Your Election Campaign

Election campaigning can commence anytime and may continue up to and including election day. However, there are certain constraints you need to be aware of.  

  • Election signs are permitted on private property only, (with the landowners consent) within three months preceding election day (from 9 July 2022) but must be removed by midnight, 7 October 2022.  
  • Election signs are not permitted on any council property, including road reserve, parks or places controlled by the council.  
  • The maximum number of signs permitted is on a ‘per site’ basis, not for each candidate (including other non-election temporary signs). Two signs are permitted per site, or two signs per frontage in the case of a corner site.  

 

 

Election advertising requirements

Election advertising, using any media, must show an authorisation statement setting out the true name and contact details of the person or persons for whom or at whose direction it is published [Section 113, Local Electoral Act 2001]. This includes election advertising on signs, in newspapers, on flyers and posters, on a vehicle and on election websites.

Contact details can be one or more of the following:

  • a residential or business address;
  • an email address;
  • a post office box number;
  • a phone number; or
  • a link to a page on an Internet site, if the page contains one or more of the contact details specified above.

You should note that these requirements reflect a recent change to the Local Electoral Act 2001, more information on these changes can be found here.

Election material cannot contain:

  • any untrue statement defamatory of any candidate (e.g. under the Defamation Act 1992)
  • an imitation voting document with names of the candidates and any direction or indication on how a person should vote, or that is likely to influence the voter.

 

Use of council resources 

You cannot use council resources for campaigning purposes. Council resources include, but are not limited to, the council’s logo, crest or branding, website, Facebook page, Twitter account, any other forms of social media, tablets, computers, ipads, email, mobile phones, faxes, stationery, photocopiers, printers, stamps, cars, meeting rooms and venues (except those available for public hire). This applies to sitting members, council staff and other candidates, in any context that could be considered as campaigning for elections.  

 

Social media  

Social media can be a useful tool for candidates for campaigning purposes and electioneering. You should be aware of Council social media guidelines and should comply with these at all times.  

  • Council’s social media channels are council resources and must always remain politically neutral.  
  • Council will promote elections and the importance of voting but will not associate these posts with any candidates.  
  • Council social media accounts will not follow any candidates. This may result in your account being unfollowed.  
  • Council’s social media accounts are not permitted to be used as a communications channel by anyone (candidates or members of the public) for promotion, electioneering or campaigning. This also applies to all social media accounts owned by council-controlled organisations.  
  • Candidates should not post on council’s social media channels, nor should they comment on, share or otherwise use council social media channels for electioneering. You may not rate, review, check-in or tag the council’s social media channels in your own posts or comments.  
  • Council’s social media accounts are constantly monitored, and any campaign related or electioneering content, (including posts related to nominations and candidacy), will be removed immediately.  
  • All election advertising, using any media, including on social media, must show an authorisation statement.

 

Offences   

It is an offence (carrying a fine of up to $5,000, if convicted) to interfere in any way with an elector with the intention of influencing or advising that elector as to how they should vote. You and your campaign team should be mindful of this, particularly if campaigning occurs in rest homes or hospitals. Election offences are outlined here - please refer to them for your own protection.  

 

Electoral donations and expenses 

You must record of all donations received and expenses incurred in your election campaign. Every candidate must, by law, complete an Electoral donations and Expenses Return declaring all donations and expenses and forwarded to the electoral office by Friday 9 December 2022.  The information below is of a general nature. You should also refer to Part 5 – Electoral Donations and Expenses of the Local Electoral Act 2001.  

 

Electoral expenses and expenditure limits 

There is a limit to how much you can spend on your campaign, and this includes donations and joint campaigning. The maximum amount spent must not exceed the limits set out below:  

Ward   

Population*   

Expenditure Limit   

East General Ward   

83,300   

$50,000   

West General Ward   

68,500   

$40,000   

Kirikiriroa Maaori Ward   

26,700   

$20,000   

Total  

178,500   

 

* source: Statistics New Zealand as at 30 June 2021  

 

The expenditure limit for the Mayor is $60,000 (including GST), based on 178,500 population (as at 30 June 2021).    

The period for which campaign expenditure limits apply is three months before election day (i.e. 8 July 2022 to 8 October 2022). However, legislation further specifies that all expenses incurred before the three-month period for campaign expenditure and used during the three-month period, must be fairly apportioned and included in the Return of Electoral Donations and Expenses.  Where an electoral expense relates to more than one candidate, an equitable apportionment between candidates is required. Nomination deposits, voluntary labour and election sign framework are not electoral expenses and therefore do not need to be included in the Return of Electoral Donations and Expenses.  

 

Candidate donations  

A candidate donation is a donation of money, goods or services that is made for use in the candidate’s campaign. Candidate donations, and contributions to donations, of more than $1,500 (including GST) must be declared in the candidate return of donations and expenses. A series of donations made by one person that adds up to more than $1,500 must also be declared.  

A candidate donation includes:  

  • where a candidate is provided with goods or services free of charge that have a reasonable market value greater than $300 
  • where a candidate is provided with discounted goods or services and the reasonable market value of the goods or services is greater than $300, the difference between the contract or agreed price and the reasonable market value of those goods and services is a donation 
  • where a candidate sells over-valued goods or services the difference between the price paid and the reasonable market value is a donation, for example a fundraising auction or dinner.  

 

The following are not deemed a donation:  

  • volunteer labour 
  • goods or services provided free of charge to a candidate, or to any person on the candidate’s behalf that have a reasonable market value of $300 or less 
  • money provided by the candidate for their own campaign.  

 

If a person or organisation gives or pays for goods or services that would otherwise be candidate election expenses, the reasonable market value of those items, whatever their value, should be recorded as an election expense. If the reasonable market value of the items exceeds $300 it should also be recorded as a donation.  

 

Donations made up of contributions  

Donations to candidates can be made up of pooled funds contributed by more than one person (referred to as donations funded from contributions). These types of donations include, for example, campaign donations made through a trust, or where there is a fundraising collection for your campaign. The total proceeds of a collection are treated as a donation. The person who collects the money will normally be the donor. The individuals who contribute to the collection are contributors.  

If a donation, other than an anonymous donation, is made up of contributions, the transmitter or donor must tell the candidate:  

  • the name and address of the donor 
  • whether the donation is made up of contributions 
  • the total amount of individual contributions of $1,500 or less 
  • in the case of individual contributions greater than $1,500, the name, address, and contribution of each contributor.  

 

If you know, or have reasonable grounds to believe, that the donor has failed to supply information about contributions, the whole donation must be returned to the donor.  

 

Transmitted donations  

A donation can be made either directly by the donor to you or indirectly by a transmitter who transmits a donation to you on someone else’s behalf, for example via a lawyer’s trust fund. Any person who receives a candidate donation on your behalf must transmit it to you within 10 working days. 

When transmitting a donation, the transmitter must tell the candidate:  

  • that the donation is being transmitted on behalf of a donor 
  • the name and address of the donor 
  • whether the donation is made up of contributions 
  • the total amount of contributions of $1,500 or less 
  • in the case of contributions greater than $1,500, the name, address, and contribution of each contributor.  

 

Where a transmitter does not disclose the name and address of the donor, the donation must be treated as an anonymous donation.  

 

Anonymous donations  

You are not permitted to retain anonymous donations exceeding $1,500. An anonymous donation is a donation made in such a way that the candidate who receives the donation does not know the identity of the donor and could not, in the circumstances, reasonably be expected to know the identity of the donor. If you receive an anonymous donation greater than $1,500, you may retain $1,500 of that donation. The balance of the donation must, within 20 working days of receipt, be paid to the electoral officer for payment into the general fund of the local authority.  

 

Return of Electoral Donations and Expenses  

A Return of Electoral Donations and Expenses form must be supplied to the electoral officer within 55 days after the official declaration (by 9 December 2022).  This can be supplied to the electoral officer within 76 days after the official declaration if you are overseas when successful candidates are declared elected.  

The Return of Electoral Donations and Expenses must set out: 

  • the details of every electoral donation received by the candidate that, either on its own or when aggregated with all other  
  • donations made by or on behalf of the same donor for use in the same campaign, exceeds $1,500 in sum or value 
  • the details in respect of every anonymous electoral donation received by the candidate that exceeds $1,500 
  • details of the candidate’s electoral expenses.  

 

The details of every electoral donation are: 

  • the name of the donor 
  • the address of the donor 
  • the amount of the donation or in the case of aggregated donations, the total amount of the donations 
  • the date the donation was received or, in the case of aggregated donations, the date that each donation was received.  

