Kāpiti Signs controversies prompt policy

Kāpiti Council has issued a policy statement regarding elections signage and says it will be strictly enforced.

Labour candidate Rob McCann had signs removed by Council last week which were damaged and subsequently returned which caused a storm of protest and apologies to Mr McCann.

The announced policy is designed to level the political playing field.

Council recently invited political party representatives to a briefing on how they’ll be able to use electoral signage around Kāpiti in the lead up to the September election.

Signs can be put up from Saturday 22 July and must be removed before election day on Saturday 23 September.

The guidelines for what can be put up, and where, are now available for everyone’s information on Council’s website.

The Electoral Act sets out various rules, including when electoral signage can be set up by political party candidates. The Act is administered by the Ministry of Justice and Council’s role is to apply those rules at a local level, following the guidance of the Act.

On Council-managed properties there are ten approved locations throughout the district. Signs can be up to 3 square metres and printed on both sides. (Maps of permitted locations are shown in the Council guidelines).

There are also specific rules for parked trailer signs and there are a number of streets around the district with high traffic volume where these cannot be used.

On private property signs can be placed within one metre of the boundary, with the written consent of the owner.

The NZTA is responsible for signs adjacent to State Highways. In Kāpiti at the moment that means the Expressway and the old State Highway 1 road. These options are more limited because of road safety issues, but the rules about dates and sign size are in line with Council’s District Plan.

The KCDC Compliance team can also offer more specific advice on the permitted placement of signs. Council says it will investigate any concerns raised by the community. People can get in touch through Customer Services on 296 4700 or 0800 486 486.