Exercise your right to VOTE

### ODT Online Thu, 3 Oct 2013
Alarm at low voter turnout
By Chris Morris
There are calls for online voting to be fast-tracked as Dunedin City Council voting returns slump towards a record low in this year’s local body elections. The idea was raised by Local Government New Zealand president Lawrence Yule as voter returns for the DCC election crawled to 11.7% by yesterday afternoon.
With 10 days until postal voting closes at noon on October 12, the figure is well down on the same point in the past two DCC elections.
In 2010, 21.12% of voters had responded by now, and in 2007, returns stood at 18.09%. In both cases, last-minute rushes saw returns reaching 52.96% (2010) and 47.47% (2007).
However, this year’s results were shaping as a record low, at least in recent memory, although another last-minute rush was possible, Dunedin electoral officer Pam Jordan said.
Mr Yule told the Otago Daily Times the returns to date in Dunedin were a ”worry” and underscored the need to move towards online voting.
Dunedin’s results appear to be at odds with most other local authorities across Otago, where returns to date are similar to the 2010 election.
Read more

Dunedin electoral information via the DCC website:

DCC Candidates —Mayor, Councillors, Community Boards

ORC Candidates

SDHB Candidates

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Business, DCC, Democracy, Economics, Geography, Media, ORC, People, Politics, What stadium

126 responses to “Exercise your right to VOTE

  1. It’s a bit grim, but not quite so bad if you factor in the 1 day postal lag this year. I’ve done an actual and an adjusted chart to show this:

    There’s no guarantee we’ll catch up with that day though, it might just effectively shorten the voting period and leave us with less votes.

    • Pete, what I really objected to was an opinion in the news item, attributed to Associate Prof Janine Hayward:

      The turnout in Dunedin appeared to reflect high voter satisfaction, as well as the size of the central ward, with its 35 candidates, which research suggested discouraged voters from engaging.

      Given the most recent Residents’ Opinion Survey, you have to question this view.

      See post:

      9.9.13 Residents’ dissatisfaction (2013) with elected council and mayor —increase!

      Whatever happened to the sentiments ‘we don’t care anymore’, ‘we are selfishly disinterested’, ‘we don’t feel the candidates are inspiring, experienced or responsible and who are they trying to kid?’, ‘we’ve given up’ etc etc —as alternative explanations for low voter turnout.

      • Another thing is, most of us (interested) wanted to know how candidates would perform on the hustings, and with what new information emerging from DCC, so held back from posting until we knew more. It’s called informed voting performed by informed voters!

      • Hype O'Thermia

        Include in that list of responses “they say one thing before the election but after they’re elected you can’t hope to guess which way they’ll turn.”

        • Given the change of legislation gives elected mayors more powers, an impartial mayor won’t be able to exercise those powers by being impartial. Mayors are now here to drive council business, legally.

          The law is not impartial.

        • I need to find out more about what those changes specifically allow. I’ve seen that the Mayor can appoint a deputy and committee chairs, but I’ve also been told “My understanding was the mayor will be able to make appointments, but a vote can be called and the appointment can be voted down.” I don’t know if that is correct.

        • The mayor is able to drive the annual plan and LTTCP. The environment is now more akin to, as has been stated by others, a ‘presidential style’ – see the powers of US mayors, or how PM Key is presuming in national politics. Go to LGNZ for more discussion. Check the legislation.

          LGNZ says:
          Before the current election
          Mayor had to work with entire council to select political teams and structures
          Whole council made decisions on plans and budgets with councillors on equal footing with mayor in process
          Mayor could potentially ‘blame’ unpopular decisions on councillors or council officers

          After the current election
          Mayor can now appoint own deputy mayor and all committee chairs and determine the structure of council committees
          Mayor now legally responsible for driving the setting of council plans and budgets
          Mayor’s increased decision-making power makes him/her more individually and publicly accountable

          Local Government in New Zealand – Local Councils Link
          As of the 2013 local authority elections, the Local Government Act 2002 defines the role of a mayor as having to provide leadership to the other elected members of the territorial authority, be a leader in the community and perform civic duties. This includes leading the development of the territorial authority’s plans (including the long-term plan and the annual plan), policies and budgets.

          A mayor has the following powers (which may be delegated):
          to appoint the deputy mayor
          to establish committees of the territorial authority
          to appoint the chairperson of each committee (which may be him or herself)
          to serve as a member of each council committee

          [four hours ago]
          ### stuff.co.nz Last updated 05:00 03/10/2013
          Shadbolt rejects mayoral power ‘illusion’
          By Terri Russell
          Invercargill mayor Tim Shadbolt has slammed supposed new powers for mayors as “pathetic, contradictory and illusionary”. Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) has announced that mayors will have new powers which will come into effect after the local body elections. The new law states that mayors will be able to appoint the deputy mayor, establish committee structures and appoint committee chairs, as well as lead plans, policies and budgets.
          However, the legislation also states that councillors could unite to overrule those decisions made by the mayor.
          Mr Shadbolt, who was outvoted on his choice of deputy mayor last year, said mayors should have the power to choose their own deputy mayor. “Absolutely nothing has changed. If anything, it’s been made worse … the mayor will get all the blame. The public expectation is that the mayor is leading everything – it’s just rubbish.”
          Read more

  2. Anonymous

    There’s been a very broad feeling of getting shafted by people in power. John Key and his arrogant Ministers have taken that to a new level. No wonder he’s desperately selling off the national silverware. Dave Cull and his blue brigade have not done themselves any favours on this front either and we can farewell any local assets if they get back in.

    I believe the voter turnout will be one of the worst in recent history but completely the opposite to Janine’s position above. A sense of helplessness has been affecting many for so long now. And under that is barely contained rage waiting for a trigger event.

