Poster attack short-lived

Tim Cadogan
A smear campaign directed at Central Otago Mayor Tim Cadogan barely had time to make an impact before offensive posters were swiftly removed this week.

The posters, which were distributed across Clyde, Alexandra, Roxburgh and potentially further featured an image of Mr Cadogan and messages variously attacking him for his alleged stance on Covid-19 vaccination passports and where he sat on Three Waters reform.

The Otago Daily Times saw one of the posters in central Alexandra early on Monday.

In derogatory terms it referred to the Central Otago mayor as being on the fence when it came to the controversial reforms.

When contacted, Mr Cadogan said he was aware of the posters.

"Quite a number of people have contacted me to tell me they had seen them and pulled them down.

"It’s been suggested that the matter be reported to police, but I don’t see this as being a crime. Rather it is people using their right of free speech, even if they did go about it in an odd fashion by trying to say I was the author of one of the [council’s social media] posts."

Later, in his weekly Monday social media live address Mr Cadogan said the messaging went further than Three Waters and also targeted him on posters for the Central Otago District Council’s policy on only allowing vaccinated people aged 12 and over access to council-operated pools, libraries and i-Sites from Friday.

"Somebody’s gone to an awful lot of trouble."

Many of the posters encouraged people to phone or email him, he said.

He said while the decision was not his it was one he fully supported given that Covid-19 would eventually arrive in Central Otago.

"The only thing that made me giggle was they spelt my name wrong."

Mr Cadogan was appointed to a Three Waters working group made up of local government and iwi representatives to recommend strengthened governance and accountability arrangements for the reform programme.