Refusal to remove misleading election signs

City Vision media release: Auckland Energy Consumer Trust Election

Date: 23 October 2015

Following complaints to the Electoral Officer overseeing the Auckland Energy Consumer Trust election the right-wing C&R ticket have refused to remove or modify misleading electoral signage.

“For the third AECT election in a row C&R have made misleading statements regarding the payment of the AECT dividend. A slash on election billboards stating $345 =C&R is contrary to the Local Electoral Act and a breach of the principles under which the AECT election is conducted” said City Vision chair, Robert Gallagher

In August 2015 Trust beneficiaries (people on the power account in the AECT district) received a dividend of $345 from the Trust. The AECT dividend is a direct result of the Trust’s 75.4% shareholding in Vector.

“I’ve written to Earl White, C&R Campaign Chair requesting the removal or modification of the slashes. I am disappointed but not surprised that C&R have responded refusing to take action and are ignoring the electoral officer’s guidance on the matter”.

“It is a serious issue to ignore a request from an electoral officer. It demonstrates the arrogance of the C&R current AECT trustees who are willing to ignore established election principles to maintain control of the Trust.” Says Mr Gallagher


Robert Gallagher, Chair City Vision


Phone: 021 365551


The AECT election is conducted under its own Deed of Trust. Under the Deed of Trust the returning officer is responsible for conducting the election and to the extent that the Deed of Trust Rules do not prescribe a particular matter, the returning officer is entitled to determine the procedure accordingly.

The AECT candidate booklet states that “the Local Electoral Act 2001 is adopted for the purposes of this election. No candidate should act in a way which would amount to an offence if the election were being held under that Act”.

S125 of the Local Electoral Act states:

(1) Every person commits the offence of bribery who, directly or indirectly, on thatperson’s own or by another person,-
(a) gives, lends, agrees to give or lend, offers, promises, or promises to obtain any money or valuable consideration to or for any elector, or to or for any person on behalf of any elector, or to or for any other person, in order to induce any elector to vote or refrain from voting.

The Electoral Officer, Mr Dale Ofsoske has advised, following a complaint from City Vision Councillor Cathy Casey, that he considers the  statement on the slash placed on C & R billboards – “$345 = Vote C & R” (refer attached photo) does not give any text to the $345 figure and in particular does not state what that payment is for or when it would be paid. It could be misinterpreted, especially by electors who are unfamiliar with the dividend issue. Mr Ofsoske has confirmed he has written to C&R in relation to the slash statement.

City Vision is supporting a ticket of 5 candidates:  Anne-Marie Coury, Jeanette Elley, Simon Mitchell, Kirk Serpes and Judith Tizard