Nomination invalid - Council apologises

Aug 24, 2010

Human error has cost a local government hopeful candidate an opportunity to stand for this year’s election in the Queenstown Lakes District.

“It is with regret that we today informed a candidate that their nomination form had to be counted as invalid,” QLDC general manager corporate and regulatory Roger Taylor said.

A final check of all nomination forms this morning identified an error with the documentation belonging to Arrowtown candidate Ange van der LAAN, that was not detected before nominations closed at noon on Friday.

“Every candidate must be nominated by two nominators who live in the ward for which the individual is standing, in this case one of Ms van der LAAN’s nominators came from another ward and unfortunately this was overlooked by Council staff,” Mr Taylor said.

Whilst it was the responsibility of the candidate to submit a valid nomination form, the Council took an advisory role to assist candidates and could point out issues with a form, in order for them to be remedied before the Friday cut-off date.

“In this case Ms van der LAAN had her nomination into the Council in ample time, which is all the more frustrating for all parties. It came down to human error on both sides,” he said.

Councils provide a ‘safety net’ for the nomination process and on this occasion it did not work. Unfortunately the act was crystal clear and the nomination was not valid.

“There is simply no way to turn this around. We have explained the situation to Ms van der LAAN and we have offered our apologies for not picking this error up in time,” Mr Taylor said.

The Council would review its checking measures and material for candidates for future elections.

“It’s not much consolation but at least this experience will ensure that the Council will review and improve its procedures around accepting nominations,” Mr Taylor said.

For further information please contact Roger Taylor 03 441 0499 or 027 325 7123.

By: Rebecca