Respected lawyer puts reward bounty on defective electoral booklets

UPDATE ON ELECTORAL BOOKLET BOTCH-UP

TUESDAY 1 OCTOBER 2013

The public are responding to Wellington specialist public law firm Franks & Ogilvie’s call for information to establish the scale of the local election booklet botch-up.

“It appears that the problem could be more widespread than hoped” says Stephen Franks, a principal of the firm.  “We now know that whole families have received booklets missing up to 18 candidates.”

“Some New Zealanders overseas appear to have been badly affected.  For many the election booklet is their only source of information.  They can’t follow the campaigns in local media or go to meetings.”

“To be eligible for the prizes, booklets containing missing pages must be sent to us and received by Monday the 7th of October.  We encourage all New Zealanders to check that the information booklet they received has all of the pages, and contains every candidate that is listed on the voting paper.  Once voting is over and the books discarded, it will be much harder to ascertain whether the integrity of local body elections has been materially affected,” concludes Mr Franks.

As announced on Friday:

The prizes

Delivery of booklets with relevant pages missing will earn $1500 for the person who delivers most before 5pm Monday 7 October, $600 for the next most, and $400 for the third most.  Please send to Franks & Ogilvie, PO Box 10388, Wellington.

The prizes will be paid only to collectors willing to give evidence if necessary, as to how they collected them.

Each booklet must be certified by the person who provides it to the collector, that it has not been mutilated or otherwise materially changed from the condition in which it was distributed, and that person must add their name and address where they received the booklet and contact email or phone number.

We’re also taking messages (info@franksogilvie.co.nz) about defective booklets.

Rewards for whistle-blowing

Rewards to compensate for time and trouble will be paid at our discretion to whistle-blowers. The client may recompense for information materially useful in knowing:

1.       whether there has been a cover-up;

2.       when the problem was first known;

3.       what steps were taken to remedy it;

4.       who knew or reported at high levels; and

5.       whether the official responses were proper in relation to the seriousness.

Please contact Stephen Franks (via info@franksogilvie.co.nz) or leave a message on 04 815 8036 if you have relevant information.  Use a pseudonym if you wish.  We will maintain confidentiality.  The information will matter more at this stage than who provides it.

Our decision on entitlement to a reward or prize is final.