KDC candidate seeks vote recount

by Paul Campbell

Excluded in the local body elections for a seat on the Kaipara District Council after the counting of special votes saw him overtaken, Dargaville Ward candidate, Brian McEwing, is seeking a recount in an application to the Whangarei District Court.

Mr McEwing was at first successful by two votes when the preliminary results were declared, ahead of fellow ward candidate, Karen Joyce Paki, but the counting of special votes gave Ms Paki a 3.6 per cent lead and the council seat.

“I am not breaking my neck to take a council seat off Karen,” said Mr McEwing, “it’s just that people have approached and persuaded me (to ask for a recount) and offered to donate funding to do so.”

The recount through the court costs $750 plus $200 in costs. However, whether or not a recount goes ahead is at a judge’s discretion. “The judge could still throw it out,” Mr McEwing added. He said grounds for the application covered the fact that informal votes, which were not counted, coupled with a perceived human error margin of .25 per cent could change the result.

The road to a recount has not been easy, as an application had to be filed within three days. Mr McEwing said he approached the electoral office, the District Court in Auckland and then the court in Whangarei under the guidance of a lawyer. No date has been set for the court hearing.