Candidates must comply with election signage says Chief Executive

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23/08/2019 3:19:00 p.m.

23 August 2019

Whanganui District Council Chief Executive, Kym Fell, is reminding election candidates to comply with signage rules for the local elections after receiving multiple complaints about non-compliant signage.

“All candidates were given information specifying the rules for election signage. I would have preferred to take a moderate approach to election signage, without necessarily resorting to strict enforcement, but after a barrage of complaints I can see that we will have to firmly apply these rules to all candidates."

Mr Fell says he carried out an investigation which found that a number of signs do not comply with the rules, especially in relation to letter size.

“As a result, I wrote to all candidates today reminding them that they must comply with the signage rules as set out in the Council's Signage Policy and the District Plan.”

Mr Fell says he has asked candidates to measure and check their signs for compliance and to either make them compliant with the Signage Policy or remove them. They have five working days from Friday, 23 August to comply.

“If signs continue to be non-compliant after that time period, enforcement will escalate. If the non-complaint signs are on Council land, approval to have the signs on the land will be revoked and the signs removed. If the signs are on trailers or private land, enforcement action will be undertaken pursuant to the Council’s Bylaws, the District Plan and the Resource Management Act.”

Signage rules for local body elections are determined by local authorities. Mr Fell says this means monitoring and compliance is dealt with by the Council, not the local Electoral Officer.

Whanganui District Council’s signage policy outlines the rules for signs for the district. It ensures that signs do not have a negative impact on public safety, amenity and character of an area.

Election signs must:

  • clearly display the name and contact details of the person responsible for displaying the sign
  • not exceed 2.4 metres in height
  • not exceed a display area of 3 metres squared
  • The lettering height requirements do not apply to signs which are 1500 cm² or less.

Election signs can only be put up two months before Election Day (12 October 2019), and signs need to be taken down the night before Election Day.

The rules for a sign’s writing are:

  • the letters must be more than 120 mm in height if the sign is on any road, or in a place visible from a road, that has a speed limit of less than 70 km per hour
  • if the sign is on a road, or in a place visible from a road, that has a speed limit of 70 km per hour or more, the letters must be 160 mm in height.

The sign can't be a distraction to drivers – if it is on a road or in a place visible from a road it cannot have any reflective material, lighting, or moving parts. It also cannot look like a traffic sign.

A sign on a trailer can't overhang the base of the trailer. The trailer needs to be legally parked, and at least 40 metres away from any intersection.

Signs on Council land must have a permit. Signs on private land must comply with Council's Signage Policy and the District Plan.

Page reviewed: 23 Aug 2019 3:19pm