Find out what personal information we collect, and how we protect and use it, and who we give it to. Learn about your rights and responsibilities when you use our websites.
We collect personal information when you enrol to vote or update your enrolment details. Find out what enrolment details we collect, how we use and protect them, and your rights to access and correct that information.
We collect some personal information to enrol you to vote
We collect personal information when you fill in a paper or online enrolment form, or update your enrolment details. We’ll use this information to identify you and confirm that you can enrol and vote.
We ask for your:
- full name
- date of birth
- address information
- title or honorific
- contact phone numbers
- email address, if you want to enrol or update your details online.
We also ask whether you’re of Māori descent. If you confirm you’re of Māori descent, we'll keep that information and you can choose whether to join the Māori roll or the general roll.
You can use a verified RealMe® account to enrol or update your enrolment details online:
We're careful with your personal information
We use the information you give us to keep the electoral rolls up to date for general elections, referendums and local elections. We also give your personal information to other people and organisations when the law requires it. We only use your information for these purposes.
We follow the rules in the Electoral Act 1993 and the Privacy Act 2020.
We do not release your date of birth, phone numbers or email address to the public.
Some of your personal information goes on the electoral rolls, which are public
An electoral roll lists everyone in an electorate who’s enrolled to vote. When you enrol, we add you to an electoral roll, which lists your:
- full name
- home address
- occupation (if you provide it – it’s optional).
Anyone can look at or buy electoral rolls. You can view them at public libraries and the offices of registrars of electors.
If you would like to look at the electoral rolls at the office of your local registrar of electors, you will need to make an appointment.
Making an appointment is necessary due to the COVID-19 measures in place at Electoral Commission offices.
The unpublished roll protects people whose safety is at risk
If you're concerned that having your details on an electoral roll could threaten your personal safety, or that of your family, you can ask to go on the unpublished roll. We don’t release the details of people on the unpublished roll to anyone.
We give your personal information to other people and organisations when the law requires it
The law requires us to give lists of people who are enrolled to vote to certain people and organisations when they ask for them.
These lists may have your personal information on them. This includes information that’s not publicly available on the electoral rolls, such as the age range you're in and whether you’re of Māori descent.
These people and organisations can get lists of people who are enrolled to vote:
- the Tūhono iwi affiliation service
- local councils
- the Ministry of Justice
- political parties, candidates and MPs
- state sector organisations.
If you’re of Māori descent, we'll ask for permission to give your information to Tūhono
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. We'll also ask you which iwi or Māori organisations you want Tūhono to give your information to.
We give your information to your local council for elections, by-elections and polls
We give local councils a list of people who are enrolled to vote in their area to run local elections, by-elections and polls.
Councils can also make special requests for information they can use for other purposes.
We may give your information to the Ministry of Justice to create jury lists
The Ministry of Justice asks us for lists of people who are enrolled to vote to create jury lists.
We may give your information to parties, candidates and MPs
Parties, candidates and MPs can ask us for lists of people who are enrolled to vote. They may use the lists for purposes such as polling and campaigning.
We won’t give your phone numbers or email addresses
We don’t give phone numbers or email addresses to parties, candidates and MPs. However, they may find out how to contact you by combining the information we give with other information they collect.
We may give your information to state sector organisations for research
State sector organisations can apply to us for a list of people who are enrolled to vote. The organisation must need the list to conduct human health or scientific research.
We match information to invite people to enrol and update their details
We match information about people on the electoral rolls with information that other government agencies hold. We match information to identify people who:
- are qualified to vote but haven’t enrolled, so we can invite them to enrol
- we can invite to update their address on the electoral roll.
The Privacy Commissioner oversees information matching and writes a yearly report on each programme.
We take part in five information matching programmes:
The Office of the Privacy Commissioner’s website has more information about information matching:
You have the right to see and correct your personal information
You have the right to see a copy of any personal information we hold about you and to ask us to correct it.
Contact our privacy officer to ask for a copy of your information or get it corrected.
You can also contact our privacy officer if you have any questions, concerns or complaints about what happens with your personal information.
The Privacy Officer
PO Box 3220
Phone 04 495 0030
Find out what happens to your personal information when you enrol online, complete a submission form, or email us.
Using RealMe® to enrol or update your details
If you have a RealMe® login, you can use it to fill out an enrolment form online. You’ll then need to sign a printed copy and send it back to us.
If you have a verified RealMe® account, you can use it to fully enrol or update your enrolment details online.
The Department of Internal Affairs runs RealMe®
The Department of Internal Affairs runs the RealMe® service, which lets you:
- access multiple online services with one username and password
- securely prove who you are online.
Protecting our online enrolment services
You can look up your enrolment details on our website to check if they’re correct and update them if they’re not. If you try to use this online service for any other reason, we may suspend or disable your access.
Sending us emails
We can’t guarantee the privacy or confidentiality of any information you email to us because the internet is not fully secure. However, we’ll keep information you send us private and we won’t share your email address.
Completing a submission form
Occasionally we ask the public to make submissions on electoral issues, such as boundary reviews.
If you complete a submission form on our website, we may pass the information you give us on to:
- other people in the Electoral Commission
- government agencies and third parties involved in the project or consultation.
The information you enter in a submission form could include information which identifies you.
Registering for job notifications
You can register to get notifications about our job openings. When you register on our website, we ask for your name, email address, and town or city.
We’ll only use this information to contact you when there’s a job opening in your town or city.
Browsing our websites
You can browse our websites without sharing any personal information. Only use a standard web browser to access our sites.
We collect information about visitors to our websites
We use Google Analytics — a web analytics service — to track and report on our website traffic. We don’t use Google Analytics to track, collect or match any personally identifiable information about you.
We use the information from Google Analytics to help us improve our sites. The information is transmitted to Google and they store it outside New Zealand. Google Analytics collects:
- the first three parts of your device’s IP address
- the pages you access and links you click on
- the date and time you visit the site• the site you click through from
- your device’s operating system (such as Windows 7 or Mac OSX)
- the web browser you use (such as Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox)
- other information, such as your screen resolution and language setting.
We use 'cookies' to collect information about how people use our site. Cookies don’t store any personal information about you.
You can turn off cookies and tracking
You can turn off cookies and still use our site. Check the help instructions in your web browser to find out how to turn off cookies. Turning off cookies will also turn off Google Analytics tracking.
You can only access our websites with a standard web browser
You can only access our websites using standard web browsers. You can’t access our website in any other way without our consent.
Methods you must not use include, but aren’t limited to:
- scraping or harvesting
- copying pages or functionality
- mining data
- using robots or spiders
- using automation or other data gathering or extraction methods.