Biggest spenders in lo­cal elec­tions are not al­ways the biggest win­ners

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

Spend­ing thou­sands of dol­lars does not guar­an­tee suc­cess, as some can­di­dates in the re­cent lo­cal body elec­tions dis­cov­ered.

What each may­oral, coun­cil and com­mu­nity trust can­di­date spent is a mat­ter of pub­lic record, with each hav­ing 55 days af­ter the elec­tion re­sult to pro­vide a re­turn.

That dead­line was last Wed­nes­day and the re­turns are avail­able for scru­tiny in Porirua City Coun­cil’s cus­tomer ser­vice cen­tre.

Porirua mayor Nick Leggett spent $13,701 on his elec­tion cam­paign, through ad­ver­tis­ing, bill­boards, flyers – with ac­com­pa­ny­ing de­sign costs – and postage and mail­ing.

He was the only can­di­date who paid for polling to be done, to the tune of $2115.

It paid off, Mr Leggett romp­ing in with nearly 6000 votes, al­most dou­ble his near­est ri­val.

Lo­cal res­i­dents John Wat­son and Dave Wil­son con­trib­uted $ 2000 each to Mr Leggett’s run­ning.

The two biggest spenders, how­ever, did not fare as well as Mr Leggett.

Rus­sell Mar­shall, who gar­nered just 1263 votes to­wards the may- oralty, spent $15,283. ‘‘Gen­eral’’ ex­penses ac­counted for $ 7493 (in­clud­ing the shop lease un­der the canopies, phone calls and cater­ing) and $7790 for posters, leaflets, bill­boards and news­pa­per ad­ver­tis­ing.

Al­though he re­ceived $ 2500 from Ken Dou­glas and fundraised $1560, more than $10,000 for his failed run at the may­oralty came from his own pocket.

John Burke, mean­while, spent $15,620 but was un­suc­cess­ful in his bid to re­tain his seat on the Hutt Mana Char­i­ta­ble Trust or Greater Welling­ton Re­gional Coun­cil. He did, how­ever, re­gain his po­si­tion on Porirua Com­mu­nity Trust.

Litea Ah Hoi and Wayne Poutoa, who ran a joint cam­paign for the may­oralty (for Ms Ah Hoi) and for Porirua City coun­cil seats, had a good re­turn for just $2000 spent. They re­ceived plenty of do­na­tions, in­clud­ing $200 from then-Mana MP Win­nie La­ban, and both won coun­cil seats.

Other un­suc­cess­ful may­oral can­di­dates, in or­der of their spend­ing, were Liz Kelly ($8043, the Ngati Toa ru­nanga do­nat­ing $ 5000 to­wards her cam­paign), Mike Dun­can ($2530) and Brian Collins ($1428).

Peter Windsor de­clared he did not spend a cent, per­haps re­flected in the fact he got 151 votes. Piripi Gray and Gre­gory For­tuin, the lat­ter who had prom­i­nent bill­boards around the city, did not file re­turns.

This is in breach of the Elec­toral Act and is li­able for a $1000 fine. PCC elec­toral of­fi­cer Mike Chap­man said some can­di­dates may have sent their re­turns to Christchurch, where votes were counted, and there would be ‘‘a few days’ grace’’.

The biggest spenders of the ward can­di­dates were in the north­ern sub­urbs – Tim Shep­pard lead­ing the way with $7236, fol­lowed by Euon Mur­rell ($3517), Sue Dow ($3331), Anita Baker ($ 3128) and Bronwyn Kropp ($2972).

The sole un­suc­cess­ful North­ern ward can­di­date, Pukerua Bay’s Pauline Morse, spent $1024 on her cam­paign.

In the western ward, Graeme Eb­bett, who fin­ished well down the polls, spent $3518, and ‘Ana Cof­fey and Ken Dou­glas forked out $2562 and $1131 re­spec­tively. Mr Dou­glas cam­paigned along­side the un­suc­cess­ful Henry Smith, so they shared costs.

Liz Kelly’s $8043 was for her com­bined may­oral/coun­cil punt; Toni Tana spent $ 659 and Vik­to­ria Jakobs failed to file a re­turn.

In the east­ern ward, the biggest spender was Denys Latham, with $1509. Un­suc­cess­ful can­di­dates Jude Bar­low and Hay­den Nash put $617 and $710 re­spec­tively to­wards their tilt for coun­cil po­si­tions, al­though Mr Nash had two do­na­tions that cov­ered all his costs.

Dave Cochrane spent $702 in a failed ef­fort but Rob Rangi, a councillor in term from 2004 to 2007, used old signs from pre­vi­ous elec­tion bids and thus his only out­lay was $400 – the cost to reg­is­ter as a can­di­date.

Piripi Gray, Tim Manu, Maria Salu-Burgess and Faafoi Seiuli, the lat­ter polling sec­ond in the ward, all failed to sub­mit re­turns.

Sarah Dow, elected onto Hutt Mana Char­i­ta­ble Trust over Mr Burke, spent $2944 on her cam­paign.

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