Dear Mr Peden

Mr Robert Peden

Chief Elec­toral Officer

By blog and email: [email protected]

Re: Illegal Election Signs – Rotorua

Dear Mr Peden,

I am writ­ing to advice of a Labour candidate, Ms Steve Chadwick and her election hoardings which were erected this weekend in Rotorua.

Attached are two examples. One is on Fairy Springs Road, Rotorua and the other is on State Highway 33, Rotorua.

I note that the Elections website stipulates:

The Electoral Act 1993 allows for election signs up to three square metres in size to be put up in the two months before election day.

This provision overrides any local authority rules about size and timing of the display of signs.

These signs are in clear contravention of the Electoral Act regarding election signs.

If you require additional exam­ples of these signs then please let me know and I will pro­vide examples.

Yours faith­fully


Cam Slater



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  • Dear Cameron

    Thank you for your complaint. Unfortunately you are wrong. The two month period is a minimum period, otherwise local authorities can set whatever period they want.

    If you actually read the rest of the Elections page it says “Signs may be put up earlier if local authority rules allow.”

    Good try though.

    • Except I have council advice to the contrary.

      • Then complain to the council, not the Electoral Commission.

        • Yep done that too….but nice to get some clarity.

  • lordmontrose

    While you are at it, can you get the Elec­tions web­site to state the actual date and time when billboards may be put up? Instead of some vague statement related to some date stated somewhere else.

  • You’re complaining to the wrong people on this one, Cam.

    Placement of billboards is covered by local council bylaws: different in every city and district. Whether a particular billboard is legal at a particular time will depend on these. I think there’s one council that allows the billboards at any time, others might require resource consent because they’re otherwise banned.

    What the Electoral Act says is: in the two months before the election, you can ignore local council bylaws and put up your billboards pretty much anywhere, as long as they aren’t bigger than 3 sq m.

    In the two months preceeding the election, Steve Chadwick’s billboards would almost certainly be lawful. Outside that time, they may be lawful depending on what the local bylaws say about signage.

  • Doug
  • John Whyte

    Hamilton West Sue Moroney already has hoardings up. I don’t know what the council’s rules are, but if you want I can snap some pictures in the weekend.

  • Marcusd

    Same in CHCH. Labour boards up all over the place. Query to CCC perhaps?

  • eric

    @mickey, nice try. Andrew little has signs up in New Plymouth and the council does not have a rule allowing it. You imply that these signs are legal because of that clause when in fact the labour signs appearing all over the country are just plain cheating at best and law breaking at worst. Again ‘nice’ try

  • Michael

    Kris Faafoi has one in Ranui Heights that breaches Porirua City Council rules – no sign may face a state highway and this one faces SH1 as you go South. Saw it on Saturday, but as I was driving couldn’t get a photo.

    Don’t get out there very often, if anyone is there can they get the camera out (go south of Mungavin Interchange and it’s on a house fence almost in perfect alignment with the motorway.