 

The details of every anonymous donation exceeding $1,500 are: 

  • the date the donation was received 
  • the amount of the donation 
  • the amount paid to the electoral officer and the date the payment was made.  

 

With respect to electoral expenses, the return must set out separately the name and description of every person or body of persons to whom or which any sum was paid, and the reason for which it was paid. Sums more than $200 (GST inclusive) must be vouched by an invoice or a bill and a receipt.  

You should retain all invoices and receipts relating to electoral expenses should these be required in the event of a challenge. They should not be submitted with the return.  

Once the Return of Electoral Donations and Expenses forms have been received by the electoral officer they become public documents and are to be kept for a public inspection period of seven years. During this period, the returns:  

  • are placed on council’s website 
  • can be inspected by any person 
  • copies can be made available if requested.  

 

This is a requirement under section 112F of the Local Electoral Act 2001.  

Council Policy on Election Signs 

District Plan Rules 

Election signs can be referred to as hoardings, posters, signs or other similar types of promotion that are used to display information relating to your election campaign. The District Plan allows for temporary election signs to be displayed for no more than three months before Election Day. Signs may be displayed from 12.01 am Saturday 9 July 2022 to midnight, Friday 7 October 2022. All signs must be on private property.  

There are different rules for the size and height of your election signs, depending on the zone you put them. If you are unsure on which District Plan zone applies, you can search by address here.  Once you have the address, expand the legend tool bar on the right and scroll down to see which zone the property is in. 

 

Residential Zones

Maximum area per sign: 3m2

Maximum height from ground level:  2.5m

Maximum number of signs: Two signs per site, or two signs per frontage in the case of a corner site

 

Special Character Zones

Maximum area per sign: 3m2

Maximum height from ground level:  2.5m

Maximum number of signs: Two signs per site, or two signs per frontage in the case of a corner site

 

Future Urban Zones

Maximum area per sign: 3m2

Maximum height from ground level:  2.5m

Maximum number of signs: Two signs per site, or two signs per frontage in the case of a corner site

 

Community Facilities

Maximum area per sign: 3m2

Maximum height from ground level:  2.5m

Maximum number of signs: Two signs per site, or two signs per frontage in the case of a corner site

 

Business Zones 1-7 

Maximum area per sign: 6m2

Maximum height from ground level: The height from ground level for signs depends on the zone. Contact Council to confirm restrictions in different zones. 

Maximum number of signs: Two signs per site, or two signs per frontage in the case of a corner site

 

Central City Zone

Maximum area per sign: 6m2

Maximum height from ground level: The height from ground level for signs depends on the zone. Contact Council to confirm restrictions in different zones. 

Maximum number of signs: Two signs per site, or two signs per frontage in the case of a corner site

 

Industrial Zones 1-7 

Maximum area per sign: 6m2

Maximum height from ground level: The height from ground level for signs depends on the zone. Contact Council to confirm restrictions in different zones. 

Maximum number of signs: Two signs per site, or two signs per frontage in the case of a corner site

 

Ruakura Logistics Zone 

Maximum area per sign: 6m2

Maximum height from ground level: The height from ground level for signs depends on the zone. Contact Council to confirm restrictions in different zones. 

Maximum number of signs: Two signs per site, or two signs per frontage in the case of a corner site

 

Ruakura Industrial Park 

Maximum area per sign: 6m2

Maximum height from ground level: The height from ground level for signs depends on the zone. Contact Council to confirm restrictions in different zones. 

Maximum number of signs: Two signs per site, or two signs per frontage in the case of a corner site

 

Knowledge Zones 

Maximum area per sign: 6m2

Maximum height from ground level: The height from ground level for signs depends on the zone. Contact Council to confirm restrictions in different zones. 

Maximum number of signs: Two signs per site, or two signs per frontage in the case of a corner site

 

Open Space Zones

Maximum area per sign: 6m2

Maximum height from ground level: The height from ground level for signs depends on the zone. Contact Council to confirm restrictions in different zones. 

Maximum number of signs: Two signs per site, or two signs per frontage in the case of a corner site

 

Major Facilities Zones 

Maximum area per sign: 6m2

Maximum height from ground level: The height from ground level for signs depends on the zone. Contact Council to confirm restrictions in different zones. 

