New Zealand Voting Registers
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New Zealand maintains lists of individuals eligible to vote in elections. These are called electoral rolls. Under the Constitutional Act of 1852 most adult male inhabitants of New Zealand were given the right to vote. Women were given the franchise in 1893. Other groups were given voting rights as time went on. For details about factors which affected entitlement to vote see:
- New Zealand Genealogist. May/June 1994. (Family History Library book 993.1 B2na, pp. 166-170.)
From 1853, for every year that a general election was held, rolls of qualified electors were made. Prior to 1893 only names of property owners aged 21 years and over were listed in the rolls. Electoral rolls (voting registers) give names, addresses and occupations of Europeans, and Maori (lists of their names were not prepared until 1949).
Juror’s lists are often found mixed in with voting registers. The Family History Library has juror lists (1852-1861) which were published in:
- "Auckland Electoral Rolls, 1854-1858." Government Gazette. Salt Lake City, Utah: Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1961. (Family History Lobraru films 287522-287526.) This is a copy of a manuscript at Alexander Turnbull Library in Wellington, New Zealand.
The majority of extant voting registers (electoral rolls) cover the years 1865-1957. Some are at local libraries in New Zealand. There is a complete series at the Parliamentary Library, Wellington, New Zealand. There are some on microfilm or microfiche in the Family History Library. They are found in the FamilySearch Catalog under:
NEW ZEALAND - VOTING REGISTERS.
NEW ZEALAND, [TOWN] - VOTING REGISTERS
If your ancestors lived in Otago Southland there are voting registers on line, up to 1876 called the Otago Nominal Index (ONI)
otago-nominal-index.otago.ac.nz A User Guide is included on the Site.
New Zealand Electoral Rolls 1853-1981 are available on Ancestry.com. Most libraries around the world have access to that website which is also available at the Family History Centres world wide. To find a centre, go here.