    This has been brewing since Peter Chin’s council and continues under Cull’s.

    • John P.Evans, council nominee

      Putting council employees and yes men in power is like placing a large lettuce in the hands of a rabbit colony.

      What the populace needs to understand is that if you hand the management of someone else’s money to people that have no downside for failure, then they will fail and your well earned will disappear without a trace and not even a post mortem.

      My raison d’etre for standing for council is to ensure that

      1. Contracts signed with new employees do not include any golden handshakes.

      2. Salaries for middle management reflect private sector equivalents, particularly when there is a recession! In other words, at the moment public sector employees salaries are almost 100% above the private sector.

      3. Should private sector payments rise, key performance indicators must be met before any rise in DCC payments. KPI would not include the increase of traffic lights, increase in coffee breaks in lower Stuart St, increase in the number of cats, any increase in expenditure on teeth or worms, increase in parking fines or any other similar doubtful measures.

      4. The number of employees be measured by the equivalents of similar sized cities in New Zealand, Paul Orders said this week that salaries at the DCC were comparable to cities of similar size.

      What he didn’t say was that the DCC has twice as many employees as needed for a city of similar size (see Tauranga).

      No new major expense is undertaken until debt levels are below $100 million except absolutely necessary maintenance on sewage treatment, waste water, city roading and waste management.

  3. Anonymous

    I had actually meant hopelessness but helplessness works too when you think how few people believe voting will have no affect on their circumstances. Something the Stadium Councillors and their minders very much appreciate.

  4. ### dunedintv.co.nz October 3, 2013 – 6:29pm
    Just 15% of residents have voted so far
    More than 3,000 completed voting papers were returned yesterday, one of the largest numbers in one day so far in the local body elections. But that has done little to turn around a record low return.
    The total of 13,000 voting papers returned means just 15% of residents have voted so far. That compares with 24% at the same time in 2010.
    Voting figures have slumped to around 50% in the last decade, and look set to be well below that figure this year.
    Voting closes in just nine days.
    Ch39 Link [No video available]

  5. Voting returns are 10% down on the last election at the end of week two, still barely 18%.

    Voter apathy has been growing, and on top of that this election has been dominated by bad news – Cull has been given more news coverage than the rest of the candidates combined but it has mostly highlighted a lack of success or progress this term. This is reflected in low turnout.

    It’s been difficult getting positives across but there are some if you look for them. We’ll only get better if enough people vote for better. Council finances mean we have a tough future but we have to tackle it positively with strong ideas.

  6. peter

    The low turnout so far might suggest overall satisfaction, but l doubt it. I think many voters are more likely to be uninspired by what is on offer. If you are enthused about a candidate, you vote.

  7. I’m enthused about 4 but waiting in case further evidence points to good/bad points about the others on my “yeah ok, whatever” list, i.e. those who would probably be better than the majority of those currently on council and highly unlikely to be worse.

  8. ### ODT Online Sun, 6 Oct 2013
    Community boards ever more worthy
    By Debbie Porteous
    With most of the councillor seats at the Dunedin City Council coming from the large central ward, community boards are more important than ever, a Dunedin academic says. And people should not wish for a city-wide ward, or the voice of Dunedin’s diverse set of communities could be lost at council.
    University of Otago political studies lecturer Associate Prof Janine Hayward said if residents of wider Dunedin wanted someone representing their views to council, they needed to, where possible, vote for their community boards.
    Read more

    • ### ODT Online Fri, 1 Nov 2013
      Community board chairmen elected
      By Debbie Porteous on
      Chairmen of five of Dunedin’s six community boards were elected and all board members officially signed on this week at the boards’ brief inaugural meetings.
      Incumbent Bill Feather was re-elected as chairman of the Mosgiel Taieri Community Board, with newcomer Mark Willis as his deputy. Cr Kate Wilson has been appointed the councillor representative on the board.
      Scott Weatherall was elected chairman of the Saddle Hill Community Board, after Keith McFadyen stood down from the chair, and Pam Jemmet was elected deputy chairwoman.
      Cr Andrew Whiley is the appointed councillor representative on the board.
      Gerard Collins was returned as chairman of the Waikouaiti Coast Community Board, with Alasdair Morrison as his deputy.
      Former deputy chairman of the Chalmers Community Board Steve Walker was elected chairman, following the retirement of long-term chairwoman Jan Tucker. Trevor Johnson was elected deputy.
      Cr Andrew Noone is the councillor representative on both the Waikouaiti Coast and Chalmers boards.
      Christine Geary was elected as chairwoman of the Otago-Peninsula Community Board, following the retirement of previous chairman John Bellamy. Paul Pope was elected as her deputy and Cr Neville Peat is the councillor representative.
      The Strath Taieri Community Board, to which Cr Mike Lord has been appointed the councillor representative, is to have its inaugural meeting next week.
      Read more

  9. Peter

    Another thing about voting in local body elections is the common complaint about voter apathy. We can put it on the voters, but if they are uninspired, what do we expect? I am amazed at the general lack of general knowledge concerning civic affairs and the importance of exercising your democratic vote. Not sure what is happening in the education system with teaching about this kind of thing through subjects like Social Studies. I wonder what is covered in the Social Studies curriculum these days.

  10. In their brief policy statements most candidates are making promises so it is important to be aware that there are two types of promises.

