Media release

Media release: Hello…is it you we’re looking for?

Tuesday 21 June 2022

The Otago Regional Council encourages community-minded people to stand in this year’s local government elections.

If you believe in improving the environment through the quality of natural assets such as our beautiful region’s rivers and lakes, protection of threatened species, even better public transport and working with the community to achieve these goals, then you might be just the person voters are looking for.

Now is the time to consider being a candidate in this year’s local government elections, or to consider nominating someone else. Nominations open 15 July, with Election day on 8 October.

Dr Pim Borren 
ORC Interim CE Dr Pim Borren.

“This is a challenging time for local government” ORC Interim CE Dr Pim Borren says. “We are dealing with a number of threats to our natural and urban environments, such as climate change, as well as significant central government reform.

“Effective representation is a vital part of New Zealand’s democracy and while not always the easiest job in the world, being an elected member of local government can be a rewarding one.”

Dr Borren encourages anyone thinking of standing for council this year to have a look at the Council’s Pre-Election report (available online from 1 July) or to attend one of the candidate briefing sessions in towns across Otago, taking place throughout July (dates will be advertised on ORC website and social media).

“Thinking about standing but not sure how to go about it? We have some good advice. People might be reluctant to put their hand up because they think the process is too complicated, but our staff are here to help,” says Dr Borren.

“You don't need any special qualifications to be a candidate. Elected members come from all backgrounds and walks of life and diversity in the mix is ideal.

“To be effective you will need to bring a broad range of skills to the role including decision-making and strategic thinking, communication skills and the desire to engage with your community as part of your role, plus relationship-building and collaboration skills.

Healthy debate helps provide the direction our Council needs to continue improving its service to ratepayers. Attending a current Council meeting or watching online will give potential candidates a feel for how meetings operate.”

To be a candidate for an elected member position, you do, however, need to be:

  • a New Zealand citizen
  • over 18 years old
  • enrolled on the electoral roll.

The Otago Regional Council is made up of 12 Councillors elected from four constituencies. These constituencies are Dunedin (six Councillors), Dunstan (three Councillors), Molyneux (two Councillors) and Moeraki (one Councillor). 

See the 2022 Otago Regional Council Candidate Handbook 

Queries can be directed to

Key dates

  • Nominations open Friday 15 July
  • Candidate briefings (with Dunedin City Council) Tuesday, 5 July, 6pm at Toitu and Wednesday, 27 July, 6pm also at Toitū. Otago Regional Council will also join with Queenstown Lakes District Council for a candidate briefing scheduled for the evening of 18 July. These will be opportunities to ask questions about the role and talk to elections staff about remuneration (pay), the hours required, and what you need to do to get nominated.
  • Nominations close 12 noon Friday 12 August
  • Friday 16 September - Voting and special voting begins
  • Saturday 8 October - Election day.  Voting closes at noon.  Progress results should be available late in the afternoon.