Cull backs Garey, Hawkins

Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull has thrown his support behind two of the candidates vying to succeed him, but now faces criticism from those on the outer.

Mr Cull said yesterday he supported two incumbent city councillors - Aaron Hawkins and Christine Garey - in the mayoral race, although he would not pick between the pair.

Cr Hawkins thanked Mr Cull for his support, while Cr Garey said she was also ''humbled by the confidence Mayor Cull has shown in me''.

Dave Cull
Dave Cull
Asked if she was disappointed not to be singled out by Mr Cull, Cr Garey said naming more than one preferred candidate was ''entirely appropriate'' in a single transferable vote environment.

However, other candidates were less impressed, including Cr Andrew Whiley, who said Mr Cull's ''pretty predictable'' views were a promise of continuing ''same old, same old'' for Dunedin.

''I'm not surprised by that at all.

''This election is about a new direction for the city, a new future for the city and a new vision for the city.

''I think Dunedin can do much better.''

Jules Radich said Mr Cull and Crs Garey and Hawkins were ''nice people'' who had created resentment through their support for cycleways, pedestrianisation and higher debt levels, and Mr Cull's endorsement was a promise of ''more of the same''.

Cr Jim O'Malley did not want to be drawn into the debate, except to say ''it feels like I'm in high school again''.

''There's a certain lack of maturity in this behaviour from all of these people. It's just frustrating, to be honest.''

Another contender, Cr Lee Vandervis, did not respond to a request for comment yesterday.

Mr Cull's announcement came after an informal ODT online poll, which has attracted 8500 votes, showed strong support for Cr Hawkins (29%) and Cr Vandervis (27%).

The next best candidates, Cr Whiley (10%), Mr Radich (9%), Cr O'Malley (9%) and Cr Garey (6%), were all well back.

Mr Cull said he wanted to support candidates who demonstrated ''the right style of leadership'', based on consensus, and Crs Hawkins and Garey were the obvious choices.

''You're only one vote around the table, anyway [as mayor], and if you're going to get anything done you need allies, so it's someone who can at least bring people together.''

He would not support Cr Vandervis because of his opposition to ''just about all of the policies, strategies, budget decisions ... that have got us into a really good place''.

''So why would we want to put someone in who clearly doesn't agree where council's come from or going to, when we're in such a good place and we need to keep going?''

''Things would grind to a halt.''


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Just like the Mitre10 commercial with the kids in the play ground - no surprises there. A standard and expected reply from Cull, IMHO so so unprofessional of Cull going out in public saying that, it would have been more professional if it was kept in house, Just goes to show what type of operation he has been running or not running.

A good summary on why MOST of those "around the table" need to be voted out. They are cut from the same ilk-spend and tax the ratepayer for projects we do not need or few want. Vote for those with some financial responsibility and who listen to most Dunedinites. Cull & his group have been bad for Dunedin.

Well that's two people off my list.
Why we voted for a guy who purported to be anti stadium then once he got in was pro stadium and hasn't listened to the people I will never know.

What Vandervis dose not understand the system.
After years of butting his head against everyone, no one will support any incentive he proposes. Funny if he got elected mayor for a council that dose not back him.
We would really see the spittle flying then....

Kezza, that shows a strong minded person who will stick by his morals and is committed no matter what. He is not a follower. I hope Cr Lee Vandervis gets to be mayor, he will sort the place out which is long over due, way too many old boys sitting at meetings and not looking after Dunedin/ but what's more, watch the Green sheep change tact and follow his leaders If the others on council can't get over his way of thinking and move on do you think they really should be sitting on council. They will again follow the Mayor and say yes sir yes sir 3 bags full sir. A lot of them are just sheep and follow either from the parties in Wellington or the Current mayor to get brownie points, they don't have Dunedin interests at heart. But I must say Cr Lee Vandervis will still need a one or two Councillors who ask the Why why why questions so it provides a different angle on things. I was that person in a previous job and my bosses respected it because it got them thinking outside the square.

It's very clear that you have a one-eyed view of the sitting councillors because it simply isn't true that they don't have Dunedin interests at heart. All of the people at the Council table, whether you like them or not, are there because they believe they can do the best for this city - they don't get paid much when the hours to do the job *properly* are considered so they're not doing it for the money. The awful vitriol directed at them so routinely by strangers suggests they don't do it for the fame.

A devil's advocate is an essential part of any governance discussion but not if they are incapable of being constructive. It also should absolutely not be the same person who plays the role every discussion, because that begins to suggest they are only capable of disagreeing with the consensus, rather than providing a valuable counter-perspective. Strong-minded is not the same thing as angry, dismissive, and petulant.