    ### ODT Online Mon, 7 Oct 2013
    Opinion: Nothing Too Serious
    Stop your local body poll worries
    By Jim Sullivan
    We need to stop losing sleep over this local body election business. Here’s some advice which may end the torment. Firstly, you have to realise that ”local bodies” refers not to organisations like councils, boards and whatnot, it refers to actual people. The bodies you meet locally. It is based on the Athenian definition of democracy which is much along the lines of being represented by people you actually know. The theory is that, by sitting in a bar in the Octagon for a few days around election time you will probably be approached by all the candidates.
    Read more

  11. ### dunedintv.co.nz October 7, 2013 – 6:36pm
    This year’s local elections likely to be lowest voter turnout on record
    With five days of voting left, it is becoming more likely this year’s local elections will see the lowest voter turnout on record. Latest figures show a total of 16,000 voting papers have been returned, which means just 19% of residents have voted so far. That compares with 28% at the same time in 2010. These figures reflect the trend of low vote returns in other parts of the country.
    Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch are also reporting slower returns than this time three years ago.
    Voting papers must be received by noon on Saturday.
    Ch39 Link [No video available]

      • Pete, in the next triennium we have to educate the voting public, to VOTE (if DCC still exists by 2016…) —electronic voting probably won’t be enough of an incentive on its own.

        • I agree – and this has to start straight after the election. People have to feel a reason to engage, they have to feel it’s worth engaging. One key to this is having an effective way for people to be listened to. It will help if this can be pushed from inside council but regardless of election results I’ll be very active on doing something about this.

          The other key is to have enable a better informed public. This requires true openness and transparency, not the current ‘when it suits’. A better informed public can use this to influence council more effectively (that’s why politicians normally don’t want it).

          I’ve been successfully networking on this through the campaign, there’s good interest in doing something about it. The only unknown is whether it will be done with cooperation and help from within council or it has to be made to happen from the outside.

  12. Hype O'Thermia

    We need to go back to polling booths. Making it “easier” has made it low-priority. Online would be even worse.

    Polling day was the day you saw people out and about, saw people you knew enough to say Hello. You asked other people “Have you been to vote yet?” and “I can give you a lift, I’m going after lunch” and so on. It was an Occasion. It carried a sense of urgency – why do shops have One Day Sales? Because the feeling of “Got to do it that day or miss out” focuses our minds the way something arriving in the letter box that is an *optional* to-do for some time in the future makes it more likely to end up somewhere down the pile of paper on the shelf, bills and 20 cents off coupons and so on – but the bills stay high on the pile because if you don’t pay them there are consequences like a late-payment penalty. Not voting has no identifiable consequence – especially if past elections have shown the person/party you voted for got in by a big margin, or the people you vote for never get in.

    Yes I know that’s the wrong attitude but elections are for all of us, including those who can’t feel much connection, feel powerless, don’t believe they can tell the ones who sound good before they’re elected from the ones who will do good when they’ve *been* elected, and the ones who need a bit of extra oomph which the community buzz of physically going to the polling booth, seeing and being seen and being actively part of the one-day special day, provided.

    • ### ODT Online Tue, 8 Oct 2013
      Time running out in slow election
      Fewer people have voted in the local body elections than in the past three elections, electoral officer Pam Jordan says. Ms Jordan, the electoral officer for the Dunedin City Council, the Otago Regional Council and the Southern District Health Board, said that, as of Friday, 18% of voting papers had been returned, compared with 28% at the same time in 2010.
      The elections close on Saturday.
      Read more

      • peter

        Many of us,including myself, who welcomed STV and the abolition of the wards-largely-thought would increase voter turnout. We were wrong. The voters are voting with their bums.

        • Anonymous

          Apparently the Spooks are seeding the line that the low turnout means the majority do not want change and are happy with the status quo. Course it’s utter shite but that’s why the department gets the millions. Watch for the angle in the Oddity any day now. The last thing the GOBs and Dave want is the masses using their valuable vote to change the city for the better. The media’s concern about voting is just a smokescreen. Think DCC marketing budget.

        • The Residents’ Opinion Survey clearly shows a decline in support for the current mayor and councillors. The Spooks can’t get past that in trying to explain away voting sloth and indifference as support for the status quo (the myth that Cull’s council has performed well).

          Regardless of low voting numbers, five councillors need to be replaced — those of us bothering to vote determine who gets in. Not the snails and cockroaches out there.

      • Tonight’s total 22.82% compared to 36.33% in 2010. Unless the trend picks up we could total under 40%.

        • Pete says “we could total under 40%” —Good grief !!

        • ### dunedintv.co.nz October 8, 2013 – 6:55pm
          Nightly interview: Janine Hayward
          Voters, it would seem, are dragging their heels when it comes to casting their ballots in this year’s local body elections. Only 20% of voting papers had been returned by yesterday, compared with 30% at the same time in 2010. 

  13. peter

    Local body politics needs to attract better candidates. We need to look closely at the reasons why not many good people run. It is probably a Catch 22 situation. Would you want to sit for hours around our council table with many of these people? Presumably the voters also take one look at the talent and don’t vote.

  14. John P.Evans, council nominee

    It is easy to understand why citizens do not vote.

    A referendum determined that the number of MPs would be no more than 99.

    Ignored by the government.

    80% of Dunedin voted against the stadium.

    Ignored by the DCC councillors.

    The greens have organised a referendum against asset sales.

    John Key says no matter what the referendum decides the asset sales will go on.

    The voters don’t vote because the popular politicians they elect are not committed to the best interests of the ratepayers.

    Democracy has a lot of problems, one of them is that
    the higgledy piggledy signs demonstrate that people are elected because of name recognition rather than an ability to manage, be a good judge of a bad deal, and/or offer creative suggestions that do not cost the ratepayer in higher rates.

    • peter

      Well said, John. Cynicism has taken grip. Fatal for democracy.

    • Lance

      Have you forgotten John that Mr Key had a mandate from the last election to sell assets. National made no bones about it at the last election. John Key made it very clear before the election that they would sell assets. That is exactly what democracy is all about. Tell the electors before they vote. Like it or lump it that is democracy working. As for the Greens and Labour who appear not to believe in the democratic process, and want to sabotage democracy by holding a referendum that will prove nothing. At the cost of more than $9 million, that could have gone towards health or education.
      I might not support the selling of assets, but I support the democratic process that Key went through that gives him the right to sell those assets. If you think for a while about the alternative that the Labour and Greens are offering in place of the democratic process. It is quite frightening.

