No big spenders among candidates

Tim Cadogan.
Tim Cadogan.
Central Otago's mayoral and district council contenders in the October local body elections proved a frugal bunch.

There were no big spenders among thecandidates and in fact, most of the district council candidates seeking seats spent nothing on their campaigns.

Details of electoral donations and expenses had to be filed to Central Otago electoral officer Kara Leckie by Sunday.

The three mayoral candidates were each allowed to spend up to $14,000 but their budgets came in at less than half that amount.

New Mayor Tim Cadogan spent the most out of the three candidates ($6512.15), while former mayor Tony Lepper spent $5022.46 and Martin McPherson shelled out the least - $3524.67.

Mr Cadogan's biggest expense was for billboards - he spent a total of $3666.41 getting them made and installed.

He employed the Clyde Primary School and Alexandra Scouts to deliver his flyers, saying ''it seemed common sense to support community groups that were fundraising''.

However, with the benefit of hindsight, next time around he would dispense with flyers.

''I think they're probably a waste of time and money and not really environmentally sound, as most just get discarded by the recipients.''

Mr Lepper spent the bulk of his budget on advertising, while Mr McPherson spent two-thirds of his expenses on flyers, posters and signs and the rest went on advertising.

The only ward contested at council level was Alexandra. Seven candidates vied for three seats. The three successful candidates - Lynley Claridge, Barrie Wills and Martin McPherson - spent nothing on their campaigns.

Highest-polling candidate Martin McPherson said he had been hoping the publicity generated by his mayoral campaign would flow over to his bid to become a councillor again.

''Topping the poll as a councillor was a pretty good indication that voters wanted me to remain on council, and to continue with my job as Blossom Festival manager,'' he said.

Unsuccessful council candidates Sharleen Stirling-Lindsay and Barry Hambleton also spent nothing on election expenses. Roger Browne spent the most of any of the candidates, investing $142.14 on advertising and Claire Goudie spent $80 on paper and a toner cartridge. Both failed to win council seats.

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