Getting your campaign ready for Aotearoa's 2023 General Election. A rough guide.

Aotearoa New Zealand's General Election is coming up in just over three months. If you’re looking to influence voters and get them to think about your issue when deciding how to vote, then the next few months are a big deal. If you are looking to influence party policy, then you are up against it, most parties have formulated and/or released their major policies, however, its a time of heightened political awareness, anything is possible, and winning positive comments or commitment to pick up an issue post-election is entirely achievable. Either way, this is the last call for 2023 so we’ve pulled together a rough guide on what needs to get done, and when, in order to get your proverbial ducks in a row and plan an impactful campaign. 

This guide comes out of our experience partnering with advocacy groups and political parties to build award-winning campaigns since way back. If it’s useful, take this offering and adapt it to suit your context, you know your campaign issue and communities best.

Now. Get clear on your campaigns strategy

If you haven’t already, pull your core people together now to start shaping up your campaign strategy. It’s important to align on the bigger picture stuff before you pick your tools and tactics. Together get clear on exactly the problem you’re trying to solve, right now, with this campaign. Lay out who your target decision makers and target voters are, as well as your allies and resources you can draw upon over the next few months.  

14 July. Regulated period begins

There are rules and you need to know them! Check out to understand promoter statements, spending rules, and registration requirements. 

26 July. Have your digit tools ready 

By about the 26 July you should have your campaigning tools ready. This looks like having your comms plan and website up. If your campaign has a dedicated visual identity, it needs to be developed before you build your website and social media pages. 

Your comms plan should map how you’ll regularly keep in touch with your community, through email, social media, your website, up until the Election. Make sure you have key messages your people can take and amplify. 

If you’re building or tooling up your website, think about what features and functionality you might need in order to engage and activate people. For example, this could be scorecards or ways to capture and share community-generated photos and stories. 

2 - 16 August. Promote your events

In the lead up to your campaign launch, your team will probably be doing a bunch of event planning, coordination, and bringing volunteers on board. Now is the time to start building momentum online through your email database, website and socials. Around now, start raising awareness around your campaign issue and get the word out about your upcoming events. 

This is when you start your ad spend if you are mobilising volunteers or promoting events. 

16 - 30 August. Campaign Launch activities. 

At the latest get your campaign launched by six weeks out from the election. This is the time to invest the most energy and resources in order to create excitement around your issue, inform and engage the wider public and pull in volunteers and supporters. 

30 Aug - 27 Sept. Keep up the momentum. 

On-the-ground activity and events.

8 Sept. Dissolution of Parliament

If you’re looking to run activities on or around Parliament grounds, do them before this date. Once Parliament dissolves, MPs are out in neighbourhoods and in the community, so check what public meeting they are holding and get in front of them and their constituents.

27 Sept. Overseas voting starts

Are you targeting them?

2-16 Oct Advance voting period

In the last election, 67% of people voted in advance and this number is expected to rise again this year. This is importantand when allocating resources, energy, and budgets. 

14 Oct Election Day

There are rules to observe here, no electioneering (that means social media too), and any signs needed to be down at midnight the night before. Time to relax - get together with friends and colleagues to watch the results come in and thank everyone who has been involved. 

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