Richard McGrath says this election sign went missing from Meeanee Rd. Supplied.
Election billboard tampering season is already upon us, with first-term Napier City Councillor Richard McGrath disappointed one of his election signs has gone missing with still more than two months remaining before October's local government elections.
McGrath, who won a by-election for an 'at-large' seat on council in 2014, erected a billboard on a fence of a private property on Meeanee Rd last week, only to be informed by a friend on Monday it was no longer there.
McGrath said the sign's disappearance wasn't due to a wanton act of vandalism and appeared deliberate.
"It doesn't look like kids or vandals, as they would have needed a drill with a square head bit and there are no signs that it has been ripped off," he said.
"It wasn't removed by myself or the home owner so I guess it has been stolen.
"It's disappointing to think there are people out there that think they can mess with the democratic election processes that New Zealand values so highly," said McGrath, who was also disappointed a replacement billboard would cost him $80.
"I would rather spend [the $80] on my family," said the father of two boys.
At the moment, McGrath and two other current councillors, deputy mayor Faye White and Keith Price, are the only candidates nominated for Napier's six "councillor at large" seats.