Dunedin Voting Paper Returns


Daily return of voting papers for Dunedin City Council

Daily return of voting papers for other 2016 Local Elections

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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

*Image: screenshot tweaked by whatifdunedin – click to enlarge


Filed under Business, Democracy, Dunedin, Geography, New Zealand, People, Politics, Public interest

79 responses to “Dunedin Voting Paper Returns

  1. JimmyJones

    Stuff shows that Dave Cull has retained the Mayoralty. No other results yet.

  2. JimmyJones

    Stuff has this list of DCC elected councillors: Lee Vandervis, Andrew Whiley, Aaron Hawkins, David Benson-Pope, Chris Staynes, Conrad Stedman, Doug Hall, Rachel Elder, Jim O’Malley, Kate Wilson, Mike Lord, Damian Newell, Marie Laufiso, Christine Garey.

    I think the new ones, Jim O’Malley and Conrad Stedman, will be helpful to the city. It will be hard to get used to Rachel Elder, Christine Garey, Damian Newell and Marie Laufiso (green).

    • Elizabeth

      JimmyJones thanks for updating site with the results. Been in Vogel Street which was a great turnout of the Dunedin Public and is still rocking until 1pm tonight.

      A colleague phoned me to say a large number of defaced and blank voting forms. What is wrong with Dunedin.

      Here comes more fraud and corruption in spades.

  3. Gurglars

    One can surmise that there is something wrong with the intellect of the Dunedin ratepayer or one could suggest that the process is wrong. I spoke to many people today, most have voted for Lee, none for Cull.

    The ratepayers have elected possibly an even worse group of candidates than the last lot. The white hopes for those intent upon transparency and efficiency, Idour, Pope and Johnstone, no one there.

    One question, who are the scrutineers?

    Those elected represent the best chance for the DCC and the DHL companies to further rip off ratepayers. Is the staff gerrymander just too big to overcome?

  4. Anonymous

    Still being delivered to hell in a hand-basket then.

    It will be interesting to see who Dave shares his candy with this time, particularly with the new councillors.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      The most malleable and eager to please authority, that’s who. Too polite to question “authority” – even emperors in translucent mankinis.

      “Come with me, call me Daddy, here’s some candy…… Let’s keep this as our special secret, we won’t tell the ratepayers eh because that would make Daddy sad.”

  5. Elizabeth

    Election Results per candidate via ODT




    Cull de Mayor said ‘no big issues stood out during the campaign’.

    Oh really.

    ‘Asked if he had been wounded during his last term by South Dunedin flooding and cycleway problems, Mr Cull said there was an element in the community that would blame governance for those issues, no matter who was responsible.’



    ‘[Jim] O’Malley said he would be talking to the likes of the South Dunedin Action Group to get on top of issues in the suburb, and find out about the new hotel.’


    *ODT says : ‘This result is based upon the counting of approximately 95% of the returned voting papers.  The progress result does not include some special votes and voting papers returned today that are still in transit to the processing centre.  The outcome of these elections may change once all voting papers have been counted.’

  6. Gurglars

    Stupefaction from Hawkes Bay voters who elected Yule! From Stuff-

    “What surprised me is Lawrence Yule’s re-election. He doesn’t live here and was nowhere to be found in the recent water crisis. It took over a week until council did something and even then they supplied more contaminated water. Absolutely disgusted with the people of Hastings.”

    Just what is it with New Zealand that they re-elect proven failures?

  7. Elizabeth

    The final absolute majority of votes (final quota) as determined at the last iteration was 2,328.07.

    There were 486 informal votes and 563 blank votes.

  8. Elizabeth

    Sat, 8 Oct 2016
    ODT: Final surge of Dunedin votes
    Council staff including chief executive Dr Sue Bidrose took to the streets to collect the papers of any voters who left their civic duties to the last minute. And to the last minute it was, with some voters handing their papers through the windows of their cars at 11.59am.

    Retains her job.

  9. Elizabeth

    Hope this callow result doesn’t mean some voters were paid.

    Surely you’d have to be paid to return some of these liabilities.

    Liabilities who were prepared (not once but twice) to support shady stuff from DCHL.

  10. Peter

    I am not sure what the word authentic means anymore.
    Some of those elected got in by gimmicks and facile promises and position statements. They will be intellectually challenged, but never mind, if they keep their mouths shut they will get by. Hard work will be done by others.
    Dunedin is a strange place. I am not sure I want to be part of this community anymore because honesty and integrity counts for nothing.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      There were some very distasteful “spoiling” tactics, exhaustively (and unquestioningly) reported by local media >> NZ wide. There are people on the “didn’t make it” parts of the lists I wouldn’t pee on if they were on fire, now. Despise ’em? Darn tootin’ I do, too much “political” cunning, far less integrity discernible to the naked eye – other than in their self-praising campaigns.

  11. Elizabeth


    This result is based upon the counting of approximately 95% of the returned voting papers. The progress result does not include some special votes and voting papers returned today that are still in transit to the processing centre. The outcome of these elections may change once all voting papers have been counted.

