Local body campaign hoardings have gone up around the electorate and it’s great to see the diversity of our community reflected in the selection of candidates. Some of the faces will be familiar to us, but there are also many new people putting themselves forward for election to the Waitakere Ranges, Whau and Puketāpapa local boards, and the licensing trusts.
Unlike general elections, local body elections usually have a low voter turnout. Only 36.2% of people got out and voted in the Whau Ward in 2016. This is a shame as local government plays a major role in enhancing the well-being of our lives and communities. We are social animals who achieve "the good life" by living peacefully alongside each other in communities governed by laws and traditions.
However, we often live alongside people we don't know at all, especially in our cities. This means we need people to help co-ordinate our daily arrangements. We need to decide where to build our roads, schools and houses, how to provide space for sports and cultural activities and how to manage waste.
The rules around how we do this are always up for discussion and change through our standard democratic processes, including elections. If you are happy with the way your community is run, or alternatively feel that your council should change the way it operates, take the time to find out who will best represents your views.
Voting documents will be delivered to households between the 20th and 25th of September and electors can post the voting documents back as soon as they have voted. Alternatively, you can cast your vote on voting day, Saturday 12 October 2019.
The deadline for enrolling to vote in the local body elections was 16 August 2019, but if you haven’t enrolled, you can still turn up to a polling station on Election Day and cast a special vote.
Dr Deborah Russell, MP for New Lynn