Matthew Martin is a senior reporter at the Rotorua Daily Post

Election signs pop up around town (+ video)

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Love them or hate them, they are popping up all over Rotorua right now on street corners, fences and front yards.

If you haven't noticed, it's election time and candidates are putting up their election signage all over town, but there are some strict rules around where they can be placed, how big they can be and how long they can be displayed.

Rotorua Lakes Council electoral officer Warwick Lampp said he was looking after elections for 26 councils and health boards around the country and would only be concentrating on whether signs had been correctly authorised and didn't breach the Electoral Act in terms of content.

"Each council has its own different hoardings policy so each council looks after the compliance of their own signs," he said.

According to the council's election guidelines electoral legislation regulates the content, shape, colour, design and layout of election signs.

"The appropriate location, number of signs in any one location and the procedure to be followed before displaying an election hoarding or sign is controlled by the local authority.

"The Rotorua Lakes Council has based this guideline on the general requirements for election signs used for previous elections. These were widely accepted and have caused very few issues."

Within the Rotorua district, temporary election hoardings and signs do not require a building consent or a sign permit provided all of the rules are met.

"Any election hoarding or signs erected on council or New Zealand Transport Association land will be removed," the guidelines state.

"Any non-complying signs, or signs deemed to be unsafe, may be removed by Rotorua Lakes Council officers and enforcement costs may apply.

"All election advertising must also contain the true name of the person or persons for whom or at whose direction it is published and the address of his or her place of residence or business."

The council's compliance manager Neven Hill said staff were not actively monitoring election signage, but would respond to any complaints.

"There have been two complaints regarding election signage so far.

"One was about a sign on a Rotorua Lakes Council road reserve and the other related to a sign put up on a private property that was not an official election sign.

"In both cases council has inspected the signs but found that only the sign on the road reserve was non-compliant.

"In the case of the non-compliant sign the candidate was contacted, it was found to be a genuine mistake and the candidate is relocating the sign to an authorised location on a private property."

Rotorua Lakes Council's Rules on Election Signs (Hoardings)

All election hoarding and signs must:

- only be displayed during the period beginning two months before polling day and ending at midnight the day before polling day of October 8
- be located on private property only, this does not include road reserve
- have landowner consent prior to erection of the sign
- have a ground clearance of 1.4m under the sign
- not exceed 3m in height (from ground level)
- not exceed 3m2 in area (2.4m x 1.2m sheet)
- be securely braced from the ground up to carry wind loads for 60 days
- not be affixed to any tree, fence, parks furniture or Rotorua Lakes Council sign
- not obscure any other sign (election or otherwise)

- Rotorua Daily Post

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