Election 2019

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The next local authority triennial election will be held on Saturday, 12 October 2019.

Elections will be held for the Mayor, elected members (Councillors) and election of members for the Wanganui Rural Community Board. More information here.

An election for Whanganui District Health Board members will be held at the same time.

How do you vote?

Local elections are run as a postal vote. You should get your voting forms in your letterbox between 20-25 September 2019.

Find a post box near​ you →​

How does the Council work?

The Council

Whanganui District Council consists of a mayor and 12 councillors. They lead the strategic decision making for the district. Read more about our Leading Edge Strategy.

As a councillor, you'll be one vote around a table of 13. If you want to make things happen, you'll need to take your colleagues on the journey with you.

A councillor's role is governance—setting the strategic direction and tasking the chief executive to make it happen.  Imagine the Council as a ship—councillors are in charge of steering, while staff get on with rowing.


The Council can establish committees to enable effective decision-making. At the close of 2016-19 triennium, Whanganui District Council has the following committees:

  • Strategy and Finance

  • Property and Community

  • Infrastructure

  • Audit and Risk

Having committees gives the opportunity for more in-depth discussion of certain issues and decisions. The Council can choose to delegate certain decision making powers to its committees to free up its time for strategic issues.

Whanganui Rural Community board

The Whanganui Rural Community Board represent the interests of our rural residents.

The board elects its own chairperson and deputy chairperson.

Under law, the community board's role is to:

  • Represent and act as an advocate for the interest of the community.

  • Consider and report on all matters referred to it by the Council, or any matter of interest or concern to the community.

  • Maintain an overview of services provided by the Council within the community.

  • Prepare an annual submission to both the Regional and District Councils for expenditure and levels of service within the community.

  • Prepare submissions on central government legislation where there are implications for the rural community.

  • Communicate with community organisations and special interest groups within the community.

  • Exercise delegated authority to determine rural road closure applications.

  • Undertake any other responsibilities that are delegated to it by the Council.

The board has adopted its own Strategic Plan, Rural Directions. This document:

  • Sets out a vision for Whanganui's rural community
  • Sets out a mission for the Board
  • Sets out six focus areas that will drive the Board's projects

Roles, responsibilities and remuneration

Salaries for elected members are set by the independent Remuneration Authority and varies according to the size the community you represent. Remuneration figures will change after a review in mid-2019.


The Mayor leads the Council and the Whanganui District. This is considered a full time role, and is a very big commitment, both professionally and personally. You can expect to work after hours and sometimes on weekends.

The Mayor provides political leadership to the Council, chairs Council's meetings, appoints the deputy mayor, and establishes the committee structure. As a community leader, the Mayor is a 'champion' for Whanganui and its interests, representing the district nationally and internationally. Getting to know the community and its concerns are key as the Mayor helps to shape those views into the policy direction and strategic direction for the Council. 

Annual remuneration

In the 2018-19 financial year, the mayor of Whanganui District's salary was $122,870. The Mayor is also able to claim a travel allowance.


As a councillor you can work anywhere between 20 and 60 hours each week, including evenings and weekends. There will be meetings, hearings, and workshops to attend, to educate you on issues and the community's views, and to allow you to make decisions. There are also a lot of documents to read to ensure you are fully informed. You are strongly encouraged to further engage with constituents by attending events and forming relationships with community groups.

Annual remuneration

In the 2018-19 financial year, Whanganui District councillors' base salary was $33,531. The salary can be higher if you take on additional duties, such as deputy mayor or chair of a committee. Councillors are also eligible for travel time and mileage allowances.

Community board members

The Whanganui Rural Community Board represents the interests of residents living in rural areas of the district. Members advocate to council for residents' concerns. The board can initiate community development activities with the support of Council staff. You can run for election to the board, and the board elects its own chairperson.

A community board member may be invited to attend Council or committee meetings with speaking rights, to provide their board's views to Councillors. Community board members are also invited to attend all Council workshops.

Annual remuneration

In the 2018-19 financial year, a Whanganui Rural Community Board member's salary was $5,502. The chairperson's salary was 11,004.

Election Signage

Whanganui District Council has implemented a policy outlining rules for signs in the district. This is to ensure that signs do not have a negative impact.

Here is a summary of the rules for Election 2019.

What counts as an election sign?

Any sign that encourages people to vote for a candidate in the local government elections.

Election signs must:

  • clearly display the name and contact details of the person responsible for displaying the sign;

  • not exceed 2.4 metres in height;

  • not exceed a display area of 3 metres squared

Election signs can only be put up 2 months before Election Day (12 October 2019), and you'll need to take it down the night before Election Day.

There are also rules for the writing on your sign:

  • the letter must be more than 120 mm in height if the sign is on any road, or in a place visible from a road, that has a speed limit of less than 70 km per hour

  • if the sign is on a road, or in a place visible from a road, that has a speed limit of 70 km per hour or more, the letters must be 160 mm in height

Be safe. Your sign can't be a distraction to drivers – if it is on a road or in a place visible from a road it cannot have any reflective material, lighting, or moving parts. It also cannot look like a traffic sign.

If your sign is on a trailer, there are some slightly different rules. It can't overhang the base of your trailer. Your trailer needs to be legally parked, and at least 40 metres away from any intersection.

If you want to put your sign on private land, make sure you have the permission of the landowner. Click here to learn where you can place your signs on the Council's community signage areas. You need a permit if it's on Council land. Click here to get an application form.

If you have any further questions about election signage, email elections@whanganui.govt.nz   

Page reviewed: 21 Aug 2019 4:18pm