FAQs for Wairarapa Reorganisation Poll 2017 (archived)

What is the poll about?

The poll is being held to determine whether the Local Government Commission proposal to establish a single Wairarapa District Council to replace the current Carterton, Masterton and South Wairarapa District Councils, will proceed.

 

Where can I get more information about the proposal?

The Local Government Commission has information on the proposal on its website - http://www.lgc.govt.nz/the-reorganisation-process/wairarapa-final-proposal/

Copies of the proposal can be viewed at the Carterton, Masterton and South Wairarapa District Council offices. Copies can be requested from the Commission by emailing info@lgc.govt.nz or phoning (04) 4602228.

 

Can I make submissions on the proposal?

No.   A submission period occurred with the Local Government Commission’s draft proposal and this has ended.  The proposal is now a final proposal and the way to express a view on the proposal is to vote in the poll.

 

How will the proposal be decided?

The proposal will be decided by a binding poll, conducted across the electors of the Carterton, Masterton and South Wairarapa District Councils.

To succeed, the majority of electors voting in the poll must vote in favour of the proposal.  If 50% or more of electors who vote in the poll vote against the proposal it will not proceed.

 

What happens if the poll is successful?

If more than 50% of those voting in the poll vote for the proposal, then a single Wairarapa District Council will be formed and will come into existence from 1 November 2018, at the earliest.  The first election of the Wairarapa District Council will be held after 1 October 2018, at the earliest.

 

What happens if the poll is unsuccessful?

If 50% or more of those voting in the poll vote against the proposal, then the reorganisation will not proceed and the existing councils will continue to operate as separate entities.

 

What are the key dates for this poll?

Public notice of poll/ electoral roll opens

Monday 18-Sep-17

Electoral roll closes

Monday 16-Oct-17

Further public notice of poll (listing special voting arrangements etc)

Wednesday 8-Nov-17

Delivery of voting papers starts

Monday 20-Nov-17

Final day for polling

Tuesday 12-Dec-17

Announcement of progress result

Tuesday 12-Dec-17 (sometime after midday)

Declaration/public notice of official result

Asap after Friday 15-Dec-17

 

Who is entitled to vote in this poll?

Any residents aged 18 and over who reside within the Carterton, Masterton or South Wairarapa District Councils are entitled to vote provided they are on the roll or have applied to be on the roll. In addition any ratepayers who own property within the current Carterton, Masterton or South Wairarapa District Councils but who live outside that combined area are entitled to vote, providing they have enrolled as ratepayer electors with the respective district council that they pay rates to for the property – see further information about ratepayer electors below.

 

How do I get voting papers for this poll?

If you live within the Carterton, Masterton or South Wairarapa District Council areas and you are enrolled as a parliamentary elector, voting papers will be posted to you at the address listed on 20 November 2017.

Voting papers will also be posted to any ratepayer electors enrolled with the Carterton, Masterton or South Wairarapa District Councils and who live outside that combined area.

 

My address details on the electoral roll are wrong.  How do I change them?

Residential elector details are sourced from the Electoral Commission in Wellington.  You can change your details by:

  • Phoning 0800 36 76 56
  • Going on-line to www.elections.org.nz
  • Completing a form available at any Postshop

 

I am on the unpublished electoral roll.  Will I receive voting papers for the poll?

Not automatically.  Electors on the unpublished roll will be sent a letter by the Electoral Commission when the voting period opens advising them that if they want to vote in the poll they will need to apply for a special vote.

 

I will be out of the country during the voting period.  Can I vote early before I leave?

No.  No one is allowed to vote before voting opens on Monday 20 November 2017.  Contact the election helpline on 0800 666 046 to discuss options for you.

 

How do I apply for a special voting paper?

Special voting papers will be available when voting opens on Monday 20 November 2017. They can be requested from any of the Carterton, Masterton or South Wairarapa District Council main offices, the Carterton Events Centre or by ringing the election helpline on 0800 666 046.

 

What is a ratepayer elector?

Ordinarily any ratepayer who owns property within a council area but lives outside that council area, can enrol as a ratepayer elector.  Each council will have ratepayer enrolment forms for this purpose.

Because this poll is being conducted across 3 council areas, the qualifying area will be different than for normal local council elections.  For this poll any ratepayer who owns property within Carterton, Masterton or South Wairarapa District Councils but who lives outside those combined council areas can enrol as a ratepayer elector – see examples below.

 

I live in Masterton but own a property in Carterton District (or South Wairarapa District). Can I get a voting paper for the other property?

No.  The standard ‘one person, one vote’ rule applies.

If you are enrolled as a parliamentary elector you will receive a voting paper because you reside within the poll area.  To qualify as a ratepayer elector for this poll you must live outside the combined areas of Carterton, Masterton and South Wairarapa District Councils.

 

I live in Wellington but own a property in Carterton District (or Masterton or South Wairarapa District). Can I get a voting paper for the other property?

