Whangārei Urban by-election

Candidate nominations are now open for the Whangārei Urban seat.

If you have the ideas, skills or perspectives to help respond to the issues our communities face, and are keen to make a lasting contribution, consider standing for the Northland Regional Council in the in the Whangārei Urban by-election.

Whangārei Urban is one of just two council constituencies which has two representatives. (The geographically sprawling Coastal North constituency, which stretches all the way from the Hikurangi Swamp to the Kerikeri Inlet is the other.)

The by-election winner will join sitting Whangārei Urban councillor Jack Craw – a regional councillor since the local body elections in October last year – on the NRC.

The Whangārei Urban seat was left vacant with the recent resignation of former regional councillor John Bain.


Key dates
Nominations open:
24 November 2020
Nominations close:
Noon, 22 December 2020 
Delivery of voting documents:
From 26 January 2021
Close of voting:
Noon, 17 February 2021


Nomination forms – including further information for would-be candidates – are available to:

Full information is provided in the Candidate Handbook.

Candidates can only be nominated by people who are enrolled in the electorate.

Completed nomination papers must be hand delivered to:

Northland Regional Council's main office - 36 Water Street, Whangārei

Or posted to:

The Electoral Officer
Northland Regional Council
C/O Independent Election Services Ltd
PO Box 5135, Victoria Street West
Auckland 1142

Nominations must be received by midday Tuesday 22 December.

Candidates submitting nominations by post are being urged to get these in early in case there’s a problem with the form which could render it invalid if it can’t be corrected/completed in time.

Nomination costs

You will need to pay a nomination deposit of $200 GST inclusive. This deposit applies to each issue (election) you stand for. Your nomination deposit can be paid by cash, EFTPOS or electronic bank transfer.

Candidate information


No formal qualifications are needed to stand as a candidate – the most important thing is an interest in representing your community.

To be eligible to stand for election, a candidate must be:

  • enrolled as a Parliamentary elector (anywhere in New Zealand);
  • a New Zealand citizen; and
  • nominated by two electors of the Whangārei Urban constituency.

Candidates do not need to be a resident in the Whangārei Urban constituency, but you must be on the Parliamentary Electoral Roll (anywhere in New Zealand) and be a New Zealand citizen.

Why stand?

Here are a few reasons you might want to stand as a candidate:

  • Represent the views of your constituency
  • Represent young people on council
  • Be recognised as a leader in the community
  • Gain political experience
  • Bridge the gap between local government and the community
  • Help to future proof for generations to come
  • Skills, experience and knowledge to offer

Council term

You will be in council for the rest of the current term (three years) until the next local government elections in 2022.

The role

The role of councillor can, at times, be very demanding.

You will have to balance several competing interests and wear a number of hats, as councillors can be required to act simultaneously as community leaders, representatives and community board members. The role and responsibilities of a councillor fall into two main categories:

  • being a member of the governing body of the council; and
  • being an elected representative of the community.

For the three-year term councillors need to juggle work, the community’s demands, their own priorities, the policies of their political team (if they have one) and the challenges facing their council. Being a councillor is a very public role. Whenever councillors appear in public, even though it may not be in an official capacity, they are usually regarded as a councillor and judged accordingly. It is not a nine to five job.

In short, your task is to provide good governance for the Northland Region.

Good governance balances short-term and long-term responsibilities, the stewardship of the organisation, as well as the knowledge of external opportunities and challenges.


Current remuneration for councillors is $71,681 per annum (on the assumption of equal distribution of work portfolios).

Campaign spending

There is a limit on what you can spend on your campaign and it relates to the population of the area you are standing for. The maximum amount that can be spent by a candidate cannot exceed $30, 000.

Candidate handbook 

For further information download the candidate information handbook:

Candidate information handbook | Whangārei Urban by-election (PDF, 3.0MB)

About Northland Regional Council

A few things you should know about Northland Regional Council… we aren't about parking tickets, roading, building consents or any of that stuff! Our work here is ultimately about working together to care for our region's incredible environment and many communities, matching our skills and resources with the vision and aspirations of our people.

Find out about the vision, mission, values and areas of focus of the Northland Regional Council

Your regional council is made up of nine elected councillors, including a chair, an appointed chief executive officer (CEO) and around 229 full and part-time staff.

Elected members

Members of the current council were elected in October 2019, and will remain in office for three years to represent the seven regional council constituencies in Northland - Coastal North, Coastal Central, Whangārei Urban, Coastal South, Te Hiku, Hokianga-Kaikohe and Kaipara.

Although elected by individual constituencies, once sworn in, regional councillors are committed to representing the best interests of the whole of Te Taitokerau.

Contact information

For further information regarding this by-election, please contact the electoral office:

Dale Ofsoske, Electoral Officer
Northland Regional Council
PO Box 5135, Victoria Street West, Auckland 1142
P: 0800 922 822 | E: [email protected]