Election survey: Dunedin mayoralty


The Otago Daily Times and the University of Otago have combined forces to produce a survey —

Who are you voting for in the Dunedin mayoral election ?
Who will win the Dunedin mayoralty ?

Survey results will be published in the newspaper and online next week.

█ To take part, go to https://www.odt.co.nz/ and scroll down the home page to find the survey.


How to “see” the survey at ODT Online in order to “vote”….you may need to register and log in at their website if you haven’t done so already. A couple of people have initially reported that they can’t see the survey by desktop or tablet.

It’s free to register at ODT Online – from memory, it takes your name and contact details only. Go to the top righthand menu at ODT Online and scroll down to where it says Login/Register, click on this and follow directions.

The survey is independently hosted at the University of Otago. Your login details given to ODT Online are not shared with the survey hosts!

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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


Filed under Business, DCC, Democracy, Dunedin, Economics, Finance, Media, People, Politics, Public interest, University of Otago

32 responses to “Election survey: Dunedin mayoralty

  1. russandbev

    Those returns so far are pathetic. If people don’t get out and vote then they can’t be critical after the election. I think the returns are running at about half what they are in Central Otago.

    • Elizabeth

      Yes, drastic low turnout so far.

      Are the people bothering to vote doing so for a substantial change of leadership. The multimillion-dollar question.

      Surely a hefty lift in voting numbers after this weekend ?

  2. Gurglars

    It’s a weird survey! It seems that the ODT and the Uni wish to register that our dissatisfaction with the DCC is because we are unhappy people. I can state that I will go from mild depression to euphoria if we can get rid of the spendthrift, idiotic, sustainability crew.

    They vote for sustainability to sustain themselves.

    • Elizabeth

      Yes after indicating your choice and or ranking of mayoral candidates, the wellbeing questions to give (any?) Idea of a demographic demand some thinking – where you can leave comments is the chance to be clearly anti the current leadership. I only ranked ONE candidate – to hell with preferential votes by accumulation!

  3. Hype O'Thermia

    We might be waiting to see who succumbs to election-fever mask slippage such as “I feel disabled as a white 46-year-old male accountant”. Then follow by high-speed latch onto another candidate’s disability! Liberal and all heart, not to mention grabbing an opportunity to badmouth our best chance for Dunedin getting out of massive debt.
    I hope straight-shooter types like Vandervis are elected. We need to stop sending money over the Tasman as interest payment to banks, and get into a position where we can afford some of the nice-to-haves, Under Cull we got candy floss and rotten teeth. Time now for honest bread and good cheese, meat and potatoes and fresh veges and keeping local money in the district going round and round for OUR benefit.

  4. Elizabeth

    Best practice guide: 

    New Zealand Political Polling Code

    Click to access Political%20Polling%20Code%202014.pdf

  5. Elizabeth

    The happiness / wellbeing part of the survey gives you scope to crash the current council regime. Use the opportunity wisely !!

  6. Elizabeth

    Wellbeing at Dunedin recounted (by select choice)….

    Garrick Tremain – 1 Oct 2014

    garrick-tremain-punchbag-1-oct-2014Source: National Library of New Zealand

    Garrick Tremain – 8 Sep 2014

    garrick-tremain-sales-7-sep-2014Source: National Library of New Zealand

    Garrick Tremain – 8 July 2014

    garrick-tremain-trees-8-jul-2014Source: National Library of New Zealand

  7. Elizabeth

    Today as I was compelled to use red pen again [Kellogg’s Krush and Krunch problems cartoon us down], a new academic paper arrived by email, from Vienna University of Technology, Institute of Architectural Sciences, on the subject of “the breathtaking luxury of thinking”.

    My eye immediately picked out the word “Hermitage” in the subject heading, the meanings for which include sanctuary and asylum. At various times, What if? Dunedin has the semblance of these; it seems to me a wordy hermitage is possible here when we’re feeling horrified and disgusted at the wheels of officialdom, when it is costing us all our arms and legs. We say what we think – sometimes we can’t have all the facts at our fingertips, but by god imagine if we did.

    How badly would we feel or shriek if we had all the explicit tawdry detail, and all the political machinations were Full Public Knowledge. Yup, to know That Much, to feel That Bad, would be to write more Poisonously in the direction of the wrongful, as much as to more explicitly inform higher authorities to Clean This S*** Up at Dunedin. Yay.

    The perps “out there” are so SCARED of Opinion and Plain Speaking.

    A short paragraph from the academic paper’s introduction begins, “It draws from a particular site, brings along a history, doped with legend, mystery, enigma, longing, impatience….”

