Snow as sparse as good mayoral candidates

Snow in Dunedin! Well, a very light smattering on some of the hills. There’s a few sparse patches here at home, at about 100 metres. There’s  very cold wind, and it’s 3.2 degrees outside at present (up a degree from an hour ago). But it isn’t unusual to get cold snaps here at this time year. The high for today is predicted to be 11, but up to 16 tomorrow and 19 on Saturday. Variety is normal.

The northern motorway has been affected with trucks stopped on the Leith Saddle at 300m.

(Update – traffic was moving by 7:15 am)

And where people live there’s barely a smattering.

The snow there is as sparse as good candidates in the local body elections.

There are 14 people standing for mayor with none standing out as a good prospect.

The two apparent front runners, multi-term councillors may or may not be the best of an uninspiring lot.

Aaron Hawkins seems to have been a hard working councillor and I think deserves getting back on council, but is fairly hard left and is standing officially as a Green party candidate. He’s been a strong promoter of the grossly underused cycle lanes tacked onto the side of the busiest streets in the city (the state highway), and on other cycle lanes it’s unusual to see cycles.

He was recently accused by first term councillors as treating them as juniors – Race heats up as mud flies online

Cr Hawkins triggered the exchange by publicly questioning Cr O’Malley’s decision to endorse Cr Lee Vandervis, during a candidates’ meeting in Opoho last week, as his second pick for the mayoralty.

Cr O’Malley hit back on Sunday, accusing Cr Hawkins of attempting “character assassination” during an election campaign.

He went further, claiming Cr Hawkins had “blocked or sabotaged” every one of Cr O’Malley’s attempts at progressive initiatives over three years.

“He is part of a bullying and controlling group which have frozen out all the new councillors that came on in the last election and even referred to us as junior councillors for the first two years.”

Cr Hawkins denied the claims and fired back, accusing his colleague of promoting “baseless suspicion”.

The exchange divided supporters, as Cr David Benson-Pope weighed in to accuse Cr O’Malley of being motivated by securing a committee chairman role if Cr Vandervis won the mayoralty.

Others – including Cr Andrew Whiley and candidates Mandy Mayhem-Bullock, Scout Barbour-Evans and Richard Seagar – all backed Cr O’Malley.

Scout Barbour-Evans went further, contacting the Otago Daily Times to say Cr Hawkins’ bullying behaviour was one of the reasons the candidate resigned from the Green Party in April.

“Hawkins being a bully goes much further than within council … His signature move is the cackle every time certain people speak. Within the party I was one of those people.”

Lee Vandervis was second in the last mayoral election so must rate a chance, but he is best known for opposing things and getting into trouble for allegedly abusive and bullying behaviour. I know from personal experience he gets agitated easily. Working together with a council would seem to be out of character for him. He’s just clocked up the 12th complaint against him this term.

ODT: Complaint made against Vandervis

Dunedin city councillor and mayoral candidate Lee Vandervis is the subject of a fresh complaint, after becoming embroiled in another verbal altercation with a Dunedin City Council staff member.

The councillor already has 11 complaints against him this term.

The Otago Daily Times has been told by several sources Cr Vandervis received a parking ticket last week, and went to the council’s customer services reception to complain it was unfair.

While he was there, an exchange with a female staff member descended into shouting by Cr Vandervis, the ODT was told.

Voting may be as sparse as the snow, with ‘who the hell do I vote for?’ probably being the most common question asked.

It seems to be a real problem with both local body and national politics these days. It’s something that seems to attract more and more career politicians, and less quality candidates.


Leave a comment


  1. Auckland doesn’t seem much better, with the only candidates being given coverage nationally being Goff (his first term a mayor didn’t seem to ride to any heights) and Tamihere.

    • Good candidates are also sparse here in Auckland. Seems to be a choice between Tweedle dum and Tweedle dee. I might sit this vote out. Sad.

  2. And Wellington seems similar – a Labour hack versus a long term councillor.

    • Gezza

       /  26th September 2019

      I better get my voting papers & collected candidate guff out. Lester doesn’t seem to have caused any waves, unlike his predecessor & her Island Bay cycle lane shambles, among other things.

  3. In my town the incumbent mayor does a good job and is inclusive, so no need to vote for the various clowns who are chancing their arms.
    The council may see changes, hopefully those who have settled in thinking they have a job for life may have to reappraise their life choices.
    In a small town being “one of us” is good but a few new people are useful to keep things on an even keel.
    I definitely voted for a young woman who should really shake things up, as she represents youth, her family have been here for ever, University educated, and has a proven record of getting things done.

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  26th September 2019

      She sounds like the local girl, Sharnay Cocup. I can’t vote for her as she’s not standing in my electorate, or I would have done. At 20, she’s a force to be reckoned with.

  4. lurcher1948

     /  26th September 2019

    Here in the capital im voting for Jenny Condie NOT FOR lustin jester…she has a great bio and hopefully reopen my city

    • Duker

       /  26th September 2019

      ” reopen my city”…. I missed the notice that they were closed. Or, Im guessing here, earthquakes and their affects can be magicked away.

    • Gezza

       /  26th September 2019

      You voted for Greg O’Connor, for Ohariu, remember, Lurchy? So did I. He’s turned to be a right doddering bloody doofus in Parliament.

      I think maybe your judgement of politicians could be a bit off. Mine obviously was. Maybe talk it over with a cabbie or your local dairy owner before voting?


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