    STV iteration report will be published when the preliminary results are received later this evening.

    Dunedin City Council Progress Results

    Otago Regional Council Progress Results

  12. hamlinb

    In the darkness; a ray of sunshine from elsewhere. A candidate elected purely because they are no dam use at all!


  13. Elizabeth

    Great if Michael Laws makes it in at ORC – or would too much honesty be too hard for Voters.
    Sometime, it would be nice to pitch Laws against Cull. But Laws is wise enough to never live in slightly THICK Dunedin. A place where the University of Otago thinks it’s fine to spray acid on the Department of Music. Backwater Inc.

    Sat, 8 Oct 2016
    ODT: Laws falls short in ORC bid
    High profile Otago Regional Council candidate Michael Laws is 79 votes short of a seat on the council as one of the three Dunstan ward representatives. […] Another feature of voting for the regional council was the defeat of long standing Dunstan candidate Gerard Eckhoff, while  Andrew Noone has completed a smooth transition from the Dunedin City Council to the regional council, as the second top polling candidate.
    This result is based upon the counting of approximately 98% of the returned votes. 

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Gerry Eckhoff out? More proof that voters prefer baa baa baa don’t rock the boat woolly thinkers, yes sir no sir, two bags full. Sir.

      • Elizabeth

        After returning to Otago from a highly argumentative architectural education of long duration (that followed a strongly opinioned family upbringing! thank god!), I discovered much lily-livered crap at Dunedin – o’ the bleeding hearts club. Too scared to say anything against anyone corrupt, fraudulent, badly ‘designed’, or gormless in a hi-vis vest selling ‘carpet’.

        Without Gerry on ORC, the troughers will build themselves a Palace on ratepayers’ money, at Queens Gardens. No expense spared – with help from DCC who owns the land and may feel a (ratepayers’) duty to provide a parking building to Dowling St for private gym, Les Mills !!!

        • Hype O'Thermia

          Without Gerry on ORC… we won’t hear about it till it’s a done deal. No argument within ORC for ODT to report, no Opinion piece or letter to Editor from Gerard Eckhoff.
          Does it look as if anyone on new 2016-> ORC has guts & cojones, or are they silicone clip-ons?

  14. Elizabeth

    Early word was that Cull had 5000 votes over Vandervis in second place, with Timmings a close third.

    Here we are still waiting for actual votes numbers by candidate. Ridiculous to be waiting this long!

    For the Dunedin mayoralty all we know is:

    The final absolute majority of votes (final quota) as determined at the last iteration was 14,518. There were 73 informal votes and 676 blank votes.

  15. Elizabeth

    Classic comment from Phil Goff, new Mayor of Auckland – if only Cull had the wit and honesty to say the same:

    Via RNZ

    New Auckland mayor Goff said the ‘Yes Minister’ syndrome – drawn from a British television comedy in which civil servants manipulate the politicians – reaches its peak in local government, and getting rid of [that] will be his first message to council management.

  16. Hype O'Thermia

    Timmings ran a brilliant spoiler, with the eager assistance of media.

    • Gurglars

      Yes Hype, but doesn’t the whole democratic political process sicken you?

      Deviates, incompetents, failed Mayors (Yule), Mayors who reduce people’s home equity (Cull), persons who have contributed majorly to ratepayer losses (Boult) are all elected.

      Is it a lack of knowledge, apathy, soft soaping by the media, stupidity or even the possibility that the public service aligned vote is too strong for local government reformers to overcome?

      Or is it perhaps the local machinery of the Greens and Labour that get out and mobilise their supporters whilst dissatisfied ratepayers perhaps do not vote in a bloc?

      Whatever it is, it is going to be another hellish 3 years in Dunedin until Cull de Mayor becomes Sir Cull de Mal.

  17. Elizabeth

    Interesting tables on preliminary voter turnouts across New Zealand from LGNZ:


  18. Elizabeth

    RNZ News 5 minutes ago
    Local elections: Steady as she goes in the South
    By Ian Telfer – Otago Southland
    Sitting mayors in the main South Island centres have been returned to office – some with larger majorities than before.
    Christchurch, Dunedin, Invercargill and Nelson voted to keep their mayors, and the only new faces are in Queenstown and Blenheim where the incumbents retired.
    […] In Dunedin, Dave Cull was returned to office for a third-term, beating 10 challengers. Sitting councillor Lee Vandervis, who has run for mayor twice before, came second, and Barry Timmings was third. Mr Cull’s margin is not yet clear, because the vote was one of the few to run under the more complex STV preferential voting system and the count has not yet been released.
    Read more

  19. Elizabeth

    Of the 12 Council candidates I voted for, 6 have been (provisionally) elected – not bad. I honestly couldn’t rank any more from the total line up of 43.

    Of these 6, yes, 4 were sitting councillors who have performed relatively well or consistently at council and or for their constituents.

    No name recognition in my choices – simply, all had proven to be hard workers and I had seen them in action at Council and standing committees, and as panel members for this and that. No flakes.

