Who? 2010 electioneering

References supplied.

Blog entry: Dave Cull for Dunedin City Mayor
Monday, August 23, 2010 at 2:09 PM
By Dave Cull

Dunedin is wonderful city, with a fantastic future. But right now that future is vulnerable: vulnerable economically, environmentally and socially. Dunedin’s community has never been more disillusioned with how Council makes decisions, how it listens, or not, to the community, how Council takes responsibility, or not, for major spending decisions with long-term consequences. These are consequences that include maxing out Councils [sic] and Council company debt, so that the companies may not be able to pay expected dividends to the ratepayers in the next few years! It is that bad.

The challenges ahead are considerable. But we can achieve that fantastic future. We have to. We can achieve it if we replace secrecy with transparent processes and provide responsible leadership that listens and is up-front with the community about debt and costs. If we do that we can turn disillusion into a shared and inclusive vision for the city.

So imagine what YOU want Dunedin to be like in 20 years.

Imagine Dunedin with:
• a thriving economy featuring high value jobs and businesses that keep families living here
• suburbs of well-built, healthy houses
• streets of beautiful, rejuvenated heritage buildings being put to productive use
• renewable resources being utilized for lower cost energy.
• measures already taken to address climate change and peak oil
• well maintained civic amenities not saddled by a mountain of debt that ratepayers have to repay
• top notch infrastructure including comprehensive Broadband coverage everywhere
• a smooth coordinated public transport system and cycle and pedestrian network
• an accessible and well-protected surrounding environment full of nature’s treasures

Previous Councils and this current one, have not tried to imagine such a future and not planned to achieve it. They have ticked the boxes of bland Council vision statements, reacted to pet ideas dished up by special interest groups, and lurched from one to the next, piling a huge debt on all our shoulders in the process. At the same time some of our suburbs are mouldering from neglect; our digital infrastructure is falling behind other NZ communities; jobs are ebbing away and families are leaving for greener pastures. I and my team want to help turn that all around.
Read more


During the 2010 Dunedin Mayoral race the local newspaper ran this:

### ODT Online Tue, 7 Sep 2010
Mayoral Profile: Dave Cull
By David Loughrey
Dunedin city councillor Dave Cull is about to end his first term on the local authority, and has put his hand up for the council’s top job. With nine candidates, including himself, on his Greater Dunedin ticket, success could see him heading a group with a majority, on a council more recently made up of 15 independents. But he says that would be a good thing for a city that needs a “collegial” approach to reining in debt, and attracting business and people to Dunedin.

Dave Cull
Age: 60.
Family/marital status: Married, two daughters.
Occupation: Writer.
Council experience: One term as councillor.
Running for: Mayor and council.

Why are you standing?
I’m standing because when I put my hand up for council in 2007, I realised it was going to be something I was either going to be in for the long haul or not, so I’m in it for the long haul.
I’m standing for the mayoralty because I see the need for far more engaging and inclusive leadership than is being shown at the moment.

Tell me then, how you would go about engaging and including.
Well I think the context is that the current council and mayor …

Of which you’re one …
… of which I’m one, but the majority has not engaged genuinely, has not listened genuinely to the public, and has, worse than that, not got a cohesive, connected view of the projects the council is involved in. They tend to be isolated from one another, and the impact on one another is not fully appreciated till the negatives hit, I suppose. So I see a need for developing a much more future-focused vision for the city that looks at everything in a connected way.
Read more


Blog entry: Dave Cull for Dunedin City Mayor
Tuesday, September 14, 2010 at 2:02 PM
Ratepayers Association Questionnaire
By Dave Cull

The Greater Dunedin Team Answers Ratepayers Association Questions.

Greater Dunedin candidates declined to answer the Ratepayers Assoc questionnaire, the answers to which are to be published in D-Scene. Framed as either/or questions, the requested yes/no answers would oversimplify the issues with many of the questions. More importantly Ratepayers chairperson Lyndon Weggery acknowledged the Association would edit and “analyse” longer answers and distribute the results privately to Ratepayers Association and ex-Stop the Stadium members. We have no confidence that would be done in good faith. Mr Weggery (also on the committee of ex-STS) has signed STS newsletters containing untrue claims and misrepresentations about Greater Dunedin mayoral candidate Dave Cull’s views on the new stadium, and endorsing another candidate. Dishonesty and partisan commentary are incompatible with a purportedly independent survey.

However all the Greater Dunedin team recognise voters’ interest in our views and their right to hear them expressed publicly. We wholeheartedly promote transparency and also believe our views and positions on most subjects, while diverse, probably resonate with most of the membership of both the Ratepayers Association and what was Stop the Stadium. To that end we have each fully answered the questions posed by the ratepayers Association and posted them on our website: http://www.greaterdunedin.co.nz/. We encourage readers to read them there.
Greater Dunedin’s aim is to engage with and serve the interests and views of the whole Dunedin community. We welcome feedback, ideas, concerns and comments from all.

Following are the Ratepayers Association questions and my answers.
Continues at greaterdunedin.blogspot

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Business, DCC, DCHL, Economics, Hot air, Media, Name, People, Politics, Project management, Stadiums

12 responses to “Who? 2010 electioneering

  1. Sue

    Cull seems to have the same memory lapse as Thomson when it comes to the final vote on the stadium. His NO reply to the first question from the Ratepayers Association on the greaterdunedin blog is a complete contradiction to what the council minutes show.

