One of the most important ways to take part in the decisions that shape the Waikato is to get involved in the local authority elections, either by standing for election as a community representative or voting for the people who stand.
The elections, held every three years, give the public the opportunity to vote for who they want to be district mayor, district and regional councillors, and seven of the members of the health board.
Anyone over the age of 18 can stand for election as long as they are a New Zealand citizen and enrolled on the electoral roll. Nominations close at noon on Friday August 16.
Waikato Regional Council is offering a pre-nomination briefing session on Thursday July 25 at 5pm at its offices, 401 Grey St, Hamilton East.
“The pre-nomination briefing is a great opportunity to find out about the candidate nomination process, the roles and responsibilities of councillors, the way the council works and makes decisions, hours of work and pay,” said the council’s electoral officer Maureen Poole.
“Local democracy is about having the right mix of people, elected locally, to best represent each community,” said Poole.
“Democracy works best when citizens are prepared to stand up and contribute to the public good and, to be effective, elected members need to reflect the diversity of our communities.”
The Waikato district’s electoral officer Maria Edgar said the council was encouraging anyone who wanted to make a difference in the local community to stand.
“After all, local government and local democracy are fundamental to our society, giving the opportunity for everyone’s voice to be heard. Mayors and councillors exercise a leadership role in our towns, cities and regions and represent the views of the community.”
For more information on standing for election:
For the Waikato District Council click here
For the Waikato Regional Council click here
For the Waikato District Health Board click here
Voting in the local elections is by postal vote from September 20 to October 12. Voting papers need to be at their destination no later than noon on October 12.