Board Elections

State and state integrated schools elect their parent and staff representatives to their Board of Trustees every three years, called triennial elections. They can also choose to have a staggered election cycle – which means mid-term elections are held 18 months after the triennial elections to elect the remaining parent trustees.

Board elections
Board elections funding
Funding formula for elections
Returning officers fees
Returning officers fee formulas
Triennial elections payments
Mid-Term elections payments
By-elections payments
Claiming for by-election reimbursement
Support for Boards and returning officers during elections

What Boards do

The core role of a Board of Trustees is to govern their school. This includes planning and reporting, and employing staff who manage and run the school. Schools help students achieve and succeed to the best of their ability, and Boards have specific responsibilities under the Education Act 1989 to help them do this.

Board elections

Every three years, state and state integrated schools elect their parent and staff trustees to govern their schools. NZSTA, in partnership with us, support Boards and returning officers through the election process.

Board elections funding

We provide funding to schools for running school trustee triennial, mid-term and by-elections.

A formula determines how much funding each school is entitled to. Funding for triennial and mid-term elections is paid in the operational grant instalment. For by-election funding, schools need to claim from us directly.

Funding formula for elections

Our funding is based on a formula which calculates:
• a base grant, plus
• a per-student amount multiplied by the current or latest funding roll

RATES  FUNDING (GST EXCL)  FUNDING (GST INCL) 
 Base rate  $583.37  $670.88
 Per-student rate  $6.67  $7.67
 Per-student rate*  $10.00  $11.50

*(intermediate schools only)

Returning officers fees

This fee is paid by the Board to the returning officer from the funding available.

Before the election begins the Board of Trustees and returning officer must agree on the fee that the returning officer will receive. The Board and any clerical staff involved in the election process must also agree fees in advance.

Returning officers fee formula

There is a generally accepted formula to calculate the returning officer’s fee, but Boards of Trustees don’t have to use it. The formula is:
• 50 per cent of the election grant base amount, plus
• 25 per cent of the per pupil amount.

Triennial elections payments

We pay schools directly through their Operations Grant instalments as follows:

DATE - FUNDING

1 April - 70% of the funding available
1 October - 30% of the funding available*

*The 30% payment is only made if the school holds a voting election. The returning officer must submit the Candidate and Election Results Appendix (external link) to the Ministry as evidence of an election and to confirm whether a voting election has been held.

Mid-term elections payments

We pay schools that have opted into the mid-term (staggered) election cycle through their Operations Grant instalments as follows:

DATE - FUNDING

1 October - 70% of the funding available
1 January - 30% of the funding available*

*The 30% payment is only made if the school holds a voting election. The returning officer must submit the Candidate and Election Results Appendix (external link) to the Ministry as evidence of an election and to confirm whether a voting election has been held.

By-elections payments

Schools can claim a limited refund of actual and reasonable expenses for holding by-elections.

  • Where a staff representative is elected, the Board can claim up to $96.
  • Where a parent by-election is held, the reimbursement is limited by the funding formula.

You cannot claim expenses for filling co-opted member positions or for the election of student representatives. We pay reimbursements for a by-election at the end of the election process, not in advance.

Claiming for by-election reimbursement

  1. Download and complete the Boards of Trustees by-elections reimbursement of expenses claim form [DOCX, 63 KB] [DOCX, 64 KB].
  2. Have the form signed by both the Board Chairperson or secretary and the returning officer.
  3. Attach all receipts and evidence of expenditure, including returning officer fees, to the claim form. The Ministry can only refund expenses where evidence is provided. These attachments are necessary whether or not a vote was held. Invoices are not acceptable as evidence of expenditure.
  4. Send the completed application and supporting information to the Ministry. Either scan and send it to resourcing@education.govt.nz or post it to Resourcing Division, Ministry of Education, PO Box 1666, Wellington 6140.

Resources

Support is available for Boards and returning officers during elections.

NZSTA (external link) provides free advice and support for Boards of Trustees and returning officers during elections.
For more on becoming a trustee and Board elections, visit NZSTA’s School Trustee Elections site (external link)
Te Rūnanga Nui o Nga Kura Kaupapa Māori o Aotearoa provides support to kura affiliated to the Runanga.

Support for Boards of Trustees

Supporting Boards of Trustees in their school governance and management role helps them to help their students to learn and achieve.

The New Zealand School Trustees Association (NZSTA)

NZSTA is contracted by us to support Boards of Trustees in the undertaking of their roles and responsibilities. NZSTA provides practical support, advice, resources and professional development opportunities to help Boards govern and manage their schools.

For more on the support available for Boards of Trustees, visit NZSTA (external link)
For more on becoming a trustee and Board elections, visit NZSTA’s School Trustee Elections (external link)  site

NZSTA and ERO have produced useful guidance for Boards:

Download NZSTA’s  Making a difference - Trustee booklet (public) and Trusteeship – A guide for school Trustees (NZSTA members only) (external link)   
Download ERO’s School Trustees Booklet – Helping you ask the right questions (external link)

Tools for Schools

You’ll also find our resources for Boards of Trustees at Tools for schools – templates, guidance and forms to help schools with their day-to-day running of school network processes and procedures.

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