Council & City

Local government elections

The next local government elections for Mayor and Councillors of Palmerston North City Council will be held on Saturday 12 October 2019.

Councillors in Palmerston North are currently elected on a city-wide basis. Instead of a ward system, all electors participate in electing all 15 Councillors. This arrangement is being reviewed for the 2019 elections.

Poll to decide whether Palmerston North should be divided into one or more Māori wards

On Saturday 19 May 2018, a poll will be held by postal vote over all of Palmerston North city, using the first past the post electoral system.

The poll is to decide whether the city should be divided into one or more Māori wards.

Representation review

Once the Māori wards poll is complete, Council will undertake a representation review to address the following questions:

  • Whether voting for members of the Council will be by wards or a mixture of wards and the current city-wide system. 
  • The number of Councillors (currently 15), including the number of Councillors per ward and ward boundaries.
  • Whether any community boards should be established.

There will be an opportunity for the public to provide feedback during the review. 

Voting system

Council has decided to retain the single transferable voting (STV) electoral system for the 2019 elections. This decision is subject to the right of electors to demand a poll. Under STV, electors rank candidates according to preference, rather than ticking the names of the candidates they wish to vote for. Electors may rank as few or as many candidates as they wish, regardless of the number required to be elected. 

Postal voting

Elections are conducted by postal vote, with voting documents mailed to all electors whose names appear on the final electoral roll.

Special voting

Special voting is available to electors:

  • whose names do not appear on the final electoral roll, but who qualify as electors, i.e. the elector has enrolled after the closing of the electoral roll.
  • who did not receive a voting document previously posted to them.
  • who spoil or damage a voting document previously posted to them.
  • whose names are on the unpublished electoral roll.

For more information about how elections are held in Palmerston North, please contact our electoral officer, John Annabell,  telephone 06 356 8199 or email