Recount Information


What is the official court process for this recount?

Once an application for a judicial recount is received at the district court, the application is then considered by a judge on whether it should be granted or not. If granted, a recount is ordered through a direction from the court, and a time and a place for the recount is set. All candidates (and any previously appointed scrutineers) are advised of the recount and asked if they wish to appoint scrutineers to observe at the recount. The recount is required to be undertaken in the same manner as the original count, unless the judge directs otherwise. Following the recount, if a change in votes eventuates, the judge then directs the electoral officer to issue an amended declaration.​

Conduct of recount

Section 92

1. At the recount, the electoral officer must produce to the District Court Judge all the voting documents used at the election.

2. The recount must be made in the presence of the District Court Judge, or of an officer appointed by him or her for the purpose, and—

a. must, as far as is practicable, be made in the manner provided in the case of the original count unless the District Court Judge orders otherwise; and

b. section 74 of the Local Electoral Act 2001 relating to security and secrecy applies, with any necessary modifications, to the recount.

3. If, on the recount, the District Court Judge finds that the public declaration was incorrect, the Judge must order the electoral officer to give an amended declaration under section 86 of the Local Electoral Act 2001 result of the election.

4. The District Court Judge may make any order as to the costs of, and incidental to, the recount that the Judge considers just and, subject to any order, must direct the deposit made under section 90 of the Local Electoral Act 2001 to be returned to the person who made it.​

How much does it cost?

Between $30,000 and $35,000​

Who covers this cost?​


How is the recount done?

Same basis as the original count. Likely to be conducted at the Election Services processing centre in Auckland.

Hypothetical scenario: If in a recount, Paula is voted Mayor, can Andrew ask for a "counter recount"? Or in short how many recounts could there be?

No, one recount only is permitted by law.

How long will the recount take?

As soon as practicable. The district court will set a date and supervise the recount, with any recount expected to be completed late October/early November.

Are lawyers for either party involved?

No. But candidates can appoint a scrutineer to observe the process.

Who runs the recount?

The district court runs the recount, but the recount has to be done under the same basis as the original count.

Do you count all votes?

All votes for the specific election (eg mayoral) are counted again.

Feasibly, can a candidate proceed with any other court relating to the election after the recount has commenced or concluded?

There is an ability to request a judicial inquiry, which is an inquiry undertaken by the district court into any electoral irregularities.

Will the recount be only for the mayor or will it be the entire election?

Generally it's only for the one issue, however this is the judge's call.

If a recount occurs, will the provisional winner still act as Mayor until after the recount? Or does the CE continue to run council and all other business is suspended until after the recount?

Elected members take office Sunday 16 October. However an elected member cannot act until after they have been officially sworn in, and this is scheduled for Thursday 27 October.

The CE runs all business between Sunday 16 October and Thursday 27 October.​

Is the recount done by machine or people?

Mixture of manual and electronic means but every voting document is viewed by a person.

When would a recount occur?

As soon as practicable. The court will set a date and supervise the recount, with any recount expected to be completed late October/early November.​​

Why do special votes take so long to process?

A special vote may be returned from people for a variety of reasons, and each special vote needs to be checked and validated (or invalidated). Each special vote has a statutory declaration attached, so this must be completed, signed, dated and witnessed (a legal requirement) before returning to the electoral officer.​

Many of the special voting declarations are sent to the Electoral Commission (Monday 10 October for this election) to validate the person has in fact updated the Parliamentary electoral roll. If so, and everything else is in order, the special vote is counted and is included in the declaration of results.

Do council results have to be confirmed before DHB results can be confirmed?

Each election is independent so results of other elections (eg ward or DHB elections) carry on unaffected, with the final results for all elections being declared on Thursday 13 October.​

What happens if it's a tie?

If it’s a tie the Law says you must choose the successful candidate by lot — for example flipping a coin or drawing names from a hat.​

Has there been a close election result before?

Not in the Waikato recently, but there have been several in Auckland, but not for the mayoralty.​

What is the process for a judicial recount?

Should any candidate wish to seek a judicial recount, the law provides a three day period after the public notice (to the end of business on Tuesday 18 October) to lodge an application with the district court.

When do the elected members take office?

A declaration of results will be made on Thursday 13 October. The declaration is then placed in the Waikato Times on Saturday 15 October and elected members take office the day after the public notice (Sunday 16 October). However an elected member cannot act until after they have been officially sworn in, and this is scheduled for Thursday 27 October.

​​​​When will official results be announced?

​​​​​The official results are declared after all special votes have been validated and counted. The declaration of the official results will be released on Thursday afternoon 13 October. Following the declaration, the official results will be;

  • notified to Hamilton City Council
  • notified to candidates
  • notified to the media
  • available on our website
  • published in the Waikato Times on Saturday 15 October.​
Page reviewed: 20 Oct 2016 3:42pm