Becoming a candidate in a general election

This page summarises the nomination process for candidates in a general election. Democracy is only possible if people are prepared to put themselves forward for a chance to represent their community.

For a general election, there are two types of candidates:

  • Electorate candidates who stand for election in electorates, and
  • List candidates on party lists who may be elected through the party vote.

Standing as a candidate for the 2023 General Election

Candidate eligibility

To be a candidate you must be both:

  • enrolled to vote
  • a New Zealand citizen.

If you were born overseas, you will be asked to provide evidence with your nomination that you are a New Zealand citizen (such as a certificate of citizenship or a copy of your New Zealand passport).

Individual electorate candidate nominations

Individual nominations are made by:

  • independent candidates
  • candidates for unregistered parties and
  • candidates for registered parties not making a bulk nomination.

Two voters enrolled in the electorate to be contested must nominate a candidate. You cannot nominate yourself. You cannot stand for more than one electorate. A $300 deposit must be paid with an individual nomination.

Individual nominations for a general election close at noon on nomination day. The Returning Officer cannot extend this deadline.

Further information about the individual candidate nomination process will be available when the date of a general election is announced.

Bulk nomination of electorate candidates by registered parties

Only registered parties can make a bulk nomination of electorate candidates. This is where the party secretary nominates all the electorate candidates representing the party by lodging a bulk nomination schedule with the Electoral Commission. The bulk nomination of electorate candidates for a general election closes at noon the day before nomination day.

Nominating list candidates

Only registered parties can stand list candidates. Party list candidates are lodged with the Electoral Commision by the party secretary. Nominations of list candidates for a general election close at noon on the day before nomination day.

The Election Access Fund

The Election Access Fund Te Tomokanga — Pūtea Whakatapoko Pōtitanga opened in October 2022 to support disabled people to stand as candidates in parliamentary general elections and by-elections. 

The purpose of the Fund is to reduce cost barriers faced by disabled people by covering disability-related costs which non-disabled candidates do not face. The Fund covers both seeking selection to be a candidate, and campaigning as a candidate.   

The Fund will enable the Commission to pay for additional costs that candidates incur as a result of their disability when organising and preparing to stand for Parliamentary elections.

Information about the Election Access Fund, who can apply to it and the application process can be found here: Election Access Fund | Elections

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