20-29 September 2020 mayoral elections

Category: Circular to CouncilsStatus: Active
Circular Details: 20-29 / 4 August 2020 / A713425Contact: Council Governance Team/ 02 4428 4100/
Previous Circular:
20-25 The date of the next ordinary local government elections
is 4 September 2021

20-28 Rules on attendance at council and committee meetings
during the COVID-19 pandemic as of 1 July 2020
Attachments: Nil
Who should read this: Councillors / General Managers / Governance staffAction required: Council to Implement
PDF Version:Council Circular 20-29 – PDF

What’s new or changing

  • Councils that elected mayors in September 2018 must have mayoral elections in September 2020 when the 2-year term of the current mayor expires. The mayor elected in September 2020 will hold their office until ordinary elections are held on 4 September 2021.
  • Councils must also hold an election for deputy mayor if the deputy mayor’s term has expired and county councils must elect a chairperson.

What this will mean for your council

  • Schedule 7 of the Local Government (General) Regulation 2005 prescribes three methods of election of mayors:
    • open ballot (eg a show of hands)
    • ordinary ballot, or
    • preferential ballot.
  • Open ballots can be undertaken remotely where a council is conducting its meetings by audio visual link.
  • Ordinary and preferential ballots are secret ballots and councillors will need to attend the meeting in person if the election is to be by way of an ordinary or preferential ballot.

Key points

  • In deciding which method to use for the mayoral election, councils should consider the personal circumstances of their councillors to ensure that all councillors can participate in the mayoral election.
  • Councillors may attend council meetings in person under the Public Health (COVID-19 Restrictions on Gathering and Movement) Order (No 4) 2020 for the purposes of participating in a mayoral election and staff may attend for the purposes of conducting the election.
  • Councils should observe appropriate social distancing when conducting mayoral elections and take any other steps necessary to minimise the risk of infection by the COVID-19 virus and to ensure the health and safety of all attendees.

Where to go for further information

Tim Hurst
Deputy Secretary
Local Government, Planning and Policy