The First of two South Dunedin candidate meetings #review

mayfair-theatre-king-edward-st-elevation-detail-mayfairtheatre-co-nzVenue: Mayfair Theatre

Received from RMN
Tue, 20 Sep 2016 at 11:47 p.m.

The South Dunedin candidates meeting was a quiet affair tonight. The expected angry hordes of South Dunedinites did not materialise.

The hypocrisy rating was through the roof for many candidates who sought to present their Dunedin South Credentials in their 2 minute introduction. Many claimed to have grown up there but strangely, no one felt quite enough of the love that they earnestly proclaimed for SD to actually live there.

Standouts for the evening were Wayne Idour, Abe Gray, Barry Timmings, and Lee Vandervis. Mr Vandervis gatecrashed the party, he was there as a spectator but several members of the audience could not wait until tomorrow and called him to the stage several times. Each time he was cogent, mayor-like and with an impressive grasp of detail. Mr Idour told the audience that a lot of the current council needed to go and that they had wasted huge amounts on pet vanity projects. Say what you mean, Wayne! He also was acid in his criticism of the “devils triangle” of the Council, University and the Police who he said all had an interest in pretending the student drinking culture did not exist. Mr Timmings who some allege is only there as a mayoral candidate to split the vote to ensure the return of Mr Cull actually eclipsed Mr Cull tonight. Mr Timmings was confident and relaxed and related well to an audience that would not be his natural constituents. On his present form Mr Timmings may end up taking more votes from Mr Cull than splitting the vote among the challengers. In contrast Mr Cull while confident, refused to make an unreserved apology for the flooding, was aggressive to a questioner regarding the council debt levels, and when asked to propose what he felt would be an acceptable debt level made the surprising statement that he would like it to be zero. Mr Gray who established his Cannabis Museum in South Dunedin was the best of the candidates when explaining how he saw the future growth of Dunedin, “Converting stories into legends” and focusing on the unique aspects about the city. He was entertaining and informative when explaining why startups should not rely on the DCC. Mr Gray has the weight of someone who had actually established a new venture in South Dunedin, rather than just produce platitudes.

The weakest performers of the evening were Mr Hall and Mr Acklin. Mr Hall told the meeting what a wonderful job council was doing to reduce council debt, which Mr Vandervis then calmly demolished in about 30 seconds with the facts. Mr Acklin said nothing of substance whatsoever in his introduction and after that was invisible.

Best howler of the evening was Mr Staynes claiming that the Council had not indulged in any vanity or pet projects. Cycleways, anybody?


█ Tonight (Wed 21 September), the second candidate meeting will be hosted by the Greater South Dunedin Community Group at the historic Mayfair Theatre, 6:30pm – 9pm.

For more details, see press release South Dunedin to grill election candidates this week via

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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


Filed under Business, DCC, Democracy, Dunedin, Economics, Events, Finance, Fun, Name, People, Pet projects, Politics, Public interest, South Dunedin, What stadium

19 responses to “The First of two South Dunedin candidate meetings #review

  1. JimmyJones

    Thanks to RMN for that summary. “Mr Staynes claiming that the Council had not indulged in any vanity or pet projects”: well two of the current pet projects have become blatant vote-buying bribes, namely the South Dunedin Library-Hub and the Mosgiel swimming pool relocation. Mosgiel and South Dunedin happen to be the most dangerous places to live because of the very poorly performing stormwater systems. Both of these places are at risk of flooding during heavy rain and given the choice, I wonder how the affected residents would choose to spend the money: on a new pool/library, or a stormwater system that works. Of course, they are not given that choice.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Isn’t it time you all moved on? And I don’t just mean relocating because I know that’s a suggestion that’s not going to win votes.
      It wasn’t me. I didn’t know because nobody told me. No really, it’s other people’s fault and I’ve acknowledged that. Anyway it was a sudden attack of climate change and sea level rise…….
      Mayor Dave Cull was asked if he planned to apologise for infrastructure failures that led to last year’s floods.
      He responded he had acknowledged a blocked pump had contributed to the flooding, and staff had apologised for misinforming him on what was an operational issue.
      An 84-year-old woman said Civil Defence had not let people know what was happening on the night of the flooding, and the council call centre had also not been any help, and asked Mr Cull to explain.
      He told her a problem with communications was one of the lessons learned on the night, but there would soon be a new appointment in Civil Defence and “I hope we can do a better job next time”.
      NEXT time? He’s planning to continue with buggerall maintenance and spending money on cycleways and trips to China? Ms 84-year-old’s vote is assured now: ABC, anyone but Cull.

  2. Elizabeth

    Wed, 21 Sep 2016
    ODT: Crowd fired-up over flooding
    Community anger over last year’s flooding was in evidence last night as Dunedin City Council candidates fronted up to a South Dunedin audience. There were 25 candidates at the first of two election forums at the Mayfair Theatre, but while some expected a big crowd in the suburb that has emerged as one of the major issues of the election, only about 50 people turned up. Those 50, however, made up one of the more fired-up crowds so far. That came through in an extended public question time at the forum, where, while South Dunedin issues came to the fore, city debt, the future of Dunedin Hospital and problems caused by alcohol also cropped up.

  3. Elizabeth

    How can you use your vote to not only help elect candidates you like, but also keep out those you really don’t? Prof Andrew Geddis explains.