    Assisting exposure can attract too much Krunch and Krush at once. It depletes What if? Dunedin’s red ink supplies.

    The opportunities for free thought, free speech and free expression (the kind constantly seen at Twitter, minute by minute) appear lost/hampered for Dunedin websites like this one. So look at the Why of that, and Who is responsible.

    As one of our regular contributors says, “Follow the Money”.

    Image: Dublin Inquirer – circus time, tweaked by whatifdunedin

  8. Gurglars

    Love your work, Elizabeth and a large box of Chocolate fish to Garrick Tremain, a living genius.

  9. JimmyJones

    Not long to go. There might be some surprises. The last day for posting voting forms is officially Wednesday, but with NZ Post there is a lot of variation in delivery times, so probably posting votes tomorrow (Tuesday) would be safer.
    There are conflicting accounts about how to vote to help to un-elect your most hated candidates. We have had law professor Andrew Geddis tell us (ODT) that we should rank all candidates including the deadbeats, loonies and planet-savers. It is a shame that no-one with a more appropriate qualification has given us their view.
    It seems to me that Professor Geddis is wrong. By giving a ranking to your most hated candidates, you risk helping them. My guess is that it is helpful to rank candidates all the way down to the fairly useless ones, but don’t rank the nut-jobs, crusaders and liars.

    • Elizabeth

      Geddis is absolutely wrong – has an agenda perhaps !!

    • Gurglars

      Not often wrong Jimmy and right again. I ran out of mayoral votes at 5. The rest I wouldn’t piss on if they were on fire!

      • JimmyJones

        Three mayoral votes were all I could cope with, Gurglars. I managed 17 councillor votes, reaching right down to the bottom of the barrel – including ones that were fairly hopeless, but not dangerous. I classify as truly dangerous, the planet saving car-haters and those trying to inflict on us their own political/ideological world view. These include the Closet Green candidates like Liesel Mitchell, Paul M Gourlie, Kate Wilson, Dave Cull, Scout (girl) Barbour-Evans, Paul Pope, Chris Staynes (collaborator).
        Also hazardous to our city are the two Green Party members, the un-hinged nutters (Islay McLeod, Rachel Elder), the low-ability has-beens (Acklin, Benson-Pope) and a big bunch of others that seem to have no ability, poor judgement or the wrong attitude (Damian Newall, Christine Garey, Ronald Fung etc). No doubt, some of these dangerous ones will be making decisions for us soon.

        {Moderated. -Eds}

  10. JimmyJones

    Dave Cull must be desperate to retain the mayoral baubles. Last Friday (23/9/16 9:05 am) on Radio Dunedin (4XD) Dave arranged a paid interview to respond to the popular and true belief that decisions made under his leadership led to the severity of last year’s flooding being worse than if the correct decisions had been made. It was the usual excuses and blame-shifting from Cull. He is entitled to do this, but the problem is that there was nothing to identify it as an election advertisement. There was no authorisation statement and many listeners would have been deceived into thinking that the interview was a normal unbiased part of the programme. More deception from Dave. Audio available.

    • Gurglars

      And will it appear on his expenses document or was it another pro bono to be paid for by council largesse should he be re-elected?

  11. JimmyJones

    What could have been Dave Cull’s last Council meeting as Mayor, was held today (3/10/16). Secrecy and obscurity was a feature: the most astonishing thing was that the DCHL annual report was presented to be adopted by Council, but was kept secret from the public. The actual point of having annual reports is to inform the public (shareholders) about what’s been happening. The official excuse was that the report was late and hadn’t been audited, but this is normally the case and it hasn’t previously stopped them allowing the public to see it. Councillors have recently criticised DCHL for withholding important DELTA documents and for not letting them ask questions of the DELTA CEO.

    The public perception could be that they have something to hide and don’t want the bad news to damage the reputation of the staff’s favourite (incumbent) election candidates.

    The DCHL annual report does not yet have signed auditor approval and has not been approved by the DCHL board of directors. Councillors can not legally adopt this report – but I bet they did. The DCC annual report was also presented for adoption and it was also in an incomplete state (no auditors report and no pdf available). It is very likely that the official excuse for the secrecy around the DCHL report is invalid and will not be supported by the Ombudsman. Staff should make this report public immediately.

    • Elizabeth

      I sat through the meeting JimmyJones, didn’t see you there – you must have a good informant ;-) or you’re going by what’s online.

      Totally shoddy performance by DCC operationals again.

      Shouldn’t the Chair of Finance have been thumping the table today.

      No sign.

