Official advice for New Zealanders living and travelling overseas

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2017 New Zealand General Election

The New Zealand General Election will be held on Saturday 23 September 2017. Voters who are overseas during the General Election can vote from Wednesday 6 September to Saturday 23 September.

Who can vote from overseas 

You are eligible to enrol and vote from overseas if you:

  • are 18 years of age or older
  • have lived in New Zealand for more than one year continuously at some time in your life, and
  • are a New Zealand citizen who has been in New Zealand within the past three years, or
  • a permanent resident of New Zealand who has been in New Zealand within the past 12 months.

You need to be enrolled by midnight, Friday 22 September (NZ time). You cannot enrol on election day (NZ time).

How to enrol

You need to correctly enrolled before you can vote or download a voting paper.

You will be enrolled in the electorate for the last NZ address that you lived at for a month or more.

You can enrol, check or update your enrolment details (external link).

How to vote from overseas

Voting papers are not automatically sent to voters overseas.

If you are overseas and enrolled to vote there are three ways you can vote. You can:

  • download voting papers
  • apply for a postal vote
  • vote in person at an overseas post.

Download voting papers from 6 September

Downloading voting papers is is the easiest and quickest way to get your voting papers.

From Wednesday 6 September, voters who are overseas can download and print their voting papers.

Your last chance to download voting papers is 7pm, Saturday 23 September (NZ time).

Full information about how to correctly complete your voting papers will be included with your downloaded voting papers.

If you are on the unpublished electoral roll you will be unable to download your voting papers and will need to use one of the other options.

Download and print your voting papers (external link).

Apply for a postal vote

You can ask to be sent postal voting papers. Postal voting may not be practical if your country’s mail service is slow or unreliable.

Voting papers will be sent by post from New Zealand at the beginning of September, about three weeks before election day.

To ask for postal voting papers, you will need to provide the following information to the Electoral Commission:

  • full name
  • date of birth
  • mail and/or phone number
  • New Zealand address where you are enrolled to vote
  • overseas address where you want your voting papers to be sent in the mail.


Send this information to the Electoral Commission by:
email: overseas@elections.org.nz 
post: Electoral Commission, PO Box 3220, Wellington 6140, New Zealand


Vote in person at an overseas post

From Wednesday 6 September, you can vote at most New Zealand diplomatic posts overseas and Australian State Electoral Commission offices.

Voting closes at overseas posts at 4.00pm (local time) Friday 22 September (but may close earlier in some countries).

Overseas posts are not open on weekends or public holidays.

Find the location of the overseas post where you can vote  (external link) 

How to return your voting papers

Voting papers must be postmarked no later than Thursday 21 September and received no later than noon, Wednesday 27 September (NZ time).

You can upload, fax, post or hand deliver your voting papers.

  • Upload completed voting papers (either scanned or photographed) (external link)
  • Fax your completed voting papers to the Electoral Commission (+64 4 494 2300) no later than 7pm on Saturday 23 September (NZ time).
  • Post your voting papers to Electoral Commission, C/- Overseas Team, PO Box 3220,Wellington 6140, New Zealand
  • Post or hand deliver your voting papers to your nearest overseas post. If you chose this option, voting papers must be received by 4pm (local time) Friday 22 September.  Some posts may close earlier so please check with your nearest post for their closing time.

More information

If you are unable to access any of these voting services or have further questions about enrolling or voting from overseas please contact the Electoral Commission by:

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