  15. Dunedin lags lacklustre voting in the south, nearly all are down but we are downer. Why? What can we do about it?


  16. Hype O'Thermia

    “We” can’t do bugger-all about it mate, that’s the trouble. As John Evans points out politicians need to become trustworthy, have to show respect for “the peasants” who elected them. It will take a while to overcome the widespread feeling of disempowerment: no matter who you vote for a politician always wins.
    When in power saying “we’ve got a mandate to do ____ because you voted us into government/council” doesn’t help.
    For one thing they had a whole range of policies out of which voters liked some, or strongly disliked one or more of the policies of other parties.
    For another, the ruling party/coven didn’t get a majority of the votes, they got more than any one other then cobbled together enough allies who shared many of their objectives or were amenable to bribery with baubles and the hope that one of their pet projects will be adopted.
    And then there’s the (ill-advised) belief among the “peasantry” that when it comes to the point, they won’t make really really dumb decisions like selling profitable assets for instant money, or building a stadium, not once they’ve had time to look calmly at the reasons for and against.

  17. Pete: you ask, why? What can we do about it? The answer is simple, as John P Evans points out. Politicians are not by nature trustworthy people. They are an assortment of ‘wannabees’, opportunists and deadbeats. After a couple of decades of disastrous councils taking people against their wishes to places they don’t want to be, it is no wonder that those people turn off, and simply shrug their shoulders and get on with the real life that they lead, try to ignore what is happening and just shudder at the next rates bill. It’s democracy, and as long as the horses aren’t too frightened life goes on.

    • That’s why I’m promoting enforced honesty and holding to account, applying sunlight so they can’t mislead and so they can’t hide information. This would make more impact if led from the inside, but if necessary it will be far more vigorously pursued from the outside.
      An irony of the campaign is that my target audience is switched off politics and won’t switch on until it is seen to be making a significant difference.

      I’m well aware of the issues of the day, debt, jobs, stadium, cycleways etc etc but if we get true transparency and genuine and meaningful engagement then the issues can be dealt with better as they arise.

  18. ►► People need to post their voting papers by today, or deliver them directly to the council before noon on Saturday.

    ### ODT Online Wed, 9 Oct 2013
    Voting influences quality of life
    As votes in Dunedin’s local body elections trickle in slowly, a local government specialist says people need to have their say or lose the chance to have sway in their community. ”If you don’t vote, you lose your chance to have influence on what happens to your quality of life now and in the future,” Massey University planning lecturer Associate Prof Christine Cheyne said.
    Councils were responsible for making decisions on a range of matters that affected people’s daily lives. ”And if you’re leaving it to other people to vote, it means those elected are less likely to reflect you and what you would like to see happen, and far more likely to reflect a narrower cross section of the community – typically those older, affluent and Pakeha.” A critical issue affecting local body elections was the lack of information on candidates, she said.
    Read more

    • ### dunedintv.co.nz October 9, 2013 – 6:44pm
      With voting due to close, residents urged to make themselves heard
      With voting for the local body elections due to close on Saturday, residents are being urged to make themselves heard. As of yesterday, less than 23% of voting papers had been returned and today was the last recommended date for posting papers.
      Papers must be received by noon on Saturday in order for votes to count.
      Those who have yet to mail their votes can drop them in at the Civic Centre until then.
      And, for those who have not received voting papers, a voting booth has been set up at the Civic Centre for the casting of special votes.
      The booth will be open until Saturday morning.
      Ch39 Link [No video available]

      • ### ODT Online Fri, 11 Oct 2013
        Record low vote threat
        Voter turnout for the Dunedin City Council elections is still hovering at record low levels, despite a last-minute rush of returns. But a University of Otago academic yesterday raised questions about the composition of the new council, with at least five new councillors to be elected.

        By late last night, just 36.90% of eligible voters had returned their forms, compared with 46.50% at the same point in 2010, when voter turnout eventually reached 52.96%.

        Voting closes at noon tomorrow.

        University of Otago political studies lecturer Associate Prof Janine Hayward warned yesterday the low turnout was ”a concern” that could create a ”vicious circle”. As turnout dropped, those who opted out could be left with a council they felt did not represent them, discouraging them from voting again, she warned. It could also mean individual groups found themselves under-represented on the new council.
        Read more

        • ### ODT Online Fri, 11 Oct 2013
          Return unclaimed voting papers
          By Rebecca Fox
          Owners are being urged to post back voting papers for residents no longer living at that address. The best thing people could do if they had voting papers for unknown residents was to readdress them and put them back in the mail, electoral officer Pam Jordan said. It was possible people put unwanted papers in the rubbish bin but it was more helpful if they were marked as ”not at this address” and sent back, she said.
          Read more

        • ### dunedintv.co.nz October 11, 2013 – 7:19pm
          Late surge sees more than a thousand votes cast
          A late surge has seen more than a thousand votes today in the local body elections. Dunedin residents have until midday tomorrow to get their votes in, but have been slow until now. Despite the rush, Dunedin looks set to record its lowest ever tally of votes.

        • They’ve been updating during the day, as at 5.47 pm it was 39.39% – that will presumably be updated and won’t include a thousand votes handed in today which will be counted tomorrow, that’s over another 1% so somewhere in the low to mid forties looks likely now. Still low.

        • Russell Garbutt

          Is there anything to prevent an unscrupulous person(s) to “collect” voting papers from say, student accommodation throughout Dunedin North, and fill in those voting papers? Highly unlikely that those student “voters” or residents of those houses would even notice.

