The validity of some campaign hoardings for the Marlborough District Council election is coming under scrutiny.
Several candidates have privately contacted the Marlborough Express with concerns about an inconsistency in the rules, and it appears many of them may fall into a grey area.
Marlborough electoral officer Dean Heiford said the law stated that election signs were not to imitate voting documents or instruct people how to vote in any way.
The council's guidelines for election signage say election signs, both fixed and mobile, may not be placed on a local road or state highway.
They also state that no sign is to be placed within 120 metres of any curve, bridge or intersection.
The Express found several billboards that appear to be breaking these rules. Some signs were found on roundabouts, close to curves, bridges or intersections. Mobile signs were found parked alongside roads.
Several candidates also have the Vote No 1 or #1 in some form on their signs.
This raised objections from other candidates that it might be seen as an instruction on how to vote.
Other candidates have kept with a more traditional approach of just names and slogans.
Mr Heiford said it was "a bit of a grey area". "Any complaints can be directed to me and I will assess them and if need be action will be taken."
The council has not received any complaints from the public .
Blenheim ward candidate Laressa Shenfield said she was clearly instructed, in writing, not to use "Vote 1" on any of her signs.
"I was also told not to use the number one in a box or block as this makes it look even more like a voter's ballot," Mrs Shenfield said.
"Nothing will be done unless a formal complaint is made regarding any sign, but the person is told who made the complaint against them.
"I asked for details on what I may and may not do, but my honesty seems to now be counting against me as it seems like there can be one set of rules for someone, but a completely different set for someone else."
There were clear guidelines about the construction and placement of signs in the election information pack on the council's website, but no details about content.
Mrs Shenfield had to take down one of her signs on Monday after confusion over ownership of the land it was put up on.
"I obtained permission from the iwi whom I understood to own the land, but the lease was from council. Thus my permission was not valid and I had to remove the sign."
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