Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

ACT Complaint against Chief Electoral Officer

Hon Richard Prebble CBE
Leader ACT New Zealand
Parliament Buildings
Wellington

29 November 1999

Michael Wintringham
Commissioner
State Services Commission
P O Box 329
Wellington

Dear Mr Wintringham

Complaint against Chief Electoral Officer

The ACT Parliamentary office has received communication from a voter who lost his democratic right to vote because of inaccurate information given out by the Chief Electoral Officer Phil Whelan.

The Chief Electoral Officer wrote to New Zealanders living overseas informing them that that they could vote by e-mail until 4 pm on the Friday prior to election day.

When voters attempted to do this they learned that this advice was nonsense.

Voters have never been able to vote by e-mail and Parliament has certainly never approved e-mail as a method of voting.

The voter who contacted us says when he was informed of this error it was too late to vote by the correct procedure. We understand that 18,000 voters received this misinformation.

The ACT party has clearly been disadvantaged by this advice. In every website poll ACT is always the overwhelming winner. A disproportionately high number of ACT voters are on the web and were attracted to the idea of voting by e-mail. So Mr Whelan's advice did not discriminate against parties evenly.

Reviewing the election results through the MMP St Lague formula shows that if ACT had received only another 1,360 votes at the expense of other parties who are represented in Parliament, ACT would have another MP. It is therefore clear that the Chief Electoral Officer's misdirection has more than likely affected the composition of Parliament.

I can think of few more serious charges to make against a civil servant than that their actions may have deprived New Zealanders of their right to vote, and affected the makeup of Parliament.

This letter is to ask you under the State Services Act to review this action and to see whether disciplinary procedures against the Chief Electoral Officer are warranted.

For the Chief Electoral Officer to inform voters that they can vote by e-mail appears to me to be not just negligent but grossly negligent.

And if you are going to look at his performance, you should also look at the extreme length of time it took to count the votes. Mr Whelan has been making public statements that this year's election would proceed faster than the last, but it appears to have taken longer.

This shakes the public's confidence in the system and I believe the State Services Commission should also look to see whether this is the standard we expect.

I don't believe this matter should simply be referred to a select committee. This is an issue of whether the civil service is providing the service that the public has the right to expect.

Yours sincerely

Hon Richard Prebble CBE
LEADER, ACT NEW ZEALAND
MP, WELLINGTON CENTRAL


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Gordon Campbell: On Our Weird Ways Of Funding Care For The Dying


National Party leader Judith Collins thinks the government’s traffic light system for emerging from Covid lockdowns is “confusing.” Perhaps she could be looking in the mirror because in recent weeks, National has hardly been a model of crystalline clarity. On RNZ this morning Collins was calling for the scrapping of all vaccine certificates and mandates once we hit 90% double dose vaccination. Yet in recent weeks, Chris Bishop, National’s Covid spokesperson has been indicating that vaccine certificates and employment mandates will be, and should be, part of our new Covid landscape... More>>

Government: Backs Business To Vaccinate Workforces


The Government is introducing a range of measures to help protect workplaces and workers from COVID-19, Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety Michael Wood announced today.
“We’ve heard the calls from employers and employees to provide certainty on what roles need to be done by vaccinated workers under the COVID-19 Protection Framework... More>>

ALSO:





 
 

Three Waters: Government To Protect Vital Public Water Services For Future Generations
Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta today confirmed the Government will create four publicly owned water entities to ensure every New Zealander has access to affordable, long-lasting drinking, waste and storm water infrastructure... More>>

ALSO:



Government: Responds To Independent Review Into WorkSafe

The Government has clear expectations that WorkSafe must action the recommendations of the independent review into the regulator to improve its management of adventure activities following the tragedy at Whakaari White Island, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Wood says... More>>

Government: New Zealand Secures Historic Free Trade Deal With The United Kingdom
New Zealand and the United Kingdom have agreed in principle the details of a historic Free Trade Agreement (FTA), which will further accelerate our COVID-19 economic recovery say Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister for Trade and Export Growth Damien O’Connor... More>>

ALSO:



Pay Cheque To Pay Cheque: Half A Million New Zealanders Have No Savings
New findings from the Consumer NZ sentiment tracker found that 15% of New Zealanders had no savings, and a further 27% were anxious about their level of savings and would like to have more tucked away... More>>


Government: Mandatory Vaccination For Two Workforces

Large parts of two workforces critical to preventing the spread of COVID-19 will be required to be vaccinated, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Our education and health and disability workforces have done an incredible job throughout this pandemic to keep themselves and people safe,” Chris Hipkins said.... More>>


Green Party: Deeply Concerned Space Launches May Be Breaching Nuclear-free Laws

The Green Party is deeply concerned that space launches by Rocket Lab may be breaching nuclear-free laws, given our long-standing position as a signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty... More>>


 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels