Gary Kelliher v Returning Officer, Otago Regional Council [2016] NZDC 20990

Published 08 November 2016

Application for recount — whether reasonable grounds to believe that the declaration is incorrect exists — whether on a recount the candidate might be elected — Local Electoral Act 2001, s 90. An application for recount of the votes in the Dunstan Constituency for the Otago Regional Council was declined. The applicant was the fourth highest polling candidate in the election for one of three seats in the Dunstan Constituency for the Otago Regional Council. With a margin of five votes, the application was made on the basis that there was "an extremely close result". Noting that closeness of a result on its own is not sufficient evidence amounting to reasonable grounds for a belief that the declaration is incorrect, the Judge considered the process by which the votes were counted. It was found that the process is robust, provides sufficient checks and balances and that there were no reasonable grounds to believe that the declaration was incorrect and the applicant might be elected on a recount. Judgment Date: 21 October 2016.