24 October 2018

City Vision Media Statement

Independent Electoral Officer banned from promoting Entrust trustee election

City Vision has discovered that current C&R Entrust Trustees have banned the independent Electoral Officer from promoting the Entrust election turnout in a cynical attack on democracy.

Peter Neilson the City Vision Leader sent emails yesterday and today to the Entrust electoral office, asking if they had or planned to make a media statement encouraging people to vote in the Entrust Election for 5 trustees.  Judith Ofsoske the Director and Operations Manager for election services the Entrust election’s returning officer, Dale Ofsoske, advised today that  “Unfortunately, the Trust has limited the press releases we are able to make-we are unable to promote the election. Dale has raised this with the Trust again this week.”

“While the first day turnout was well up on the last election in 2015 as of today the turnout is less than 10% and on current trends may barely exceed the abysmal final turnout of 12.84% achieved at the last election”  says City Vision Team Leader Peter Neilson.

I believe it is unprecedented in New Zealand for an elected body to direct an independent electoral officer, to not make media releases to promote turnout and participation in an election.

As the independent electoral officer, Dale Ofsoske has promoted voting in previous Entrust (then called Auckland Energy Consumer Trust) elections and it is common practice for local and general elections.

What arrogance for the current C&R Entrust trustees to assume they can direct an independent electoral officer to not promote voting in an election for which they are candidates.

This undermines the credibility and integrity of the Entrust trustees election process and is a cynical attack on democracy.

It is now only possible to vote by hand delivering voting documents to Independent Elections Services office at L2, 198 Federal Street, Auckland by Friday 5pm 26 October. This severely limits the number of eligible Aucklanders able to exercise their right to vote. Says Mr Neilson

Contacts

Peter Neilson 021 395 891 peter@neilson.net.nz

Dale and Judith Ofsoske  09 973 5212 judith@electionservices.co.nz