Ruth is the human interest reporter and a photographer for the Bay of Plenty Times.

Voting on par for Election day

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Rosealie Crawford has placed her vote.  Photo/John Borren
Rosealie Crawford has placed her vote. Photo/John Borren

Tauranga voting numbers look set to be on par with the last local body elections with about 35 per cent of election papers returned by last night.

As off 7.27pm last night 31,962 or 35.27 per cent of people in Tauranga had voted.

On Thursday 29,928 people had returned their voting papers.

Tauranga City Council electoral officer Warwick Lampp said voting was on track with previous years.

In 2013, 35.51 per cent of Tauranga locals had voted a day out from the elections, 40.35 per cent 2010 and 41.41 per cent in 2007.

Even so, Mr Lampp was hoping for many more votes to come in on election day.

"We are always keen for more Tauranga locals to place their vote each local election, but it is below the national average."

Mr Lampp said he hoped to get voting numbers over the 37 per cent threshold.

He encouraged voters to take their voting papers to council offices and libraries before midday today.

Western Bay of Plenty District Council voting return numbers were higher than in the last two elections.

Community relationships manager Frank Begley said as of last night 34.23 per cent of locals in the Western Bay had voted.

"While we'd obviously like this number to be even higher it's pleasing to see this trend and we hope it continues through to Saturday," he said.

Tauranga resident Rosalie Crawford said she voted because she was a member of Tauranga community.

"We want a vibrant city that's alive, healthy and connected," she told the Bay of Plenty Times.

"I've discovered that to get connected, first get involved. Decisions are made on my behalf every day, around healthcare, housing, environment and local issues like rubbish and roading."

Ms Crawford said she knew she could write or talk to councillors about what she thought, which she did already.

"I want those submissions and ideas to go to people who I believe have vision for our city and are competent.

"If we cared about voting, maybe we'll stop hearing that catch phrase 'council doesn't care'. If we're concerned that council is not interested or not responding to the needs of the community, well the reality is that the majority of the community don't vote."

2016 Elections
Voting is open until 12pm on October 8.
Postal votes are closed but you can still drop off your voting papers in a ballot box.
You'll find them in Tauranga City Council's Customer Service Centre at 91 Willow St, and in your local library (Tauranga Central, Greerton, Mount Maunganui and Papamoa).
The Tauranga City Council Customer Service Centre will be open from 8am to 12pm on October 8; their libraries from 9.30am. Cast your vote before 12 noon.

- See more at: https://www.tauranga.govt.nz

- Bay of Plenty Times

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