Big spends, lit­tle spends, same re­sults

Kapiti Observer - - FRONT PAGE - JOEL MAXWELL

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.’’

SUP­PLIED

New mayor K Gu­runathan re­ceives his may­oral chains from Te Ati­awa kuia June Davies.

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