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Information for Candidates

Information for candidates

How to become a candidate in the 2022 local elections

Me pēhea te tū mai hei māngai mō te kōwhiringa pōti 2022

Candidate nominations open on 15 July and close at 12 noon on 12 August 2022.

Who can be a candidate

To be a candidate for an elected member position, you must be:

  • a New Zealand citizen
  • over 18 years old
  • enrolled on the electoral roll.

You don’t need any special qualifications. Elected members come from all backgrounds and walks of life.

To be effective you will need to bring a broad range of skills to the role:

  • Decision-making and strategic thinking.
  • Communication and community engagement.
  • Relationship building and collaboration.

How to become a candidate

  • Complete a nomination form before 12 August 2022.
  • Get two people to nominate you – they must be over 18 and on either the general or Māori electoral roll for the Masterton District (depending on whether you want to stand for the Māori ward, the General ward or at large).
  • Pay a nomination deposit of $200 – you may get a refund, depending on how many votes you receive.
  • Learn about how the council works and your roles and responsibilities if you get elected.

​Regulations for campaigning

There are regulations around campaigning, including:

  • how much you can spend
  • how and when you can display signage.

For full details, see The Local Electoral Act 2001 on the Legislation website.

Download a Return of Electoral Expenses and Donations form (PDF, 183KB)

Further information

Email the Electoral Officer at [email protected] for more information about becoming a candidate in 2022.

What’s involved in being an elected member

He aha ngā mahi a te mema pōti

Elected members play a varied role in the day-to-day running of our town, so no two days are the same. Here are some typical scenarios of the type of work elected members do.

What you will be involved in

As an elected member, you will:

  • be a part of governing the best little city in the country
  • help decide how Masterton’s money is spent
  • make decisions that will help define the future for our communities
  • help Masterton businesses grow and prosper
  • decide how to meet the current and future needs for infrastructure, public services and regulations
  • help manage our assets.

On top of this, there will be responsibilities that relate to your specific role.

Get a feel for what being an elected member involves:

    What to expect

    Being an elected member at any level is a serious commitment.

    The governance role of an elected member differs from other roles you may have held in the community.  There is a statutory requirement for local authorities to exercise their powers for the benefit of the district and to comply with specific requirements when making decisions.

    It is also a public role and will put you in the spotlight. You will be called upon to speak at meetings and events, and the media may ask for your views on certain topics.

    If you are thinking of becoming a candidate, you should consider how you might balance the requirements and responsibilities of the role with other commitments in your life.

    Once elected, you need to move on from campaigning to working together with the other councillors for the good of the whole of the Masterton District.

    Skills and qualities that make a successful elected member


    You will often work outside of normal working hours, in the evenings and on weekends.

    Time management skills are essential as being an elected member and representing the views of Mastertonians requires a lot of preparation.

    You will be expected to read agendas, minutes, plans, policies, bylaws, reports, submissions, advice, recommendations and various other materials.

    You will need to be flexible and able to prioritise and manage your time effectively.

    Te Tiriti o Waitangi/The Treaty of Waitangi

    Knowledge of local iwi, te ao Māori and tikanga is an asset in your role as an elected member.

    We are committed to meeting our responsibilities under Te Tiriti o Waitangi/The Treaty of Waitangi and our broader statutory obligations to Māori, as well as, developing our partnership with Māori.


    You will be in the public eye as a part of your role. You will often be called upon to speak publicly at meetings, events and give comments to media on certain issues.

    You will need to be able to listen to, relate to, and empathise with the people you represent, and consider their views in your decision-making.

    You should be able to confidently communicate your own views and opinions when speaking publicly and when engaging with the public.

    The role will involve technology, so you should know how to use email, MS Teams, Zoom, a smartphone and a computer or tablet.

    Strategic thinking and decision-making

    You need to make use of a range of sources when making decisions. For example, you will get advice from council staff, listen to the views of your community, and consider your own experience and opinions.

    You need to be able to balance conflicting views, consider the financial and long-term consequences of decisions, and keep an open mind.

    Relationship building

    As a part of your role, you need to build and maintain productive relationships and networks.

    You should be willing to respectfully engage with people from different cultures and disciplines, including community members and council employees.

    Roles, responsibilities and remuneration of elected members

    Ngā mahi, ngā kawenga me te utu a ngā mema pōti

    As an elected member you get to plan for Masterton Whakaoriori’s future by being the voice of your community.


    The mayor leads Masterton District Council and chairs the Council.

    Time commitment

    Full time, with a significant professional and personal commitment, including after hours and weekends.