        • Nothing to stop them however, not many students vote in Dunedin or receive their papers here, they mostly vote in their ‘home’ district. However, that will change with the introduction of electronic voting DCC’s Sandy Graham tells me – more students will vote in Dunedin in 2016.

        • ### dunedintv.co.nz October 23, 2013 – 7:18pm
          Your word on internet voting
          Record low voting numbers were recorded last week, with just over 40% of Dunedin voters submitting their ballot papers. The numbers reflected a national trend, and have prompted discussion over new ideas to get voter numbers up. One popular suggestion is introducing internet voting, to attract younger voters and make the process more accessible to all.

  19. Jock strap

    A prediction of the outcome of this election. Hilary Calvert could actually be a Greater Dunedin candidate in disguise. She is running for Mayor to split the vote and assist Dave back in. She will take her place as a councillor and be rewarded with the chair of Finance committee ?

    • Interesting idea. Hilary said she was asked to stand for Greater Dunedin (on the Dunedin Television mayoral special, which Cull disputed). But I’ve seen no sign of her standing as anything but an independent.

      Every candidate will split the vote. Generally Calvert and Cull will appeal to quite different demographics on the right and the left. With a low vote and a number of candidates splitting the vote it theoretically opens the mayoralty up more rather than hands it to Cull as many have assumed is going to happen.

  20. Mike

    in an STV election you don’t get really get split votes in the way you do in FPP elections, assume (a very simple situation) that Lee gets 31% of first prefs with Hilary getting all his 2nds, and Hilary gets 29% firsts and Lee gets all her seconds and Dave gets 40% firsts – after first round counting Hilary gets knocked out, Lee gets her seconds, in the next round Lee has 60%, Dave 40%, Lee wins.

    Of course that assumes that people have ranked enough – in the Mayoral race if you want your vote to really count you have to have ranked at least one of the 2 candidates who are still viable at the end of counting

    • peter

      It will be interesting to see how Aaron goes. I’d expect his second preferences would go to Greater Dunedin’s green vote. I wonder how Green voters feel about GD? After all they have put up their own candidate.

  21. There was a surge in voting numbers yesterday – but it may be a postal catch up rather than a change in trend, and it’s still well behind previous elections. As of last night (Wednesday) it was at 28.63%, still 12% behind 2010 and 6% behind 2007. Tonight’s returns will show if it’s an improving trend or a catch up.

  22. The surge in voting returns continues, up to 36.60% at the end of Wednesday, still 10% behind 2010 but closing with a sharp trend upwards. Another case of leaving things late in Dunedin?

  23. Anonymous

    Mixed bag of results. Only three of the Graters survived. At least Hudson’s history. Don’t know what people were thinking which marking David though. Pity about the mayoralty too. Not sure Dunedin can survive more of the same on that front.

    Interesting to see Aaron and Doug get a crack at it.


  24. Mike

    Hudson got the push, one to go

  25. Anonymous

    (Ah, crap. I didn’t see another two of them sneak in under the Mosgiel ward.)

  26. Russell Garbutt

    CALVERT Hilary elected
    THOMSON Richard Greater Dunedin elected
    VANDERVIS Lee Independent elected
    MACTAVISH Jinty Greater Dunedin elected
    BENSON-POPE David Independent elected
    HAWKINS Aaron Green Dunedin elected
    STAYNES Chris Greater Dunedin elected
    PEAT Neville Independent elected
    HALL Doug Independent elected
    BEZETT John Independent elected
    WHILEY Andrew Independent elected

    If this is listed in most favoured to least favoured for the Central Ward, it is interesting to say the least. Hudson and Stevenson gone, gone. I would imagine some interesting Council meetings with this mix.

  27. Hype O'Thermia

    Crap indeed. But Lee Vandervis, Hilary Calvert and Doug Hall got in so it won’t be a noddy council and the planet-savers and pro-rugby funders won’t be able to isolate Lee for asking awkward questions in the interests of realism. Teresa’s going to be looking for a new MacJob. All the Greater Debt candidates except the new entrants were elected, must be because people enjoy paying high rates for silly spending.

    • Shows the lack of perception and research committed by Dunedin voters. Thanks for the ranking and critique people. Otherwise occupied here and attending by smart phone.

      David Benson-Pope give me a break. What a piece of horse flesh. [Dunedin sex ring and tennis balls, fine character indeed]

  28. Mike

    and Noone he’s still there too (two to go …)

  29. Add in Wilson and Lord, and Cull has the team pretty much there. It certainly shows the power of a joint approach. Jinty and Cull will be invigorated and take it as a mandate for the Transport Strategy regardless of the costs. David Benson-Dope might rue the day he came out of the closet once the gossip blogs get going. It is going to be interesting to see how they all bed in.

    • How do we now dispose of Cull ?!

      • We don’t. He’s our elected mayor. So we hold him to his word, starting with GD’s first priority, openness and transparency. And also hold him to his word that appointments will be based on merit, not pre-election groupings.

        • Pete – if only it were that simple. Um, I’m ‘on board’ for making him walk the plank soon as. It’s not like there isn’t great material to sink him. That what adds up to $176M, already… with Way more questionable spending in the wind.

      • From Fairfax/stuff… (expect more via Sunday Star Times tomorrow):

        Dave Cull is back for another term as the Dunedin City Council mayor as preliminary results come in.
        The results also have former parliamentarians David Benson-Pope and Hilary Calvert returning to politics, both gaining a council seat.
        Cull says he’s grateful for another term in the top job. “It’s good. It’s really gratifying that Dunedin people have retained confidence in me.”
        Benson-Pope said he was happy voters had responded to his campaign, which had included a list of pledges. “I hope they hold me to it,” he said.


