New Zealand Labour Party

10 Key Facts about Labour's Leadership Election

Plans are proceeding for the Leadership Election, and at this stage I thought it might be useful to have a heads-up on some of the key aspects from the perspective of members:

  1. Nominations have closed (at 5pm on Tuesday 14th October). We have four excellent nominees - Andrew Little, Nanaia Mahuta, David Parker and Grant Robertson. Voting papers will be emailed/posted out from Monday 20th October, votes will need to be returned by midday on Tuesday 18th November and results will be announced at 2pm that day.

  2. I have been appointed by NZCouncil as Returning Officer for the election. I am available on

  3. Our website contains basic information on how the election works. You can find details by clicking here. The Leadership Election Rules and the Code of Conduct have undergone some modest and detailed amendment and can be found here.

  4. Since we have four candidates, the preferential system of voting will be used. That means that voters will need to put 1 by their favourite candidate, 2 by their next favourite candidate, 3 by the next favourite and 4 by their least favourite candidate. Every candidate will have a number by their name, and each voter will use each of “1”, “2”, “3” and “4” only once. The votes are then counted - remember that the votes of MPs, Party members and affiliate delegates have different weighting - if no-one gets over 50% support the person with the lowest level of support will be removed from the count, and the people who put them at number 1 will have their support transferred to the people they put at number 2. That is repeated until someone gets more than 50%. 

  5. While the deadline for new members to vote has passed, unfinancial members (those who have not renewed their membership in the last three years) can still renew their membership (and be eligible to vote) before 11.59pm on Tuesday 11 November. It will be possible to renew memberships at husting meetings.

  6. Due to the large volume of new memberships, we are still processing those submitted before the cut-off deadline. This will be completed as quickly as possible. New members are still able to join the Labour Party in order to attend husting meetings, however they will not have a vote.

  7. We will be sending votes out electronically to members who have email addresses recorded with us. This is a change from the 2013 election. If the same email address is listed for more than two members, we will be posting out votes to each of them separately. If two members only share the same email address, two emails will be sent.

  8. All individuals in a family membership will receive a special vote. 

  9. We will be holding 14 actual and 1 online husting meetings starting in Wellington on Wednesday 22 October. Candidates will speak, and answer questions. Details of the meetings will be sent with postal ballots and can be found here. The meetings are open to Party members and members of our union affiliates who are not members of another political party.

  10. Candidates will not be given a copy of the fully detailed Party membership list, but may have access to a limited version including phone numbers only. Information from candidates will be emailed or posted at their request to members via Head Office.