  20. Anonymous

    I think you’re right on that earlier comment. They got voted in so it is what it is. I had a view on business and self-interest groups using their membership numbers to hijack votes, but then so many constituents also had an opportunity and wasted it. I am however perplexed by DBP and still do not believe the STV system was introduced in the best interests of the wider community. Anything that complex is only there to serve a small number of individuals. I worry about how much worse it will get. This council sees a billion dollars of debt as a target of opportunity. I might just have to start buying into the Oddity’s good news that everything is okay in Dunedin. At least I can use it to grow mushrooms.

  21. Elizabeth

    ### msn.com 3 hrs ago
    Poor turnout for local elections
    Source: NZ Newswire
    The government says it is open to trying new ways to increase voter turnout after the number of people casting their vote in local body elections fell to under 40 per cent. Preliminary results reveal 39.5 per cent voted in Saturday’s postal ballot, down almost 2 per cent from three years ago.
    Organisers had been hoping for a turnout above 50 per cent.
    Read more

  22. Peter

    They tried postal voting to increase voter participation. It failed. The same will happen with electronic voting. Also, it is open to abuse, like postal voting, where election papers in letter boxes can be hoovered up by the unscrupulous.
    People are not participating for the simple reason they feel disenfranchised and see the whole process as pointless.
    Also they have no confidence in many of the candidates standing. Let’s face it, too many flakey types are standing, bringing the whole thing in disrepute.
    I believe they should increase the downpayment for standing to weed out the wannabes wanting a job. If they are serious, and are legitimate, they can get sponsors to support them if they are financially up the creek, but genuinely have something to offer.
    I am fed up with stupid people standing for council. They are a nuisance.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      The minor inconvenience of having to go to a special place on a particular day to vote was better than postal voting which is better than online.
      Postal, there’s so much time before it has to be done, it’s all too easy to put the envelope on the fridge, knowing there’s no urgency.
      The one day, polling booth “Event” was like other special occasions: special. We knew we had to be there or miss out. One doesn’t “miss out” on something that dawdles on for a fortnight, one just doesn’t get round to it.

      Making it “easier” makes it easier to not get around to it.

  23. Elizabeth

    Preliminary STV Results (the numbers)

    Dunedin City Council 2016 Triennial Elections – Preliminary STV Result(PDF, 54.1 KB)

    Dunedin City Council 2016 Triennial Elections – Preliminary STV Result Report (PDF, 269.6 KB)

    Single Transferable Voting explained here:


    Here’s how candidates are elected:

    ● The counting process tallies all first preference votes.
    ● A candidate is elected if they reach the quota.
    ● If a candidate is elected, they keep only the proportion of the vote they need to reach the quota. The surplus part of each vote is transferred to the voter’s second preference.
    ● The votes are tallied again.
    ● If another candidate reaches the quota or gets more votes than they need to be elected, the surplus part of each vote for that candidate will be transferred to the voter’s third preference.
    ● If no more candidates have enough support to get elected (i.e. reach the quota), the lowest polling candidate is eliminated and all votes for that candidate are transferred to those voters’ next preferences.
    ● This process is repeated until enough candidates are elected to fill the vacant positions.

    The transfer of votes is done in order of voters’preferences. This means that surplus votes are not “wasted” but are available to help other candidates to get elected.

    The election process treats all candidates the same, by giving them a “keep value”.

    In an STV election, the quota is the number of votes a candidate needs to get elected. In the case of single vacancy elections, such as a mayoralty, the quota is referred to as an absolute majority. The quota is based on the total number of votes cast and the number of people needed to be elected to fill all the vacant positions.*
    The quota is calculated in the following manner:
    – for example, in an election with three vacant positions, where there were 4,000 valid votes, the quota would be:
    4000 (Votes) ÷ (3 (Vacancies) + 1) = 1000
    So in this case the quota would be 1000.
    * A small fraction is added to avoid an equality of votes.

    Keep Value
    Each candidate has a keep value. It allows them to keep the portion of the vote they need to reach the quota and be elected but allows any extra or surplus votes to be transferred to other candidates, according to voters’ preferences.
    For example, if the quota or number of votes required to gain election is 100, and a candidate receives 100 votes, they keep all of those votes, so they have a keep value of 1 (i.e.100%).
    But if the candidate received 200 votes, they still only need the equivalent of 100 of those votes to be elected, and the surplus can be transferred to voters’ second preferences. The candidate’s keep value would be 0.5 (i.e. 50%), because that person only needed to keep 50% of all the votes they received in order to be elected.
    This means the lower the keep value, the more votes the candidate received. The most popular candidates will have the lowest keep values, because they received so many votes, they only needed to keep a small proportion to gain election.

    • Mike

      One thing to realise is that the quota changes (and gets smaller) as counting continues – this is caused by votes from voters who only chose a few candidates – the obvious case is someone who chooses just 1 candidate, the lowest polling candidate, when they get removed during counting that vote, with no second person listed has no place to go.

      A less obvious case – if you just voted for Lee, he got 5316 votes first round, more than 2.5 time the number of votes required to get elected (~2400 in the end) – that means that each of those 5316 voters left ~2/5 of their vote with Lee and 3/5 was passed on to their second choice, if they didn’t specify a second choice that 3/5 of a vote was effectively lost.

