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Law change may be needed after Whakatāne councillors' tied vote - minister

The Local Government Minister is seeking advice from officials after a judicial recount overturned one of the results in the Whakatāne District Council's election.

After the initial vote count, newcomer Hinerangi Goodman and the previous seat-holder Alison Silcock were tied for a councillor position.

Mrs Goodman won the seat after her name was pulled from a hat.

But a judicial recount overturned that decision, and Mrs Silcock was declared the winner by a single vote.

The incident has caused a lot of debate in the Whakatāne district about how fair the process was, with some people calling for change to prevent a similar outcome in the future.

Questions have also been raised as to why the council held its swearing-in ceremony knowing its election results were uncertain.

Mrs Goodman was sworn in at a ceremony on 25 October despite Mrs Silcock lodging a request for a recount of votes the day before in the Whakatāne District Court.

The minister, Nanaia Mahuta, said it seems odd to have a judicial recount after a tie-break selection and the swearing in of a candidate.

She said there may be a need for legislative clarity on such scenarios.

- rnz.co.nz

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Newly minted council member for Galatea-Murupara, Hinerangi Goodman, got 262 votes, exactly the same as her opposition, previous seat-holder Alison Silcock. Source: 1 NEWS


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