Council backs Vote 2019 campaign
Taupō District Council has confirmed its participation in the Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) Vote 2019 campaign to lift nationwide voter turnout in local elections and increase people’s engagement with their local councils.
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 the Taupō District, just over 50 per cent per cent of voters cast their ballot in 2016.
Head of democracy, governance and venues Tina Jakes said the council had chosen to participate because it was important people knew their vote mattered.
“We want to see a high number of voting papers returned because it’s the community helping to shape the way our district is run by choosing their preferred candidates,” she said. LGNZ’s Vote 2019 campaign would work with participating local councils, national businesses and community organisations to showcase the value local government provides to communities across the country.
LGNZ president Dave Cull welcomed Taupō District Council stepping up to partner with LGNZ in the Vote 2019 campaign and ultimately help build a stronger community through more engaged local democracy.
“Partnering with councils is integral to Vote 2019. 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,” he said.
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.
“Vote 2019 will support Taupō District Council 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,” Mr Cull said. “We’re thrilled to work with the council 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.”