        • I never saw Benson-Pope’s campaign. I certainly didn’t read his candidate statement or pledges. Why would I support an unethical and manipulative man. Who are the people who voted for him, you have to ask.

    • I don’t know that the joint approach had much power. It’s not surprising that the GD councillors were returned. And Mike Lord wasn’t a surprise, he would probably have won as an independent.

      Quite a bit of work went into highlighting the one-party rule threat and I think that was successful, it limited the potential party power threat. It probably cost me some votes but served its purpose.

  30. Mike

    I see 4 councillors were elected outright – Hilary and Lee had the most 1st round votes

    The ODT makes a big point about how Thomson ended up with the most votes after STV counting – but that’s bogus, all that means was that Thomson’s voters were not sophisticated enough or were too lazy to list enough other candidates after Thomson for their votes to fully matter

  31. Peter

    This looks to be a better balanced council than the last one. Lee Vandervis will now not be on his own asking the hard questions. Greater Dunedin only got one new one in Mike Lord – in Mosgiel- which wasn’t hard given Syd Brown was standing down in a small constituency. I hope Aaron also speaks up when required and doesn’t become a proxy Greater Dunedin councillor.
    I am not surprised Teresa Stevenson and Paul Hudson lost their seats. Their time had come…. and gone. Not that happy with Benson-Pope being elected given his history. Hope he is better this time around and has learnt some lessons in humility and treating people decently.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Yes, Peter – Benson-Scrote may have “learnt some lessons in humility and treating people decently”, and Mystic Meg strongly suggests that you and I and Elizabeth and Calvin and …. all the regular Whatiffers will win the next super-maxi-mega-lottery and never have to worry about our rates bills again.

      • Also, Cull could be stupid enough to use the corrupting Benson-Pope as the council’s Hearings Committee chairman (replacing Weatherall). Or will he shove our mint-greenie Cr MacTavish into that role? BP has a reputation for NOT being independent in making resource consent decisions (did I say ‘friends’ and influences, yeah I did, meaning potential for real and perceived conflicts of interest ahead).

  32. Carol

    Hi Peter – Mike Lord and Benson-Pope are the only two that I’m not happy about being elected. Lord is a pro-1080 farmer and Benson-Pope is a bully. But I’m pleased to see the end of Paul Hudson and Teresa Stevenson.

  33. Peter

    Yep, the more I think of it the make-up of this council looks much better with no obvious nutters in sight. Dave Cull has said to the media that it is an ‘interesting’ group of people which I think he is meaning, in code, ‘challenging’. This is how it should be. Different councillors from diverse backgrounds challenging ideas and policies instead of rubber stamping them.

  34. Hype O'Thermia

    Yes Elizabeth. Note history – faced with bullying by rugby writs Cull left his spine on the mantlepiece to become their limp-richard bitch.
    Benson Scrote has a reputation as a bully.
    Cull has demonstrated limpness of varying degrees over the last 3 years.

    Leopards will be sporting coats of tartan for the next 3 years. Tui.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      On the hopeful side, Lee hasn’t been anyone’s bee-yotch yet, no change expected, and Hilary may be pretty and blonde but I don’t see her Pearl-Whiteishly tied to the railway tracks by a ‘tache-twirling villain, begging to be rescued by a big strong man. It wouldn’t surprise me if Hilary’s packing a rope and a railway timetable.

    • Dunedin sinks deeper into the mud, which is $Red.

  35. It’s lucky I can eat dessert trifle this evening as small compensation for a shocking but anticipated result.

  36. Hype O'Thermia

    Fliss won’t be concerned, she’s a shoo-in for Tariana Turia’s replacement.

  37. Anonymous

    It is good to see John Chambers has been elected onto the Southern District Health Board. Elected members of the ORC and SDHB (or what ever name it is using this year) tend to slither back in behind the focus on DCC elections. And like the DCC, it is in serious need of an ethical overhaul with much of its useless management and executive well overdue for their repugnant and undeserved payouts. Less bureaucrats and pen-pushers looking after themselves and the wants of a few. And more people passionate about changing the situation from the inside and working in the best interests of city. It is great to see people like John and Doug, Hilary and Lee standing for what they believe in. And, importantly, standing up to the bullies who have had it too good for too long. Well done.

  38. Russell Garbutt

    Now that the dust has settled somewhat, some of the messages that the few that bothered to vote are becoming much clearer.

    While how close she came to toppling Dave Cull for the Mayoralty has not been published, it is fair to say that the Dunedin voters have made it very clear that Hilary Calvert’s message is one that has to be heeded. She has made an extraordinarily strong showing for her first DCC election and her message of fiscal responsibility and prudence will be strongly backed by Lee Vandervis. Lee continues to be strongly supported by the electorate and it would be stupid of those Councillors who have managed to get back in and who have ridiculed him in the past to ignore his continued strong showing. Some of the GD people are openly scornful of Vandervis, but they need to swallow some of their invective and start listening as he represents a large sector of Dunedin ratepayers.

    Doug Hall will be another to ensure some openness round governance decisions and directions, and it seems likely that he will be working with both Lee and Hilary to get real transparency and a return to core business. I would not imagine any of these three will be sympathetic to more calls from DVML for more and more money to prop up the white elephant of the stadium operation.

    Jinty MacTavish has easily outshone people like Chris Staynes because she is hardworking and is an active listener and seems to really delight in leading. Whether everyone agrees with some of her beliefs is an issue, but nonetheless none can deny her dedication and more than likely a lot of the younger voters would have made her their first choice. But they stayed away in droves from Letisha Nicholas, so this maybe points to strong support for Jinty from a much wider group. Chris Staynes is almost anonymous with as much charisma as a block of wood. Until he starts making actual noises about what he really believes in he looks to me as though his appeal will continue to drop.

