Tararua District Council has confirmed its participation in the Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) Vote2016 campaign to increase nationwide voter participation in the October local elections to more than 50 per cent.
Local election turnout has been declining since the 1980s and only 42 per cent of New Zealanders voted in the 2013 elections, down from 49 per cent in 2010. In Tararua, 50.7 percent of voters cast their ballot in 2013.
Tararua District Council Mayor, Roly Ellis, says "Services provided by local Government are crucial and affect the well-being of all residents living in our district. It is pleasing to note that the national voting statistics show that Tararua residents value their right to vote with a much higher than average turnout. However, it is important that we continue to encourage everyone, particularly the young, to take an interest in Local Government and exercise their right to influence its future direction, either by putting themselves forward as candidates or ensuring they vote."
LGNZ’s Vote2016 campaign will work with participating local councils, national businesses and community organisations to showcase the value local government provides to communities across the country.
LGNZ President Lawrence Yule welcomes Tararua District stepping up to partner with LGNZ in the Vote2016 campaign and ultimately help build a stronger community through more engaged local democracy.
"Partnering with councils is integral to Vote2016. It’s a mutually beneficial relationship focused on building a larger pool of skilled local candidates to stand in their communities and inspiring more people to vote," said Mr Yule.
LGNZ research shows a significant number of citizens are interested in the local government process but don’t vote, or want to vote but say it’s too hard to find the information to make an informed decision.
"Vote2016 will support Tararua District in ensuring voters have access to the information they need about local candidates standing and about the voting process, including when, where and how they can vote," said Mr Yule.
"We’re thrilled to work with Tararua District in encouraging talented, committed people to stand for office and to vote in your local elections, the most powerful ways to influence positive outcomes in your community," he said.