The 2010 New Zealand local elections were triennial elections to select local government officials and district health board members. All elections are conducted by postal ballot, with election day being Saturday 9 October 2010.
Except for all DHBs and six territorial authorities, officials were elected by the First Past the Post system. Members of DHBs and mayors and councillors in six territorial authorities, including Wellington City and Dunedin City, were elected using the Single Transferable Vote system.
Under section 10 of the Local Electoral Act 2001, a "general election of members of every local authority or community board must be held on the second Saturday in October in every third year" from the date the Act came into effect in 2001, meaning 9 October 2010.
Key dates for the election as set out by the Local Government Commission and Elections New Zealand are:
|21 July||Public notice of election|
|23 July||Candidate nominations open |
Preliminary electoral roll opens for inspection
|20 August||Nominations close at 12 noon |
Electoral roll closes
|25 August||Public notice of candidates|
|17-22 September||Voting papers delivered to voters|
|9 October||Election Day - Voting closes at 12 noon |
Preliminary results released
|11-20 October||Official results released|
|1 November onwards||New officials sworn in|
This was the first time elections were held for the new Auckland Council, and the 2010 Auckland mayoral election took place concurrently.
The 2010 elections did not include Canterbury Regional Council. In March 2010, the National Government passed special legislation deferring Canterbury Regional Council's election until 2013 and replacing the existing councillors with appointed commissioners.
The 2010 elections were the first for the Southern District Health Board, which was formed from the merger of the Otago and Southland DHBs on 1 May 2010. The Southern DHB had 14 members from the two former boards, but was reduced to the standard seven elected members after the election.
There was a notable leftward shift in the local elections throughout the country and many notable long term centre-right mayors were replaced by left-wing mayors throughout the country. In the new position of Auckland supermayor, Manukau City mayor Len Brown a Labour party politician replaced centre-right Auckland City mayor John Banks. In Wellington, Green Party candidate Celia Wade-Brown replaced right leaning, Kerry Prendergast. As well as at the provincial levels new left-wing mayors replaced retiring incumbents in Wanganui and New Plymouth and incumbent mayors like that of Janie Annear in Timaru defeated conservative challengers.
Elections are split into their respective regions:
The planned ECan election in October 2010 would be deferred until such time as the commissioners have completed their task. Under any circumstances the next regional council elections in Canterbury will take place no later than the elections scheduled for late 2013.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)