13 Oct 2019

41 percent turnout: voting numbers tipped to top two previous polls

4:59 pm on 13 October 2019

Preliminary counts show more people are likely to have voted in this year's local elections than previous years.

Overall turnout stood at just over 41 percent as of yesterday, compared with 42 percent in 2016 and 41.3 percent in 2013.

Local Government New Zealand said figures for New Plymouth and smaller districts are yet to come.

A spokesperson for LGNZ, Mike Reid, said voter turnout may have fallen in those areas, which would erode the overall number.

Hutt City Councillor Campbell Barry with an empty shopping centre in the background.

Campbell Barry Photo: RNZ / Emma Hatton

While the rest of the country's voters stepped up their turnouts, Auckland was down nearly 4 percent on last election, with just 34.7 percent of eligible voters putting their papers in the ballot box or the post.

In Wellington 36 percent of eligible voters did so, down about 6 percent from the previous election.

Yesterday's election results have injected a lot of new blood into local government.

A quarter of mayors elected were women, up from 19 percent three years ago. Local Government New Zealand said more women have also won council seats.

Politicians under 40 years of age include newly-elected mayors for Hutt City, Timaru, and Dunedin , as well as the re-elected mayors for Selwyn and Central Hawke's Bay.

There are also younger mayors, with 28-year-old Campbell Barry, becoming the country's youngest mayor at Hutt City.

Mr Reid said the turnover in councillors is higher than usual.

"There is certainly evidence of younger councillors being elected than we've had in the past.

"Possibily more newer councillors than we've seen before; on average I guess probably about 30 to 35 percent councillors turnover."

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