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Legal bid to Rotorua mayoral result

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 8/11/2016

A failed Rotorua mayoral candidate is mounting a legal fight to challenge the outcome of the election.

Reynold Macpherson, who founded the city's Residents and Ratepayers Association finished second behind incumbent mayor Steve Chadwick by 2863 votes at October's election.

He has now lodged a petition with the district court into the election's outcome, claiming Rotorua Lakes Council's chief executive, Geoff Williams, withheld unfavourable results of a National Research Bureau public satisfaction survey until after the election.

Dr Macpherson, an academic, claims the findings were adverse to Mrs Chadwick, a former Minister of Conservation.

He claims that by releasing them more than a fortnight after the election his chances of electoral success were hindered, as were those who stood under the association's banner.

He also cites seven councillors, including deputy mayor Dave Donaldson, as benefiting from the delay, describing them as "the incumbent power bloc councillors".

The petition is lodged under Section 93 of the Local Electoral Act which says any candidate with a complaint about the conduct of an election or poll may file a petition to the district court demanding an inquiry into the conduct of an election or into the conduct of a candidate or any other person at the election.

Dr Macpherson's petition is to be heard in the Rotorua District Court on November 17. He is not represented by legal counsel.

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