      This year there were about 2000 votes (the difference between the initial quota and the final one times the number of candidates) that were not counted for this reason – some will have been whole votes but most will have been small fractions of votes, lots and lots of them.

      This is why you should list as many people as possible when you vote in an STV election.


      In other news, I find it quite satisfying that in the end Scout beat out sad old Bill Acklin.

      • Gurglars

        Given the quality of the persons re-elected and the quality of caring nominees, Johnstone, Pope and Idour not elected, I think the STV system suits the DCC staff, not the ratepayers.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Don’t you think the reason for current members being re-elected may be more than name recognition?
      Most people pay scant attention to which individuals make the most useful contributions while in Council, and which trail along saying “yes” or “no” when prodded by the mayor/chairman.
      So the list comes out, new names and old. Yes, there’s recognition.
      But I wonder if it’s the same reasoning: “they’re already Councillors so they must be good” and “Police arrested him so he must be guilty”.

  24. Gurglars

    A very encouraging interview Kim Hill, interviewing Phil Goff.


    Goff is impressive in his understanding of the “Yes Minister” attitude of council staff and his desire to impose his view as the elected representative, translating the wishes of the electorate to the bureaucracy.

    Could Sanity prevail?

    Goff, with his unique experience, just may be the lightning rod we need.

    If he fails, the loonies, the tree huggers and the Lawrence Yules have taken control.

    The lunatics will have taken over the asylum.

  25. Theo R

    It’ll be interesting to see just how many votes were discounted because they weren’t filled out correctly. The whole shizzle is just too damned hard to figure out for the below average Jo and clearly the majority residing here have neither the time or inclination to be bothered finding out. This is one sad bloody town. Dunedin you get the Council you deserve.

    • swinging vicar

      Don’t be glum, chum. We all get sad post elections. Should have seen us in Nov, 75.

      This too will pass. The alternative is a govt appointed Commission.

  26. Gurglars

    No one deserves them. An investigation needs to be undertaken.

    A war plan needs to be prepared and acted on for 2019, so that Dunedin has a chance. Has anyone noticed that commentators only comment on the “three main centres” now.

    Dunedin has been abandoned as of no account.

  27. Peter

    One of the interesting things about the election was the seemingly big issue of the South Dunedin floods and the infrastructure problems associated with it. Yet I am not sure, in the end, whether it was a decisive issue for most voters.
    Why? Was it:
    1. Many of those affected were renting so it wasn’t their houses that were damaged. (They could move elsewhere.)
    2. The rest of Dunedin wasn’t affected, so it didn’t concern them.
    3. The people were satisfied that the council made sufficient amends, after the fact, by sacking Fulton Hogan and cleared the mud tanks etc.
    4. The low attendance at the meetings down there were indicative of either lack of interest, sense of powerlessness or were they just being stoic and getting on with the job of tidying things up?
    5. Lack of trust re politicians or the budding ones for the people down there.

    (I wonder how many who attended those meetings were actually South Dunedinites?)

    Dave Cull got nearly a third of the votes cast. Not an endorsement of him at all, but the wide field of mayoral candidates spread the vote thinly so no one candidate was likely to be an overwhelming choice.
    The campaign was, as usual, quite bland and derailed by the odd sideshow like the Joshua Perry Saga. Hence lack of interest.

  28. Rob Hamlin

    Electoral systems are supposed to be fair, or so we are told. A truly fair electoral system should give no advantage to incumbents, as incumbency in itself is not (or should not) be an advantage when seeking office.

    In practice it often ain’t necessarily so. Hitler, Stalin, Mao and Saddam Hussein were all incumbents who rigged the system to a greater extent. Even in ‘democracies’ incumbents who claim to like the concept are not exactly keen to encourage an outbreak of democracy (election) unless they clearly see that it is in their interests – a snap election for example. Rigging the system to a lesser extent in all sorts of ways is thus an accepted part/art of politics. Thus there is a bit of ‘fuzziness’ in election rigging. It goes on, lesser is OK – greater, not so. It’s a bit like porkies in advertising.

    I have been uncomfortable for a while about the ‘greater’ or ‘lesser’ status of the system that Dunedin uses to elect its local representatives. The combination of a virtual local media monopoly, a single ward with an unmanageable mass of candidates and a voting system that nobody truly understands, but which allows incumbents to creep in in lower places on voting papers by sheer recognition, when all these are taken together the system that contains them may be coming close to the line.

    But how close is it to the line – or is it over? Well, the 2016 results are now in, which allows us to do a quick probability calculation on the odds of this result occurring if incumbency was NOT a factor.

    There were 43 candidates, nine of which were incumbents. All nine of these incumbents were re-elected if we assume (reasonably in my opinion) that Dave Cull would have been re-elected to Council if he had not been elected Mayor.

    If the average voter was guessing, or operating on some simple personal decision heuristic (as I was) then the elected/not elected result would be random with regard to the incumbency status of the candidates. Thus the odds of an individual incumbent being elected in such a crapshoot are 9/43 or 21%.

