You are not permitted to download, save or email this image. Visit image gallery to purchase the image.
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''.
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.''