MPDC was one of nine New Zealand councils that was looking to modernise and futureproof New Zealand's local electoral system by taking part in an online voting trial in 2019.
Auckland Council, Gisborne District Council, Hamilton City Council, Marlborough District Council, Matamata-Piako District Council, Palmerston North City Council, Selwyn District Council, Tauranga City Council and Wellington City Council agreed in principle to an online voting trial for the 2019 local body elections, subject to some conditions being met - including the costs being acceptable; the legislation and regulations being in place on time; identified risks being manageable; relevant DHBs and regional councils being on board; and the respective councils giving their final approval to proceed.
In 2018 we worked together on a business case that defined the scope, risks and costs involved in the proposed trial. At the same time, we worked closely with the Department of Internal Affairs to ensure the necessary regulatory framework could be in place to enable the proposed trial in 2019.
It was decided in December 2018 the online voting trial will not be proceeding for 2019, due to costs. The Councils remain focused on ensuring the legislative and regulatory changes required to enable online voting occur as soon as possible, and on securing the necessary funding to deliver an online solution. It is planned to continue to work collaboratively with the relevant government sectors to deliver online voting for the 2022 local body elections.