    Wed, 21 Sep 2016
    ODT: STV voting strategy for candidates you dislike
    OPINION Associate Prof Janine Hayward gave the following advice to voters in Dunedin’s council elections (ODT, 17.9.16): “I always say to people only rank the candidates you want to help elect. So if there are three, rank three; if there are 20, rank 20.” That’s perfectly fine, if all you want to do is elect the candidates you like. Ranking those candidates that you positively approve of does as much as you can to ensure that they will be successful.

    But what if, like me, you don’t just want to help elect the candidates that you like? What if, like me, there are some candidates running who you really don’t want to see on the council?

    How can you use your vote to not only help elect those candidates you like, but also keep out those candidates you really don’t like? Doing so involves a bit more time and effort on the voter’s part, because it requires ranking all 43 council candidates.

    • JimmyJones

      Prof Andrew Geddis tells us that to help un-elect candidates we should rank all candidates with the hated ones lowest ranked. Intuitively this seems wrong – surely even with your lowest ranked votes, there is a chance that these could help your hated candidates. I want a second opinion, or a better explanation from Andrew Geddis.

  4. Gurglars

    Cull-44, Staynes-45, Benson-Pope-$46 & I know that’s buying votes, Whiley-47.
    Got the picture?

  5. Elizabeth

    View: corner Hillside Rd and Fox St – oversize ‘one sign’ banner mounted on two stacked shipping containers. Lawful dimensions overlaid (white line rectangle). Reported.

    Spotted tonight:
    DCC Planning have enforced the signage rules? – only Chris Staynes’ banner remains on the container.



  6. Elizabeth

    Another ripper night at Mayfair – second candidates meeting. Well conducted and illuminating. The number of candidates I can vote for is rising.

    Talking to Mayoral and Council candidate Conrad Stedman afterwards I asked what he would like to say at What if?

    He pointed to this latest raw video – I like it. A good measure.

    Facebook: Conrad Stedman for Mayor/Councillor

    • Gurglars

      Conrad’s on my list prior to watching the video. Well above 44.
      Conrad, however no cliches from now on!
      Loved it until the living and dieting business!

  7. Elizabeth

    Why would anyone want to be offended or try to destabilise one of the best mayoral candidates, Barry Timmings – where is the tolerance for slips of the tongue. Or wry wit, against himself. Bring back the Goons.

    An ODT cheap shot.

    Thu, 22 Sep 2016
    ODT: Timmings’ ‘disabled’ comment offends
    Dunedin mayoral candidate Barry Timmings says he meant no offence when he told a disability services-run mayoral forum he sometimes felt disabled because he was a white 46-year-old male accountant. Mr Timmings made the comment yesterday in front of about 100 people in the Regent Theatre Clarkson room.


    Barry Timmings for Mayor from Barry Timmings on Vimeo.

    Timmings, whose background includes time in the Royal New Zealand Air Force and more than 20 years as a chartered accountant, is seen as a serious contender in the 11-strong field vying for the Dunedin mayoralty. This month his campaign included a mass letter box drop with a pamphlet saying “It’s not how big our city is, it’s what we do with it”. —Stuff

  8. Hype O'Thermia

    Barry Timmings hasn’t been a councillor, and I think it’s a mistake to vote in a mayor with no personal experience of being on the council in this city.
    I suppose it’s like the managerialism culture, i.e. a manager is a manager therefore is eminently suited to manage any enterprise, from elder care to opera company to ammunition manufacturing.
    My observations don’t bear this out.

  9. Calvin Oaten

    Agreed Hype. Much as I like ‘the cut of his jib,’ I firmly believe that a minimum of one term as a foot soldier councillor is essential prior to tilting at the mayoralty. Barry’s claims of more than twenty years as a chartered accountant is not necessarily a sinecure of the ability required for the post. The fact that aiming straight to the job indicates a degree of ‘hubris’ or at worst derision for the mundane. I do wish he had put his name forward for council as well thus getting my vote.

  10. Peter

    It was a mistake only going for the top job and not putting his name down for council as well. It shows an attitude.
    He needs to realise an apprenticeship is needed to become Mayor. Only going for the mayoralty strikes me as being somewhat arrogant. I’m too good to be a just a councillor.

  11. Peter

    Well, well, well it is now clear how Timmings works after reading today’s paper on the fallout from his disability faux pas the previous day.
    His tactic of deflecting his own faux pas, by trying to pass it on to another councillor, is disgusting in the extreme.
    He tried it on the wrong man. Of all the candidates, Lee Vandervis would know what severe disability means. He and his family live with it every day.
    Timmings only stood for the mayoralty, it is increasingly evident, to act as a spoiler for Lee Vandervis.
    The man does not play fair or clean. At the end he can’t be reached for comment. Phone off the hook?

  12. Elizabeth

    Tue, 27 Sep 2016
    ODT: Idour pulls out of liquor hearing
    A Dunedin council candidate has stepped aside from his role as a liquor licensing committee commissioner after calling the council, the University of Otago and police a “devil’s triangle” who do nothing about alcohol problems. Former police sergeant Wayne Idour was to have been a commissioner yesterday on a committee considering Cumberland St Super Liquor’s licence, but was replaced after his impartiality was questioned. […] Mr Idour made his comments at a candidates forum last week in South Dunedin, where he was sharply critical of the response of the university, council and police to alcohol problems.

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