Local council candidates urged to come forward early

Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) is encouraging passionate leaders to get ahead of the game and start thinking about running for their upcoming local council elections now.

“Standing for local council is an incredible opportunity for people to have their say about the issues that affect their community directly and develop their leadership skills,” said LGNZ Chief Executive, Malcolm Alexander.

“While candidate nominations open from 15 July 2016, we want potential candidates to start thinking about their future in local government now, so they have all the support and information they need ahead of the election,” he said.

Mr Alexander said ensuring elected representatives had the abilities, diversity of skills and training to respond to major community issues was an important part of a successful election process.

“Providing communities with a choice of candidates that they feel confident will make the best decisions for their area is vital. We also hope that a pool of competent and passionate candidates will drive even more citizens to vote this year.”

LGNZ recently announced the launch of Vote2016 campaign, which aims to lift nationwide voter turnout in local elections to more than 50 per cent – a first since the 1980s.

The national Vote2016 campaign will showcase the value local government provides to communities across the country, with a strong focus on inspiring more New Zealanders to vote, and building a pool of skilled candidates to stand in their communities.

Significant support, including governance training and guidance through LGNZ’s EquiP professional development programme, is provided for newly elected members, and ensures a consistent level of capability across the sector. People interested in finding out more about standing as a local council election candidate are encouraged to contact their local council’s electoral officer or visit Vote2016.co.nz.

“We have an incredible pool of talent in New Zealand – dedicated Kiwis who are already becoming leaders in their communities.”

“Standing for their local council is a great way to step up and have real influence over the key issues affecting their families, friends and communities, and we encourage them to come forward now,” said Mr Alexander.