INDEPENDENT NEWS

Special voting arrangements made for NIWA crew

Published: Fri 19 Sep 2014 11:58 AM
Special voting arrangements made for NIWA crew
One of the most unusual polling stations for this year’s general election is in the middle of the ocean miles from land.
NIWA’s flagship research vessel Tangaroa, has been doubling as a polling booth for crew and scientists at sea.
Tangaroa is undertaking survey work in the South Pacific and left New Zealand in mid-August, well before advance voting opened.
That meant special arrangements had to be made for the 23 eligible voters aboard to cast a vote – a feat achieved with help from the New Zealand Electoral Commission.
Before Tangaroa left port Captain Roger Goodison was appointed as an official Election Issuing Officer which gave him the necessary statutory authority to handle voting papers on behalf of the crew.
This is the first time a Tangaroa Master has held this position, and the booth is one of a select number of special voting arrangements made for New Zealanders offshore during the election lead-up.
Crew members were able to upload their votes to the Electoral Commission’s website– a process enabled byTangaroa’s new internet access via satellite.
NIWA chief executive John Morgan thanked Capt Goodison for conducting the voting process with “the utmost professionalism and respect for individual privacy”.
Marine geologist Alan Orpin, who is on board Tangaroa, said it was a privilege to be voting “despite our location on the outermost edge of New Zealand’s jurisdication”.
The vessel returns to New Zealand in late November.
ends

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