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Third man charged in election case

By Andrew Koubaridis

Daljit Singh in court on October 5. Photo / Richard Robinson
Daljit Singh in court on October 5. Photo / Richard Robinson

A third man has been charged in connection with the alleged Super City voter scam.

The 48-year-old was arrested yesterday by Counties Manukau police investigating an alleged scam in which people from throughout the North Island falsely enrolled to vote in last weekend's Super City elections.

Police allege the man knowingly made a fake declaration and used a forged document. He was released on police bail and will appear in the Manukau District Court on Friday.

The Herald understands he lives at a Papakura address but enrolled as living at a house in Papatoetoe.

Two other men are already before the courts in relation to the voting scam.

Daljit Singh, a Labour Party candidate in the Papatoetoe subdivision of the Otara-Papatoetoe Local Board, was last week named as being jointly charged with forgery.

He and another man, who has name suppression, are alleged to have forged change of address forms to falsely enrol voters in Papatoetoe.

The charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years' imprisonment.

More than 300 voters have been removed from the electoral roll but it is understood up to 1500 enrolments are under police investigation.

Mr Singh has denied any wrongdoing and has said he is confident his name would be cleared. "I am absolutely a law-abiding citizen and I have a good faith in the judiciary so I am pretty sure it will work."

Last week Auckland City Mayor John Banks said Parliament needed to have a look at postal voting following the "worrying" allegations.

Local Government Minister Rodney Hide yesterday said he was aware of concerns around postal voting.

A broad-ranging review of local government was due to begin next year and he expected that to pick up on some of those concerns.

The issue could also be looked at by the electoral law select committee as part of its usual review of local body elections. But he declined to give his own views.

"At this stage I would rather leave it to the people of New Zealand to make submissions and to Parliament to consider it."

Referring to Mr Singh, Labour Party president Andrew Little earlier said the party was "deeply disappointed that a candidate standing under its name is being prosecuted for alleged irregularities in enrolments for the local body elections".

He said Singh had been a member of the Labour Party since May.

"There is no tolerance in our party for conduct that undermines the integrity of the electoral process," Mr Little said.

Singh, a real estate agent with Barfoot and Thompson, is also a marriage celebrant and a licensed immigration adviser.

He is a spokesman for the NZ Sikh Society and convener of the Supreme Sikh Council. In his election campaign material he said he had lived in Papatoetoe for 17 years.

Singh is due back in court later in the month.

- Additional reporting: NZPA and Claire Trevett

- NZ Herald

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