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Voting opens today for local elections

Voting documents for this year’s local elections will start arriving in mail boxes from today (Friday 20 September) and voters only have until midday on 12 October to make their vote count.

Voting documents will need to be in the post by Tuesday 8 October to make sure they’re received in time, or dropped off at any of Lower Hutt’s libraries or community hubs or the Council building in Laings Road before midday on Saturday 12 October.

Hutt City Council Electoral Officer Bruce Hodgins is hoping for a good voter response this election.

“The chance to decide who you want to represent you on Council only comes around every three years. Last election only 37 per cent of people returned their voting forms so it would be great to see an increase this time around.”

“Let’s value our local democracy by having a say in who represents us in the provision of local services.”

Hodgins is also encouraging people to familiarise themselves with the voting papers because there are some changes in the way Councillors are elected.

For the first time since Hutt City Council was formed in 1989, the city will have a mixed representation model. This means that residents will elect a Mayor, one ward Councillor for their area and six ‘city-wide’ (or ‘at-large’) Councillors.

“It’s quite a change from how elections have run in Lower Hutt in the past, so I encourage people to read the instructions on the voting documents carefully to make sure your vote is counted,” says Hodgins.

Special voting booths are also open from today for people who don’t receive their voting documents, are on the unpublished electoral roll, or have lost/damaged their voting documents.

Special voting booths are located at:

• Walter Nash Centre, Taita

• Wainuiomata Library, Wainuiomata

• Hutt City Council Administration Building, Laings Road, Lower Hutt

• Arapaki Manners Library and Service Centre, Manners Street, Wellington

Special votes can be made from 9am-5pm on weekdays during the voting period (20 September - 12 October), and 9am-12pm on election day (12 October).

Elections will also be held for Hutt Valley District Health Board, Hutt Mana Charitable Trust and the Greater Wellington Regional Council.

© Scoop Media

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