Vandervis, Elder join Dunedin mayoral race

Lee Vandervis
Lee Vandervis
Two more incumbent Dunedin city councillors - Lee Vandervis and Rachel Elder - have joined the race to become the city's next mayor.

Cr Vandervis, a four-term councillor, confirmed this afternoon he would again seek the Dunedin mayoralty as well as to retain his city council seat.

His announcement came after Cr Vandervis - the highest-polling council candidate at the last election - challenged unsuccessfully for the mayoralty in 2010, 2013 and 2016.

Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull announced earlier this year he would stand down rather than seek a fourth term as mayor, opening the door to a flurry of challenges including from incumbent councillors Jim O'Malley, Christine Garey, Aaron Hawkins and Andrew Whiley.

Cr Vandervis joined them today, saying he represented a change from the "indifferent leadership and a lack of vision'' in recent years.

His focus would be on careful investment and reducing council debt while promoting economic wellbeing, financial and environmental sustainability, and a high quality of life "on an affordable basis''.

Rachel Elder
Rachel Elder
He also planned a "back-to-basics review'' of council spending and its use of staff time, as well as providing parking improvements, climate change resilience for low-lying areas and a more hands-on approach to council companies.

Earlier today, Cr Elder, a first-term councillor who stood unsuccessfully for the mayoralty in 2016, announced her plans, saying she would again seek a council seat and the mayoralty in October's local body elections.

She wanted to focus on economic growth and jobs, including in Dunedin's exciting start-up space, as well as championing South Dunedin and the city's walking tracks, outdoor lifestyle and access to nature.

She also wanted to see more progress on a raft of issues facing the city, from housing, traffic and parking problems to the future of waste, growth and climate change.

Nominations close at noon on Friday.

 chris.morris@odt.co.nz

Comments

Not sure if the council's self appointed contrarian voice would be a solid mayor. That role requires listening to everything, not dying on every hill you can find.

I'd say he has a better than even chance of getting the job, given how well he polled last time.
I predict he will be a one-term mayor though. In that position the continual 14-1 voting record will see him become totally ineffectual as a mayor (even more so than as he is as a councilor at present).
It's going to be interesting if nothing else.

 

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