  2. Hype O'Thermia

    Hilarious! That’s be the Dave Cull who was abducted by aliens the night the election results came in, yes? I wonder why they took him in the first place, let alone replaced him with an uncannily similar looking one running a Tartan Chin-Harland operating system. The TCH is infamous for being buggy “out of the box” and despite PR patches remains vulnerable to viruses, trojans and Nigerian-scam hacks, note outflow of money for no good reason during his mayoralty. Proof of the substitution is here in his pre-election statement: “They have ticked the boxes of bland Council vision statements, reacted to pet ideas dished up by special interest groups, and lurched from one to the next, piling a huge debt on all our shoulders in the process….. I and my team want to help turn that all around.” Compare with deeds after election. It’s obvious – not the same man.

  3. chirpbird

    Coming from outside the area and used to political dirty tricks, it looked to me right from the start that Dunedin had had a succession of puppet mayors, with the press, every so often, drumming up exciting two-horse races for the mayoralty. But both the horses from exactly the same stable.

    And no-one ever much commented publicly how strange it was that Cull was, according to the media, a vociferous opponent of the stadium (something actually at odds with his own very equivocal statements) and, yet despite that, had his (and Greater Dunedin’s) campaign funded by Allied Press owners, Nick and/or Julian Smith, who were equally vociferous supporters of the stadium. ?????

    But people so hope for a saviour that it’s futile and extremely dangerous to suggest that all is not what it appears to be when they think they have found one.

    But it all comes out in the end: Truth is the daughter of Time.

    • Dunedin has had a very long run of puppet mayors and dubious councils, well spotted.
      [being amongst county councillors forced by government to amalgamate their councils into DCC, the prospect, shall we say, was extremely troubling given what they thought of DCC and its old boy entourage]

      ODT’s profile (page 2) provides that delicious moment where Liability Cull doesn’t offer a straight answer to who is funding his campaign. I’m sure ‘sir’ and the backroom boys chortled over that.

      How are you funding your campaign?
      Cull We [Greater Dunedin] are very grateful for any donations, and we are putting money in ourselves.

      You don’t have financial backers this time?
      Cull I think we have received a couple of donations, I don’t know who they’re from, but they’re not in the mega-millions by any means at all. We are funding our own campaign as it stands.

  4. chirpbird

    Oh, dear, sorry, I can’t find my source for that claim about election funding and I see a recent ODT article states that Cull received only $1500 in donations http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/228042/two-councillors-support-stricter-donations-law

    And that Cull said in his Mayoral profile
    that he had no financial backers. He is quoted as saying::
    “I think we have received a couple of donations, I don’t know who they’re from, but they’re not in the mega-millions by any means at all.”

    I was sure I read or heard about campaign support from the Smiths somewhere though. Maybe my memory is not as good as I thought.

  5. chirpbird

    Heavens, Elizabeth!

  6. chirpbird

    Actually I wonder if I’m getting mixed up with assistance and support in ‘kind’, rather than in cash. You know, stuff like newspaper advertising space and maybe pamphlet printing and even public relations advice, all the sort of things you would expect the owner of a newspaper to have access to.

    I wonder if the monetary value of that has to be estimated and added to a candidate’s official return of election expenses.

    Or whether it counts as ‘volunteer support’?

  7. chirpbird

    Maybe also volunteer speech writing and theatrical improvisations such as these three stories from ODT archives might suggest to the cynical:


    where two pro-stadium councillors decline an invitation to speak at a public meeting – leaving the stage all set, clear and ready for this:


    That should stir up the masses!

    And, later, an apparently impassioned piece of further (pretty awful) rhetoric which says …. nothing much … when it’s far too late to ‘park it’


    Actually, I would have paid a speech writer that bad to stay away!

  8. Toby

    Interesting that, his scathing remarks about the previous council and its top brass wasting money in his 2010 election material. That he then promotes the deputy from that mess to the top financial chairs’ position under his reign. Was there any real change at the last election, or was it just a change of puppet at the top ?

  9. Anonymous

    From the MAYOR’S DESK in the February issue of FYI DUNEDIN – Your DCC *cough* News. Note this flaky piece of Spook puff goes to all homes so full of brilliance and little substance in the lead up to the election…

    New Year: new Annual Plan and budget. Original projected rates increase: 7.6%. Council directive: 4% tops, with additional savings for debt repayment or investment. The challenge was immense. {See what they did there? We were getting 7.6% but it’s only going to be 4%. Could they pull an older scam?}

    Result: a draft increase in of 2.8% achieved by savings and efficiencies, not service cuts: an enormous effort. Council’s deliberations will focus around how to use that 1.2%. {Paul did that. Not you. What stadium?}

    Debt reduction is the obvious candidate and we are already underway {except they just increased it again}. This is the first year since 2002 that Council will pay back more debt that it takes on {that’s because there’s a LOT MORE DEBT}. That trend accelerates in the next few years {clever wee buggers aren’t they?}. Debt paid off reduces interest costs in ALL ensuing years.

    But savings are just one side of the financial challenge. Regardless of financial constraints, the social and economic base of the city must develop to attract new businesses and residents and expand the rating base.

    Investments bringing income, visitors, businesses or residents into the city need to be considered. Cycleways, funded in partnership with NZTA (and community elsewhere) attract locals and visitors alike. An events promotion fund of several hundred thousand dollars might reap many millions in visitor spending {OMG! But still no “stadium”… I find it interesting too he/they spelt that it out – they don’t give that sort of precedence to spending several hundred million dollars}.

    Council has very little room for discretionary spending {except for stadiums and professional rugby} and none for more borrowing {except they just did}. We need to carefully invest where it shows the best results for the community, without adding more costs {see comments about stadiums and rugby}.


    • We have the technology we can send our individual messages straight back at DCC Spooksville.

      TBH I can’t bear to read the issues (received by mail and email), it keeps my BP down.

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