Harrison still waiting for response
Former Marlborough mayor Tom Harrison is waiting for a response from the Department of Internal Affairs about his complaint about candidates' signs.
Mr Harrison complained to the Electoral Commission, about candidate signs in Marlborough which he believed were dangerous, after receiving no response from the Marlborough District Council.
Yesterday, he said the commission had told him it had no jurisdiction, and referred him to the Department of Internal Affairs.
"They were very interested and were going to talk to the council and get back to me."
He had not heard back from them yesterday.
Mr Harrison had complained to the council about the signs that breached size and location rules. He said he had three concerns:
The signs, particularly those close to intersections, roundabouts and state highways, were dangerous.
It was not fair to candidates who obeyed the rules - it was not a level playing field.
It was against the law. Council elections should be policed as rigidly as national elections were, he said.
"If there is an accident and it was brought to the notice of the electoral officer, then he's in a parlous state. It's also the responsibility of the person whose fence the sign is on, as well as the owner of the sign."
The problem was not confined to Marlborough, Mr Harrison said.
"I was quite appalled by what I saw in Christchurch. It's crazy stuff. It's got quite out of hand and has to be reined back in."
Council electoral officer Dean Heiford said the council issued guidelines for sign placement.
"This is an issue across the country. It is a very grey area and open to interpretation."
He said he did not have the resources to "police" signs and only looked at safety issues identified by formal complaints. Marlborough roads did not have any concerns.
- The Marlborough Express