Confusion over candidate hoardings

By Anne-Marie McDonald

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Election hoardings popped up around Whanganui during the weekend - but not all candidates knew they needed permission to erect them.

At least two Whanganui District Council candidates said they had not realised they needed council permission to put up their billboards.

Josh Chandulal-Mackay said he had asked a couple of months ago at a candidates' meeting with council officers what the rules were around putting up hoardings.

"We were told that nothing was required, except for building consent on state highways," Mr Chandulal-Mackay said.

He said the information provided in the candidates' booklets was "very unclear".
"There was no mention of a permit."

Mr Chandulal-Mackay said he put up his hoardings on Saturday, and found out from another candidate that night that permission was required. He met with council officers on Monday morning.

"They were very apologetic about the confusion and quickly sorted it out for me." His billboards have now been approved.

Another council candidate Steve Baron had a similar experience - he put his hoardings up on Saturday and was told later that he needed to get a permit.

"It really wasn't made clear in the candidates' information that we need to apply to the council for a permit."

Mr Baron said he applied for a permit on Monday morning - as soon as he was able - at a cost of $50.

"I've fought elections throughout the country and I've never come across this [having to pay for a permit] before."

Whanganui electoral officer Noeline Moosman said candidates did not need to have put forward a nomination in order to put up a hoarding, however they do need to apply for a permit.

Ms Moosman said all current billboards had been approved.

Candidates standing for Whanganui District Council, Horizons Regional Council and Whanganui District Health Board in the October 8 elections may place their hoardings at the Cornmarket Reserve, the London Street roundabout, Anzac Parade (opposite Hakeke Street), Anzac Parade (opposite Georgetti Road), the corner of Liffiton Street and Carton Avenue and the corner of Bamber Street and Cornfoot Street.

All billboards must be removed by midnight on October 7.

Nominations for the elections close at 12 noon on Friday, August 12.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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