Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull led a high-spending campaign for
re-election that cost his Greater Dunedin grouping more than
$77,000, it has been confirmed.
But the group also had some help along the way.
Bus company Passenger Transport Ltd - which owns two Dunedin
bus companies - chipped in with a $1265 donation for Mr
Cull's mayoral campaign.
Unsuccessful Greater Dunedin candidate Letisha Nicholas also
received $1397 for her campaign sourced through fundraising
The details were contained in election returns filed in
recent weeks and viewed by the Otago Daily Times
They showed Mr Cull and his eight Greater Dunedin colleagues
- six of whom, including Mr Cull, won election in October -
together spent $77,923.20 on their group's joint campaign.
Mr Cull covered $16,267.73 of the joint bill for his own
mayoral campaign expenses, and added another $760 on top for
photography and ''gratuities'' associated with his campaign,
bringing his total to $17,027.73, his return showed.
The other eight members of the Greater Dunedin group split
the remainder of the group's bill, paying $7706.93 each.
That covered the spending of deputy mayor Chris Staynes and
councillors Jinty MacTavish, Richard Thomson, Kate Wilson and
Mike Lord, as well as unsuccessful candidates Ali Copeman,
Irene Mosley and Letisha Nicholas.
Cr MacTavish added another $232.05 for additional campaign
costs, bringing her total to $7938.98, while Mrs Copeman
spent another $132 on Facebook advertising, bringing her
total to $7706.93.
The figures showed Mr Cull had spent more this year than
during his 2010 campaign, when he spent $13,517 ousting
incumbent Peter Chin - who spent $43,446 - while Greater
Dunedin candidates had also spent more this time around.
Mr Cull told the ODT that the higher spending
reflected a decision to make more use of Dunedin-based
marketing company Creative Advertising this year.
That included the cost of developing a new website to promote
and communicate the group's principles, he said.
However, asked if the group's spending meant more candidates
would be forced to follow suit in future, Mr Cull said
profile remained a key ingredient.
''If you look at the various successful candidates, in the
main, that's what they achieved, but in different ways,'' he
Candidates had 55 days from the confirmation of election
results to declare all expenses and campaign income,
including donations - anonymous or otherwise.
Mr Cull said his donation from Passenger Transport Ltd had
been offered by the company, and ''gratefully accepted''.
However, it would not help the company if the council
eventually assumed control of the city's public transport
network, he said.
''If, and when, the DCC takes over public transport, it won't
be me who's relating to the operators, in any case.''
Company director Kayne Baas said the company - which owned
Dunedin Passenger Transport and Citibus - liked to support
politicians doing ''good work''.
However, he scoffed at any suggestion the donation was an
attempt to build a relationship ahead of any change in
responsibility for the bus network.
''I definitely don't think you could draw that conclusion at
Most other mayoral candidates were yet to file their returns,
but some councillors - Doug Hall ($3497.95), Neville Peat
($2198.51), Andrew Whiley ($3449.61), David Benson-Pope
($7763.68) and John Bezett ($1280.64) - had done so.
Unsuccessful candidates - including Otago University
Students' Association president Francisco Hernandez ($3219)
and former councillor Teresa Stevenson ($1953.20) - had also