Officials probe enrolment fraud

Even as the campaign for the Auckland (Super City) election could gather heat, allegations of irregularity in enrolment of voters in the South Auckland area have emerged, at the thick of which is the Indian community.

An anonymous caller to Indian Newslink last week alleged that he was “being persuaded by some people to enrol his name as a voter in the Papatoetoe area.”

“I am a Mt Roskill resident and do not want to be a participant in this dirty game. New Zealand has strict rules and I do not want to break them,” he said.

He refused to reveal his identity and we advised him to contact the Electoral Commission and lodge a complaint.

But according to available information, the Electoral Enrolment Centre had already initiated an internal inquiry after an audit revealed the irregularity.

Since then, New Zealand Herald has reported that as many as 48 voters were listed as residents of a Papatoetoe home and that 39 others had given another home in the neighbourhood as its residents.

“Another 300 people in 30 homes in the Papatoetoe subdivision of the Otara-Papatoetoe Local Board (part of the new Auckland Council’s Manukau ward) are expected to come under scrutiny. Nearly all the 87 people listed as living at the first two properties, in Pembroke Street and Puhinui Road, have Indian surnames,” the publication reported.

Labour Party is fielding Daljit Singh and Sukhdev Singh Hundal for the Otara-Papatoetoe Board, while the Citizens & Ratepayers Group (supported by National Party) has chosen Avtar Hans and Narinder Kumar Singla as its candidates.

The inquiry has led to a police complaint.

Daljit Singh told Indian Newslink that while he, like many other candidates and community leaders were urging people to enrol their names in the voters’ list and exercise their franchise, he would never ask them to commit any irregularity.

“I want to win the election honestly. I have never told anyone residing elsewhere in the City to enrol themselves as residents in another area,” he said.

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