Calvert confirms bid for mayoralty

Hilary Calvert
Hilary Calvert
Hilary Calvert has joined the race for the Dunedin mayoralty, saying she hopes to cash in on disillusionment with Dave Cull's performance in his first term.

The former Act New Zealand MP yesterday confirmed she would compete for the mayoralty and a city council seat in local body elections in October, after first indicating in May she was considering a campaign.

Her move came as nominations for local body elections open today, giving candidates one month - until noon on August 16 - to put their names forward for a variety of public bodies.

Ms Calvert said she wanted to push for tighter limits on rates increases and a more hands-on approach to guiding council companies, although she could not yet say how.

''The council needs around the table some people looking after your money . . . not just people who are good at spending your money,'' she said.

Ms Calvert said she had been encouraged to consider a grouping of like-minded candidates, but in the end had opted for an independent campaign over ''party politics''.

She was open to offers of financial support, and hoped to ''twist somebody's arm'' to help, but said her campaign would not be backed by Act. In fact, she was not sure if she remained a party member.

''I don't think I am since June. I haven't renewed it [membership] recently, but it's not from any disapproval of their ideas of anything.

''This isn't a party thing.''

Ms Calvert hit the headlines in 2010 when she replaced former Act MP David Garrett, who quit in disgrace following revelations he once stole the identity of a dead baby to obtain a false passport.

She left Parliament 14 months later.

Ms Calvert, in a series of opinion pieces, has since taken the council to task for perceived financial missteps.

Her candidacy would add to a mayoral campaign already pitting Mr Cull against rivals Cr Lee Vandervis, Green Party candidate Aaron Hawkins and independents Olivier Lequeux and Andrew Whiley.

In October's elections, Otago candidates will contest seats on the Dunedin City Council, the Otago Regional Council and other councils and community boards, and the Southern District Health Board.

Papers for the postal vote would be sent out from September 20, when the voting period officially commenced, and culminate on election day, October 12, when polls closed at noon.




wide appeal

It would be a mistake to dismiss Hillary Calvert's appeal. Her quest for sound financial management has appeal across the political spectrum-especially given the state of Dunedin's debt.

There are plenty of lefties like myself who could conceivably vote for her. I can't see her making the same excuses, as Dave Cull does, for those who have ruined Dunedin with their crazy spending sprees that have impacted so much on the population at large.

Second-favourite Hilary

Because Mrs Clinton is number one. Even old time socialists can appreciate the astringent realities that Ms Calvert brings to political life. Why not?

Calvert mayoralty bid

As a disciple of ACT's extreme policies, no doubt Hilary will be looking to sell off the city's assets. As we have seen over the years, this brings short term gain, but long term pain. Surely there's someone better out there for the job, rather than a former list MP representing a failed political ideology?

Bumper stickers

''The council needs around the table some people looking after your money . . . not just people who are good at spending your money''

This wisdom is based on a statement from a US Republican Party bumper sticker "Obama 2012 good at spending your money" (see here). What is her policy going to be?  "Live to surf" or "Have a nice day"?


Cash in on what?

Hliary Calvert is a highly successful business woman and solicitor. She invests and lives in Dunedin. I think she is too far right sometimes, but she is a capitalist without the cronyism attached. Anybody that understands basic accounting and risk management concepts will get my vote.

@QsRC Like it went well with Farry and others who crashed our city accounts with their ego monuments. And what is there to cash in on? A city that is losing small businesses at an alarming rate, stagnant population and the ratepayers leveraged to the hilt? The question you should be asking is why would she even want this job?

Who? II

QsRC is probably rhetorical, young, not of Dunedin society - or averse to using search engines. Meet another of the city's informed voters.

Highly qualified candidate

Hillary Calvert is a highly qualified candidate who calls a spade a spade. This is the most exciting news Dunedin has had in a long time.


Are all candidates getting to write a series of opinion pieces? And why hasn't she said in her latest piece just two days ago she would be standing? That is not very transparent! [Abridged]


Never heard of her.
Cash in on people disillusioned with Cull, you have no real policies or ideas for yourself? This will go well.

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