      • JimmyJones

        I haven’t seen the Chair of Finance do any table thumping. Perhaps that is what happens at the Audit and Risk Subcommittee (ARS). This is the sort of thing the ARS is designed for. Unfortunately we can’t tell what they have been doing because the ARS has become a secret society: the last ARS had 13 secret agenda items and the one before had 16.

        • Elizabeth

          Mayor Cull’s comments upon RT at the council meeting were a bit of a riot.

          “Your strength is in Finance”…. then another muttering that sounded like “financially experienced and literate”. Not sure I heard that correctly from the public gallery.

          In any case I don’t believe it.

          To his credit, RT did pick up on the fact that he’d been called a “trougher” on social media.

        • Hype O'Thermia

          “Your strength is in Finance”.
          In all other areas you are even weaker.
          Many people are of the opinion that that’s impossible.
          I stand before you as a person of integrity to assure them it’s true.

    • Gurglars

      Auditors are unlikely to improve the draft report only reduce any profit or expand any misreported losses.

  12. Elizabeth

    STV the anagram on its own loses meaning –

    Single Transferable Vote

    with emphasis on TRANSFERABLE

    Informed commentator Steve Todd on STV at Public Address says:

    “….when people vote in STV / PV (single-seat STV) elections, they rank the candidates in their true order of preference, because they know their later preferences cannot harm their earlier preferences. (Readers who have followed this thread will know that this particular property of STV is one that I consider to be extremely important – in fact, vital.)”

    Read more by Steve Todd on STV at http://publicaddress.net/system/profile?id=104248

  13. JimmyJones

    Dave Cull, during his election campaigning often mentioned his super-hero type efforts to fix the financial and governance problems of DCHL and restore it to profitability. We aren’t yet allowed to know the latest profit result, but the 2015 profit was only $13 million from total assets of $1 billion. The official DCHL forecast (Statement Of Intent) tells us that the future profits will be much less than this (2016: $0, 2017: $3M, 2018: $3M, 2019: $2M).
    Compare DCHL with Port Otago (owned by the ORC) which only has total assets of $0.5 billion – half the size. Port Otago made a profit of $34 million for 2016 and that was a bad year. The year before it made $52 million. Dave Cull’s DCHL reforms seem to be a failure.
    DCHL used to be a financial benefit to the city, but now it appears that it will be a net cost. DCHL, which now includes the stadium companies, will need to be subsidised by the hard working citizens.

  14. JimmyJones

    The pdf version of all the annual reports of the DCHL subsidiary companies, but not DCHL (holding company), is now available from the DCC. The DCC, DVL and DVML annual reports are also included. These had been html only and couldn’t be saved. We still need to see the DCHL annual report.

  15. Elizabeth

    Further to Monday’s Council meeting in which Mayor Cull exclaimed to Cr Richard Thomson that “Your strength is in Finance”…. (as noted above):

    Tue, 4 Oct 2016 at 9:40 p.m.

    Who will be the go-to Finance person to replace Richard?
    Maybe Aaron, who has a definite lack of possible conflict regarding any asset advice.
    Or BP who is fine except for sporting investment advice where conflict could be a problem: probably should extend to not voting for money to cricket lights, just to be sure.
    Or Chris who is so confused about what energises buses that he may be replacement for anything including advice of any type.
    Or maybe a new ‘let’s pretend I’m not a green member’ who thinks somehow voting against fossil fuels will increase income in a way that fund managers don’t know about.

    Or maybe His Nibs will make his own decisions about what is right and wrong financially, since he is now prepared to take on everyone from the lowliest (including those who may be retreating from South Dunedin), to the loftiest, including cabinet ministers and anyone who disagrees with him or our companies.


    Tue, 4 Oct 2016
    ODT: Term’s almost over for councillors
    There were halting speeches where emotion caught in the throat and memories that went back more than 30 years as five councillors gave their valedictory speeches at the Dunedin City Council yesterday. Six councillors – Hilary Calvert did not attend yesterday’s meeting – will finish their terms as councillors after Saturday’s election. Yesterday, they had their time to reminisce and to give their thoughts on the legacy they left.

    View the Council Video when available.
    A clever honest valedictory from Cr Hilary Calvert (in absentia) was missed as a suitable reality check on ‘democracy’ as All have come to know it – most unfortunately – in the last rainshower, that is Cull.

  16. Elizabeth


    Who was part of governance overseeing organisations which had the two largest frauds Dunedin has seen. Hmm.

  17. Gurglars

    And don’t forget they also presided over Delta’s demise of Luggate, Jacks Point and now Yaldhurst, whilst paying the CEO $570,000 per year, over $1500 per day!

  18. Elizabeth

    A colleague reminds me.

    Were they good or bad for Cull de Mayor.

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