In this article
- Can I enrol from overseas?
- Do I need to register to be able to vote from overseas?
- Will voting papers automatically be sent to me overseas?
- I would like to receive my voting papers by post to an overseas address. What information do I need to provide?
- I’ve been overseas for a long time, am I still eligible to vote?
- What is the deadline to return my voting papers from overseas?
- Can I download my voting papers from inside New Zealand?
- Can I upload or fax my voting papers from inside New Zealand?
- Where are the overseas voting places?
Can I enrol from overseas?
You can enrol and vote from overseas if all the following statements are true:
- you are 18 years or older
- you’ve lived in New Zealand for more than 12 months continuously at some time in your life,
- you are one of the following:
- a New Zealand citizen who’s visited New Zealand within the last 6 years
- a New Zealand permanent resident who’s visited New Zealand within the 4 years.
These timeframes are temporary for the 2023 General Election and will expire in December following the election. At this time, they will revert to the normal timeframes which are 3 years for New Zealand Citizens and 12 months for Permanent Residents of New Zealand.
Your electorate will be where you last lived for one month or more before moving overseas. Enrolling from overseas is not compulsory — it’s your choice whether you enrol. We do recommend that you update your enrolment details with your overseas address if you now live overseas.
Please visit vote.nz for more information.
Do I need to register to be able to vote from overseas?
No. Overseas voting opened on Wednesday 27 September. You do not need to contact the Electoral Commission to advise or register that you are voting from overseas. You must be enrolled correctly enrolled and on the published roll, to use the download voting papers.
You will also be able to vote in person at an overseas voting place. If you find that you are not able to access these voting services, please contact us at email@example.com for assistance.
How to complete your voting papers
If you're voting from overseas, you and your witness can now sign your voting paper using an electronic device or by inserting a digital signature, as long as it shows your normal signatures.
You can both sign the form by inserting an image of your signatures or by drawing your signatures using a signature pad, trackpad, touchpad, mouse, light pen, or similar device.
If you are not able to complete your signature electronically, you will need to print them and complete them by hand. Once completed you can scan or photograph them and upload at vote.nz/overseas.
More information on completing voting papers electronically is available online vote.nz/overseas.
Will voting papers automatically be sent to me overseas?
No. You can access your voting papers by one of the following ways:
If you are not able to access voting papers using one of the ways noted above, you may be able to request a postal vote. We don't recommend this option, contact us to discuss first.
I would like to receive my voting papers by post (mail) to an overseas address. What information do I need to provide?
We do not recommend requesting a postal vote. The easiest way to receive your voting papers is to download and upload them from vote.nz.
I’ve been overseas for a long time, am I still eligible to vote?
You can vote from overseas if you are enrolled to vote and:
- Are a New Zealand citizen who has been in New Zealand within the past six years, or
- Are a permanent resident of New Zealand who has been in New Zealand within the past four years.
If you’re a New Zealand citizen and have not been in New Zealand within the last six years, or a permanent resident and have not been in New Zealand within the four years, you are no longer eligible to enrol or remain enrolled. Please let us know so we can remove you from the roll.
When you return to New Zealand again, the time period will begin again you will be eligible to enrol.
Please note that timeframes noted above are a temporary change to timeframes. They will expire in December 2023 and will revert to the normal three years for citizens and 12 months for permanent residents.
If you are eligible to vote from overseas, you'll need to enrol to vote at the last New Zealand address where you lived at for at least one month or more before moving overseas.
What is the deadline to return my voting papers from overseas?
Voting papers returned to the Electoral Commission by upload must be received no later than 7pm, Saturday 14 October (New Zealand time).
Voting papers returned to an overseas voting place must be received before the close of voting at that overseas voting place - usually no later than 4pm (local time) Friday 13 October (subject to local holidays).
Please check with your nearest overseas voting place for their closing time. Overseas voting places are not open weekends or public holidays.
Voting papers returned to the Electoral Commission by post must be postmarked no later than Friday 13 October and received at the Electoral Commission by noon, Tuesday 27 October.
If you are using the telephone dictation service you must be registered for the Service no later than noon (NZ Time) on Election Day Saturday 14 October. Voting will close at 7pm (NZ time) on Saturday 14 October.
Can I download my voting papers from inside New Zealand?
No. You must be overseas to download your voting papers. You can vote in New Zealand in a number of ways:
- by visiting a voting place in New Zealand
- by asking a family member or friend to collect a takeaway vote from a voting place
If you need further assistance please contact your Electorate Manager from contact details here: Contact your electorate manager | Vote NZ or by calling the Commission's contact centre on 0800 36 76 56.
Can I upload my voting papers from inside New Zealand?
No. You must be overseas to upload your voting papers.
Where are the overseas voting places?
Locations and opening hours of all the overseas voting places are listed on vote.nz.