    The openly Green strategies will become stronger in Council with Hawkins and Neville Peat now there, but hopefully some of the more marginal, costly and ineffective of these policies will be aired with little hope of majority support. Neville Peat has a good head on his shoulders, and I don’t think he will buy into some of the more radical proposals..

    John Bezett should have retired and will, in all likelihood, fade off even further to obscurity.

    Richard Thomson attracts strong voter support judging by the rankings and he has a comparatively big public media exposure through both DCC and SDHB appearances. It was him that fronted up on some of the pre-election pieces in the ODT rather than Dave Cull.

    And David Benson-Pope? Name familiarity alone puts him ahead of Chris Staynes, John Bezett and others that are new.

    So, what will it all mean?

    If Hilary Calvert is not given a range of responsible positions like the Chairmanship of Finance etc then this Council will soon devolve into an in-fighting mess. The DCC Councillors need to agree on some really core issues to get rid of debt, side-line some of the costly vanity or philosophical projects, and concentrate on slimming down some of the costly and ineffective management of Council owned entities.

    One of their biggest and most important jobs immediately will be to appoint a new CEO. Paul Orders will be an extremely hard act to follow and it will be essential for a quality decision to be made to replace him.

    • Hard to disagree with these your thoughts, Russell. Interestingly, the press of council business is such that the elected councillors will soon be called to meet formally, dispelling the usual honeymoon period before the Christmas break. How the business goes and how it’s driven will be very telling.

      • On the contrary…
        We now see sanctimonious Liability Cull enjoys a good lead, which the local newspaper styles as a “crushing victory”.

        “The figures now released show he polled 18,446 votes while his nearest challenger Hilary Calvert could manage only 6429.” (ODT 13.10.13)

        And yes, as Russell outlines, the newspaper offers no analytical comment on Hilary Calvert’s runner-up position.

        • Mike

          Looking at the STV roundup Dave was way ahead. so very close to outright winning on the first round (260 votes) – interestingly it was Peter George’s voter’s preferences being distributed in round 4 that put him over the line (he got 140 of those 780)

        • Mike

          Also Hilary, Richard and Lee all got ~50% more votes in the first round than they needed to be elected – if you only voted for them (or any two of them) and didn’t rank anyone down the list then 1/3 of your vote was wasted.

          {sp Hilary Calvert. -Eds}

  39. Mike

    Heh from the Standard: http://thestandard.org.nz/local-government-election-results/

    “Jeebers save us, that Photoshopped lunatic Hilary Calvert got on to the DCC Council. The deadlock between grumpy right wing nutters and idealistic Greenie types is going to cause Dave Cull no end of headaches, poor chap”

    I must admit I couldn’t give Hilary my vote for exactly that reason – her photoshopped posters were so, well Neil Collinsish – in short a lie, I want people on the council who will tell the unvarnished truth.

  40. Hype O'Thermia

    Photo-schmoto, anyone who put more importance on dealing with the debt than “moving on” got my vote.

  41. Russell Garbutt

    Mike, based on the published figures, if this election had been conducted on a first past the post system, with each vote simply recorded as a non-transferable vote, have you worked out whether the result would have been any different?

  42. Mike

    It’s pretty hard to tell because in a FPP election we would all have gotten 11 votes rather than 1 – in this case (unlike the last election) the top 11 round 1 vote getters were elected – so one could argue that the result might be the same – but in an FPP election there’s a lot of incentive to try and pick winners – you can’t vote for the Legalise Cannabis guy to make a point knowing your vote will transfer to someone you think is electable

    That wasn’t true last time – Bev came in 11th in round 1 but Jinty came in strongly from behind (getting a lot of Aaron Hawkin’s transferable votes when he was eliminated) as much as I would have liked Bev to have been elected Jinty ended up with more of a mandate and represented more people in the end.

    On the other hand for mayor there would have been no difference – even if Dave had stayed with few enough votes to keep the counting running to the point where either Lee or Hilary were eliminated and their votes transfered he was still too far ahead – because the way that they count mayoral elections in STV they almost never run them to the end, but it would have been interesting to see how the preferences had fallen if they had counted all the way to the end (ie just 2 candidates)

  43. Be interesting to see just how clean Benson-Pope thinks his dirty laundry ought to be. He might get some painful reminders on the blog sites. He could come to rue the day he put his head up over the ramparts.

  44. Whippet

    Mike: What happens to Cull’s votes that he received for council that he was withdrawn from once confirmed as mayor. Those that voted for him for council as number one and then selected the other 10. How or were those votes distributed ?

    • Mike

      Given the way they document the counting I think it works this way: he’s marked as “withdrawn” before the counting begins, at that point his votes are automatically redistributed to their 2nd choices before counting begins.

      • ### dunedintv.co.nz October 14, 2013 – 7:10pm
        The votes are in
        The votes are in and the candidates elected following the local body poll that finished on Saturday. Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull is back for a second term, gratified with a resounding win following what he called a tough three years. But while his winning percentage was high, voting overall hit a record low, leading one Otago academic to call for a commission of inquiry.

        • ### ODT Online Tue, 15 Oct 2013
          ‘Dire’ voter turnout spurs inquiry suggestion
          By Debbie Porteous
          A commission of inquiry may be required to sort out the country’s ”dire” voter turnout for local body elections, a Dunedin political scientist says. About 60% of eligible New Zealanders voters did not vote in the recent local body elections. A ”big discussion” was needed about the problem at a national level, probably most appropriately through an inquiry, University of Otago politics lecturer Dr Bryce Edwards said.
          Read more

        • ### ODT Online Tue, 15 Oct 2013
          Au revoir from Olivier Lequeux
          By Chris Morris
          Dunedin mayoral aspirant Olivier Lequeux is bidding ”au revoir” to his political ambitions after three failed bids, but not without firing a parting shot.

