Local Govt Online FOR RESULTS

Local Govt Online
@LGOLNZ New Zealand
Local Government Online


Cull wins Dunedin mayoralty ODT Link

Dunedin City Council FINAL Results


Dunedin City Council 2010 Triennial Elections – Final STV Result (PDF)

Dunedin City Council 2010 Triennial Elections – Final STV Result (DOC)

Dunedin City Council 2010 Triennial Elections – Final STV Result Report(DOC)


14.10.10 Declaration of DCC Results FINAL just to hand by email:

Mayoralty Dave Cull is declared elected.

Central Ward Bill Acklin, John Bezett, Fliss Butcher, Neil Collins, Paul Hudson, Jinty MacTavish, Chris Staynes, Teresa Stevenson, Richard Thomson, Lee Vandervis and Colin Weatherall are declared elected.

Waikouaiti Coast-Chalmers Ward Andrew Noone is declared elected.

Mosgiel Taieri Ward Syd Brown and Kate Wilson are declared elected.

Southern District Health Board Results


@LGOLNZ Check out the Dunedin City Council results here http://bit.ly/bSc7AX #e2010

@LGOLNZ Otago Regional Council here http://bit.ly/dC95nP #e2010

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Economics, People, Politics

117 responses to “Local Govt Online FOR RESULTS

  1. JimmyJones

    I’m pleased we have a new mayor. And there’s more at the ODT Dunedin voters dump Walls and Guest

  2. Caz

    Fantastic news the backbone has been broken.
    Wish I was there to join in your celebrations

  3. Russell Garbutt

    So good the electorate has seen through Chin, Walls and Guest and placed their trust elsewhere. No longer do we have to endure “the facts” according Yesterday’s Men.

    And now the hard business really starts. Bet your bottom dollar that the OB network will be in overdrive tonight trying to make sure that business continues unabated. Every best wish to Dave Cull to start making a difference.

  4. Anonymous

    Yesterday’s Men?
    Acklin/Hudson/Noone/Weatherall/Bezett/Collins/Brown still hold balance of power.
    Would love to see the numbers on the voting; Vandervis in means chaos and the implied lost seat for Greater Dunedin makes it harder for coherent policy to take place.
    Second-to-worst-case scenario.

  5. ro

    Dave’s going to have difficulty distributing chairmanships… I don’t think you could find more indolent & un-read, un-prepared councillors than Collins & Bezett… Acklin’s no better. And, unfortunately, Teresa and Vandervis haven’t shown themselves martyrs to the grind of council reports…

    But I’m not so down about the balance of power. Just think, RW is no longer on the planning committee!

  6. Calvin Oaten

    The people have spoken. But have they changed enough to make the difference? Time and Dave Cull will tell. At least the thief has gone and The old horse Richard is out to grass. Peter Chin will now be able to doze with impunity, so at least we might see some leadership. If Dave Cull can take back control from the bureaucracy and have sufficient support around the table we might get on track.

  7. Richard

    Hi Ro

    I know what you mean but I was not on the ‘Planning Committee’. Hearings is something else and governed strictly by the RMA and its procedures.

    When it comes to ‘Heritage’, in sorting my files out over the last week or so (they are going to the Hocken) I’ll put my stake in the ground as having a hand (with others, of course) in:

    : The Regent
    : The restoration of the Municipal Chambers, the Octagon and George Street;
    : Retention of the facade, Westpac (Crown Clothing);
    : the acquisition of the Taieri Gorge rail line;
    : the acquisition of the Railway Station (for the nominal $1) and its restoration;
    : the acquisition of the former NZR Bus Services Building (for the OSM instead of the Railway Station;
    : the acquisition of the former DIC Buildings and their conversion to the DPAG; (I negotiated the deal with Brierley)
    : the ownership of the Settler’s Collection;
    : the ‘solution’ to the Dunedin Centre/Town Hall redevelopment.

    Could probably think of a few more given time but that will do for now.


    • Elizabeth

      Quibble Richard:

      Facadism done badly is never a good look (Westpac, former Crown Clothing – reads badly at Frederick St and under verandah line… little design finesse at these points).

      Railway Station, saved but exterior stonework very poorly conserved; original matai flooring hocked off to Auckland I believe, etc etc queries through the whole project.

      ### We need to work smarter henceforth and ensure best practice for heritage stewardship and adaptive reuse is observed and applied.

      The council as a whole works these projects, not one individual – as you’ve noted. The new council will need to learn how to access the best advice – this has not always been the way of the previous ones.

  8. Like the last election, I thought this was the time that the council was meant to be told by that huge majority of Dunedinites who wanted no part of the stadium, that the council was on borrowed time.

    Two incumbents removed from council is hardly that message.

    I for one wish to publicly thank Richard Walls for the work he has done on council and for his contributions here. There is no denying his passion and institutional knowledge. Much appreciated Richard and thanks for the good fight.

    The STV figures showed that Bev had a good wack of votes as first preference, but then support radically dropped away as most people didn’t have her as their 2,3,4… preference.

    Jinty McTavish is the real winner with STV. Being 12th on list after fist count, she ends up the 4th councillor actually elected. Thus she got a huge wack of 2nd, 3rd, 4th… votes from a huge range of people. The direct opposite to Bev.

    As suggested on twitter, what happened to the big “This council is going to get told a lesson” vote?

    STV is undoubtedly interesting.

  9. An even more interesting anomaly (and wonderfully poetic one at that) of STV, it looks like the only person’s votes to be ‘wasted’ once they were eliminated from the list was those of Bev Butler – as her fist pref votes weren’t needed to elected someone else. Big-ish first vote counted for nothing if you weren’t reasonably prominent on other voters list.

    But I’ll leave that to the STV geeks to confim

  10. Anonymous

    Translation Paul: if you have a strategy that suits FPP (i.e. large lobby/support group who will vote for you and only you), this will not work in STV scenario where people express preference for either who is electable or who they have heard something about.

    You need to be electable; you need to engage with the whole electorate and you need to have something meaningful to say to that whole electorate.

  11. ro

    Richard: Paul is right. I wish some of those indolent-of-indolents I mentioned before would follow your example and appear on these pages. And I recognise that you have done more for some of the heritage issues on my list than any of them. Thank-you for that.

  12. Richard


    Crown Clothing – yes understand what you are saying but no tenants could be found for the interior that previously existed and what was achieved was eminently better than what was proposed as a replacement building!!

    Ironically, it also came in at a lower cost!

    The only legacy is that unused upper floor.

    • Elizabeth

      Richard, the facade save at Crown Clothing made the owner (purportedly) another mill.
      Yes, understand about the Railway Station.

  13. Richard

    The Railway Station – cannot comment on the work that was undertaken but please remember that Michael Bassett, then Minister of Internal Affairs, was asking the DCC to pay $1.1.m (or $1.2m) for it and could not understand why ‘The Mayor of Dunedin’ said “sorry, too expensive given the work that needs to be done” (or something like that)!

