Yes, if you belong to a political party or other group you may want to identify with them.
If you do have a specific affiliation, the electoral officer may require a letter of consent from the party, organisation or group giving its consent for you to use the affiliation.
An affiliation is described in section 57(3) Local Electoral Act 2001 as “an endorsement by any organisation or group (whether incorporated or unincorporated).”
No affiliation that might cause offence, or is likely to confuse or mislead electors, will be accepted by the electoral officer.
Iwi and hapū endorsement
If candidates wish to list whānau, hapū or iwi details as an affiliation, an endorsement or confirmation letter from a Marae, Whānau Trust, Iwi Authority, or other Māori organisation would be required. It is acknowledged whakapapa is a birth right and situations may occur where candidates may not feel they need to provide proof, in which case whakapapa can be highlighted in the context of the candidate profile statement and other forums and activities.
Candidates who are not part of a political party or group sometimes identify their affiliation as ‘Independent’ or leave as blank (if left blank, nothing will show alongside the name of the candidate on the voting document).
A candidate requiring a specific party affiliation should have authority to adopt the affiliation from the party, organisation or group concerned (i.e. the electoral officer may require a letter of consent from the party, organisation or group giving its consent for the candidate to use the affiliation). This is a safety measure to avoid any illegal adoption of party, group or organisation affiliations.
Situations may arise where the same affiliation is given by two or more candidates, or a candidate provides multiple affiliations. If a candidate provides multiple affiliations, an electoral officer may require multiple endorsement or confirmation letters.
Character length for affiliations
Note that there are length limits to a candidate’s affiliation. The voting document and candidate booklet allows 38 characters before the affiliation truncates.