A complaint has been laid with police over the actions of former Whangarei District Councillor Jayne Golightly, who resigned this month because she was not a New Zealand citizen.

Dale Ofsoske, of Election Services, which runs the local body elections in the north, confirmed to the Northern Advocate that he had laid a complaint to police as he was obliged to do under the Local Electoral Act 2001.

Read more: Whangarei District Councillor resigns after it was discovered she is not NZ citizen
Byelection to replace Denby councillor role to cost $35,000

The complaint alleges that Golightly knew she was not a citizen when she filled out her nomination form which, if proven, amounts to electoral fraud.


Golightly said Ofsoske confirmed it is legislative procedure that any issue is to be put to the police, and that was done more than 10 days ago.

''There has been no further complaint laid against me and I have not been contacted by the police,'' she said.

Golightly, who emigrated from the UK with her parents when she was 18 months old, has consistently said she did not know she was not a citizen, despite travelling on a UK passport with a returning resident's visa, required because she was not a citizen. Police said they did not comment on any complaints received.

Golightly resigned after Election Services received a complaint alleging she was not a NZ citizen and the body asked her to check her details.

"After looking into it, it was confirmed that I was not a NZ citizen,'' she earlier told the newspaper.

She said she had since applied for citizenship and is due to be granted citizenship in a ceremony in Auckland tomorrow.

The candidate nomination form requires the candidate to tick a box saying that they are a citizen and Golightly had done that.

The resignation means a byelection will be held in the Denby ward on December 7, at a cost of about $35,000. Golightly acknowledged it was her mistake and offered to pay the byelection costs, but could not do so under legislation. She said yesterday she will stand in the byelection.

Ofsoske said the Local Electoral Act required him to make a complaint to police if there was a suspicion that an offence had been committed under the Act. In his almost 30 years in the role this was the first time he had laid such a complaint to police.

"It's up to the police to decide whether to investigate or not and if any charged should be laid,'' Ofsoske said.