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Mayoral election recount: City Council position


Wellington City Council Chief Executive Kevin Lavery says it is expected a District Court judge will make a decision next week on whether a recount of the Mayoral election results can proceed or otherwise.

The following text is from an email sent by Mr Lavery to the Council’s elected members and community board members this afternoon:

Justin Lester has filed an application for a recount of the votes in the District Court today. We expect to have a Court decision next week on whether the recount will be granted or not. If there is a recount this may take some time.

Today we sought legal advice in relation to implications for our current plans. It’s important that we continue to conduct the business of Council. To this end the Mayor, Councillors, Committees and Council need to be fully empowered to make decisions. Otherwise I would be solely responsible for all major decisions for an extended period.

In 2016, shortly after the election, we faced the Kaikoura earthquake and had to consider whether or not to declare a state of emergency. It would not be right for me as Chief Executive to have to make a decision like that on my own. This is why it is important that the Mayor-elect and Councillors are all properly sworn in.

We will therefore proceed with our induction programme and we will not be postponing the inauguration ceremony scheduled for next Wednesday 30 October. Over 350 are expected to attend.

Any decisions that are made after the swearing in and before the outcome of the potential recount will be lawful regardless of the Court’s decision.

I will keep you updated as more information becomes available.

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