School board elections funding

We provide funding to schools to run triennial, mid-term and by-elections for board members. The funding formula determines how much funding each school is entitled to. Funding for triennial and mid-term elections is paid in the Operational Grant instalment. Schools need to claim by-election funding from us directly.

Funding formula for all elections

Our funding is based on a formula which calculates:

  • a base amount, plus
  • a per-student amount multiplied by the current or latest funding roll.
Rates 2023 (GST excl.) 2024 (GST excl.) 
Base funding $669.57 $693.01
Per-pupil funding (All schools except Intermediate) $7.67 $7.94
Per-pupil funding (Intermediate) $11.47 $11.87

Returning officers fees

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

Before the election begins the school board 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 to the fee in advance.

Returning officer’s fee formula

School boards have the discretion to set the fee formula for their returning officers. We have a suggested formula which the school can choose to use. 

The formula is:

50% of the election grant base amount plus 25% of the per pupil amount.

Triennial elections payments

The triennial elections have been moved to September 2022 and included provisions for electronic voting. 

We pay schools directly through their Operations Grant instalment. Schools should expect to receive 70% of the funding available on 1 July 2022. The remaining 30% of the funding will be paid in 2023.

*Note the 30% payment is only made if the school holds a voting election. The returning officer must submit the Candidate and Election Results Appendix to confirm that a voting election has been held.

Candidate and election results appendix(external link)

Mid-term elections payments

For schools that have opted into the mid-term (staggered) election cycle, we pay the funding through your Operations Grant instalments as follows:

Date Funding
1 October 2023 70% of the funding available
1 April 2024 30% of the funding available*

*Note the 30% payment is only made if the school holds a voting election. The returning officer must submit the Candidate and Election Results Appendix to confirm that a voting election has been held.


Schools can claim a limited reimbursement of actual and reasonable expenses for holding by-elections. Where a staff representative is elected, the board can claim up to $97.10 (GST excl.) only.

Where a parent representative by-election is held, the reimbursement is limited by the formula specified below.

Per pupil funding rate multiplied by most recent funding roll, plus base rate, equals reimbursement

Per pupil funding rate x most recent funding roll + base rate=reimbursement.

Reimbursements for a by-election can only be processed at the end of the election process.

Note: Expenses cannot be claimed for the cost incurred for filling in a co-opted member position and electing a student representative.

Claiming for by-election reimbursement

  • Download and complete the school boards' by-elections reimbursement of expenses claim form. This must be signed by both the returning officer and the board chairperson or secretary.
  • Scan and attach all receipts and evidence of expenditure, including returning officer fees, with the claim form. The Ministry can only refund expenses where evidence is provided. These attachments are necessary whether a vote was held. Invoices are not acceptable as evidence of expenditure.
  • Submit your application and required documentation to:

School board by-elections reimbursement of expenses claim form [DOCX, 78 KB]

Other election payments

Aside from by-elections, funding may be available to schools that have held other type of elections.

For example:

  • first elections of boards that combine or split
  • first elections following a commissioner or
  • first elections following an establishment board.

For more enquiries, email

Support for boards and returning officers during elections

The New Zealand School Trustees Association (NZSTA) provides free advice and support for school boards and returning officers during elections.

Support and advice – NZ School Boards Association(external link)

The following website also provides support to kura affiliated to the Rūnanga.

Te Rūnanga Nui o Ngā Kura Kaupapa Māori o Aotearoa(external link)

Information for parents and boards is available as follows:

Your school board – Parents and whānau(external link)

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