To protect democracy, it’s important that everyone takes the opportunity to have their say, writes Nelson City Councillor Mel Courtney.

At the last council election more than 46% of enrolled electors didn’t vote. This included more than one-third of under 35’s – this is concerning. 

When voting this year, you need to know Nelson City Council have changed the voting system to STV (single transferrable vote). 

This means you are now able to list the candidates you most want to represent you and be your voice on council in order of your preference. 

Council has also changed to a ward system of voting. If you are on the general electoral roll, you will be able to vote for candidates (by ranking in your order of preference) in one of the General wards, depending on where you live. If you are on the Māori electoral roll you will be able to vote for candidates in the Whakatū Māori Ward which includes the whole of Nelson.

As well as your ward councillors, you will also be able to vote for some councillor positions regardless of where you live, or which roll you are on – these councillors are called “at large”. 

Everyone will also be able to vote for the Mayor by ranking as many of the Mayoral candidates as they wish to.

Democracy is about voting--voting documents will be delivered in late September and voting closes 8 October. Please take the time to vote.