Yes, providing you enrol as a ratepayer elector for the local authority where your other property is located. If you are currently enrolled as a ratepayer elector, an ordinary voting paper will be mailed to you.  If you are not currently enrolled as a ratepayer elector you can apply for a special vote and you will need to complete a ratepayer enrolment form as part of that process.

 

I want to enrol as a ratepayer elector, how do I do that?

You will need to complete a ratepayer enrolment form, which can be mailed/emailed to you by the relevant council (or can be downloaded from that council’s website).

 

I have recently shifted out of the area, but I am very interested in the poll.  Can I still vote in the poll?

The election rules require electors to be enrolled at their permanent place of residence.  If you have resided at your new address (outside the areas of the Carterton, Masterton or South Wairarapa District Council areas) for more than a month then you cannot vote in the poll.  If a voting paper has been forwarded to you at your new address you should destroy it.

 

What are the rules around advertising views on the reorganisation proposal?

There are strict rules around advertising in relation to the proposal.  These are set out in “Guidelines for advertising after issue of a final reorganisation proposal” prepared by the Local Government Commission.  These guidelines are available from the Commission’s website or on request to the Electoral Officer for the poll.

The affected councils are not permitted to do anything, including advertising, that uses their resources and either promotes or opposes the proposal.  They can, however, provide neutral and factual material about the proposed reorganisation.

Individuals and organisations, other than councils, do not have the same restrictions.  However if they wish to advertise their views on the proposal they must meet requirements about authorisation of this advertising.  This means the advertising must include the name and street address of the person or organisation responsible for the advertising.

Any queries regarding advertising in relation to the Wairarapa proposal should be made to the Electoral Officer for the poll.

 

Who is the Electoral Officer for this poll?

The Electoral Officer for this poll is Warwick Lampp.  His contact details are:

C/- electionz.com Ltd
3/3 Pukaki Road
PO Box 3138
Christchurch
Ph                   0800 666 046
Email:             iro@electionz.com

 

I need more informationWho can I contact?

Ring the election helpline – 0800 666 046 in the first instance.

 

When will the poll result be available?

A progress result will be released by the Electoral Officer as soon as possible after noon on Tuesday 12 December 2017.  That result will be posted on each participating council’s website as soon as possible after that time, and released to the media for publishing.

The official result will be released once all vote processing has been completed and all special votes are counted.  It is expected this will be by Friday, 15 December 2017.  The official result will also be posted on the participating councils’ websites.

 

VOTING ARRANGEMENTS

The address details on my voting paper are wrong. How can I update them?

Residential elector details are sourced from the Electoral Enrolment Centre in Wellington.  You can change your details by:

  • Phoning 0800 36 76 56
  • Going on-line to www.elections.org.nz
  • Completing a form available at any Postshop

 

Other members of my household have been sent voting papers, but I have not received any.  What should I do?

Ring the 0800 666 046 election helpline to check if you are enrolled and if the address recorded for you is correct.  If enrolled and the correct address is held, it is possible that your voter pack has been mis-sorted by NZ Post and is still enroute.  The election helpline staff will discuss options to obtain a special vote if required.

 

I have received a voting paper for this poll. Is it compulsory to vote?

No.  Note – The Electoral Officer recommends that if you are certain you do not intend voting, you should destroy your voting paper so no one else can use it to vote.

 

I have received a voting paper for a former resident at this address and I don’t know where they now live. What should I do?

Either clearly write “Not at this address” on the front of the envelope and place it back in a NZ Post post box (no postage is required) or if that’s not practical, destroy the voter pack.

 

Where can I get a special vote from?

Special voting forms are available during normal office hours from Monday 20 November up to noon on Tuesday 12 December 2017 at the following sites:

  • Carterton District Council office, 28 Holloway Street, Carterton
  • Carterton Events Centre, 50 Holloway Street, Carterton
  • Masterton District Council office, 161 Queen Street, Masterton
  • South Wairarapa District Council office, 19 Kitchener Street, Martinborough

 

Alternatively, special voting papers can be mailed to applicants. Applicants wanting special voting papers mailed to them should ring the election helpline 0800 666 046 during normal office hours or email details to iro@electionz.com

 

I’ve lost or never received a return envelope with my voter pack, what should I do?

A supply of replacement return envelopes are available at your local council main office. Alternatively you can use an ordinary envelope and address it to:

The Electoral Officer
Wairarapa Reorganisation Poll
PO Box 86
Christchurch

You will not have to pay postage if you write “Freepost 165185” where the stamp would normally be applied.

 

What is the last day I can safely mail my completed voting paper back to the Electoral Officer?

The recommended last day is Thursday 7 December 2017.

 

What if I miss that deadline?

You should arrange for the completed voting paper to be delivered to one of the following venues before noon on Tuesday 12 December 2017:

  • Carterton District Council office, 28 Holloway Street, Carterton
  • Carterton Events Centre, 50 Holloway Street, Carterton
  • Masterton District Council office, 161 Queen Street, Masterton
  • South Wairarapa District Council office, 19 Kitchener Street, Martinborough

South Wairarapa District Council