Mayoral candidate fuming over election 'typos'

5:35 pm on 8 October 2019

A Napier mayoral candidate says his campaign has been seriously compromised because his contact information was recorded wrongly by the electoral officer.

Napier Mayoral candidate David Hannay.

David Hannay says local body election organisers Electionz are running an "amateur" operation. Photo: RNZ / Anusha Bradley

David Hannay, the self-confessed "underdog" in the four-way bid for mayor, had laid a formal complaint with the private company, Electionz, after his name was mixed up with another candidate's, and then an incorrect email was listed on candidate information online.

His name was listed as "Kirsten Hannay" when the nomination papers were first put online but was corrected the next day.

However, it took a week to correct his email address which meant he missed out on several invitations to candidate events, Mr Hannay said.

"A lot of people were saying I didn't show up at things, and I never answered any questions, but it was because they had the wrong email."

He had not had a satisfactory explanation from Electionz about how the mistake happened, he said.

"It was pretty shoddily done for a professional group. They get paid a lot of money to run these elections and it's just amateur."

Electionz chief returning officer Warwick Lampp said the mistakes were due to human error.

The name mix-up occurred because the nomination papers for Mr Hannay and another mayoral candidate Kirsten Wise came in at the same time, he said.

The email was simply entered in wrongly, he said.

"The name error is one of those things that sometimes happens. The updating of names and email addresses to both the nominations webpage and the candidate contact list is a human process, so sometimes typos do occur.

"They were fixed as soon as we knew about them and I have apologised numerous times to David re this," Mr Lampp said.

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