First Municipal Election

New Zealand's first municipal election was held in Wellington on 3 October 1842. The Archives holds the electoral roll used for these elections.

Photo of Burgess Roll

1842 Burgess Roll Ref: Wellington City Archives 00338:0:1

New Zealand's first municipal election was held in Wellington on 3 October 1842. Wellington City Archives holds the electoral roll used for these elections.

Known as the burgess roll, this list of candidates and voters contains many well-known Wellington family names.

The citizens of the new town were keen to manage their local affairs, independently of the British government. Of the eligible burgesses (adult male citizens), 25 percent stood for the council, and 93 percent voted.

Unfortunately, the new Borough Council only lasted 16 months. It was 1863 before local representation was established again.