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Stand For Election

Our local communities need local, passionate and empathetic representatives to champion positive change. Standing for local election means making decisions now which benefit our entire community today and into the future.

Becoming a Councillor is a challenging but highly rewarding experience. Councillors have a critical role to play in helping individuals, whānau and communities thrive, with the power to significantly shape the future direction of our District.

Candidates need to be visionary, have excellent strategic thinking skills and the ability to make decisions today which will benefit the long-term wellbeing of our communities.

Deciding to stand for election is a big decision. The following information will help you gain a greater understanding of what it means to be an elected member, what you can expect from the role and guide you through the process of standing for election.

Front page of Candidate Recruitment Pack

Download our Elected Members Recruitment Pack for lots of information about the nominations and election process.

Elected Members Recruitment Pack

About Local Government / Mō te Kāwanatanga-ā-rohe

Local government is the system of locally elected members representing their communities and making decisions on their behalf.

Through elected members, communities make democratic decisions about the running of their towns, cities and regions and how they will develop for the future.

The Local Government Act 2002 provides Councils with a broad purpose, which is to:

  • Enable democratic local decision-making and action, by and on behalf of communities
  • To promote the social, economic, environmental and cultural wellbeing of communities in the present and for the future

Manawatū District Council covers a rohe of 250,000 hectares, home to just over 32,000 people. The responsibilities of our district council include:

  • Infrastructure services such as ‘three waters’ – waste water, storm water and drinking water and roading
  • Town planning and resource management
  • Local regulatory services such as building consenting, dog control and liquor licencing
  • Developing and maintaining parks, recreation and cultural facilities
  • Civil Defence and emergency management
  • Economic development and tourism promotion
  • Supporting and promoting the arts and culture of our rohe

If you’re elected as a Manawatū District Councillor, you’ll be responsible for upholding the principles of Te Tiriti ō Waitangi. Your role is to represent the needs of our community and the governance of the region - two concepts which are at the heart of local government.


Representation is to speak on behalf of individuals and organisations in your community, including those who did not vote for you. Representation means to act in the best interests of the area, making decisions that consider the wider context and the needs of both current and future generations.


Good governance balances short term and long term responsibilities, the stewardship of our organisation, as well as the knowledge of external opportunities and challenges. This helps Council:

  • Improve performance
  • Have a defined vision for the future of Council and the communities we represent
  • Take a big picture view, separable from operations
  • Ensure there is accountability and oversight of operations
  • Manage risk
  • Find the right balance between making short term gains and building long-term stability

For elected members, it includes the development of long-term plans and strategies, policy making, allocating resources and reviewing Council performance.

To be effective and truly represent the needs of our entire community, Council must collaborate and partner with many community-based organisations and providers. Upholding Te Tiriti ō Waitangi obligations, centred on partnership with local iwi and hapū to acknowledge the indigenous authority as mana whenua, is vital.

Becoming an Elected Member

There are many skills which will benefit elected members in their role. If you are considering standing for election, you may already have these skills that are needed in this role:

  • Leadership
  • People management and community engagement
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Empathy and compassion
  • Strategic thinking
  • Experience in project and time management
  • Budgeting and finance
  • Public speaking and networking

Training and professional development

As well as serving your communities, becoming an elected member allows you to nurture and develop new and existing skills.

Manawatū District Council supports elected members into the role via a formal induction programme, and ongoing professional development opportunities. If you’re a new Councillor, you will work alongside a returning Councillor who will help you learn the ropes.

There are many opportunities for further developing your skill set during your tenure as an elected member, covering areas like:

  • Governance
  • Strategic thinking
  • Te ao Māori (learning about the Māori worldview)
  • Community leadership
  • The Resource Management Act
  • Chairing meetings,
  • Reading techniques
  • Health and safety
  • Audit and risk
  • Economic development

You’ll also have access to a small allocation of personal development funding to use in an area specific to your interests, that is related to the elected member role.


Becoming a Councillor or Mayor is a big time commitment. Many Mayors work full time, with Councillors spending a minimum of 20 hours per week serving their communities.

In order to support anyone in our communities to stand for election, these are paid positions and salaries are set by the Remuneration Authority.

The salaries for the Mayor and Councillors following the election are:

  • Mayor - $132,068
  • Councillor - (minimum) $33,403


Election campaigning can commence anytime but should cease by the close of voting, i.e. 12 noon Saturday 8 October 2022.

There are generally no rules around conduct of campaigning by candidates, although there are certain election offences. For your own protection, please refer to Appendix 6 of the Manawatū District Council 2022 Local Election Candidate Pack.

No election material can contain:

  • Any untrue statement defamatory of any candidate and calculated to influence the vote of any elector.
  • An imitation voting paper 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

For all the information you need to become an elected member, please download the Manawatū District Council 2022 Local Election Candidate Pack.

Next Steps

Feeling ready?

If you’d like to become an elected member of Manawatū District Council then the first step is to be nominated. Candidate nominations are open from 15 July 2022 until 12 August 2022 at 12 noon.

The nomination process involves:

  • Completion of an official nomination form. You will then send this to Manawatū District Council’s Electoral Officer
  • Nominations from two people. Candidates cannot nominate themselves, and people who nominate candidates must be over 18 years old and enrolled to vote in the area the candidate is planning to stand
  • Candidates must consent to their nomination going forward
  • A $200 deposit must be paid, which may be refunded depending on election results
  • Candidates must be New Zealand citizens

For more information about standing for local election and a comprehensive guide for candidates, please visit the official Local Government New Zealand website.