Framing your perspective in derogatory personal comments, using language like 'sheep', is not helpful and doesn't add any credible weight to your comments and opinions.

You could also argue that, at 64, Vandervis is very much an old boy himself.

Various thoughts, Some of us talk and write in plan English aka call a spade a spade and not put fancy words around things. Not one eyed at all Sir Tim is awesome So is Cr Lee Vandervis, and some of the new up and coming councillors. Cull makes my skin crawl closely followed by Hawkins because he is a Green aligned Councillor and comes across as smug and doesn't reflect what I see is always a good thing whats happening to Sammies, the 120,000 3D Crossings - waste of coin. Being Constructive ??? Those old boys where it has been reported have pre meetings to discuss what happens in the real meetings is BS and would test anybody if they didn't agree with them. If these same councillors and Mayors that you talk about had Dunedins hearts at interest they would be open honest and transparent The Stolen cars, Citi fraud, Mud tanks, Monitoring Critical maintenance (Power Poles) Drain replacement, 3D crossings, Sammies purchase and flooding all come to mind. If they were open honest about those My views would be different. Last time Cull was running I gave him the benefit and asked questions on his policies he threw up at rate payers - did he answer them no he banned me asking Q's

Vandertrump has voted everything down in council for the last term.
If he gets elected no one will back any of his projects. He'll jump up and down amd throw his toys out of the cot but nothing will change.
Somehow he dosen't understand that the mayor dose not call the shots. The resulting very public melt down of Vandervis will be the result of the people who voted for him.

It is common for an incumbent who is not running again to show support for other candidates. Whether you are a fan of Cull and his work or not, it is certainly informative for voters to know who is aligned and who isn't aligned with Cull, and all that entails.

His comment, ''You're only one vote around the table, anyway [as mayor], and if you're going to get anything done you need allies, so it's someone who can at least bring people together.'' is also very true, regardless of whether you are a supporter of Cull or not.
There is nothing more expensive or ineffective as a council who can't work together, that's for sure. Equally, no-one is productive working for or with a self-entitled accused bully. As such, there is no way Vandervis should be a councillor, let alone mayor!

I think you have been watching to much realityTV! It's not their job to form allegiances and bully others into agreeing with them (or else they will be voted off the Island). Far better the councilors are open minded, with a diverse range of opinions and represent the voters. Only if a decision is split will the mayor's vote carry extra weight. Also being honest and standing up for what you believe is right, instead of caving in to the opinion of the majority is a good thing. It is what you have done by leaving a comment, it's what I am doing, it's good that we are not all forced to tow the line, after all it didn't turn out too well for the Soviets!

He would not support Cr Vandervis because of his opposition to ''just about all of the policies, strategies, budget decisions ... that have got us into a really good place''.
Having watched Vandervis in action I have to agree. Dunedin would stand still while Vandervis argues the point or walks out of discussions. He does not take people with him- he just voices opinions.

It doesn't occur to these people that a lot of voters want things to "grind to a halt" in regards to rampant spending on vanity projects. Take care the the essentials first before commissioning concrete sheep and teeth and other folly's.

The polls can do funny things to people outside the reasonable, sane, relatively silent majority. Take the press and the sitting mayor. Seems to me like a sign of reading the polls and then panicking! Putting the boot into Lee Vandervis my well gain him votes. I hope so.

Like a lot of people...I'd just like to see Mr Cull in one of those fancy bike Lanes peddling out of Dunedin city. I've heard more than enough of what he had to say while he was in office, just hop on a bike and hit the road quietly!

Cull being incumbent mayor and not running again to be honest should keep his mouth shut. Now you'll have all anti Cull supporters and people coming out and voting for Lee. Stupid thing to do. No one likes Party candidates like Hawkins for Mayor its always independent in local body. Being anti Cull myself I hope Lee becomes Mayor and see Cull's face then lol

If Vandervis is elected i will be at every council meeting I can to watch the childish antics.

Well, that was a dumb thing to do. Dave Cull just voted for Lee Vandervis.
The SECOND dumb thing he has done this election - the other being to stand for the Southern District Health Board when he clearly knows nothing about health but just wants to be there to ‘ supervise’ all that hospital rebuild money coming into the city. Bravo, Mayor Vandervis! Some one to limit reckless spending which was why he was so often a no vote.

Dunedin debt isnt that bad compared to some at present. The future prejected debt is by far better than that due to actions that the present council has implimented without the help of Vandertrump.
Read the artical on Stuff about council debt.

Has Cull got the Southern District Health Board job? because Hawkins has thanked Cull with the following on his FB page - Thanks to the Mayor for his support, and I wish him well for the mammoth task ahead of him at the SDHB.

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