Buller District Council

Media release – Council to call a by-election for Seddon Ward

12th October, 2017

It has come to Council’s attention that Councillor Martin Hill is not a NZ citizen.  Under the Electoral Act 2001 all nominees standing for election must be a NZ citizen.  All candidates sign a declaration as part of the process to say they are a NZ citizen but the act does not require this to be checked or verified so occasionally this does happen. Whangarei District Council recently declared a by-election for exactly the same reason.

Under the Act the position becomes vacant immediately, when any ineligibility is discovered and unless it is less than 12 months before the next election, a by-election must be held. Council now has 89 days in which to hold the election, and all those who are nominated, must be a NZ citizen at the time as well as complying with the other eligibility rules.

Mayor Garry Howard says: “This is most regrettable and not something I would like to see happen to anybody that is giving their time to serve the community. However, Council must comply with the Act and Council’s Electoral Officer has a duty to act to follow the legal process. I have encouraged Martin to get his citizenship and to stand again. There is an expense to a by-election, but it is not legally possible to hold a position and await citizenship.”

 

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