Voter turnout

Why is this important?

Voter turnout is an indicator of community engagement and political participation. It can reflect how much people feel engaged in their community.  

Key points

  • In 2016, over 60% of people eligible to vote in the three council areas did so - 64% in Christchurch, 63% in Selwyn, and 68% in Waimakariri.
  • This turnout was a slight decrease from the 2013 elections for all areas, 7% less in Christchurch and 3% less in both Selwyn and Waimakariri.


Note this is an interactive chart and you can click on the legend items to change what is shown on the graph.


The Canterbury earthquakes appear to have had a big impact on local government elections voter turnout. Christchurch experienced a jump in 2010, while all three councils appear to have peaked in voter turnout in 2013. Turnout dropped back slightly in 2016 but was still markedly higher than pre-earthquake voting levels.

NOTE: Christchurch City amalgamated with Banks Peninsula in 2006, so 2007 data onwards includes this change. For the 2016 elections, Christchurch also changed its councillor numbers from 14 over 7 wards to 16 (with a councillor for each).

Data notes

Elections take place every three years (most recent one 2016).

Some Wards in CCC did not have a voting percentage as only one councillor stood (so was elected unopposed). For those wards, voting percentage was calculated based on their votes for their community boards instead.

Data information and downloads

Data Source

Department of Internal Affairs, Local Authority Election Statistics(external link)

Data Access

Freely available

Date updated

After every local government election (last one was 2016), next election October 2019


Data downloads available

Geographic  Area

Christchurch City Council, Waimakariri District Council, Selwyn District Council

Other download variables

By Ward for 2016

Data Download

Download the tables here [XLS, 23 KB]

Links to other information and reports