TODAY |

Concerns lack of post boxes leaving those in poor communities unable to vote in local elections

Some local council candidates say the removal of mail boxes in poor communities is discriminatory and hampers people's ability to vote.

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Flaxmere only has two post boxes and some running for office think it's discriminatory. Source: Q+A

The vast majority of votes in local council elections are sent by mail and some are struggling to even find a post box after New Zealand Post cuts.

Compared with other communities in the Hawke's Bay region, Flaxmere, population 12,000, has very few post boxes.

Only two in fact, although TVNZ1's Q+A was told there was a DX box which exchanges mail with NZ Post, but along with locals, we couldn't find it.

Councillor Damon Harvey was brought up in Flaxmere and is trying to bring up the issue as he bids for the Hastings mayoralty.

"I'm shocked. I would have thought that after the last local body elections that they would have looked at this as an issue. Post boxes have obviously been decommissioned around the place," Mr Harvey says.

Source: 1 NEWS

Q+A confirmed there are a number of other places in New Zealand with very limited postal service that could affect local election voting.

For example, the central North Island town of Kawarau has only one post box and a population of 7,000.

Local Government NZ couldn't provide anyone to talk to Q+A and suggested we interview Marguerite Delbet from Auckland Council who also works with Local Government NZ.

She explains an online voting trial was recently abandoned and so the very earliest they could have it up and running would be 2025.

For communities like Flaxmere, the opportunity to vote online can't come soon enough.