The Department of Internal Affairs

Te Tari Taiwhenua | Department of Internal Affairs

Building a safe, prosperous and respected nation


Voter turnout and representation of women in the 2022 Local Authority Elections

13 June 2023

Since 1959, the Department of Internal Affairs (the Department) has compiled and released information on local authority elections (local elections). The 2022 local elections statistics cover the election of mayors, city and district councillors, regional councils, community boards, and local boards.

Since the nationwide restructuring of local government in 1989, turnout has declined from 56 percent to 42 percent in 2022. Results over the past four elections show an overall stabilisation in turnout of around 42 to 43 percent.

Since 2010, the proportion of women elected to local authorities (the examined local authority elections, including mayoralties, councils, community boards, and local boards) has been rising, although there is a slight decrease shown for 2022. The 2019 and 2022 results respectively show the highest percentage of female elected members and candidates out of the total group of elected members and candidates in the last 13 years. In 2022, women made up 39 percent of elected members and 38 percent of candidates. The 2022 local elections show a decreased proportion of women, with the exception of mayors and community boards. The parts of local government where female elected members reduced most significantly are regional councils (-6% to 25%, this is equivalent to 7 less members) and local boards (-6% to 45%, 9 less members). Notwithstanding this, local boards still have the largest representation of elected women overall, with nearly half of electable positions held by women following the 2022 local elections. Similar to preceding years, mayors and community boards saw increases in the proportion of women elected. This was especially prominent in the role of mayor, which increased from 27 percent to 32 percent.

The Department is releasing the local elections statistics as open data on its website. Releasing the statistics in this form allows interested parties to download the data for every district, town, and community, and import it into an analytical programme of their choice. This makes the data more accessible to, and useable by, key users of local elections statistics (such as government agencies, councils, and researchers).

The full 2022 local elections statistics are available for download on the Department’s website.