Knowledge is fueled by this election

The latest tool to help voters find out about their candidates for the Rotorua Council of Lakes Elections 2022 is now available for download.

The Rotorua Lakes Board has partnered with the Rotorua Chamber of Commerce and local app developers Salt + Tonic to launch [s]elect
– a brand new app for the upcoming local elections.

[s]elect aims to promote engagement between voters and election candidates. The app offers Rotorua residents the ability to explore, search and ask questions directly to candidates, providing more seamless feedback than waiting for a local forum or meet and greet. Candidates can answer questions directly and anyone in the community can see their answers. Searchable by candidate or topic, it offers a step change in how voters can learn more about their potential future representatives.

The Rotorua Lakes Council is the first council to adopt the platform.

The council’s DCE District Leadership and Democracy, Oonagh Hopkins, says, “Historically, local election turnout has been below 50%, so improving that is a key objective for us this election.

“We know that a lack of knowledge about candidates, what they stand for and their policies is a big factor in why people don’t vote. We also know that young people represent a large proportion of non-voters.

“Apps are familiar territory, and the
[s]elect allows you to learn more about the candidates and ask them questions that will help inform voting decisions.

“It’s also a great tool for candidates, giving them another platform to let people know what they stand for and to engage directly with voters.

“We hope this new way of engaging with candidates will help change the dial and increase voter turnout in this year’s election.”

How it works

Each candidate will have their official election profile information and photo uploaded to [s]elect. Applicants also have the option to add more information about themselves in the application. Mayoral candidates will have additional sections they can fill out – political experience, business experience and experience on a board of directors.

When a voter logs on to [s]electthey can see mayoral candidates and council candidates grouped by the ward or community council in which they are running.

[s]elect is an interactive tool, allowing voters to ask questions to candidates, addressed either to all candidates, or to a single candidate. Questions go through a moderator to ensure they are relevant and not offensive. Approved questions are then sent to candidates for them to answer. The questions and answers will be published on the profile of the candidate(s). App users can search for questions by candidate or topic.

The app has been designed to maintain objectivity, safety and security, with users only needing to create an account if they wish to ask a question and all questions to candidates being moderated for hate speech, abuse and security.

Frequently asked questions about (select are available on the Council’s website HERE.

Where to get the app

[s]elect is available for download on the App Store, Google Play and for download from the web. To research (select in App Store or Google Play and it will appear – type in brackets (brackets) to find it.

More information on the 2022 local elections can be found on the Council’s website at www.rotorualakescouncil.nz/elections, including the Council’s pre-election report which outlines the main issues facing the city, the situation Financial Council, information on major projects and aims to promote public debate and informed debate in the run-up to the 2022 local elections.

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