Becoming a Candidate in the 2019 Elections


If you love this region and have ideas for its future, then you should consider running for Council. Help make our council a diverse one that can represent the views of all our communities. Elected members come from all backgrounds and walks of life; they may be parents, students, business people, self employed etc. You do not require any special qualifications to stand for election.

Successful elected members are likely to be:

  • Effective decisionmakers
  • Excellent communicators, able to relate to a wide range of people from many different cultures and disciplines
  • Good at building relationships and networking
  • Sometimes requested to speak publicly at meetings and events, and to media (training will be provided)
  • Flexible and able to prioritise and manage time effectively

So what now? This page holds candidate FAQs and a series of videos that will give you everything you'll need to know about how to become a candidate, along with how local government works.

Candidate Briefing Sessions

Candidate Briefing Sessions are held and organised by the city and district councils throughout our region. Horizons has been invited to attend each to be able to share what being a regional councillor entails. 

Candidate Briefing Sessions

  • Ruapehu District Council 03 July, 2019 06:00 p.m.

    Ohakune Council Chambers, 32 Ayr St, Ohakune

  • Whanganui District Council 04 July, 2019 06:00 p.m. to 04 July, 2019 07:00 p.m.

    Council Chambers Whanganui District Council 101 Guyton St Whanganui

  • Ruapehu District Council 04 July, 2019 06:00 p.m.

    Taumarunui Council Chambers, 59 Huia St Taumarunui

  • Palmerston North City Council 15 July, 2019 07:00 p.m.

    PNCC Council Chamber Civic Administration Building 32 The Square, Palmerston North

  • Tararua District Council 29 July, 2019 06:30 p.m. to 29 July, 2019 08:30 p.m.

    Woodville Stadium Supper Room Woodville

  • Horowhenua District Council 05 August, 2019 07:00 p.m.

    Horowhenua District Council 126 -148 Oxford St, Levin

  • Manawatu District Council 06 August, 2019 07:00 p.m.

    Council Chambers Manawatu District Council 135 Manchester St, Feilding

  • Rangitīkei District Council 08 August, 2019 04:00 p.m.

    Taihape Service Centre, Taihape Town Hall, 90 Hautapu Street, Taihape

  • Rangitīkei District Council 08 August, 2019 07:00 p.m.

    Rangitikei District Council office 46 High St, Marton

Standing as a Candidate for Horizons Regional Council

  • To be eligible, you must be a New Zealand citizen.
  • You also need to be enrolled as a parliamentary elector (anywhere in New Zealand).
  • You will then need to complete a nomination form and get two people to nominate you. These people must be over 18 and enrolled to vote in the constituency you wish to stand in.
  • Nomination forms will be available from 1 July.
  • There is a deposit payable of $200.  This may be refunded, depending on how many votes you receive. 
Further information will be available in the Candidate Information Book. The 2016 version is still available – click here. This version will be reviewed and available in July 2019. Information can also be found in the FAQ's which can be read here
Elections Frequently Asked Questions 2019

Standing for Local Government

Deciding to play a significant role in your local community by running for local government is a big decision. The videos that follow will give you an insight in to what you can expect in each of the various roles you might choose to put yourself forward for in the 2019 Elections. You’ll be hearing from real people - with real experience.

At the beginning of each video, we let you know what you can expect to learn about by the end of the video. Please feel free to watch the videos all at once or one at a time. We find it is best to view the videos on the latest version of Chrome to avoid any technical issues.

You can also find more detailed information for candidates on the Local Government New Zealand website.

We hope these videos help you decide if being an elected member is for you, and if so, what role would suit you best.  If you decide to run in the upcoming elections, we wish you the very best of luck.

The purpose of this video is to introduce you to the elected member roles available to you, including a description of what elected members do (duration 23 minutes)

By the end of this video you will be able to:

  • Clarify the value of the elected member role and what can be achieved
  • Describe the three types of local authority, and the roles within each
  • Consider what elected members actually do. 

What do you need to be an Elected Member?

The purpose of this video is to help you think about what skills you will need to have and behaviours you will need to display as an elected member and what sort of support will be available to help (duration 6 minutes).                   

By the end of this video you will be able to:

  • Review the important skills needed to be an elected member and what behaviours you will need to display
  • Clarify the value of diversity around the council table
  • Think about what sort of things you might like to learn more about.

How Councils work

The purpose of this video is to help you find out about how councils work and are funded (duration 16 minutes)

By the end of this video you will be able to:

  • Describe how councils operate and are funded
  • Explain how councils make decisions
  • Find out about elected members’ pay.

Nomination requirements

The purpose of this video is to help you understand the next steps to take, if you have decided to stand for local government (duration 3 minutes).    

By the end of this video you will be able to:

  • Explain how the electoral process works
  • Complete the local government nomination requirementsThink about the types of campaigning methods that will work for you

Your first days as an Elected Member

The purpose of this video is to give you an idea of what to expect if you are successfully elected (duration 5 minutes)

By the end of this video you will be able to:

  • Describe what happens in the first month after the election if you are elected
  • Get important dates into your diary so that you are available for those essential first meetings.