    Proposed annual remuneration

    Mayoral salary range $133,000 (as determined by the Remuneration Authority)

    Key responsibilities

        • Promoting a vision for Masterton.
        • Providing leadership to achieve the vision.
        • Leading the development of council plans, policies, and budgets.
        • Ensuring effective engagement between Masterton District Council and the people of Masterton.
        • Building and leading the councillor team
        • Ensuring the interests of the Masterton district are promoted at a national, regional and local level.   The Mayor attends a number of regular meetings in Wellington.
        • Appointing the deputy mayor.
        • Establishing committees of the Governing Body and appointing a chairperson for each committee.

    Deputy Mayor

    The mayor appoints one of the elected ward councillors to be the Deputy Mayor. If the Mayor is absent or unable to perform their duties, their deputy  must perform mayoral responsibilities and duties on their behalf – including exercising the powers of the Mayor.

    The deputy mayor serves on the Council with the councillors, exercising the same roles as other elected members.

    Time commitment

    Part time – 20 hours or more a week.

    Proposed annual remuneration

    The proposed annual remuneration for the Deputy Mayor will be the same as the other councillors, plus whatever more the council decides if approriate for that role.


    Time commitment

    Part time – 20 hours or more a week.

    Proposed annual remuneration

    The Remuneration Authority sets a pool of remuneration for councillors.  The Remuneration Authority Determination for October 2022 to June 2023 provides a minimum amount councillors can be paid of $34,443.

    The newly elected Council will decide how to allocate the remuneration pool based on responsibilities allocated to individual councillors, however it is estimated that the councillor base remuneration will be around $50,000.

    Key responsibilities

        • Attend monthly Council and committee meetings.
        • Attend meetings and workshops with council employees and external parties as required for individual projects.
        • Read reports and agendas, plans, policies, and other meeting preparation work.
        • Engage with the public, including attending events and public meetings, and liaising with residents and community groups.


    Elected members’ code of conduct

    The code of conduct sets out:

    • expectations around the conduct of members toward one another, Masterton District Council staff and the public
    • how information is disclosed
    • legislation that applies to the actions of members
    • the relationship between elected members and management.

    See Elected members’ code of conduct for more information.

    He kōrero mā ngā kaitono pōti

    The 2022 election is an opportunity to run as a candidate for the Masterton District Council where you can help make decisions that shape the development of the Masterton District and build strong local communities.

    ​You must be enrolled to vote to be a candidate in local elections.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Are there any rules about how I can promote myself as a candidate?

    Yes. A full list can be found in our Election Handbook, but here is a breakdown of the key aspects:

    Election material cannot contain:

    – Any untrue statement defamatory of any candidate (e.g. under the Defamation Act 1992).

    – An imitation voting document which has the names of the candidates with any direction or indication as to the candidate a person should vote for, or in any way contains such direction or indication likely to influence the voter.

    Candidates are not permitted to use Council resources for campaigning purposes, including social media. Council’s social media channels are Council resources and must remain politically neutral at all times.

    Are there rules about donations and expenses?

    To ensure a fair election, candidates need to keep a record of all donations received and expenses incurred in their election campaign. Our Election Handbook has a full description of the legislative rules on this.

    Can I withdraw my nomination?

    Yes, you can withdraw your nomination up until the close of nominations at noon Friday 12 August.

    Can I inspect the electoral roll?

    Yes, the preliminary electoral roll is available for public inspection from Friday 15 July to Friday 12 August at all Council service centres. The final electoral roll is produced once the preliminary electoral roll closes on 12 August.

    How much will it cost to stand?

    Each nomination paper lodged requires a deposit of $200 (inclusive of GST). This is refunded if the candidate polls greater than 25 percent of the lowest successful candidate.

    What requirements do I need to meet to be a candidate?

    You must be a New Zealand citizen and be a parliamentary elector anywhere in New Zealand.

    Other requirements are that:

    • You are nominated by two electors in the area you are standing for.
    • You or your spouse/partner must not have concerns or interests in contracts over $25,000 with the Council.
    • If you are subject to a Court Order under section 31 of the Protection of Personal Property Rights Act 1988, you should take legal advice.
    • If you are an employee of Council, you must resign before taking up your position as an elected member. The rules of some councils may require you to take leave for campaigning prior to the election.
    • You do not need to reside in the area (city, district, ward, constituency, community board or local board) that you are standing for.
    • You do not need any formal qualifications. Elected members come from all walks of life and generally have a desire to serve their community.

    Who can nominate me?

    A nominator must be on the electoral roll for the area (city, district, constituency, community board, or local board) for which you are standing, e.g. if you are standing for election to a specific ward, you must be nominated by two electors from that ward who are also on the electoral roll for that ward. You are not able to nominate yourself.

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