5 Oct 2010

Pair charged with forgery in voting inquiry

8:06 pm on 5 October 2010

A man charged with forgery in the local body elections is taking his bid for name suppression to the High Court.

Two men were arrested on Tuesday, while a police investigation centred in Auckland continues.

Officers are looking into voting irregularities and whether voters have been transferred to addresses in Papatoetoe.

The men, aged 36 and 39, appeared in the Manukau District Court jointly charged with forgery on Tuesday.

One was granted name suppression without opposition. Judge Heather Simpson declined to grant suppression to the second man, who is appealing against her decision.

The suppression will continue for at least 48 hours while the High Court considers his application.

Judge Simpson said the charge of forgery is a serious one and there is strong public interest.

Police say both men will face further charges, and other people could also be prosecuted.

The pair have been granted bail until their next court appearance on 27 October.

Investigation ongoing

The investigation was launched after a complaint from the Electoral Enrolment Centre.

The Registrar of Electors earlier removed more than 300 enrolments after finding people did not live at addresses listed in the Papatoetoe ward in Auckland.

Up to 40 police have been investigating the irregularities. Police say their investigation will continue for some time, despite Tuesday's arrests.

They earlier looked into whether voters in Hastings, Tauranga and Hamilton were transferred.