A man who was part of a major Fix the Bloody Road crusade highlighting the dangers of State Highway 2 has been schooled for not considering road safety more after illegally erecting byelection campaign signs on the same stretch of road.
Western Bay of Plenty District Council byelection candidate Andrew Hollis has been singled out for erecting the hoardings in locations in breach of election signage rules.
Council customer service and governance manager Barbara Whitton said the organisation received just one complaint in relation to hoardings this byelection.
The complaint related to Hollis' signs, which were placed at three locations: the corner of SH2 and Tuapiro Rd; the corner of SH2 and Athenree Rd; and the corner of Athenree and Steele Rds.
Whitton said the placements were in breach of council rules because they were installed on the road reserve.
"As per Western Bay of Plenty District Council's byelection policy, all election signs must be located on private property and have an authorisation statement from the property owner.
"Council contacted Mr Hollis and explained how the locations of these signs were in breach of council's election signage requirements and needed to be removed.
"Council also asked Mr Hollis in future to carefully consider road safety and potential driver distraction before placing signs on land adjoining busy roads or intersections."
By the time Hollis went to remove the signs, they had already been taken down.
Hollis is a current Tauranga councillor but has been removed from acting in any official capacity after commissioners were appointed to effectively replace the city's elected members until at least the next city election.
He is now one of 10 people campaigning for a seat to represent the Katikati-Waihi Beach ward in this year's Western Bay byelection.
Hollis said he believed he was doing the right thing when he placed his hoardings, with landowner permission, but the appropriate locations were not clear.
"It doesn't look like roading reserve. It's not like I put it next to a highway. I put it 5 metres back."
Hollis said previous Tauranga city election campaigns he was involved in had clear orange markers to indicate where was appropriate to place hoardings. This byelection did not.
"I kept it to where I considered was responsible. I genuinely didn't realise it was a roading reserve."
Hollis said he had been mindful of road safety when placing his signs.
"I put my signs in locations off the road, out of the way and on the corners, if anyone was coming up to the intersection I made sure it wasn't in their vision, that it wasn't a nuisance or an issue."
There were not many other hoardings from other candidates which did not help Hollis' lack of clarity on appropriate hoarding locations, he said.
In Tauranga city's 2019 local body election, then city mayoral candidate Tenby Powell and Bay of Plenty Regional Council candidate Andrew von Dadleszen were each ordered to take down their billboards for breaching election signage rules.
The signs, placed on Hewletts Rd, were put up ahead of the predetermined time period allowing such signage.
Voting for the Western Bay byelection closes on April 30.
As of April 22, just 19.76 per cent of votes had already been returned. For the same time period in the 2019 triennial election, 21.26 per cent of votes had been returned.