2019 promotional material is coming soon

What does a board of trustees do?

This three minute clip is for prospective trustees and briefly outlines what trusteeship is all about


Community member guide to the role of the board of trustees

This NZSTA resource provides information and advice for parents and caregivers on what they can expect from the board of trustees.

Go to NZSTA's Information for parents.


NZSTA, in partnership with the Ministry of Education, supports boards and returning officers through the election process. 

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

Every three years state and state integrated school communities elect their parent and staff trustees to help govern their schools. Right now boards around the country are preparing to hold their 2019 triennial school board of trustee elections.

Some boards opt into the staggered (mid-term) election cycle. This means that these schools hold triennial elections for some of their parent trustees and mid-term elections for the remaining parent trustees. The mid-terms are held 18 months after the triennial elections. The next mid-terms are due to be held on 7 December 2020.

Find out more information about the staggered (mid-term) election cycle, here.

To find out important dates to help the board with its election planning, use our Election Planner Tool to calculate the required deadlines and timeframes.

2019 Triennial Board of Trustees Elections

The period from 17 May 2019 until 21 June 2019 has been gazetted by the Minister as the range of dates for the Board of Trustees Triennial Elections for 2019. Read the Gazette notice, here.

The suggested common election date is Friday 7 June 2019 and below are the key events when using this date:

 2019 Election Timeline Using 7 June 2019

You can use the Election Planner Tool to calculate the key dates for the 2019 elections.

We will be sending board chairs, principals and returning officers updates on getting ready for the elections, see the Trustee Election Memos.

Appoint a returning officer

Most boards appoint the same returning officer to run both the parent and staff elections. Most boards also find it convenient to set the same election date for both elections. These decisions are usually made by the board at the same time and recorded in the board minutes. Find out more about appointing a returning officer, here.

The board needs to give its returning officer a written letter of appointment.

Note: If your returning officer is already a member of staff, they still should receive a letter of appointment, unless the role of returning officer is already included in their job description. Contact Advisory and Support Centre on 0800 353 284 for more information and advice about this.

Number of parent representative positions to be filled

It is important the returning officer is advised of the correct number of parent representative positions to be filled. If unsure, you can find out more here.

After the election

Complete Appendix 1

The returning officer needs to complete Appendix 1 - Candidates and Election Results as soon as possible after an election. 

Note: You must be logged in as a returning officer to access this form, and it is accessed under the Returning Officers menu.

Complete Appendix 2

The returning officer can also ensure that Appendix 2 - Change in Membership of Board of Trustees is completed by all newly elected trustees.

Note: It is the board's responsibility to ensure this online form is completed by every new trustee that takes office following any parent, staff or student election; any parent, staff or student by-election, any selection to a casual vacancy of a parent trustee, any co-option, and when there is a change in principal or chair. The form does not have to be completed by re-elected trustees, unless their status has changed e.g. a trustee becomes Chair, or a Chair reverts to being a trustee.

Returning officers

Returning officers need to register to gain access to certain information on the returning officers’ web pages and to update school election information.

For information and advice please call 0800 ELECTIONS (0800 353 284) or email electionsadvice@nzsta.org.nz.

NZSTA Election Advice

Email electionsadvice@nzsta.org.nz or call 0800 ELECTIONS (0800 353 284).

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