Bernard Orsman

Bernard Orsman is Super City reporter for the NZ Herald.

Super City elections 2013: Booklet botch-up 'more widespread than hoped'

Christine Rankin says the omission is appalling. Photo / Kenny Rodger
Christine Rankin says the omission is appalling. Photo / Kenny Rodger

The scale of the local election booklet botch-up appears more widespread than first feared, a Wellington law firm says.

Franks & Ogilvie is representing a client who is offering rewards of up to $1500 to people finding the highest number of booklets containing errors.

Cash rewards are also being offered to whistleblowers who can provide evidence on whether there has been a cover-up, when the problem was first known, and what happened next.

The firm said it had received dozens of emails and phone messages from around the world reporting mistakes, including one person living in London who was reportedly sent an Auckland booklet missing 18 pages.

"It appears that the problem could be ,'' said Stephen Franks, a principal of the firm.

"Some New Zealanders overseas appear to have been badly affected. For many, the election booklet is their only source of information.

"They can't follow the campaigns in local media or go to meetings.''

Last week, it was revealed well-known candidates Christine Rankin, Allison Roe and Brian Neeson had their candidate profiles left out of a booklet that goes out with voting papers for the Auckland local body elections.

Auckland Council has admitted mistakes were made in the printing of some material, but said it affected only a small number of papers.

Franks & Ogilvie said it had also received reports of some booklets in the Waikato district having candidates omitted or listed incorrectly.

The firm said it will pay $1500 to the person who delivers the most booklets with the relevant missing pages by 5pm next Monday - with $600 for the next most, and $400 for the third most.

"We encourage all New Zealanders to check that the information booklet they received has all of the pages, and contains every candidate that is listed on the voting paper,'' said Mr Franks.

"Once voting is over and the books discarded, it will be much harder to ascertain whether the integrity of local body elections has been materially affected.''

- APNZ

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