Elections in New Zealand

New Zealand is a representative democracy.[1] Members of the unicameral New Zealand Parliament gain their seats through nationwide general elections, or in by-elections. General elections are usually held every three years; they may be held at an earlier date (a "snap" election) at the discretion of the prime minister (advising the governor-general), although it usually only happens in the event of a vote of no confidence or other exceptional circumstances. A by-election is held to fill a vacancy arising during a parliamentary term. The most recent general election took place on 17 October 2020.[2]

New Zealand has a multi-party system due to proportional representation. The introduction of the mixed-member proportional (MMP) voting system in 1993 was the most significant change to the electoral system in the 20th century.[1] The Electoral Commission is responsible for the administration of parliamentary elections.[3] The introduction of MMP has led to mostly minority or coalition governments, but the first party to win an outright majority since the introduction of MMP was the Labour Party, led by Jacinda Ardern, in 2020.[4]

Local government politicians, including mayors, councillors and District Health Boards are voted in during the local elections, held every three years. These elections used both single transferable vote (STV) and first past the post (FPP) systems in 2007.[5]