Will Powerlynk’s David Hay stand up?
Voter confusion could skyrocket in the upcoming Auckland Energy Consumer Trust Elections over the identity of Powerlynk candidate David Hay.
The left-leaning group’s candidate shares the same name as the deputy mayor of Auckland city, who is a Citizens & Ratepayers councillor based in the Avondale-Roskill ward.
The five-member trust, currently dominated by four Citizens & Ratepayers members, owns 75.1 percent of electricity company Vector and replaced the Auckland Electric Power Board in 1993.
Cr Hay says he’s had to tell people he’s not standing for Powerlynk after campaign billboards went up recently.
While the long-serving councillor is concerned about potential confusion among voters, he says there’s nothing he can do about the situation.
“I think people ought to get elect- ed on merit. If he gets elected on merit good on him, but I wouldn’t like him to get elected on my name.”
Powerlynk’s Mr Hay stood for the Green Party during the general election and works as a policy analyst for the Manukau City Council.
Cr Hay says his namesake is coming from a different political perspective to his own.
“I expect his CV reads quite differently to mine.”
Mr Hay says having the same name as the deputy mayor is a point of interest but he doesn’t believe people will be puzzled by the double-up.
“I’m not confused and I don’t think other people need to be.”
But the Grey Lynn resident says he did have to point out he wasn’t Cr Hay when doing some work for the Auckland City Council.
“I had to be clear with the call centre there were two David Hays in the building so they got the right one.”
Mr Hay says one of the major changes he’d like to see is a clear distinction made between Vector and its subsidiary company Vector Communications, which lays broadband cables alongside power cables.
Powerlynk’s lone AECT member Shale Chambers says Mr Hay was selected for his knowledge of policy rather than his name.
“He knows the trust and Vector very well. The candidate booklet comes with a photo, so I don’t think there will be any confusion.”
Voting papers in the postal ballot will be sent out on October 15 and must be returned before October 30. Consumers that live in the former Auckland Electric Power Board area, made up of Auckland and Manukau city council residents, along with some households in Papakura, get to vote.
There is one ballot paper issued per consumer while joint accounts also only receive one ballot paper.
As shareholders in Vector, households recently received the trust’s annual dividend of $320.
Powerlynk Auckland Energy Consumer Trust candidate David Hay.
Auckland city deputy mayor David Hay.