INDEPENDENT NEWS

By- Election Exemption Sought

Published: Thu 18 Dec 2008 12:38 PM
December 19, 2008
MEDIA RELEASE (For Immediate Release)
By- Election Exemption Sought
Waitakere City Council is seeking government intervention to avoid a potentially expensive by-election.
Under the Local Electoral Act (2001) the Council must hold a by-election to replace Community Board Member Michael Neeson, who represents the Massey Ward. He has resigned and is moving to Australia on business.
However last night the Council decided to ask the Minister’s of Local Government and Internal Affairs to consider a change to the law. “We have a Royal Commission of Inquiry into local government in the (Auckland) region due to report in March next year,” says Waitakere Mayor Bob Harvey.
“It would seem foolish, and a terrible waste of ratepayer money, to hold a by-election when the Commission’s findings could drastically change the political landscape.”
“We hope that the government can make an amendment to the legislation urgently.”
It is estimated that a postal ballot could cost up to $90,000.
Meanwhile, in the event of the by-election going ahead, returning officer Darryl Griffin is having to put preliminary plans in place. Therefore nominations for candidates, will open on December 23, and close at noon on January 20.
“It is not ideal having to do this over the Christmas break, but those are the statutory time-frames we have to work within,” Mr Griffin says.
He also reminds those who live in the Massey ward, which includes West Harbour and Hobsonville, to ensure they are on the electoral roll.
People can contact the Electoral Enrolment Centre on 0800 36 76 36) to check or change details. Or go to electoraloffice@waitakere.govt.nz
ends

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