Kāpiti Coast mayoral candidate Gwynn Compton has written to State-Owned Enterprises Minister Winston Peters, Finance Minister Grant Robertson (as a shareholding Minister of New Zealand Post), and Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta to seek assurances that New Zealand Post will be able to deliver voting packs and return completed ballot papers in a timely manner for this year’s local authority elections.
“We all know how bad New Zealand Post’s delivery time frames have become, and the experience of the recently held Board of Trustee elections for schools, where many parents received voting packs so late that they only had a day to consider them, let alone being able to return them in time via the post, raises serious questions about New Zealand Post’s ability to deliver things on time during this year’s local authority elections,” says Mr Compton.
“With voting open for just over three weeks between 20 September and 12 October, if delays similar to what have plagued the Board of Trustee elections occurred again, it would potentially mean tens of thousands of New Zealanders won’t be able to get their votes in on time via the post.
“With local authority elections built largely around postal voting, the seeming inability of New Zealand Post to deliver mail in a timely fashion runs the risk of undermining the confidence New Zealanders have in the electoral process.”
With four months to go until election day, Gwynn Compton is calling on Ministers Peters, Robertson, and Mahuta to take the issue seriously and urgently take all actions available to them to ensure this year’s local authority elections aren’t undermined by postal delays.
“It’s vital for the health of both local government and local democracy that New Zealanders aren’t effectively disenfranchised by something like postal delays. With participation in local authority elections already low, I’d expect the Ministers responsible to be taking every action available to them so that every voter who wants to have their say has the opportunity to do so.”