Three schools will be governed by commissioners after they failed to field enough candidates in board of trustees elections.
Voting closes on Friday in the eighth elections since school boards of trustees were introduced in 1989.
More than 15,000 trustees will be elected to the boards of about 2,600 state and integrated schools.
Maungatautari School near Cambridge, Waimangaroa School in the Buller District and Te Tii School near Kerikeri did not have the minimum of three candidates for their boards, the Education Ministry says.
A ministry group manager, Karl Le Quesne, says five schools were in that position after the 2007 elections.
School Trustees Association president Lorraine Kerr says the role of trustees has evolved from writing policies to focusing on student achievement.