Minister for Local Government - “I need to look at the legislation to correct this issue”

breaking By Heta Gardiner

Minister for Local Government Nanaia Mahuta says, a recount after a member is officially elected onto council is “concerning”.

This comes after Councillor Alison Silcock was controversially reinstated as the councilor for the Murupara-Galatea ward, after a recount had her one vote ahead of former broadcaster Hinerangi Goodman. 

After the final votes were tallied both candidates were tied on 262 votes. In accordance with legislation, a name was pulled out of a hat to determine the winner, with Goodman coming up on top. She was later sworn in as the councilor of Murupara-Galatea. But a recount yesterday, overseen by a District Court Judge, ended with Goodman falling back one vote, meaning Silcock took the seat by just a single vote. 

Minister Mahuta told Te Ao “I believe that once the coin toss is done, then the winner should be able to assume the role that they have ascertained through that process. What is concerning is that, someone wins the coin toss, but the loser then has an avenue in which they can request a recount, that is my concern. So I need to look at the legislation to correct this issue."

Te Ao understands that Goodman is considering legal action. Many from Goodman’s Māori Community are also upset at the process that lead to her defeat. More from Te Ao, tonight, 6:30pm on Māori Television.