Know before you vote

In this year's General Election, you will be asked to make a choice on 2 different referendums.

Before you cast your vote, it's important that you have all the information you need to make your choice.

The factual, impartial information on this Government website has been designed to help you understand what is being proposed for each referendum, so you can feel confident that you know what you're voting on.


What are the 2 referendum topics?

At the same time you vote in the General Election, you can vote in 2 referendums.

Cannabis legalisation and control referendum


This referendum will give the public the opportunity to vote on whether the recreational use of cannabis should become legal, based on the proposed Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill.

End of Life Choice referendum


This referendum will ask the public to vote on whether the End of Life Choice Act 2019 should come into force, giving people with a terminal illness the option of requesting assisted dying.


Official information from the New Zealand Government

This is the official Government website for referendum information.

The language and terminology used on this website is based as closely as possible on the wording used in the proposed Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill and the End of Life Choice Act.

This website has been designed to help voters understand what's being proposed and how the outcomes of the referendums could change New Zealand's laws.

It's important that all New Zealanders are able to make an informed choice on how they will vote. Referendum information is available in a range of languages and accessible formats, including te reo Māori and New Zealand Sign Language.

Voters can also read the Bill and the Act in full.

Read the proposed Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill in full

Read the End of Life Choice Act in full


How to vote in the referendums

The referendums are being held alongside the General Election on Saturday 19 September. You will be given a voting paper for the election and a voting paper for the referendums.

If you're in New Zealand, you'll be able to vote when advance voting starts on Saturday 5 September. If you'll be overseas at the time, you can vote from overseas from Wednesday 2 September.

You need to be enrolled to vote in the election and referendums.

Enrol now


When will the results be announced?

Referendum votes will not be counted on election night. Preliminary referendum results will be released by the Electoral Commission on Friday 2 October. The official results will be released on Friday 9 October.

electionresults.govt.nz