|NO SIGNIFICANT CHANGE|
Average voter turnout has remained low over the perios 2007 to 2016 compared to historical rates.
This indicator is the average voter turnout in local councils, Waikato District Health Board (WDHB) and regional council elections in the Waikato region.
Voter turnout is an indicator of community engagement and political participation. It reflects the extent to which we all feel we are a part of the political process. It also shows the level of importance we attach to political institutions. Low voter turnout can affect the degree to which a politician or a political institution can be seen as truly representing what people in their electorate want for their region and for New Zealand.
Measuring voter turnout can indicate where more work needs to be done to better engage the voting public to enable an improved connection between the community and local and central government.
Check out related information on our website and other organisations’ websites listed on our Waikato Progress Indicators’ Useful Links page.
DATA SOURCE AND SUPPORTING INFORMATION
Figures for the 2013 and 2016 local council, WDHB and regional council elections were sourced from the Department of Internal Affairs(external link) website in October 2017 and verified by a DIA staff member. Figures for 2007 and 2010 were previously compiled and provided to WPI by the DIA. Voter turnout statistics for 1989 to 2010 territorial authority (TA) elections were previously compiled by Monitoring and Reporting Community Outcomes (MARCO).
According to DIA (2010) page 38: “A range of factors impact on voter turnout at local authority elections in New Zealand. The level of turnout at a particular election can be seen to reflect a combination of underlying factors and particular local issues relating to that election. Underlying factors are the ongoing institutional arrangements relating to local elections, the characteristics of the particular electorate in terms of such things as size and its urban/rural character, and also the vicissitudes of elector behaviour.”
Because size of constituency is a key determinant of voter turnout, TA rates (or averages) cannot be meaningfully compared with regional council turnout rates. For this reason, the Waikato Progress Indicator (WPI) primary indicator and comparator have been selected as being the Waikato Regional Council election voter turnout level relative to national average voter turnout for all regional council elections. All other indicators (e.g. national TA voter turnout) are treated as secondary indicators.
Update details: Indicator is the average voter turnout in local council, WDHB and regional council which occur triennially. Local authority elections are held on the second Saturday in October every three years. The most recent election was 8 October 2016. Official Voter turnout statistics are available from the Department of Internal Affairs(external link). Verified and published voter turnout results from the local body 2019 election will likely be available in March 2020.
Customised data request requirements: Generally nil, as the required statistics are regularly published through tables in the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) Local Authority Election Statistics report. However, if WPI publication is within several months following an election and/or if the DIA report discontinues publication of the WPI-specific required data, then it should be possible to get a customised data extract directly from DIA. The WPI information to be sought is voter turnout for local council, WDHB and regional council elections – Waikato region, Auckland, Wellington region, Bay of Plenty and total New Zealand regional councils’ average. Secondary data may also be useful in relation to territorial authority (TA) elections and also voter turnout for mayoral elections.
Note this WPI indicator is harmonised with the Wellington Region Genuine Progress Index (WRGPI) voter turnout indicator.
DATA AVAILABILITY – OTHER THAN WAIKATO REGION:
Territorial Authority (TA) disaggregation: Yes
Other regions: Yes
New Zealand: Yes
Other countries/ Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD): OECD comparison available from the Better Life Index(external link) website