Men's names will remain on ballot

Savea Peseta Al Harrington Lavea's name will remain on the ballot for Whau Local Board. Photo / Supplied
Savea Peseta Al Harrington Lavea's name will remain on the ballot for Whau Local Board. Photo / Supplied

Their names will be on the ballot, but two Auckland men will be hoping voters don't notice when local body elections take place in October.

Auckland Future's Viliami Tiseli wanted to stand for the Tamaki Subdivision Local board but has instead found himself standing against the group's sitting councillor, Denise Krum, in the single-seat Maungakiekie-Tamaki Ward.

The group blamed Manukau Service Centre staff, claiming Tiseli was given the wrong form.

Meanwhile, another Auckland Future candidate, Savea Peseta Al Harrington Lavea, put his name forward for a seat on the Whau Local Board, but landed in hot water when it was revealed he had been convicted of stealing the identities of seven dead babies and using them to obtain fake passports in the late 1990s.

Lavea wouldn't comment, but Auckland Future co-ordinator Sue Wood initially said the organisation was aware of the conviction and would continue to support him.

However, yesterday Lavea said in a statement he was "standing down" and would not contest the election.

But, legally both Tiseli and Lavea cannot withdraw from the race.

Auckland Council electoral officer Dale Ofsoske said both mens' nominations were legitimate, and that meant their names would remain on ballots when voting papers go out early next month, ahead of the October 8 elections.

"The legislation does not allow for a candidate to withdraw after the close of nominations and that closed last Friday. The only exceptions are for death and incapacitation.

"So, they're in."

However, affiliations of candidates could be withdrawn, Ofsoske said.

"Auckland Future could withdraw their support for [the men]."

Wood has previously said the group, which is aligned to the National Party, was seeking legal advice over the Tiseli snafu.

That was continuing today, she said.

"Our position is that he has never been authorised by Auckland Future to stand as a ward candidate in Maungakiekie-Tamaki. We provided our list of authorised ward and local board candidates by area to the electoral officer last week, prior to our candidates lodging their individual nominations.

"Our understanding is that the electoral officer is currently seeking legal advice with respect to his powers with regard to this and we are waiting to hear back from him on this matter."

Meanwhile, she took aim again at Auckland Council, describing the electoral process at the Manukau Service Centre as "shambolic".

"It was under-resourced, so that's how mistakes are made."

The organisation would make a submission in the standard post-election inquiry over the centre's handling of the nomination process, Wood said.

An Auckland Council spokeswoman said four full-time staff were processing local body election candidate forms over the last three days of the nomination period. In total, Manukau Service Centre processed 106 nominations.

"Part of our role is assisting candidates with this process, however all candidates are ultimately responsible for filling in the form correctly."

"The nomination forms for both Ward Councillor and Local Board member are clearly marked on the form. If the candidate does not appear on the electoral roll, we must verify with the Electoral Office over the phone that the person is valid to stand for council."

- NZ Herald

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