    But what are the chances of all nine incumbents being elected, as they were if incumbency was not a factor? The answer might appear to be is 21% (the odds of an individual councillor being elected) raised to the power nine, or 21% x 21% x 21% x 21% x 21% x 21% x 21% x 21% x 21%. If you work it out, this comes to 0.0000794%.

    However, it’s not that simple. We are looking at the probability that if we make 14 picks out of a population of 43 containing nine incumbents, then all nine incumbents will be in this picked group of 14. This is an infernally complex calculation based upon what is known as a hypergeometric probability distribution. See here for details if you dare:


    Luckily there are calculators available to avoid head explosions:


    If we take the calculator above and plug in: “population size = 43; number of successes in population = 9; sample size = 14; number of successes in sample = 9” into it, then we should get the probability of last week’s result occurring if incumbency was not a factor.

    The number that drops out is: 0.00000355, or 0.000355%. This is a very small number. To put it in a more understandable context, given the three year DCC election cycle, we would expect to see this ‘all nine incumbents re-elected’ outcome once every 845,000 years (approximately). Thus the last nine incumbent councillors to be thus elected would not have been members of the species Homo sapiens, but Homo erectus – or Moas.

    Some may dispute this calculation, although I’m not sure how. Personally, I am now satisfied as to which side of the major/minor electoral rigging line we sit in Dunedin.

    • Mike

      Your numbers would be a good analysis if we were drawing candidates by lot – ie randomly – I guess your problem is that elections let the public express their own opinions and they don’t always choose randomly. I’m pretty sure the electoral system is supposed to work this way.

      I agree that incumbency gives an advantage, it does everywhere, not just Dunedin, part of that is “the devil you know”, choosing between 43 candidates based on a paragraph or two in the elections booklet is hard. On the other hand I’m kind of amazed that so many people know who the councillors are …. voters are not as uninformed as you may think … in one case it could just be Whiley’s stream of transparently bogus letters to the editor – existing councillors do get more access to the media, one notices them poking their noses into all sorts of things and popping up in the paper in the months coming up to an election.

      One of the great things about STV is that unlike FPP it elects people representing a large range of citizens, the downside of course is that it elects people I disagree with, but of course that’s a rather selfish point of view.

      If other voters like the incumbents, you have to accept their choice and elect your own councillors to add to them, STV lets you do that

  29. Elizabeth

    Received from Lee Vandervis
    Mon, 10 Oct 2016 at 9:27 a.m.

    —— Forwarded Message
    From: Lee Vandervis
    Date: Sun, 09 Oct 2016 16:21:20 +1200
    To: David Loughrey
    Cc: Nicholas G S Smith, Julian Smith, EditorODT
    Conversation: Election result
    Subject: Election result

    Hi David,

    Though I am obviously disappointed not to be leading the Dunedin City Council into a new business-like era of living within our means, better infrastructure, and cashing up liabilities like DELTA/Aurora, I am encouraged that so many voters made me Dunedin’s highest polling Councillor. Circumstances leading to a large spread of Mayoral votes have resulted in more than twice as many voting for a Mayor other than Mayor Cull. The new Councillors will have a steep learning curve adding political and City business understanding to their strong Community experience.
    I look forward to three years of continuing to faithfully represent the interests of all Dunedin voters to the best of my abilities.

    Cr. Lee Vandervis

    —— End of Forwarded Message


    Mon, 10 Oct 2016
    ODT: Mayor back in hot seat
    ….By Saturday afternoon, Mr Cull emerged as winner of the race for mayoralty, gaining 17,229 votes under the STV system, a reduction compared with his last two election wins. His vote was well short of the 22,832 when he won for the first time in 2010, though not far behind his 18,446 votes  in 2013. The big mover this year was Cr Lee Vandervis, who at 11,806 more than doubled his vote of 5841 in 2013. Cr Vandervis said he was disappointed by the result. “I am obviously disappointed not to be leading the Dunedin City Council into a new business-like era of living within our means, better infrastructure, and cashing up liabilities like [council-owned companies] Delta and Aurora,” he said by email. “I am encouraged that so many voters made me Dunedin’s highest polling councillor.” Cr Vandervis said more than twice as many people voted for a mayor other than Mr Cull. He looked forward to continuing to represent Dunedin voters “to the best of my abilities”.

    Candidate Barry Timmings received 9308 votes: Cr Andrew Whiley 6187; Aaron Hawkins 4233; Jim O’Malley 3428; Conrad Stedman 2406; Rachel Elder 2055; Scout Barbour-Evans 1043; Abe Gray 739 and Athol Bayne 607. Mayoral candidate Scout Barbour-Evans fell just short of the votes required for election to the council.



    Mon, 10 Oct 2016
    ODT: ‘The makings of a very good council’
    Despite talk of a “green bloc” on the Dunedin City Council, returning Mayor Dave Cull says he has no agenda to push through. […] Asked if he had a majority of eight councillors he thought he could pull together to get things done, Mr Cull said he did not see it that way. Instead, it was up to the new council to decide how to implement strategies already in place. […] Challenges ahead included the “financial challenge” that would not go away, and he was keen to keep pushing debt down. The effects of climate change on groundwater levels and sea-level rise was going to be a major focus for the next two decades.


