Electoral rolls

In the absence of a comprehensive national census, returns of the 19th century – electoral rolls - take on an important significance in New Zealand research. They list the name and residence of voters on an annual basis.

The first parliament was called in 1854 and the first electoral rolls were compiled in the year prior to that. Initially, men over 21 were entitled to vote if they conformed to certain property requirements, but by 1879 the vote had been extended to all adult men except prisoners and aliens (non-British citizens) who had been resident in the country for more than a year. In 1893, New Zealand became the first country in the world to allow women the right to vote.

From 1925, Pakeha were legally required to register for the vote and this was extended to all adult Maoris in 1956. Consequently, the current electoral roll covers a very large proportion of the adult New Zealand population.

Older electoral rolls are available on microfiche at libraries in New Zealand and elsewhere and may be obtainable on microfilm through your local LDS research centres. The current electoral roll is not available online, but a researcher in New Zealand will be able to consult this for you.

Church records
previous Step
Passenger lists
next Step
We use cookies to improve your experience of our website. Cookies perform functions like recognising you each time you visit and delivering advertising messages that are relevant to you. Read more here