Big spends, little spends, same results
A full wallet can do a lot of heavy lifting when it comes to council elections, but it isn’t everything, Kapiti Coast candidate spending has revealed.
New mayor K Gurunathan topped electoral spending for all candidates in October’s election - dishing out $16,860 to support his bid.
The best news for the two-term councillor was that most, if not all, of his spending was covered by donations. Three individual donors made up $13,000, while any donations below $1500 did not have to be disclosed.
Previous mayor Ross Church, ousted this election after one term, spent $10,390 on his campaign, with no donations recorded over $1500.
Former councillor Gavin Welsh only stood for the mayoralty in the election, an unsuccessful gamble that cost him $15,958, although about $6000 was covered by donations.
The figures show that about $54,000 was spent by unsuccessful candidates - enough to buy a decent-sized aluminium fishing boat on Trade Me instead.
The best value for money came from councillor Mike Cardiff, who returned after spending a whopping zero dollars on his campaign.
Cardiff said he decided to ‘‘give it a go’’ spending nothing - including no media advertising, and taking no donations.
‘‘My signs I used from last time, and of course my posts are all very robust and made to last, they’re not flimsy bloody things and they’re all good.’’
He was joined by newcomer Fiona Vining who won a Paraparaumu ward seat after spending nothing on her campaign too.
‘‘My signs I used from last time.’’
She recycled four of her old campaign signs, but they were all promptly stolen, so there seemed little point in replacing them.
‘‘I guess for me the main thing was relying on the work I’d previously done on the community board, and people knowing from that what I stand for.’’
Being tight with the campaign cash didn’t pay off for all: councillor Murray Bell losing his seat with his $70 budget.
The Paekakariki and Otaki community boards had just enough people, which meant not a dime was spent by the candidates.
Otaki chair Christine Papps said in the end there wasn’t a need to ‘‘lasso’’ people to stand - four people were needed and four people put up their hand.
‘‘For democracy I think it’s important that more people stand, but saying that, we’ve got a jolly good bunch of people at the moment.’’
New mayor K Gurunathan receives his mayoral chains from Te Atiawa kuia June Davies.