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Ask Phoebe: Clear rules limit explosion of election season signs

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Photo / APN
Photo / APN

Now that we are into general election season, would you please advise the basic requirements and allowances for the installation of election signs?

In my area of Mt Wellington, some candidates have three large signs (candidate and party) on some council sites and more large signs on private property. The area is therefore cluttered and messy.

From my basic reading it would appear the majority of the signs are illegal in size and number.

It would seem rather silly that candidates wishing to get into government and to be involved in the very complex issues of running a country seem unable (or unwilling) to read the sign bylaws. Brent Murdoch, Otahuhu.

There are several bylaws and district plan controls that relate to election hoardings in the Auckland area. They were developed by the former councils before the transition into Auckland Council.

The former Auckland councils' bylaws or district plan rules on election signs are still relevant. In the case of the former Auckland City Council area, the signs must meet the requirements of the Electoral Finance Act 2007, with some minor amendments. Only one election sign per candidate or per party may be erected on a road frontage of any one site, the signs must be less than three metres above ground level and have a sign area of less than three square metres. They must be freestanding but securely braced. Election candidates must monitor their signs and remove or repair any damaged ones.

Further provisions and restrictions applying to Auckland City sites can be found at www.aucklandcity.govt.nz.

My 10-year driver's licence is about to expire, and this raises some questions. How long do I have to renew my licence? How many years can elapse before I have to revalidate it? If I'm over 65, do I need a test before I can renew my licence? Janice Marriott, Mt Eden.

You must renew your licence immediately if it is about to expire, as you are not allowed to drive without a current and valid licence. If you are found in breach of these conditions, you risk a $400 fine, being forbidden to drive, or may have your vehicle impounded.

Before your licence expires, you should receive a notice to this effect from the NZ Transport Agency.

Generally, you can renew your driver's licence once it is expired without having to sit any tests. However, if your licence expired more than five years ago you will probably need to sit theory and practical tests/courses to regain your licence.

If you had any licence endorsements you will have to pass the required courses to regain the endorsement. If you can produce evidence of having been licensed to drive during the previous five years (eg, with an overseas driver's licence), tests and courses may not be required.

There are no special requirements for drivers over 65. These relicensing conditions do not kick in till you are 75.

Suggestions for Auckland's steepest street include City Rd, the Bullock Track, and Shera Rd.

- NZ Herald

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