    In fact, MB was apparently so taken aback that he waved the letter around. Could not believe we had turned down ‘a bargain’.

  14. Richard

    I don’t ever recall a figure like that ever being mentioned. Maybe it was a subsequent sale of the property? Anyway none of Council’s business. The positive was that the ‘saving of the facade’ came about because of a change to council’s rate relief policy. Before that there was nothing council could tangibly do. And it still cannot when it comes to private property. Rates relief is, however, ‘a discount’ on what the property owner would pay on the increase in capital value, ie ‘foregoing a little to gain more’.

    And, it is still policy, eg the Farmers rebuilding qualified.

    • Elizabeth

      Don’t want to keep on the facade theme tonight, but Farmers is a very bad example of facadism. The building behind the ‘saved’ facade is unpleasant on the shopping levels; and the terrible back on the building to Great King St is the ultimate crowning mess – if it weren’t for the unscreened, open carpark beside it…decimating Great King St and contributing NOTHING to urban design, or streetscape. The Council was incredibly blind to the cumulative effects that would be created (and have been) – all for the sake of keeping a large retailer on the main street. Once again – a total lack of design intelligence and coherence from Council in managing the application. I use it in lectures as a worst case.

  15. Richard

    Certainly agree with you about the back of the building on Great King Street but, from memory, I do not think Council could do anything about the design.

    The new building replaced a long narrow brick building which I think was originally A&T Inglis’ storeroom and what was the carpark! (It shifted to the south).

    Some 25 years ago, there were plans for a building which would have have included The Farmers and run along Great King to the site next to Community House where a nightclub burnt down. Unfortunately they fell through when all the tenants could not agree but it included a large carpark somewhere in it so it might not have met your design standards.

  16. Ben

    It’s a shame Richard has gone, as but for Lovelock I had a lot of time for him and would acknowledge the contribution he has made over what must run into the decades. I’d much rather have seen greasey indignate so and so’s like Bezett and Acklin out.

    Hopefully cancelling the Lovelock re-alignment is one of the first things on the agenda at the first meeting, as now they probably have the numbers.

  17. Russell Garbutt

    Totally agree with the comments regarding Acklin, Collins, Bezett and co. These were all people that kept a very low profile during the election campaign – along with Hudson of course. No-one knows what they do, because they do nothing, or very little. None are inspiring, none have the qualities of good judgement. None should be given any position of responsibility in the new Council.

    In Walls’ case, his personality demands that he is out there, but the danger in this strategy is that people are made aware of what he believes in – and clearly they didn’t like what they heard or read.

    • Elizabeth

      Richard is as yet still with us in the city, and as we know he likes to stay busy. He’s a hardworking person, rare in the sense that he’s openly willing to debate matters and supply information.

      The new Council is somewhat disenchanting as I mulled last night – and again, while I walked through rain and hail storms today as people texted me catching up on results.

      There are exceptions in the new mix of councillors, but too much dross for my liking to change much and very few who know finance from the inside out and the outside in. Too many who don’t read or clearly never understand their papers; too many who don’t work actively with their constituents; too many that don’t use social media when it is free and available to all. The list goes on.

      Last words (2): shabby result.

  18. Stan

    Oh for crying out loud.

    Only two incumbent Dunedin City councillers lost their seats (and arguably one of those had lost credibility for other reasons). The Otago Regional Council seems largely unchanged even though it chose to support the stadium. Let’s face it, the supposed tsunami of resentment towards the stadium and its supporters never reached shore.

    Some of the rationalisations of this result posted here are just arrogant and insulting. Do you really believe the people of Dunedin are complete morons that were easily duped by pro-stadium councillers maintaining a “low profile”? Do you really hold your fellow citizens in such contempt? There is an alternative, simpler, explanation for the election results – many people are much more relaxed about the stadium issue than you think. They showed it last election, and they showed it this election.

  19. Meg

    I agree Russell. The pro-stadium councillors wise enough to keep their mouths shut have survived – unfortunately. Having got rid of Guest and Walls (sorry Richard, I did appreciate your hard work on many fronts but too often you supported the unsupportable) what do we now hope for?
    1. That Dave Cull picks a deputy from among his natural enemies to create some sort of co-operation on the council
    2. That someone puts something in Lee Vandervis’ water to stop him bullying, throwing his weight around and going off on wild goose chases (meh, forget those platforms you campaigned on Lee, they won’t work. You said if elected as Mayor you would build bridges between the old guard and new councillors – as the second highest polling councillor I’m hoping to see you do this.)
    3. That Richard Thomson uses his great political experience and wisdom to bring warring factions together
    4. That Thomson, Cull and the female councillors form a protective circle around Jinty MacTavish to stop her being bullied and marginalised.

  20. Meg

    Further to my last post, I would like to reproduce something written on a blog when the STS committee was in melt-down. STS ultimately failed in its purpose whereas the anti-smelter group Save Aramoana, in which Richard Thomson played a major part, succeeded.
    “As a member of the ‘save Aramoana’ group I well remember major disputes on strategy and personality clashes. People join these campaigns from all walks of life and with every kind of political belief and set of personal values. We knew this, and we worked as hard on dealing with internal conflicts and maintaining some form of constructive consensus as with did on opposing the smelter proposal. Our success in social and interpersonal ‘housekeeping’ contributed as much to final outcome as what we did or said in opposing the proposal. My message to the Stop the Stadium Group is to show tolerance and respect to your opponents and amongst yourselves. You are working hard on behalf of a large section of the community who look to you for success. Please take a very good look at how you relate to each other and those outside your group.’

    Co-operation and respect for differing opinions is crucial and my sincere wish is that the incoming council can turn over a new leaf and that Richard Thomson can have the same positive diplomatic role on the council that he did on Save Aramoana.

    • Elizabeth

      Paul tells me (via Twitter): “apparently there was a huge number of invalid ballot papers in the central ward”.

      Associate Professor Dr Janine Hayward, Department of Politics, University of Otago, has asked to see some void papers to see what folk have done. I understand from Paul that Assoc Prof Hayward has been exchanging emails with the Chief Returning Officer.


      Stan, the elections aren’t about one issue (eg the stadium). People commenting here variously have a reasonable appreciation of the re-elected councillors based on past performance, and across many issues.

  21. Stan

    My apologies – reading the “about” for this site, it appeared that the Stadium was the main focus. That’s why my post, like a previous post from Paul (I think), concentrated on that issue. I hadn’t realised that the site has since morphed into more of a “Sort the System” place. Sorry.

    • Elizabeth

      Stan, last week Paul (site owner) changed its name to What if? Dunedin… This is complementary to our Twitter account @whatifdunedin which has been active for some months now.

      Paul and I as independent co-authors of the site have never had any affiliation to “Sort the System”, and which is no longer a legal entity.

  22. Stan

    You should probably change the “about” too to reflect that :-)

    I never said that it had any affilation to Sort The System – just that it seemed more of that sort of place.