    The British Local Government Association lists seven “principles of public life”. […] The principles are selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership. These might be ambitious and idealistic, but it is what we, the residents, desire of them.

    Mon, 10 Oct 2016
    ODT Editorial: Local democracy around Otago
    OPINION ….Among the also-rans are candidates who would have made excellent councillors. But if they are not well known they have little chance.
    Congratulations must go to them for their forlorn efforts, as well as to everyone else who stood. Despite its flaws and limitations, local democracy is important. […] Lee Vandervis is a vigorous and able person, but his abrasive tendencies also alienate many. He has, however, enough core supporters, plus those wanting a questioning, often dissenting voice in the council, for him to poll well for a seat on the council. 


    Mon, 10 Oct 2016
    ODT: Fresh six appreciate diversity
    Dunedin’s six new council candidates say they are stepping into their new role at what most describe as a diverse council. The new crop of 2016 range from a Green candidate to the head of a rugby club and an employment consultant to a tour guide, with a wide variety of skills and life experience. Most face a steep learning curve as they head into induction sessions this week that will begin to bring them up to speed with what can be a bewildering array of council rules and responsibilities.

  30. Elizabeth

    Mayor Dave Cull is a lightning rod for disaffection.

    ### radionz.co.nz 8:25 am on Sun, 9 October 2016
    RNZ National – Insight with Wallace Chapman
    Insight: Dunedin mayor – Dave Cull
    Photo: RNZ / Ian Telfer
    Wallace Chapman speaks with two-term incumbent mayor of Dunedin, Dave Cull.

    Listen to the conversation
    Audio | Download: Ogg MP3 (duration 4′  07″)


  31. Rob Hamlin

    “Your numbers would be a good analysis if we were drawing candidates by lot – ie randomly – I guess your problem is that elections let the public express their own opinions and they don’t always choose randomly. I’m pretty sure the electoral system is supposed to work this way.”

    Sarcasm – Ho-hum. Randomness comes in dimensions. In this case we are testing for a null hypothesis (H0) that the results are random with respect to incumbency – not for anything else. Voters can, do and should make decisions on many dimensions other than incumbency, but that is not what is being tested here. One could run a similar test for gender, physical beauty, IQ, hair colour or the presence of a tie in the official photo for instance using these results. You can take your pick.

    In research the null hypothesis can be rejected if the calculated chances of the observed result are less than 10%, 5% or 1% depending upon what’s at stake. In this case the odds of this result occurring by chance if voters react randomly to incumbency ALONE is vastly less than 1%.

    One could argue that the result occured because incumbency is consistently correlated with other qualities that voters are rationally looking for: Beauty, proven competence honesty or intelligence for example. I would argue that the incumbents in this election are not consistently high scoring in any such dimension relative to their opponents, and that the very significant observed incumbency effect is due to voting driven by non-cognitive recognition – magnified by the system that we are using.

    This is consistent with the development of politics into an exercise into a non-cognitiive low involvement consumer product branding and marketing exercise based upon ‘brand’ recognition, which enjoys a considerable academic literature in support thereof.

    Or you can simply observe the largest scale exercise in this arena that is going on at present: Do you think that a relative voter evaluation between brand Clinton and brand Trump based on any kind of rational process is actually possible?

  32. Elizabeth

    FunnyWeirdVids07 Published on Oct 10, 2016
    Hillary Clinton And Donald Trump Singing “The Time Of My Life” Is Hilarious
    Credit : Dutch editor LuckyTV
    Last night Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump threw down in their second presidential debate — and things got real ugly (and weird), real fast.
    Because this is 2016 and we have to laugh to keep from crying, people on the internet immediately turned pictures of Clinton and Trump speaking at the same time into a meme of them doing karaoke together.
    But Dutch editor LuckyTV took things one step further with an AMAZING video of Hillary and the Donald singing “(I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life” from Dirty Dancing.

  33. Peter

    In the end, it is impossible to get into the heads of the voters to discern why they voted the way they did. Rational, and irrational, factors are always in play.

  34. Gurglars

    99.99999965 irrational as the figures quoted above and the results demonstrate.

  35. Elizabeth

    Great News

    ■ Michael Laws won a seat on ORC !!!!!!!
    (the world makes sense again)

    ■ Maurice Prendergast returned to Mosgiel-Taieri Community Board

  36. Gurglars

    Can any budding mathematician explain how one gets a percentage of a vote?

  37. Elizabeth

    Since a great majority don’t understand the STV voting system, the only thing they need to know is that Dave Cull is enjoying a reduced majority in 2016 – and Council meetings this year on multimillion-dollar loss-spinning subsidiaries and DCC pet projects are going to be HEATED and DAMAGING…. especially if a Constructive Fraud case lodged at the Christchurch High Court is even mildly successful for the neighbours of the Noble subdivision at Yaldhurst (now owned by Infinity Yaldhurst Ltd (not, Infinity Investment Group Holdings Ltd). Then there’s DCHL and Crombie’s removal to see to.

