The Bus Saga #Dunedin

Dave Cull is up to his tricks again with campaign signs on the back of buses.

In 2013 Greater Dunedin had as part of their campaign signage, the back of two buses (the electoral return invoices show artwork for 2 buses).

In Dave’s return he showed a donation from the bus company of a space on the back of a bus (note one space not 2).

The Greater Dunedin returns show no donations to the group, despite the entire group being on the back of the buses.


So how come Dave didn’t show the value of both buses?
How come the rest of Greater Dunedin showed no donations of any bus space?

The Electoral Act makes it an offence (sec 207M) not to keep records of donations over $300, and not to declare the donations (under the return in sec 205K).

These offences involve fines of up to $40,000.


Maybe Dave Cull will say when he said one bus, he meant 2.

Maybe Greater Dunedin will say that per person the donation was not over $300, although their return includes 3 out of the 8 expenses notified that are under $300 per candidate.

Maybe somehow a bus company giving Greater Dunedin 2 free back of bus spaces did not seem important to Greater Dunedin.

Apart from the possible breaches of the Electoral Act, several of the Greater Dunedin group have been avid proponents of the transfer of Dunedin buses from the ORC to the DCC.


At the very least Greater Dunedin should have declared an interest in being ‘in charge of local buses’, having arranged a freebee from one of the bus companies during their 2013 election campaign.

Dave is on the back of a bus again in 2016. Is this another freebee? And if so what does the bus company expect in return?


[Text supplied]

Early in 2012 the Council indicated an interest in investigating the transfer of powers for planning and operating public transport in Dunedin to the Dunedin City Council (DCC). A study was completed late in 2013 by MRCagney and NZ Institute of Economic Research (NZIER) which recommended that the DCC should pursue the transfer of powers because it offers significant benefits in terms of co-ordination, responsiveness and public interest. […] At the Dunedin City Council meeting on 15 May 2014, a decision was made ‘in principle’ to pursue the delegated responsibility for public transport in Dunedin, subject to completion of further work. This report explains that while the proposed changes to the public transport system outlined in the draft Otago Regional Public Transport Plan 2014 (RPTP) are very positive, the potential impact of the draft RPTP on public transport funding may be significant and limited information is available about how it will affect the cost of operating the system. In light of these recent findings it is recommended that the [Infrastructure Services] Committee approach the ORC regarding a deferred timeframe with a target date for possible transfer of powers of 1 July 2017.

Source: Report – ISC – 24/07/2014 (PDF, 120.6 KB)
Public Transport Governance Update

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

Election Year. This post is offered in the public interest.

*Images: – Greater Dunedin and Dave Cull bus-backs (2013); whatifdunedin – Dave Cull bus-back (2016)


Filed under Business, DCC, Dunedin, Economics, Finance, Geography, Infrastructure, Name, New Zealand, People, Perversion, Pet projects, Politics, Project management, Public interest, Tourism, Town planning, Transportation, Urban design, What stadium

15 responses to “The Bus Saga #Dunedin

  1. But is it morally right to use the buses like that illustrated and then say, “Well, we have an interest in the buses. We are being given permission to use the buses but we are paying to put up our advertising.” Meanwhile not declaring expenditure of that kind over $300?

  2. John P. Evans

    (Non ?) declaration of electoral expenses

    Non declaration of nicking water from someone else’s supply.

    It is no surprise Dirty Dave does not want any retributive justice.
    Or evaluation of past mistakes like car theft, Delta dodginess or contract negotiation!

    His dirty washing would never escape the coal test!

    {Our brackets around your ‘non’, with a question mark added. Questions surround the electoral returns – the hope is for clarification to show thst there was compliance with the Electoral Act. -Eds}

  3. Elizabeth


    Caught this bus-back a couple of minutes before Cull’s turned up.

  4. If I were asked for a picture to go with the slogan “The energy behind Dunedin’s Economic Development” there are other portraits I’d use.
    Richard Emerson….

    …just for starters. Readers, what are your suggestions?

  5. Elizabeth

    The clever people behind…

    TracPlus Global
    Farra Engineering
    F&P Dunedin Design Centre
    Scott Technology
    PGG Wrightson
    Silver Fern Farms
    Cadbury Confectionery
    Ravensdown Fertiliser Cooperative
    Port Otago
    Farmlands Cooperative
    Speight’s Brewery (Lion)

    etc etc

  6. Tussock

    Staynes should have had his slogan on the front of the bus reading: “Leading Dunedin’s economic future (down the gurgler)”

  7. Richard Stedman

    Unfortunately Chris stains our region with broken dreams and promises. Remember Fisher and Paykel? Gone to Mexico after massive DCC support.

  8. Calvin Oaten

    F&P Design Centre is still here. Why? Could it be that it was established and running before the decision to shift manufacturing to Mexico. The astute people in China’s controlling office recognised that there was no imperative for the design centre to relocate, as it was serving the group’s needs globally. DCC, Staynes et al had nothing to do with it. It was a pragmatic decision to stay where the people were. That of course could change at a moment’s notice with once again the DCC Staynes having no input at all. Painting words on buses shows the inanity of it all.

  9. Well, we all know what goes on in the back of the bus – just about the level of those who are crass and stupid enough to publish it. And whoa – well there they all are! I guess that is about the level and value of their contribution over these last few years – just foolin’ around in the back of the bus.

  10. Elizabeth

    Another quick shot of Dave’s bus-back (taken in grievous wind and sleet)….


    • Hype O'Thermia

      In his photos this campaign he looks as if he’s biting his bottom lip, don’t you think? A rictus smile, a broken pug on the ropes.

  11. Gurglars

    Hannibal Rictus, as Cull de Mayor.

  12. Gurglars

    Dead Marine (due to climate change)

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