    Sorry for the confusion. Won’t bother you again.

    • Elizabeth

      Your point is well made – we’re running a reasonably large archive of pro, anti and discursive stadium material which tracks the stadium build to fruition, and maybe onwards to its eventual operation.

      We still use this url https://dunedinstadium.wordpress.com/ for public search purposes.

      The “About” will no doubt be changed or archived off as this site (or a new one) takes up city-wide urban design issues in future. We’re both quite taken with Twitter as the social network of choice. Blogging is a bit slow…


      Yesterday’s test on the Twitter platform for coverage of New Zealand election results, associated news and lively exchanges left “What if?” for dead.

      Paul and I joined the tweeps who made sure all the latest information was shared (way ahead of ODT or this blog). And although he and I hardly blogged a thing here, the number of hits at our site, on this head post (because ODT was too slow to party), were the highest this year.

      Join Twitter, it’s free. Gotta get your news somehow, faster…

  23. Russell Garbutt

    Stan, I pointed out Acklin, Collins, Bezett and Hudson – not necessarily for their stance on the stadium which was to make no measurable input into the debate – but for their apparent inability to make any form of meaningful contribution on any issue.

    Can you point to anything of consequence that any of these four have done to engage with their community over any of the major issues we have? Hence my observation that they seem to have adopted the position for years now of not doing anything or saying anything that will attract attention to the fact that they are there.

  24. Elizabeth

    Much as it pains me, the moderators of this site have the last say.

    {Two comments by Richard and one from Calvin have been removed from this thread. -Eds}

  25. Richard

    Yes, pains me too! Some things have to be said!

    Actually I am thinking of publishing the ‘Collective Thoughts of OG’. Unfortunately, it would need a volume thicker than the Oxford Dictionary.

    Gotta have a laugh occasionally though!

    My real thoughts are at my website.

    And on that note, my fleeting revisit is ended!

    Once again many thanks to those who have sent me messages. I really appreciate the sincerity of them all, especially from those who did not vote for me, but who wish me well.

  26. Meg

    Haven’t read the thoughts or what they pertain to, but perhaps Owen Graham?

  27. ro

    Otago governors? Old geezers?

  28. Richard

    Oaten and Garbutt! Members of the OFC.

  29. kate

    Richard do I hear the smile in your writing?

    • Elizabeth

      (via @socialspace)

      Douglas Coupland’s depressing next ten years
      By Cory Doctorow at 11:22 PM Saturday, Oct 9, 2010



      ### theglobeandmail.com Friday, 8 Oct 2010 6:49PM EDT
      Last updated Saturday, 9 Oct 2010 11:55PM EDT
      A radical pessimist’s guide to the next 10 years
      By Douglas Coupland
      The iconic writer reveals the shape of things to come, with 45 tips for survival and a matching glossary of the new words you’ll need to talk about your messed-up future.
      Read more

  30. Richard

    You sure do!

  31. Calvin Oaten

    The collective thoughts of ‘Oaten and Garbutt’ would need a volume thicker than the Oxford Dictionary. Now there’s a compliment. Or was it that Walls needs the dictionary in order to write it.

  32. Stu

    Thanks for the “next 10 years view” link, Elizabeth. Much to ponder there.
    If you subscribe to the point of view that the current state of “Western” “Civilisation” is Utopia, or close to, then the trajectory has to be downwards.
    What I take from it is that the most important things are to be opportunistic and coherent. That means making the most of what you have, actively seeking new ways to use those assets and a final move away from the notion that things or activities last forever.

    Welcome to the age of the new lemonade stand, set up for as long as it needs to be…

  33. James

    Paul is correct that Jinty MacTavish is the biggest winner from STV, but it’s also worth noting that behind her, Chris Staynes has a lot of pulling power in later preferences.
    In terms of a real voting ‘block’, it was interesting to see the way certain candidates on elimination really pushed other’s forward.
    Gallagher, Tozer, and Lequeux all pushed MacTavish on their own elimination.
    Aaron Hawkins would have given MacTavish a real boost as well, but as she was already elected by that stage, this effect probably pushed Stevenson and Butcher over the line.

    Anyway, to make it a little bit clearer, you can have a look at my annotated graph of the central ward. The most evident voting ‘block’ appears to be people voting for younger and/or female candidates.

    {The Special Votes have yet to be counted. -Eds}

  34. Russell Garbutt

    I do note that in this morning’s ODT the analysis is also that those sitting Councillors that did nothing, said nothing, or contributed little benefitted. Noted also is Chin’s comment that there were a few round the past Council table that were less capable than others – he was in a position to bring attention to those people, but failed to do so.

    I also note that Walls cannot help himself by continued “fleeting visits” to this site to sling a few more stones while declining comment in the ODT. The number of votes he received should really be the last word on that matter.

    It is now time to look forward – and to wish Dave Cull and the new Councillors every good fortune in returning Dunedin to a place where we all feel we have a say that will be listened to. It will be impossible to get a unified opinion on everything, but let us all hope that the days of “we know best” are well and truly gone.

  35. Richard

    You are as always, Russell, “most gracious”.

    Noting a previous comment, I simply say this. It was my responsibility as Chair of Finance and Strategy to put the council position.

    You and Calvin did not like that. As I always said, “fine”. You were always entitled to your opinion. The problem for both of you is your ‘own fact’.

    So, I fully expect you both to find ‘new targets’, that is your nature.

    But now I am, of course, free to express my own opinions too untrammelled by the office I have been privileged to hold!

    But anything I say will be positive especially when it comes to things like the urban environment and such.

    The world of misery, of negativity, I leave to you and Calvin.

    • Elizabeth

      Richard – some negativity has accorded your role in council these last years, not so for the whole of your term I wouldn’t think, but it all comes down to opinion and performance.

      I don’t find Calvin or Russell to be negative people. They’re critical and well motivated. They see through council politics, manipulations and games rather easily – that’s a hard road, given the lack of transparency and accountability afforded by the outgoing council, when information in public domain is made deliberately sparse.

      Constructive criticism is rarely ‘negative’. Why ever should Calvin or Russell let you away with dullard pomposity over the irrational spending of the council during your term as the chair of Finance and Strategy.


      Richard Walls, Peter Chin and Michael Guest have left the council table. While this is unfortunate for the individuals themselves, it is definitely a bonus for Dunedin citizens and ratepayers.

      Some bubbles burst a bit with electoral returns. Headaches over the debt ratio created have barely surfaced.

  36. Richard


    Your graph etc is most interesting. Being objective, I guess the question that remains is whether STV – or the Rod Donald/Green New Zealand version of it – has worked in the larger ward as its proponents have always claimed it would.

    Taking myself out of it, I am not so sure it has. I think others may swing to that view.

    But without going back to FPP, are the alternatives any better, eg the one used in council elections in NSW?

    Something for future debate.

