Whanganui District Council has given election candidates five days to sort out their non-complying signs after a barrage of complaints.
Chief executive Kym Fell says all candidates in the local elections were given information about the signage rules but the council had received multiple complaints.
"I would have preferred to take a moderate approach to election signage, without necessarily resorting to strict enforcement, but after a barrage of complaints I can see that we will have to firmly apply these rules to all candidates," Fell said.
An investigation found that a number of signs did not comply with the rules, especially in relation to letter size.
"As a result, I wrote to all candidates [on Friday] reminding them that they must comply with the signage rules as set out in the council's Signage Policy and the District Plan," Fell said.
Candidates have been asked to measure and check their signs and to either make them compliant with the Signage Policy or remove them. They have five working days from Friday, August 23, to comply.
"If signs continue to be non-compliant after that time period, enforcement will escalate. If the non-compliant signs are on council land, approval to have the signs on the land will be revoked and the signs removed. If the signs are on trailers or private land, enforcement action will be undertaken pursuant to the council's bylaws, the District Plan and the Resource Management Act."
Whanganui District Council's policy is that election signs must:
• clearly display the name and contact details of the person responsible for displaying the sign
• not exceed 2.4m in height
• not exceed a display area of 3 square metres
• the letters must be more than 120mm in height if the sign is on any road, or in a place visible from a road, that has a speed limit of less than 70km/h
• if the sign is on a road, or in a place visible from a road, that has a speed limit of 70km/h or more, the letters must be 160mm in height
The lettering height requirements do not apply to signs which are 1500cm² or less.
The sign can't be a distraction to drivers – if it is on a road or in a place visible from a road it cannot have any reflective material, lighting, or moving parts. It also cannot look like a traffic sign.
A sign on a trailer can't overhang the base of the trailer. The trailer needs to be legally parked, and at least 40m away from any intersection.
Election signs can be put up two months before Election Day (October 12, 2019) and signs must be taken down the night before Election Day.