    Sat, 15 Oct 2016
    ODT: Election complaints unfounded: prof
    A University of Otago political studies lecturer says the single transferable vote (STV) system has delivered Dunedin a mayor and city council that reflects the wishes of voters. Assoc Prof Janine Hayward said returning Mayor Dave Cull had “broad support by the majority”.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Assoc Prof Janine Hayward said returning Mayor Dave Cull had “broad support by the majority”.

      Otago University confirms rumour, understanding of Bobbsey Twins-level mathematic is not required for Political Studies.

      English vocabulary optional, “majority” means “yeah-nah, quite a lot. Not a whole lot. Like, not as many as ahh, say, umm, over 50%.” See also “plenty, several, heaps bro, bit less than a shitload”.

  38. pb

    ODT and media in general are in dire straits. They are hitching themselves to candidates whom will most likely give them succour. It’s just natural. Understanding that, and exposing that, will take time. Media aren’t interested in supporting the best candidate, exposing failure, highlighting rare glimpses of genius. They are in survival mode. They support those whom will most likely bail them out! In my opinion.

    University is a petri dish that relies on free money, essentially government money. They back the incumbents. Nothing holds the bloated university administrative wing to account. They can just tax the kids more. It’s a perfect incubator for crazy ideas like marxism, global warming, ever increasing minimum wage, living allowances. The incubator is insulated from the real world, where success is measured by commerce. The god of copybook takes no prisoners.

    Elections aren’t us picking the best people. It’s more like roulette. The Dunedin voting book describing candidates was a joke. You couldn’t make an assessment on that. People don’t vote because they don’t care. Life is fine. Why bother trying to figure out which of the 4 dozen candidates has a brain and a good resume. People don’t care who is in power. It has little obvious impact on their lives. Unless we really start to suffer, people just don’t care. Candidates have a string of failures, but nobody holds them to account. Not media, not voters, not police. New media has a role here. But, be careful as the old demons will be stalking the corridors, sniffing for these new infiltrators blood.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      pb: “exposing failure”
      We have a “thing” about being Negative. Accuracy be buggered, it’s being Positive that matters!
      “We’re going to hang out the washing on the Siegfriend line” – everything’s coming up roses.
      People I talked with pre-election – excluding the kind of people who read & write here – expressed lack of confidence in their ability to choose. So many people, all amazingly excellent : “Why bother trying to figure out which of the 4 dozen candidates has a brain and a good resume” when there is so little other info. Being good at a brief statement and answering a few patsy (depending on who’s running the candidates meeting) questions isn’t an indication of ability to read and understand complex reports. Reports given the Yes Minister twist by DCC before presenting to councillors for consideration, what’s more.

      • Pb

        Howdy Hype, on your nelly, competence is not a criteria to be elected. Communication comes first. I had to look up sigfried. The Germans invented the blitzkrieg to jump the sigfried line, and damn nearly took over the world! Communication. With a dollop of competence. Pray not malevolent competence. Mr Htlr could whack out a fine speech. Yes Minister was a glimpse at Wintson’s 1984. Reminds me of words. I stumbled over this, the definition: sycophant
        1. a person who acts obsequiously towards someone important in order to gain advantage.
        2. synonyms:
        3. toady, creep, crawler, fawner, flatterer, flunkey, truckler, groveller, doormat, lickspittle, kowtower, obsequious person, minion, hanger-on, leech, puppet, spaniel, Uriah Heep

        Our best bet is to limit the size of local government. Less chance to attract malevolent sycophants.

        • Gurglars

          PB- hurrah
          Limit the size of the bureaucracy.

          Then limit the number of politicians.

          Then limit the size of the local bureaucracy.

          Then limit the amount paid to all of the above.

          Gradually, Sanity rather than inanity would prevail.

  39. Rob Hamlin

    I gave ONE WHOLE (1.0000000000) VOTE to Maurice (The only one I voted for on that list). Makes one feel better about the whole system.

  40. Maurice Prendergast

    Well thank you for that loyalty Rob, though under this bastard system the principles of loyalty are blown asunder. The STV system is a form of political ‘social welfare’ where life’s losers are given comfort by having their ‘non voting support’ subsidised by being gifted voting support that the system robs from the good guys (‘high performing’ candidates). The system is both perverse and obscene in its intent and its structure. Witness (if you have the patience) the sundry iterations where it is shown on first preference voting that I finished 3rd of eleven candidates. Then the ‘social welfare’ elements of the system kick in and (from memory) my votes are melted down – 775 votes become 500 votes with (it seems) around 175 of my votes being redistributed to the less favoured candidates below me. WTF is going on? It seems that talent is punishable and failure is rewarded.