  37. James

    Hi Richard,
    Thanks for the feedback. The PDF format of the preliminary results took quite a bit of effort to push into a graph friendly format.
    I take the contrary view and consider that STV largely worked. Those people who chose to support some of the ultimately unsuccessful candidates still have a clear voice coming through. This is most clear in that those who supported Gallagher and Hawkins are ultimately represented on council by MacTavish, and I’d guess they’re probably not too dark about that.

    On a personal vote, I found the ORC in some ways harder. Sure it was quite painful ranking for the central ward (I gave up after 18), but I decided I didn’t like my choices having equal weighting on the ORC, and would have preferred to rank.

    • Elizabeth

      ### ODT Online Mon, 11 Oct 2010
      We need to regain trust: Cull
      By David Loughrey
      The winds of change could be about to sweep through the offices of the Dunedin City Council, with Mayor-elect Dave Cull convinced the community’s demand for change led to his win on Saturday.
      Read more


      ### ODT Online Mon, 11 Oct 2010
      Mayors aim to contain costs
      By Chris Morris
      Southern councils are in for a shake-up after voters demanding change across Otago handed the mayoral chains to four new leaders. In Dunedin, outgoing mayor Peter Chin paid the price for backing the $198 million Forsyth Barr Stadium, with a wave of unrest over the project and the city’s debt helping Cr Dave Cull seize the mayoral chains.
      Read more


      ### ODT Online Mon, 11 Oct 2010
      Editorial: Change is healthy
      When Dunedin Mayor Peter Chin spoke to the final city council meeting earlier this month, his words read like a valedictory speech, a farewell from office, and such has proved to be the case. His campaign offered few positive ideas for the future for worried Dunedin ratepayers and residents, especially given the debt load agreed by the two councils Mr Chin had led for the past six years. He may be remembered with greater charity in the decades ahead, as he had hoped, but on Saturday voters punished him as harshly as they did two other senior city councillors associated with him, Richard Walls – a former mayor – and Michael Guest.
      Read more

  38. Steve

    Yes, I agree with you, James, although I would say that STV worked perfectly. Whether contributors to this site like it or not, the people got exactly what they voted for.

    As you will know, under FPP, a small shift in voter opinion can lead to a huge ‘clean out’ of an elected body (which is seen as very unfair). Under STV, being a system of proportional representation, a small shift in voter opinion will result in a small change in elected representatives.

    The people got rid of the mayor and, in the Central Ward, two out of 11 councillors, which is not bad going. To get a wholesale cleanout under STV, there needed to be massive public outrage at what has been going on over the last three years, expressed through the voting, but it would appear there wasn’t.

    Also, the power of name recognition in local elections can never be under-estimated.

  39. Richard

    For the record. The media were well aware in advance that I would not be available for comment yesterday because of family commitments.

    They were made aware of the statement on my website which was posted mid-evening on Saturday.

    And anyway, it was ‘Dave’s Day’.

  40. Calvin Oaten

    Thanks Elizabeth. Despite Richard’s cavilling, I never have treated any of this as personal. Like Russell, I simply see things in a different light to Richard. We criticise, Richard defends. It’s that simple. And let’s face it, there’s an awful lot to criticise. The people have weighed Richard and found him wanting. That’s the nature of things. As you know I have experienced it myself. You just get on with it.

    • Elizabeth

      Paul @five15design has tweeted (via word from the Returning Officer) that there are only 317 special votes and not all of these are in Central Ward.

  41. Russell Garbutt

    Elizabeth – thank you from me as well regarding your comments. Richard is one of those people who, if you don’t agree with his views, paints you as negative.

    I know my general outlook on life and it is far from what he attempts to paint – the people that matter to me know me far better than he does.

    What he can’t seem to grasp is that a lot of others don’t agree with his aims and to now plead that all that he did as a “senior Councillor” was merely follow the wishes of the Council at large while chairing a very powerful committee of the Council is, what I sense will be a long process of attempting to rewrite history.

    That is the last comment I will be making on Richard Walls – it is now time to look forward.

  42. Richard

    Well, Elizabeth, if they are not negative then all the dictionaries meanings are wrong!

    I have never asked anyone to agree with my views. Just accept the differences.

    I guess I have developed a ‘thicker hide’ to the personal remarks that Russell and Calvin ‘dish out’ but I never accept ‘rudeness’.

    And Calvin, sorry but many of your ‘blogs’ are personal, very personal. Don’t just take my word for it.

    Give a month or two and Russell and Calvin will find someone and/or something on the new council to criticise other than Lee and Bev, if by chance, she gets on.

    That is because they are ‘lonely men’, jealous of the achievements of others but who never ‘put up their hand’ to do anything.

    {paragraph deleted}

    And there are stories yet to be told. If and when they are, well I do not want to be a spoiler.

    But I have a life beyond politics – and blogs.

    One I commend to Russell (who I note is running away) and Calvin.


    {This comment has been moderated. -Eds}

  43. Richard

    Question: Why is there a Dunedin debt ‘bubble now’ when the situation was well documented 3 years ago?

    And why did Tremain pick on Peter this morning? He lives in QDL (projected $420m which they have to cut back) and then, of course, there is Christchurch (projected $1 billion), at a time while ours will be coming down.

    The stadium construction debt will be paid off in 20 years (much like a table loan one has when buying a house) and others relating to core infrastructure etc over longer terms.

    Of course, there is always the option to reduce the debt by paying it off more quickly. Admirable perhaps but to do so will almost certainly saddle current ratepayers with more than their fair share of the cost of the assets and their depreciation.

    To me, that is inequitable. The cost should be shared across all those who will use or enjoy the assets.

  44. Richard

    Really! Maybe in George Pal’s day!

    It was RG who started this with his snide comment about my not speaking to the media yesterday.

    But then when, like RG, you are always in the second string of the pack behind the lead dog, your view of the world never changes!

    Even if RG and CO don’t, I’ll settle for what the ODT said in its editorial this morning.

    “The successes and failures of the past, the controversies and arguments of yesterday, best belong there so that all effort can be focused on the challenges ahead, to building a safe, secure and affordable future for every citizen.”

  45. Anne

    To Richard’s “Of course, there is always the option to reduce the debt by paying it off more quickly”, there was also the option of not entering into the stadium debt at all, or settling for a lesser amount to renovate Carisbrook. Yes, I know the estimated costs for that and more could have been done to promote one of the cheaper options, for example by Richard himself.

    Further, if “The cost should be shared across all those who will use or enjoy the assets” is equitable, can I please opt out of the enforced extra rate – was it “a cup of coffee a day”? In our household we don’t plan to set foot in the new stadium if we can avoid it.

  46. Richard

    Anne: I was FOR the Carisbrook option recommended by the Working Party back in 2005.

    If you are the same Anne (*from the Strath) who gave me the ‘stick’ about it then, I am surprised at your post!

    Anyway, I remind you it was Leah and Lee with the support of Teresa and, of course, Maurice who led the charge to sink that option!

    If you are not the same Anne, then my apology but at least you know the position.

