Important Information for Returning Officers

Prior to commencing duties

Congratulations on your appointment as a returning officer for running elections for school boards of trustees for 2016 to 2019.

The NZSTA Election Advice Line 0800 ELECTION (0800 353 284) is available to assist and support you in your returning officer role.

First you must register in order to obtain your log-on details. Please go to the Trustee election website: and follow the instructions to register as a returning officer.

There are many resources and key information online. During triennial elections you will also be provided with email memos to assist you throughout the election process. The procedures in this handbook apply when conducting all elections. These include:

You do not have the authority to alter the election timetable in any way. You also do not have the authority to alter the wording of nomination and voting forms. These forms are available from for you to complete and download for photocopying.

When each election is completed RETURN THIS HANDBOOK to the school office for safekeeping.

If you have been appointed as the returning officer for elections for a combined board of trustees or a board with an alternative constitution, contact the NZSTA election advice line 0800 ELECTION (0800 353 284), which operates around triennial elections and staggered (mid-term) elections, OR the NZSTA Advisory and Support Centre (0800 782 435) at all other times, BEFORE you start your role, to obtain specific advice on running the elections. 

All questions regarding the running of a triennial or staggered (mid-term) election should be directed to the NZSTA election advice line 0800 ELECTION (0800 353 284). For any other election call the NZSTA Advisory and Support Centre (0800 782 435). You can also email questions about triennial, staggered (mid-term) or by-elections at any time to:,  or make  contact  via

How to use this handbook

  • First, thoroughly read the regulations on pages 26-32 of the handbook. Then read the rest of the handbook.

  • Follow the sequence of steps in the handbook. These are the steps that must be taken to ensure a valid election. On the blue pages in the handbook you will see this symbol β. This indicates that actions are required to be taken. These actions are time sensitive and must be achieved by the dates indicated.

  • The handbook also contains a Countdown Diary and Step Summary. These can be found on the inside front and back covers. There is a photocopier-friendly master sheet in the centre of the handbook that can be removed. Please photocopy and use this as your working document.

  • Forms 1-11 are available for download from After the election, complete “Candidates and Elections Results – Appendix 1”. NOTE: This replaces Appendices A-E and must be completed online within one week of declaring the results of the election. You must be registered as a returning officer and logged on to the website to access these forms. (See page 20 for more details).

  • After the election, complete “Change in Membership of Board of Trustees – Appendix 2.” NOTE: Appendix 2 was previously called Appendix F. It must be completed online preferably within one week of declaring election result/s, or other change in membership. (See page 20 for more details).



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