My role

Important notice

This updated information applies to all elections where the election process started on or after 1 September 2020.

What happens if I become sick or injured?

If you can’t continue your work as a returning officer, advise the board chair as soon as possible, or have somebody do it for you.

The board will have to appoint a replacement.

I’ve just been appointed returning officer by the board to run the upcoming parent and staff representative elections. What do I get paid?

The Ministry of Education provides funding for boards of trustees to hold their triennial and mid-term elections. The triennial elections include a parent election and a staff election. The funding from the Ministry includes both of these elections. Out of this comes the returning officer’s fee. The actual amount is for your school’s board to decide. (NZSTA recommends the fee is calculated on the basis of 50% of the school’s base election funding for 2019, plus 25% of the per-student amount– see page 6 of the Returning Officers’ Handbook).

Make sure you receive a letter of appointment from the board, with an agreed fee. Visit here to register as a returning officer. You can view examples here of how to calculate your school’s election funding and the recommended fee for returning officers.

If running both the parent and a staff representative election, does the returning officer get paid more?

That is up to the board, but the recommended amount for payment is in the Returning Officers' Handbook page 1 and covers running the elections for both parent and staff representatives.

How do I know how many positions need to be filled?

You need to ask the board chair how many positions there are to be filled. If the presiding member is unsure they could contact the Election Advice Line on 0800 353 284 or ASC Governance 0800 782 435 (Option1).

Note: If current board members wish to remain on the board, they will need to re-stand.  

I’ve just been asked to put up the election posters and hand out the brochures. I’m busy enough already doing the returning officer work! 

Returning officers are responsible for running the elections (see page 2 of your handbook for your responsibilities). You are not supposed to promote the elections. That is the board’s responsibility. 

The board is opting into the staggered election cycle for the first time, how does this affect my role as returning officer?

You will be running an election for positions for 3 years and positions for 18 months. If you have 5 positions available, 3 will be for the 3-year term and 2 will be for the 18-month term. You will be using special nomination and voting forms for this process.

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