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He announced yesterday he planned to stand for both the mayoralty and the council.
Mr Vandervis joins Mayor Peter Chin and Greater Dunedin candidate Dave Cull in the race for the leading role on the local authority, and said yesterday to change the direction of the council, "the mayoralty has to be the starting point".
"The DCC is in real trouble. and I have always liked sorting out trouble," he said when asked why he was planning a comeback.
"I genuinely enjoy fixing things."
Mr Vandervis lost his seat on the council after one term at the 2007 election, after counting of special votes saw Cr Fliss Butcher retain the third Hills ward seat by just four votes.
Mr Vandervis polled 6766 votes in the mayoral election that year, and indicated when a ward reshuffle was under way, and a large central ward became a possibility, he might consider standing.
Yesterday, he said he would bring business and political experience to the council, and "an open and direct personality".
"Having just experienced an inscrutable mayor's council buying two stadiums without any mandate to own even one, voters may now be more ready for my open and direct nature."
Asked why he thought the council was "in real trouble", he said he was referring to council debt, parking changes, and the council's role in the Forsyth Barr and Carisbrook stadiums, among other issues.
Mr Vandervis said since 2007, having sold his lighting and hire business, he had continued to run a smaller scale business from home, spent time developing his small farm in Pigeon Flat, and selling timber that grew there.