Maximum number of signs: Two signs per site, or two signs per frontage in the case of a corner site

 

Examples:

 

3m2 sign examples

3m2 sign examples

 

Signs on corner properties

Front view

 

If you want to put up a sign that breaches the district plan rules, you must get resource consent and pay a fee. You must apply for resource consent before installing the sign. The timeframe to process a resource consent is 20 working days. 

 

 

Guidelines for signs on private property  

Please ensure you get consent from the person responsible for the property before installing signs on private property. The maximum number of signs permitted is on a ‘per site’ basis, and not for each candidate. Two signs are permitted per site, or two signs per frontage in the case of a corner site. Please ensure alternative sites are used if the maximum number of signs per site (including other non-election temporary signs) has already been met.  

Where private signs on property are found to exceed the limits outlined in the district plan, Council will contact the candidate or property owner to advise them to fix it within 24 hours. If signage is not removed after Council notifies the property owner, it can result in a $300 infringement notice to the property owner. Continuing non-compliance can result in subsequent infringement notices being issued for each day the offence continues. 

Council cannot get involved in disputes over the priority of candidate signage displayed on private property. It is up to the property owner to decide which signs will be removed in order to reduce the number of signs on a property to the complying amount. As a candidate, you or your representatives will need to discuss this matter with the property owner.  

 

Signage prohibited on Council property  

No elections signs are permitted on any Council property, including within the road reserve, parks or public places controlled by Council. (Refer to Hamilton City Parks, Domains and Reserves Bylaw 2019, Hamilton City Public Places Bylaw 2016, Hamilton Traffic Bylaw 2021 and Public Places Policy)  

 

Electoral Signage on vehicles 

All election advertising, using any media, including on vehicles, must show an authorisation statement.

 

Billboard signs 

There are a number of existing billboard signs in Hamilton that have already been granted resource consent for the structure when it was installed.  Election signs on these billboards may be displayed up to three months before an election. Election signage must be removed before election day (before midnight Friday 7 October 2022). Please ensure consent is obtained from the billboard owner. New billboards will require a resource consent if the billboard will be permanent or does not utilise an existing billboard structure. All election advertising, using any media, including billboards, must show an authorisation statement.

 

Sign recovery 

Any sign on public property that poses an immediate safety risk will be removed and the candidate informed. Where other non-complying signage occurs on public property, you will be contacted and advised to remove the signs within 24 hours. If you have been contacted previously about non-complying signage on public property, any subsequent signs will be removed without further notification. Any signs recovered by council staff can be collected at Hamilton City Council’s Duke St Depot – 44 Duke St, during normal business hours. Signs must be collected within one month or they will be disposed of. Council will not be liable to reimburse candidates for the cost of any signage that is damaged or disposed of.  

 

State Highways  

Signs on state highways are controlled by Waka Kotahi - New Zealand Transport Agency. Please contact 0800 699 000 for further information. 

 

Questions or complaints 

If you have a question or would like to make a complaint about non-complying signage, please email elections@hcc.govt.nz   

Viewing the Electoral Roll 

Roll data requests   

Information contained on the electoral roll is not available from the electoral office in an electronic form, but you or your party can request an electronic listing of resident electors from the Electoral Commission (provided the criteria of section 114 of the Electoral Act 1993 are met). You must complete an application form, and these are available on request from the Electoral Commission. Note that you may request elector details only for the area you are standing in, and you cannot pass this data on to any third-party or use it for anything other than election purposes. 

For a listing of non-resident ratepayer electors, you may purchase mailing labels and/or postal address lists from the electoral office.  

The scrutiny of the roll will be undertaken at the electoral office (Level 2, 198 Federal Street, Auckland), during normal office hours between Wednesday 21 September 2022 and to noon, Saturday 8 October 2022.  

As a candidate, you or your scrutineer may request, before the close of voting, a list of names of people who have returned their voting documents. This can be supplied in either hardcopy or electronic copy, and a cost will be incurred. [Section 68 (6) Local Electoral Act 2001]. 

Key Contacts

Electoral Officer

Dale Ofsoske, Election Services
PO Box 5135, Wesley Street
Auckland 1141
09 973 5212
dale.ofsoske@electionservices.co.nz
electionservices.co.nz

Hamilton City Governance Team

elections@hcc.govt.nz
07 838 6727