School board elections and NZSTA


NZSTA works in partnership with the Ministry of Education to support the school board election process and promote community engagement and participation.

Trustee elections website - NZSTA offers three dedicated suites of information and resources:

Topics covered include:

    1.  Becoming a board member:

    2.  Returning officers

    3.  Board resources

Types of school board elections

School board elections involve the largest number of candidates and voters of any democratic process in New Zealand. 

The board follows the same processes for the following types of elections. You can find out more here.

Triennial Elections: Every three years, state and state-integrated school communities elect their parent and staff representatives to help govern their schools. The next triennial school board member elections are due to be held in 2022.

Staggered (mid-term) Elections: Some boards opt into the staggered (mid-term) election cycle. This means that these schools hold triennial elections for some of their parent representatives and mid-term elections for the remaining parent representatives. The mid-terms are held 18 months after the triennial elections. You can find out more here.

Student Representative Elections: Boards of state and state-integrated schools with students above Year 9 must hold a student representative election in September each year. You can find out more here.   

By-elections: Sometimes during a board’s three-year term of office, a board member either resigns or can no longer be on the board for another reason. This is when a “casual vacancy” occurs:

  • the board must hold a by-election to fill a casual vacancy for a staff or student representative position
  • the board has two options to fill a casual vacancy for a parent representative, one of which is a by-election. You can find out more here.
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