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.


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.