          ”They should just make sure they run the business in a very tight way … because obviously people feel totally disenfranchised and have got no trust, no faith, in their politicians.”

          Mr Lequeux, who stood unsuccessfully for mayor in 2007 and 2010, said yesterday he would not stand again after securing just 503 votes this time. Mr Lequeux could not resist having one final jab at Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull and his new council, claiming low voter turnout in the city meant those elected lacked a mandate.
          Read more

        • ### dunedintv.co.nz October 15, 2013 – 7:12pm
          Nightly interview: Hilary Calvert
          Seven new councillors were elected on the weekend in what is a major injection of new blood into the Dunedin City Council. Over the next fortnight viewers will get to meet those councillors as they prepare to be sworn in on October the 29th. We begin with the highest polling councillor, former ACT MP Hilary Calvert.

        • ### ODT Online Tue, 15 Oct 2013
          Sole city ward now a prospect
          By Chris Morris
          The Dunedin City Council will consider switching to a single city-wide ward and giving community boards more powers after some voters complained of being disenfranchised, Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull says.
          Mr Cull told the Otago Daily Times yesterday he had heard directly from up to 30 people, mainly in the Waikouaiti Coast-Chalmers ward, upset at being unable to vote for city councillors in this year’s election.
          Read more

  45. Anonymous

    Fudging classic of Dave. Gone are most of the stadium councillors – dastardly deeds done – so out he comes with the concept of merging the remaining ward. This should have been done yonks ago. It would have helped unseat Syd. At least it provides the opportunity to get rid of Andrew. While I am unhappy with Dave claiming these points, it is a move well overdue so hurry up and make it so.

  46. Peter

    How about a bit of credit where credit is due? Nothing happens overnight when there is so much on the council plate.

  47. John P.Evans, concerned citizen

    There is not much on the council plate except debt!

    The crazy ideas are not on the plate, they are off the planet.

    I am in Melbourne, the citizens are discussing the proliferation of traffic lights, the crazy bastards who are replacing roads with cycleways and the results of anti smacking laws (students who will not take instruction from teachers at a primary level).

    Social engineering a la mistress Helen is alive and well all over the world.

    As the song goes

    ” When will we ever learn!”

    • ### ODT Online Wed, 16 Oct 2013
      Fourth farmer for council
      By Debbie Porteous
      Mosgiel-Taieri’s newest representative on the Dunedin City Council had just come inside from feeding calves when he heard the news. Berwick dairy farmer Mike Lord said there was a degree of relief about being elected as one of two ward councillors for the council, alongside incumbent Cr Kate Wilson, of Middlemarch. Just over 6000 votes were counted in the Mosgiel Taieri ward. Cr Wilson received 2373 votes and Mr Lord 2067.
      Read more

  48. Phil

    If cycleways and the protection of children is what is being referred to as “Social engineering a la mistress Helen” then I agree totally with the statement that it is alive and well all over the world. That’s because it works all over the world. When will Australasia ever learn that it is we who are out of step.

    • ### dunedintv.co.nz October 16, 2013 – 6:55pm
      Your word on voting in this year’s elections
      The results of the 2013 local body elections are out. Dave Cull has won another term as mayor, and there are seven new faces on the council. But voter returns in Dunedin were at record low levels, reflecting a national trend of low voter turnouts.

      • ### dunedintv October 16, 2013 – 7:14pm
        Nightly interview: Aaron Hawkins
        Radio One morning host Aaron Hawkins is one of seven new faces on the Dunedin City Council. His election followed his endorsement as the Green Party’s mayoral and council candidate by party co-leader Metiria Turei in May.

        • ### dunedintv.co.nz October 17, 2013 – 7:05pm
          Nightly interview: Neville Peat
          Seven new councillors were elected on the weekend in what is a major injection of new blood into the Dunedin City Council. Neville Peat is one of those new councillors, and he’s an author and former regional councillor, and the chairman of the Orokonui Ecosanctuary Trust Board. 

        • ### ODT Online Sat, 19 Oct 2013
          Editorial: Spurring voters into action
          There are lots of ideas for improving the turnout at local authorities elections, but no easy answers. No doubt we will hear about many of them through the inquiry the Justice and Electoral Committee of Parliament on Thursday resolved to initiate into the 2013 elections. Fundamentally, however, the problem is voter apathy, and fiddling with voting methods and systems will not change that.
          Read more

        • ### dunedintv.co.nz October 21, 2013 – 7:01pm
          Nightly interview: Doug Hall
          Dunedin businessman Doug Hall has called for growth, and open and honest representation from the Dunedin City Council. He won a seat at the recent elections, and now has the opportunity to try to make that happen.


          ### dunedintv.co.nz October 18, 2013 – 7:05pm
          Nightly interview: David Benson-Pope
          One of the seven new faces on the Dunedin City Council is not new to the role, nor the cut and thrust of political life. David Benson-Pope was a councillor in the 1980s and 90s, before moving to the national stage as a Labour MP.

        • ### dunedintv.co.nz October 22, 2013 – 6:58pm
          Nightly interview: Mike Lord
          The former president of the Otago Province of Federated Farmers is a new face at the DCC, bringing a rural perspective to the council table. Mike Lord is part of Mayor Dave Cull’s Greater Dunedin grouping, and won his place thanks to voters in the Mosgiel Taieri ward.
          Read more

        • ### dunedintv.co.nz October 23, 2013 – 7:24pm
          Nightly interview: Andrew Whiley
          Chisholm Park golf professional Andrew Whiley may well know his way around the links, but as one of Dunedin’s newest councillors he is going to have to learn an entirely new game. Mr Whiley was elected to council in the Central Ward.

  49. “When will we ever learn”. Shades of Peter, Paul and Mary. For those that are old enough of course.

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