    Separately; what a bungling the verbal declaration of results were. I fielded a patronising call on Saturday from City Hall which roughly said “sorry your bid for election has been unsuccessful.” The candidate above me apparently received the call “Congratulations – you’ve been elected.” It was not until two days later that I discovered (via the ODT) that I was only one vote away and in any case the results were only ‘provisional’ with hundreds of votes yet to be counted. I was not told that critical information. How bizarre is it then that the electoral office would have had to call the man (provisionally ahead of me) and tell him “You’re not in – you’re actually out!!” Or maybe he read it in the ODT!!

    The one hint of mercy is that Jinty will no longer be imposed upon us. Perhaps the massive level of madness that has washed around decision making from City Hall will be in some small way ameliorated by her departure from the scene.

    • Elizabeth

      Unfortunately, Maurice, Jinters has vowed to be back in our faces through making submissions, to keep her spirit alive, darn it. Then too there’s the rumour she will get a job with DCC…. (scary monsters).

      • Hype O'Thermia

        Mmmmmm – even more time to be in the Enchained One’s earhole, promoting community initiatives complete with Facilitators on our payroll of bamboo growing, bamboo bicycle frame making, harakeke crochet bicycle tyres with a variety of tread patterns, the whole non-fossil, non-extractive package, for which a similarly exhaustive package of cycle lanes is essential.
        Come to think of it, who would be the ideal Manager to whom that Facilitator-in-Chief, Bicycle Initiative (Manufacturing) reports? Along with the Community Needs Assessment Team, Cycle Lanes sector, and many other roles we never knew we need if the planet is to be saved.
        Though if saving the planet requires such high tolerance of ninnies – is it justified?

    • Mike

      Maurice I think you misunderstand how STV works: they weren’t ‘your’ votes (they were ‘votes for you’) they were the voters’ votes, it’s ‘STV’, they get one each. It took 500 votes to elect you and 275 (not 175 I assume – something’s wrong with your math) were left over …. that didn’t mean that 275 voters had their vote passed to someone else, it means the 500/775 of each voter’s vote stayed with you and 275/775 of each of those 775 votes was passed to their voter’s second choice (you don’t get to choose what happens to the rest of the vote it’s the voter’s vote, not yours).

      In Rob’s case, because he made no second choice his 275/775th of a vote was discarded – effectively a wasted vote

      Now if we were using FPP the number of votes required to be elected would be the number that the last person who was elected got – if you got 3 times the number of votes required to be elected (like Lee has in the past) 2/3 of those votes would be elected – far worse than in STV where only enough of your vote to elect someone stays with a candidate and the rest of your vote is passed on to another candidate. It’s why people like the Greens who likely get people to block vote their candidates do well, it’s hard under FPP to tell a large group of people that half of them should vote for candidate A and half for B, but if there are enough then maybe some for C, STV takes care of this problem by passing votes from one candidate to another, I’m surprised we don’t see more ‘party’ type groups in local STV elections (it’s also why having multiple centre-right parties under FPP in Auckland was such a disaster this year).

      So this is why you should rank as many candidates as possible when voting, because if your vote, or a portion of it is discarded it reduces the amount required for every candidate to be elected (500 in this case) – which effectively shares your unused vote or portion equally with EVERY candidate, including the ones you least want to be elected .. it also frees up a larger proportion of the votes of people who voted for people you don’t like who have already been elected … rank the people you think are meh rather than plain evil just so you the evil people end up at the bottom of the list (you really don’t have to rank the really evil bastards, just make sure your vote lodges elsewhere to help keep them out).

  41. Gurglars

    Maurice, the gerrymander is designed by the inmates to control the asylum.

  42. Maurice Prendergast

    Well thanks for that lengthy dissertation Mike. Having read it I confess to being physically exhausted. It took me back to my Algebra days; I never did understand Algebra either. I still say that a voting concept that is not understood by the vast majority of electors, is at distinct odds with the principles of democracy and therefore is a bastard concept. I take comfort that I am in the company of the learned Rob Hamlin in this respect who (according to your view) unwisely voted only for the one candidate that he valued. Though you Mike cannot be blamed for the curse that is STV, your explanation makes no literary sense whatsoever. Is this incomprehensible literary offering your own creation?

    {Moderated. -Eds}

  43. Jacob

    Word on the streets of Mosgiel is that Dillon is using his charm on fellow board members to get their vote for chair of the board.

  44. Wingatui Flyer

    The finance chair and deputy. One with the ratepayers’ purse. The other with the heavy gear, and with the backing of the tree chopper, the pool should be all go.

  45. Elizabeth

    “To Dunstan constituents, I say thank you, and rest assured that I’m going to Dunedin as an active advocate for their interests.” The regional council requires dramatic reform. –Michael Laws

    Sat, 22 Oct 2016
    ODT: Laws confirmed in Dunstan seat
    Unsuccessful Otago Regional Council candidate Gary Kelliher has reached the end of the line after his bid for a recount of votes was denied. Five votes was all that separated Mr Kelliher, a sitting councillor, from his nearest rival, former National MP and Wanganui mayor Michael Laws. After Mr Kelliher’s application to a district court judge for a recount of the votes in the Dunstan constituency was declined yesterday, Mr Laws’ election to the council was confirmed.

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