  47. Anne

    I AM indeed the same Anne. At that time I had no time for any Council money (read: my rates) going to rugby (sometimes dressed up as ‘economic development’). This was also the case for councillors who did not support that option. Therefore undoubtedly the stick. Those options, by the way, seemed quite expensive.

    Quite annoying was the sense of entitlement to Council money by the rugby fraternity, witnessed by the continuing non-repayment of loans from Council and the subsequent farce of buying Carisbrook to prop up the Union.

    The real bind was the bullying and requirements of the NZRFU, the Sky contracts and so on. And then the loss of the fourth city status. Can we buy ourselves fame and fortune? Apparently some people think so.

    With all that has passed, I subsequently came to the opinion, that a lesser evil would have been to retain Carisbrook. My conversion was, I think, a result of reading the NZ Historic Places Trust report on Carisbrook. It has a magnificent history and I can relate to that. The fact that cricket was also played there, not to mention Yvette Williams’ high jump and family picnic back in the 50s, were further reasons.

    I think this is all in the past and no point dragging it up yet again. I shall therefore refrain from posting anything further on this topic.

    • Elizabeth

      The piece you’ve cited Richard, from the ODT editorial, is exactly where I think Russell and Calvin agree with you, we, us and co. That’s good, right? Quit haggling. Even Kevin Rudd tweeted calmly and only very seldomly from his family holiday break after defeat … he was safely equalising, drawing breath, allowing realisation to flow.

      Suggestion: stop blogging for a week, Richard – just try it, or we’ll collude to make it compulsory that you do. Said kindly.

  48. Richard

    Don’t worry. I am happily ploughing through a swathe of messages and listening to Eva Cassidy without a care in the world.

    I am flattered by the comparison but KR, of course, had good reason not to blog.

    And if RG and CO had confined themselves to non-personal remarks, I would not be posting! Slainte.

  49. Calvin Oaten

    Elizabeth, I like your attempts to pacify Richard. But he seems determined to toss his toys out of the cot. A petulant loser really. Displays no social graces whatsoever. He is determined to self destruct by lashing out at anyone he sees as having contributed to his ignominy. Pity he can’t see that it is all his own doing. Slainte too often might be his problem.

    • Elizabeth

      Calvin, I’ve decided it’s easier for me to take the mental health days off than it is for Richard. There’s every ability for “Delete” to happen if he doesn’t do what the doctor has ordered here. No more Slainte for Richard.

  50. Richard

    Hi again, Anne. Thanks. Yes, I agree. You also reminded me about the later costs for the redevelopment of Carisbrook which, for some reason, I had overlooked in my notes. So they are there now and thanks for that too. Cheers!

  51. Richard

    I can take ‘my lumps’ Calvin. All you can ever come back with when you cannot sustain your argument is another personal “hit below the belt” like “Slainte too often might be his problem”. Says it all.

  52. Richard

    Oh well, Elizabeth. If you want any copies of documents certified, statutory declarations taken etc, then I am doing my usual stint on the JP roster, Saturday morning 10am to 12 noon at Citizen’s Advice Bureau. As I have for the past two years. Same for next year!

  53. Calvin Oaten

    I am sorry Richard but I just can’t help it. Why you think I hit below the belt I cannot understand, unless your ego has slipped that far. It’s the humour I find so stimulating. You see, you even have Elizabeth talking of mental health days off. Now that’s really above and beyond the call of duty.

    • Elizabeth


      @3Politics [3news] Meet the mayors: Brown, Cull, Parker, Shadbolt http://ow.ly/19o6ku

      • Elizabeth


        Paul @five15design says:

        1200 special votes for Dunedin, but all but 300 of them have already been counted & included in the figures so far.

        And with such a small sample, spread over not just the Central Ward, it’s impossible to see the entire trend changing.

  54. Richard

    “I also note that Walls cannot help himself by continued “fleeting visits” to this site to sling a few more stones while declining comment in the ODT”.

    That’s where!

  55. Hi Anne “Carisbrook. It has a magnificent history and I can relate to that. The fact that cricket was also played there, not to mention Yvette Williams’ high jump and family picnic back in the 50s, were further reasons.”

    Yeah, but then life is about moving on. I hear wonderful stories about horse racing at Lancaster Park, and I have a vested interest in that as my Great GrandFather, Grandfather, Great Uncle and second cousin have all in their day won NZ Trotting Cups, Interdominions, Easter Cups, more or less every single major Pacing and Trotting trophy there is to win in the Southern Hemisphere. Indeed I have my Grandfather’s trophy of the Free For All he won with the most famous horse in the nation at the time Harold Logan.

    But alas things change, Addington became the home of trotting, not Lancaster Park.

    Lancaster Park holds a further special place for me, in that it was where I play my finest cricket, but those club rooms (some of the most famous in the land) are now gone to be replaced by a pub. My beloved Goodison Park, home of Everton FC, Anfield home of Liverpool FC, Highbury home of Arsenal FC, these are but a few of the massive historically significant stadiums that holds such dear memories, indeed are very much part of the culture of these localities, all of which have been demolished or are about to.

    We’ve all been through this before, aside from the money, there was no practical reason why Carisbrook could be retained, without turning it into some sort of Disney type attraction. Suburban sports stadiums are dead 99% of the time. The land is valuable for the city …

    but this is all old stuff and something that entrenched sides will never really agree upon eh.

  56. Peter

    Meanwhile….. as we follow the rise and fall of election candidates there is another developing story going on. It might be the hurly burly of the election, but so far the local media have ignored the DCC bonds issue that has surfaced in the latest Deadline, ‘Citizens locked out from financial opportunity’, written by Bev Butler, and the latest Sunday Star Times (10.10.10), ‘Local bodies prepare to flex borrowing muscle’ (Business Section – a report written by Rob Stock).

    Rob Stock has found the DCC is the only council in the country that has opposed a Bond Bank, proposed by John Key, that would save local councils (ratepayers) money when raising bonds. Interesting. Why? This issue has been developing with Bev corresponding with the Ombudsman, for the DCC to release details of the identity of those ‘habitual investors’ who have been lucky to secure DCC bonds, totalling $285m over the last five years or so, at a generous interest rate, of at times up to 9.62%. It would seem possible that this group is rather small and ‘exclusive’. Who are they? The DCC really doesn’t want you, the citizens, to know.

    I hope the ODT and D Scene pick up on this story. If they don’t you’d have to ask yourself the question….Why? It is very frustrating here in Dunedin to get the real stories out there especially if they have a potential whiff about them. (We suspect the reason why, don’t we). We desperately need a gutsy, investigative local newspaper that really lifts the lid on ‘touchy’ local issues that goes beyond tittle tattle and easy stories that cause no discomfort.

    Maybe, Elizabeth, you could develop a new thread on this. Let’s leave the Richard thing above. I’m starting to find it petty.

    • Elizabeth

      We have posted the SST article, Peter – as well as contacted the newspaper to get a correction to their online article which is missing text, from page D3 of the print edition.

      11.36am SST have made the correction.

      • Elizabeth

        ### ODT Online Tue, 12 Oct 2010
        Weatherall likely safe: lecturer
        By Chris Morris
        Incumbent councillor Colin Weatherall’s seat on the Dunedin City Council is likely to be safe despite a strong challenge by Bev Butler, a University of Otago academic says.
        Read more


        ### ODT Online Tue, 12 Oct 2010
        Voter turnout rebounds
        By David Loughrey
        An apparently inexorable downward trend in voting returns in Dunedin was reversed in Saturday’s local government election, but the increase was not as high as expected last week.
        Read more

  57. Steve

    Yes, I agree Colin Weatherall is safe. Upon Dave Cull’s withdrawal, Bev Butler had 1,221 first preference votes out of 32,518 (3.75%) and Colin had 1,231 (3.79%). Colin is currently 57.48 votes ahead of her. Bev would need to receive at least 50 of the 317 special votes (15.77%), which, statistically, is very unlikely (and Colin would need to receive considerably less than his proportional ‘entitlement’ of 12 votes), to have any chance of toppling him. Even then, if the spread of lower preferences for Bev within those 317 votes pretty much match the spread of lower preferences for her within the original 32,518 votes, as the science of statistical sampling would (as I understand it) suggest it will, then she would likely still fail to dislodge him.

  58. Richard

    Did not intend turning up today, beautiful and sunny as many Dunedin days can be at this time of year.

    So, I have not read anything posted here since yesterday nor do I intend to.

    Suffice to say, I am rather overwhelmed with dozens of messages, many phone calls and now cards.

    Today out having another birthday lunch (there have been four family birthdays this past week) and in the supermarket, it has been very rewarding and humbling to have people (some of whom I do not know) come up, tap me on the shoulder or shake my hand and say “thank you and all the best.”

    One or two messages here too, thanks Paul and the others. Appreciated.

    • Elizabeth

      ### ODT Online Wed, 13 Oct 2010
      Mayor-elect faces tough decisions
      By David Loughrey
      The “efficiencies” Dunedin mayor-elect Dave Cull has targeted as one of the major facets of his plans to lighten the burden on ratepayers may require some unpalatable decisions by the new city council.
      Read more


      ### ODT Online Wed, 13 Oct 2010
      Southern mayors plot united stand
      By Chris Morris
      Southern mayors say they will unite to fight the economic pulling power of the emerging Auckland super city. Mayors from across the lower South Island yesterday told the Otago Daily Times co-operation would need to increase to ensure the region’s voice was not drowned out by the massive new Auckland Council.
      Read more

      • Elizabeth

        ### http://www.radionz.co.nz Tuesday, 12 October 2010 14:10
        Afternoons with Jim Mora
        School for mayors
        On Thursday, 20 mayors from around New Zealand will go back to school to learn the mayoral ropes before putting on the mayoral chains.
        Audio Ogg Vorbis MP3 (8:00)

        • Elizabeth

          Final results are out tomorrow afternoon for DCC…

        • Elizabeth

          ### ODT Online Thu, 14 Oct 2010
          Criticism of polling dismissed
          By David Loughrey
          Criticism pre-election polling could skew results or put people off voting is not supported by academic evidence, a University of Otago political studies department senior lecturer says.
          Read more

        • Elizabeth

          Declaration of DCC Results FINAL just to hand by email…

          Mayoralty Dave Cull is declared elected.

          Central Ward Bill Acklin, John Bezett, Fliss Butcher, Neil Collins, Paul Hudson, Jinty MacTavish, Chris Staynes, Teresa Stevenson, Richard Thomson, Lee Vandervis and Colin Weatherall are declared elected.

          Waikouaiti Coast-Chalmers Ward Andrew Noone is declared elected.

          Mosgiel Taieri Ward Syd Brown and Kate Wilson are declared elected.

        • Elizabeth

          ### ODT Online Wed, 20 Oct 2010
          Butler goes for recount
          By David Loughrey
          Dunedin City Council candidate Bev Butler has applied for a full recount of the election results, claiming the close vote, and similarity of names on the poll, as reasons to check almost 34,000 voting papers.
          Read more

        • Elizabeth

          Whispered to me today the recount could cost DCC $50,000 to $80,000. I have no idea about that, anyone?

        • Elizabeth

          Definitely wasn’t commenting on Bev’s democratic right to seek a recount – rather I’m surprised if DCC’s saying it will cost that much over and above Bev paying $750.

  59. Phil

    Looks like about a 50/50 split between the “trying to do something” and the “I hope no-one notices I’m here” groups. Interesting times ahead.

    • Elizabeth

      FINAL DCC election results can be downloaded from the post at the top of this thread.


      ### toroaradio.co.nz 1575 AM Dunedin Access Radio (1 Sept – 6 Oct 2010)
      Smell The Coffee
      Syd Addie returns with a series of live to air programs, interviewing current local bodies and potential new councillors in the Greater Dunedin area.
      Smell The Coffee Interview Listings + Podcasts

  60. Phil

    Bev’s annoyed a few people over the past few years, and, in my opinion, she’s sailed past the point of reason a few times. But, in this case, when you’re 40 votes shy of having a formal voice, I’d back her right to appeal. Better for everyone to be sure when it’s that close, regardless of personalities.

  61. Anonymous

    One has to bear in mind that Paul Hudson is only 1 vote ahead of Colin Weatherall in the final standings. A recount may rejig more than the obvious.

  62. Phil

    Yeah, I didn’t realise exactly how close those 2 are to the edge. You would hope that might send them both a message, but, probably not.

  63. Phil

    Don’t really care if it costs DCC or not. That’s the joys of holding an election. I think that’s just mischief making on their part purely because of who the applicant is, and her publicised financial history in relation to DCC. A pretty cowardly attempt by them to gather public support if they choose to go down that path. If it was either of the other two currently above her, I doubt there would be a word spoken about the cost.

  64. The data entry entailed in the job is enormous. Probably one data enterer and one checker. At close to minimum wage, close to $30 hour. Perhaps 2 minutes a pop, and that’s seriously adding up ($1 a vote). If they add an extra layer of scrutiny (eg to check if each voter is enrolled), that’s another person, or a few more seconds.

    As the anon notes, a re-count might re-jig at the following decision-critical points:
    1. Butler leads Hawkins by 28 votes (so Butler might not even be there at the end).
    2. Weatherall leads Butler by 43 (the obvious one)
    3. Hudson leads Butler by 44.
    4. Stevenson beats Marlow by 67.
    I seem to recall that re-counts sometimes lead to changes of ~40 or so in parliamentary elections.
    I don’t recall an STV recount before, and if not, I think it would be worth seeing how different the first count and the re-count tallies are. It will give some kind of guide to the reasonableness of re-counts in the future.

  65. Steve

    There are really only two sorts of challenge that might be made to NZ STV results: (i) that the data were input incorrectly (but that has nothing to do with the counting method, being just as serious for older STV methods); and (ii) that the wrong candidate was excluded at a given point in the count (but, producing the evidence to show that the count was conducted properly is perfectly simple, although, as distractedscientist suggests, the job will be enormous.

    It seems Bev Butler’s application is based on the possibility of problems in respect of both (i) and (ii). Although Bev has a perfect right to go down this path, let me say here and now, it is doomed to failure on both counts – and yes, the process will likely cost many thousands of dollars.

    With regard to (i), the optical character recognition (OCR) technology used these days to scan the votes to computer files, is simply amazing. I’ve seen it being done. When the scanner throws up a vote where, say, a badly written 4 looks like a 6, or where words (one, two, etc.) have been used instead of numbers, the scanning pauses while the electoral officer determines the voter’s intent, or otherwise decides the matter, then the scanning continues. So, she is not going to succeed on that score.

    I can’t see how she can succeed on the basis that at least 43 people voted for Fliss Butcher, or gave a lower preference to Butcher, when they really meant to vote for Butler, or give Butler a lower preference. How could that possibly be determined after the fact? No, if she is relying on success through any confusion caused by name-similarity, she is doomed to failure on that score, as well.

    The only way she can succeed under (i), is if at least 43 voting documents can be found that favoured Colin Weatherall, but where the electors, for whatever reason, were not entitled to vote. The process of validating voting documents is rigorous, so she is not going to succeed with that one, either.

    With regard to (ii), given that I have previously demonstrated that the STV Calculator has been programmed correctly to produce results in accordance with the NZ STV rules, as set out in Schedule 1A of the Local Electoral Regulations 2001 (see the Cargill Ward 2004 Count paper at the “In Defence of STV” post (26 August 2010)), I can say that the outcome in the Central Ward is not close. Bev is 42.9766 votes behind Weatherall, and that is a huge margin to overcome. Given that the election outcome was produced by a properly programmed computer, for her to have any hope of success on this score, she would need to have been something like 0.000003594 of a vote behind Weatherall.

    As part of the recount, I imagine an incredible amount of paper will have to be produced, being the votes file. Once Butler (and the judge) has accepted the votes file is correct, she will likely be shown how each continuing candidate’s current keep value is calculated through each of the 58 iterations. She will no doubt be shown how the votes are re-counted, over and over again, through 58 iterations, and how each vote is currently being used, based on the current keep values at any given iteration.

    To demonstrate that all is well through each successive iteration, votes will be added up, to get the totals at the current iteration. These totals will agree precisely with the figures published in the Calculator report. The current quota will then be worked out as (votes – non-transferables) / (seats + 1).

    At iteration 58, as at each previous iteration, the question will then be asked, has every candidate got either (i) a keep value of 1.0, or (ii) a keep value of 0.0, or (iii) at least a quota of votes? If so, all is well so far. For every candidate having more than a quota, the surplus will be determined, and added up to get the total surplus, which will be added to Butler’s votes.

    Doing that will show that, even if the whole of the total surplus went to Butler (which would be extremely unlikely) she would still have fewer votes than anyone else. Therefore, it being impossible for her to catch up, she would correctly be excluded.

    So, while the recount will be an expensive waste of time, Bev Butler will at least obtain an excellent education as to how STV works, and will see for herself just how rigorous the system is. And, as distractedscientist says, “It will give some kind of guide to the reasonableness of re-counts in the future.”

    In this regard, the following extract from the website of the Auckland electoral officer is of some interest. It clearly (it seems to me) refers to three STV recounts, and supports my contention that NZ STV is logical and easy to understand when the method is properly explained / demonstrated.

    “At the 2004 local government elections, Independent Election Services Ltd was the only contracted election services provider that did not experience any electoral-related problems. Our scanning platform for both FPP and STV votes performed error-free, and produced accurate results from over 400,000 electors in a very timely fashion on election day. Following three Judicial Recounts (due to very close results), Judge Morris of the Auckland District Court made the following written statement:

    “*This recount was one of three that I conducted. In each of these recounts the applicants and their scrutineers were unanimous in their praise for the conduct of the original count and the conduct of the recount. It is quite clear to me that each of the applications for a recount was at least sceptical, if not cynical, of the original count process and came to this recount concerned about the process to date. It is my impression that those applicants and their supporters in this application and the others that I dealt with, went away with a unanimous acceptance of the integrity, accuracy and efficiency of the system undertaken and administered by Mr Ofsoske and his team. In fact the Electoral Officer and his staff were praised by all those involved and as the supervising Judge, I join in that chorus of approval.

    “Judge Barry Morris*”.

    • Elizabeth

      Thanks so much Steve, remarkable context within your comment~!!

      • Elizabeth

        ### ODT Online Thu, 21 Oct 2010
        Recount decision due today
        By David Loughrey
        Dunedin council candidate Bev Butler’s election recount – if it goes ahead – could cost Dunedin ratepayers up to $70,000. A decision on the recount was expected from a Dunedin District Court judge at 5pm today.
        Read more

  66. Steve

    Thanks for that, Elizabeth.

    I see in yesterday’s article in the ODT that “Ms Butler had spoken to electoral officer Pam Jordan, and was told voting forms were processed in batches, where data entry operators manually entered all the preferences from each voting paper into the computer.”

    While that is true, it gives the impression that the voting paper is on the DEO’s table and that s/he looks at the preference for candidate A, then looks up at the screen and enters that number beside the candidate’s name, then does the same for the next candidate, and so on. That would certainly lead to errors, but is not quite what happens.

    As I remember, the scanned voting paper is displayed on the screen and the DEO simply tabs down the page, typing in the preference number showing for each respective candidate, beside each candidate’s scanned number.

    Given that that, or something very similar, is what is done, it is far more likely that Butler, being immediately *after* Butcher, would receive some of Butcher’s preferences, rather than the other way round.

    In fact, as I recall, each candidate is dealt with individually and in isolation, so to speak, through the act of tabbing down the page, so mistakes are very unlikely. And, I have to say, I remember being extremely impressed with the whole process.

    Also, with 39 candidates, it was right for the DCC to list their names alphabetically, rather than in random or pseudo-random order.

    To conclude, I’m rather disappointed in Cr Vandervis’s comments. A bit of education is required there, I can see.

  67. ro

    The ODT says “Electionz.com would be required to hire 20 people for the work and they would reopen the 680 batches of 50 voting papers, check the ranking given to 11 of the 39 candidates, and key in the results.”

    I understood that the candidates in the top 11 spots culled some of their vote from the excluded candidates which means to me that the recount would need to check the rankings of all the candidates and not just the 11 winning candidates. And secondly, 20 people are apparently needed to perform the recount which perhaps explains the high price.

    Any comment Steve?

    • Elizabeth

      No news as yet on the court decision today.

    • Elizabeth

      ### ODT Online Thu, 21 Oct 2010
      Butler gets green light for recount
      By David Loughrey
      Bev Butler’s application for a recount after her defeat in the Dunedin City Council election has been granted, and she has until next Tuesday to decide whether she wants to proceed.
      Read more

  68. ro

    Methinks the judge has given with one hand and taken away with the other.

  69. ro: I think they will have to do more than just those 11. Perhaps the judge has not understood, or the ODT has misreported. If somebody ranks two of the excluded candidates as “8”, as I understand it, their preferences past 8 are then invalidated. However, if they only focus on the 11, and miss the double 8, then they might in fact come to an entirely different outcome than the initial count.

  70. ro

    I see the judge was tasked with looking solely at whether Bev truly believed she might have been placed higher or not. All he is asked to dismiss are those requests for a recount that are clearly mischievous and hers is not that. However, as he and Dave Cull point out the rest of the us are not required to pay to accommodate her sincerely held beliefs; we are only required to pay if a miscarriage of electoral justice has occurred. But it doesn’t seem he can even be asked if one has.

    • Elizabeth

      ### ODT Online Fri, 22 Oct 2010
      Mayor rejects Butler’s request
      By David Loughrey
      Dunedin Mayor-elect Dave Cull has said “No” to a request from council candidate Bev Butler for an assurance she would not be charged for an election recount.
      Read more

  71. Steve

    Hello, ro—

    Your understanding is correct, but, as I explain below, I don’t see why the rankings of *all* the candidates need to be checked.

    Bev’s application is almost certainly based on her quite reasonable interpretation of Pam’s explanation (as quoted in the ODT on Wednesday) of how the votes are entered into the computer, being, I imagine, that the DEO looks down at the voting paper, sees the preference for a particular candidate, looks up at the screen, enters that number against the candidate’s name, then repeats the process, looking down, looking up, hundreds of times during his or her shift – times many DEOs. If that was what really happened, and word got out about it, there would be many applications for recounts up and down the country.

    So, the thrust of Bev’s application is the possibility that preference numbers given for herself, but especially for Butcher, might have been miss-entered, because her name was immediately under Butcher’s name on the voting paper. As I have previously explained, in my view this is very unlikely.

    The ODT extract you have reproduced looked very inaccurate to me, too. Presumably, the 11 candidates referred to are the 11 successful candidates, but surely the preferences given for Butler must be checked, as well?

    Given that Bev’s application is based on name-similarity and, more importantly, in this case, name-proximity (on the voting papers), I believe the judge should merely require electionz.com to only check the *upper* preferences given for Butcher and for Butler on however many of the 32,820 valid voting papers they appear. (Section 92(2)(a) of the Local Electoral Act 2001 states the recount must, as far as is practicable, be made in the manner provided in the case of the original count unless the district court judge orders otherwise.)

    I use the expression *upper preferences*, meaning preference numbers 1 to (say) 5, because, as you know from my “Extended example of how a vote could be used”, once you get down lower than that, preferences for candidates will likely benefit them by less than, say, 0.10 of a vote – and Bev needs considerably more than that. (We must always keep in mind that second and subsequent preferences are contingency choices only; they are not votes having a value of ‘1’ each.)

    Therefore, an analysis of the discrepancies (if any) should then be carried out. If there are discrepancies between the relevant preferences on, say, 70 voting papers, but only a handful of them pertain to first preferences, then there is really no point in performing a recount.

    For an actual recounting of *all* 32,820 votes (by re-running them through the STV Calculator) to be justified, there needs to be a *very* significant number of discrepancies between the relevant preferences, in the range 1 to 5, and that, when compared, it is seen that they overwhelmingly favoured Butcher over Butler in the official count.

    Whether or not anyone involved in the recount, should it take place, understands STV well enough to take on board such considerations is doubtful. Hopefully, Bev will ponder the matter over the weekend and make the decision on Tuesday not to go through with it. Otherwise, there will be much ado about nothing, a lot of money wasted, and at the end of it all, Bev will still be the runner-up candidate.

  72. Steve

    Another problem pertaining to applications for the recounting of votes cast in STV elections is that the relevant sections of the Local Electoral Act 2001 (sections 90 to 92) are written from an FPP perspective. No attempt has yet been made to amend sections 90 and 92, in particular, to reflect the intricacies and realities of the STV voting system.

    In addition, FPP thinking is still so ingrained in our psyches that people think that when a candidate at an STV election, where nearly 33,000 votes were cast, falls short of filling the 11th and final seat by 43 votes, the result was very close, when in fact it wasn’t.

    Now that the judge has decided he is satisfied that Bev “has reasonable grounds to believe that the declaration is incorrect and that on a recount [she] might be elected”, he must now, under section 90(3)(a), cause a recount of the votes to be made.

    But what if no discrepancies are *found*? It doesn’t matter how many times you put the same votes through the STV Calculator, it will produce the same outcome every time. Computers are like that.

    Legislation written for hand-counted FPP elections, or where [multiple-] FPP votes for candidates are “wanded” into the computer, where human error is always a possibility, is inadequate for computer-counted STV elections where voting documents are scanned into the computer.

    Bev could possibly pay a very high price just to demonstrate to future candidates that applications for recounts in NZ STV elections are futile (unless, of course, it is suspected by a future candidate that some sort of electoral fraud might have occurred).

  73. ro

    Thank-you Steve.

  74. Very strange response (possibly poor journalism) from failed FPP supporter Trevor Turner in the (yeah yeah don’t laugh) D Scene to his failed bid for election.

    In the article, Turner claims that in the figures (which ones) FPP would have produced a different council make-up, and somehow came up with a figure that only 15% of the votes cast under STV contributed to the council results.

    Firstly, what are the figures he’s relating too? Are these the official Election NZ results, or some made up numbers? How did he come to this astonishingly poor assumption that only 15% of vote produced this council – there seems to be a massive misunderstanding of how STV works.

    Secondly, to make any assumptions as to the make-up of the council if elected under the archaic FPP system is pure fantasy – because no-one knows how folk would have voted under that insanely stupid system. I for one would have voted incredibly differently.

    To say “STV did not deliver their preferred candidates” is utterly silly. To tell the truth, with the odd exception, I got most of my preferred candidates elected. Who or what is he talking about here?

    “A comparison between overall votes and votes candidates would have received under FPP”, STOP! Just Stop, oh please make it stop. There is no way you could ever assume FPP votes over STV ones, you just can’t, it’s impossible to make these comparisons.

    Any suggestion that we need to return to the antiquated system smacks of either sour grapes or a deep underestimating of the voting public. When asked in the ODT if he thought 99 votes returned on a budget $9,492.56 was a good return, he claimed that it was misleading to think so.

    Sorry but I could have put $9,500 on a bar tab and got more votes in return.

    Sorry Trevor, either you have been deeply misreported in D Scene or your understanding of the maturity and intelligence of the voting public under a simple and robust system is greater than you realise.

    Thoughts folks?

  75. kate

    But the bar tab would not have been legal Paul!

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