Answers to some of the common questions people have about voting from overseas.
Voting in New Zealand starts on Monday 2 October. You won’t be able to vote within New Zealand before this date.
Voting from overseas, however, starts on Wednesday 27 September. If you’re overseas on or after this date, you’ll be able to download your voting papers, or vote in person at an overseas voting place.
The best way to vote from overseas is to download your voting papers, complete them, then upload them. If you’re not able to do this from your vessel, you may be able to do this while in port.
If that’s not possible, please check our list of overseas voting places – there may be one at one of your cruise destinations.
If neither of those options will work, we recommend you vote when you are in port at a tourist centre, library or internet café. If you are still not able to access voting papers, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss what might be possible.
You don’t need to register to vote from overseas, but you do need to be enrolled. Unless you’re enrolled, you won’t be able to download your voting papers.
The best way to check if you can download your voting papers is to check your enrolment details using our online enrolment app. You will need to enter in the same information to check, update or enrol. If you are able to access your enrolment details, you should be able to download your voting papers.
No – it’s illegal to cast a vote on behalf of somebody else, even if you have power of attorney for that person.
If you’re on the unpublished roll, you won’t be able to download your voting papers. Please contact us on email@example.com to discuss your options.
The person witnessing your special vote declaration can be:
- A relative, member of your household, a work colleague, or an associate, or
- A registered New Zealand elector, or
- A person approved by the Returning Officer, or
- A Commonwealth Representative, or
- A person authorised to take a statutory declaration in New Zealand, or
- A Commissioner of Oaths, or
- A Notary Public, or
- A Person authorised to administer an oath for the purpose of a judicial proceeding in the country in which your declaration is made.
There are several reasons why a special vote - such as a vote from overseas - could be disallowed.
Your vote could be disallowed if you're not enrolled
The most common reason for a special vote to be disallowed is because the voter was not enrolled.
To vote from overseas in the 2023 General Election, you must be enrolled by midnight (NZ time) on Friday 13 October. We recommend enrolling as early as possible to allow time for your enrolment to be processed. Until your enrolment is processed, you won't be able to download your voting papers.
If you're a member of the New Zealand Defence Force who is outside New Zealand on election day, you're not required to enrol in order to vote - but if you're not enrolled you won't be able to download your voting papers.
Your vote could be disallowed if your special vote declaration isn't complete
The next most common reason for a special vote to be disallowed is because either the voter or their witness hasn't signed their special vote declaration.
It's important to make sure that both you and your witness have signed your special vote declaration - otherwise your vote will not count.
You need to also make sure you've completed all the relevant information on your declaration - in particular your grounds (i.e. your reason) for making a special vote.
Other reasons your vote could be disallowed
- Your vote was received late
If you're uploading your vote, you need to do it by 7pm (NZ time) on Saturday 14 October.
If you're mailing or hand-delivering it to an overseas voting place, it must be received by the cutoff date and time noted for that voting place.
Votes received after the deadline will not count. We do not recommend returning votes by mail.
- You voted more than once
It's important that you only submit your vote once - as voting multiple times may mean your vote does not count.
- You didn't include your special vote declaration
If you don't include your special vote declaration in your overseas voting envelope, or when you upload your voting papers, we can't count your vote.
- You didn't include your ballot paper
If you only upload or include your special declaration, but don't include your ballot paper, we can't count your vote.
If you have a question not answered here, please contact us:
+64 9 909 4182 (international call rates may apply)