical report. Requests for particular analyses of the 2013 local authority election statistics can be made to the Principal Advisor, Research & Evaluation at the Department of Internal Affairs.

Profiles of local councils, including summary election statistics, can be found on the Local Councils website.

Voter turnout and women candidates

Voter turnout and the participation of women as candidates are the most commonly used or requested statistics from the local authority elections. Charts illustrating the trends in these over the last 25 years are shown below. The Electoral Commission provides information on voter turnout at general elections.


Voter turnout in local authority elections has generally been declining over the last 25 years. The results from 2013 continue this trend, with 41% voting, compared to 57% in 1989. Higher turnout in the 2010 elections was partly attributable to increased local voting for the first Auckland “super city” election and increased voting in Christchurch following the 2010 Canterbury earthquake.


(Note - Mayoral turnout includes mayors for city and district councils. Council turnout covers city, district and regional council elections.)


Voter turnout tends to be higher for district councils than for city or regional councils, but all councils have seen a decline in turnout since 1989.

Voter turnout by type of Council
(Note - Turnout based on councillor elections for city, district and regional councils.)

The proportion of women elected to local bodies has risen from one quarter to one third over the last 25 years, with the number of women candidates also increasing.

Proportion of 2013 candidates and elected members who were women, by election type
(Note: This chart covers all local authority elections – mayoralties, councils, community boards, trusts and District Health Boards.)

Community and district health boards tend to have greater proportions of women standing compared to other electoral positions. While relatively few women stood as candidates for city mayoralties in 2013 (15%), nearly one third of city mayors were women.


View the data sets

The full data set, including the charts and the 2010 and 2007 election statistics, can be downloaded as an Excel file at the following link:
The 2013, 2010 and 2007 election statistics can also be downloaded as individual csv files: This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 New Zealand licence. In essence, you are free to copy, distribute and adapt the work, as long as you attribute the work to the Department of Internal Affairs and abide by the other licence terms. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/nz/

Previous Local Authority Election Statistics Reports

For previous elections the Department of Internal Affairs has produced detailed reports analysing results at both the national and regional levels.
*NOTE: A detailed report for the 2013 local authority election results has not been produced. However, summaries of the election statistics for individual local authorities are included in the 2013 data set listed above.