Board of trustee elections funding

We provide funding to schools for running school trustee triennial, mid-term and by-elections. A formula determines how much funding each school is entitled to. Funding for triennial and mid-term elections is paid in the operational grant instalment. For by-election funding, schools need to claim from us directly.

Funding formula for all elections

Our funding is based on a formula which calculates:

  • a base grant, plus
  • a per-student amount multiplied by the current or latest funding roll
RatesFunding (GST excl)Funding (GST incl)
Base Rate $620.12 $713.14
Per-Student Rate $7.09 $8.16
Per-Student Rate (Intermediate Schools only) $10.62 $12.22

Returning officers fees

This fee is paid by the board to the returning officer from the funding available.

Before the election begins the board of trustees and returning officer must agree on the fee that the returning officer will receive. The board and any clerical staff involved in the election process must also agree fees in advance.

Returning officer’s fee formula

There is a generally accepted formula to calculate the returning officer’s fee, but boards of trustees don’t have to use it. The formula is:

  • 50% of the election grant base amount, plus 
  • 25% of the per pupil amount.

Triennial Elections payments

We pay schools directly through their Operations Grant instalments as follows:

1 April 2019 70% of the funding available
1 October 2019 30% of the funding available*

*Please note the 30% payment is only made if the school holds a voting election. The returning officer must submit the Candidate and Election Results Appendix (external link) to the Ministry as evidence of an election and to confirm whether a voting election has been held.

Mid-Term Elections payments

We pay schools that have opted into the mid-term (staggered) election cycle through their Operations Grant instalments. The payment timeframes for mid-term elections will be confirmed in 2020.


Schools can claim a limited refund of actual and reasonable expenses for holding by-elections. Where a staff representative is elected, the Board can claim up to $96. Where a parent by-election is held, the reimbursement is limited by the funding formula.

Contact us at resourcing if you have a question about reasonable expenditure:

You cannot claim expenses for filling co-opted member positions or for the election of student representatives.

We pay reimbursements for a by-election at the end of the election process, not in advance.

Claiming for by-election reimbursement

  1. Download and complete the boards of trustees by-elections reimbursement of expenses claim form [DOCX, 63 KB]. Have the form signed by both the board chairperson or secretary and the returning officer.
  2. Attach all receipts and evidence of expenditure, including returning officer fees, to the claim form. The Ministry can only refund expenses where evidence is provided. These attachments are necessary whether or not a vote was held. Invoices are not acceptable as evidence of expenditure.
  3. Send the completed application and supporting information to the Ministry. Either scan and send it to or post it to:

    Resourcing Division
    Ministry of Education
    PO Box 1666
    Wellington 6140

Support for boards and returning officers during elections

The New Zealand School Trustees Association (NZSTA) (external link) provides free advice and support for boards of trustees and returning officers during elections.

Go to the School Trustee Elections website (external link) for information about the election process.

Te Rūnanga Nui o Nga Kura Kaupapa Māori o Aotearoa (external link) also provides support to kura affiliated to the Runanga.

Further information for parents (external link) and boards about boards of trustees and the membership of boards is also available.

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