Lush tops election spending

Marcus Lush.
Marcus Lush.
Broadcaster and Invercargill mayoral candidate Marcus Lush spent the most money in the recent local government election campaign, while former mayor Sir Tim Shadbolt did not spend a dollar.

Invercargill City Council yesterday released the 2022 election expenses for the mayoralty, council, Bluff Community Board and Invercargill Licensing Trust candidates.

Of the 10 mayoral candidates, Mr Lush threw the most behind his campaign with $6000 being spent on electorate advertising. He finished third in the mayoral run.

Mr Lush was closely followed in the expenditure stakes by elected Mayor Nobby Clark who was part of the Let’s Go Invercargill ticket.

The group spent $59,694.76 in the campaign, but Mr Clark stated in his form that as there were 11 candidates that money was evenly split, so each of them spent $5426.80.

Neither Mr Clark nor Mr Lush declared any donations but listed advertising and signage among the reasons for the expenditure.

At the other end of the scale, Sir Tim, New Zealand’s longest-serving mayor, declared he did not receive any donations to support him, nor did he spend any dollars on his campaign.

Mr Lush and Sir Tim were approached for comment by the Otago Daily Times, but were unable to be reached.

Other mayoral candidates spent varying amounts — Ria Bond $3951.22 (with a $3000 donation), Jacqueline Walter $1187.33, Noel Peterson $1177.96, Steve Chernishov $926.75, Darren Ludlow $418.72 (with a $500 donation) and Tom Morton, who stated his expenses were less than $200.

An Invercargill City Council spokeswoman said yesterday it was still expecting a declaration from mayoral candidate Toni Biddle.

A statement also said there was an expense cap of $30,000 for council candidates and all candidates were required to disclose any donations above $1500.

According to the statement, non-compliance with these rules could result in penalties.