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Information for Candidates

Information for candidates

​Regulations for campaigning

As a candidate, there are regulations you need to adhere to around campaigning. These include:

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

For more details. read the Candidate Handbook below. For full details, see The Local Electoral Act 2001 on the Legislation website.

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


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.

    Information Requests

    Information requested by candidates that is released under the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act (LGOIMA) will be published to our Information Requests page, in accordance with the Act.

    Candidates should check this page regularly for any updates.


    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.

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