What is an electoral roll?

An electoral roll is a list of people who have enrolled to vote. New Zealand has two electoral rolls: the Māori Electoral Roll and the General Electoral Roll.

The general roll is open to all voters. The Māori roll is open to voters of Māori descent. No one can be on both rolls at the same time.

Māori roll or general roll?

If you are Māori and enrolling for the first time, you will need to choose whether you want to be on the Māori roll or general roll.

In parliamentary elections, if you are on the Māori roll, you will vote for a candidate in the Māori electorate you live in. If you are on the general roll, you will vote for a candidate in the general electorate you live in.

For the party vote, you can choose from the same list of political parties whichever roll you are on.

The roll you are on may affect the way you vote in local elections.

If you’re on the Māori roll and your local authority has a Māori ward or constituency, you’ll vote for a candidate in the Māori ward.

If you’re Māori, you can change your roll type at any time, except:

  • in the 3 months before a general election
  • in the 3 months before local elections which are held every 3 years
  • before a parliamentary by-election if the change would move you into the electorate where the by-election is being held.

Māori Electoral Option

Electoral rolls are made public

When you enrol, your name, address and occupation are listed on the electoral roll.

Printed copies of electoral rolls are available at selected public libraries (contact your local library for more details) and at Electoral Commission offices.

Find a library (Public Libraries of New Zealand)

We do not release your date of birth, phone number or email address to the public.

Unpublished roll protects people whose safety is at risk

If you believe that having your details recorded on the printed electoral roll could threaten your personal safety, or that of your family, you can apply to go on the unpublished roll.

Concerned about your personal safety?

Who your information is shared with

If you tell us you’re of Māori descent, we'll ask you for permission to give your information to the Tūhono iwi affiliation service.

Local councils use electoral roll information to compile their own rolls for local elections.

The Ministry of Justice uses electoral rolls to randomly select people for jury service.

Political parties and candidates may use electoral rolls for their own purposes, such as polling and campaigning.

Stats NZ can apply to use enrolment data for the production of official statistics or research under the Data and Statistics Act 2022.

Science and health researchers from the state sector may apply to use enrolment data for research.

Data for research

Learn more about how electoral rolls may be used

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