STV in action

Dave Cull won the Dunedin mayoralty, and the headline vote numbers are:

  • Cull 17,229
  • Vandervis 11,806

That was an unsurprising result. Cull was the incumbent, Vandervis was the best known challenger but while he gets support for challenging the establishment he loses support due to his volatility and clashes with, amongst others, Cull.

But those numbers weren’t reached, and Cull didn’t reach a majority, until eight other candidates had dropped out and their votes had been redistributed under the STV voting system.

On first preference votes (majority of 19,693 required):


  • Cull 10,686 (27.13%)
  • Vandervis 6,983 (17.73%)
  • Timmings 5,561 (14.12%)
  • Whiley 4,622 (11.74%)
  • Hawkins 3,029 (7.69%)
  • O’Malley 2,474 (6.28%)
  • Stedman 2,066 (5.25%)
  • Elder 1,710 (4.34%)
  • Barbour-Evans Scout 937 (2.38%)
  • Gray 711 (1.81%)
  • Bayne 607 (1.54%)

So Cull was a long way off getting a majority. He failed to get a clear majority right down to the final three:


  • Cull 14,815 (43.64%)
  • Vandervis 9,824 (28.94%)
  • Timmings 9,308 (27.42%)

2414 of Timmings’ votes were redistributed to Cull, 1982 to Vandervis resulting in a majority at the final iteration:



  • Cull 17,229
  • Vandervis 11,806


4,912 of Timmings last votes were discarded, meaning a lot of voters didn’t want Cull or Vandervis and didn’t rank them at all, or made a mistake at that stage of their ranking. That’s high but not surprising as both are quite unpopular.

This is how it was worked out (provisional results)


1 Cull Dave 10,686
1 Vandervis Lee 6,983
1 Timmings Barry 5,561
1 Whiley Andrew 4,622
1 Hawkins Aaron 3,029
1 O’Malley Jim 2,474
1 Stedman Conrad 2,066
1 Elder Rachel 1,710
1 Barbour-Evans Scout 937
1 Gray Abe 711
1 Bayne Athol 607

2 Cull Dave 10,746
2 Vandervis Lee 7,063
2 Timmings Barry 5,607
2 Whiley Andrew 4,653
2 Hawkins Aaron 3,062
2 O’Malley Jim 2,567
2 Stedman Conrad 2,118
2 Elder Rachel 1,777
2 Barbour-Evans Scout 965

3 Cull Dave 10,817
3 Vandervis Lee 7,138
3 Timmings Barry 5,634
3 Whiley Andrew 4,684
3 Hawkins Aaron 3,237
3 O’Malley Jim 2,619
3 Stedman Conrad 2,161
3 Elder Rachel 1,840
3 Barbour-Evans Scout 1,043

4 Cull Dave 10,941
4 Vandervis Lee 7,224
4 Timmings Barry 5,683
4 Whiley Andrew 4,731
4 Hawkins Aaron 3,480
4 O’Malley Jim 2,698
4 Stedman Conrad 2,207
4 Elder Rachel 2,055

5 Cull Dave 11,227
5 Vandervis Lee 7,463
5 Timmings Barry 5,832
5 Whiley Andrew 4,931
5 Hawkins Aaron 3,766
5 O’Malley Jim 2,907
5 Stedman Conrad 2,406

6 Cull Dave 11,502
6 Vandervis Lee 7,789
6 Timmings Barry 6,265
6 Whiley Andrew 5,241
6 Hawkins Aaron 3,924
6 O’Malley Jim 3,248

7 Cull Dave 12,000
7 Vandervis Lee 8,216
7 Timmings Barry 7,077
7 Whiley Andrew 5,745
7 Hawkins Aaron 4,233

8 Cull Dave 13,599
8 Vandervis Lee 8,755
8 Timmings Barry 7,424
8 Whiley Andrew 6,187

9 Cull Dave 14,815
9 Vandervis Lee 9,824
9 Timmings Barry 9,308

10 Cull Dave 17,229
10 Vandervis Lee 11,806


Palino can’t quit the mayoral race but…

John Palino, who came a distant but creditable second to Len Brown in the 2013 Auckland mayoral election, is standing again but is failing to fire.

But he fired some shots that seem to have been aimed footwards this week when he made a claim about what amounted to Maori extortion.

In Our leaders need some steel in the backbone, not just in their roads and building projects Jonathan Milne writes:

Now in Auckland, mayoral candidate John Palino has backed off claims that if a home-owner wants to build a garage, Maori can demand $50,000. “You’ve got some individuals saying look, give me $50,000 and then I’ll sign off on that,” he alleged in a live debate.

In fact, iwi don’t have veto rights on developments. Now, back-pedalling wildly, Palino says that if such an extortionate demand was made, it was for a large commercial building on a farm, not a residential garage. More likely, it never happened at all: he admits it was just something someone once told him in the restaurant; he doesn’t know who the bloke was.

Sounds like he made it up

This is the same politician who beggared belief with his incredible attempts to justify sitting in a car in a darkened carpark talking to Len Brown’s mistress Bevan Chuang about “the mayor’n’all” just before she revealed the sordid affair in the council’s Ngati Whatua Room. He is either stupid or reckless or dishonest.

He’ll be gone soon – it seems likely he’ll quit the race before the voters throw him out.

I think that Palino’s campaign was doomed before he started this year, and with Simon Lusk running his team and an odd launch it never got off the credibility ground.

So it’s not a surprise to see the media hammer him when Palino spins blatant bull.

But he can’t quit the race. Once you’re in the ballot system you remain there until the election.

Palino could quit campaigning, he could tell people not to vote for him, but he can’t quit the race. Regardless of what he does the voters get the opportunity to choose him or throw him out.

UPDATE: I have removed a reference to Cameron Slater also being in Palino’s team. I accept that he isn’t. He says he has never been on Palino’s team.

It was reported that Slater was involved in Palino’s launch:

Meanwhile he batted off suggestions Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater – who broke the story about Brown’s affair – was also involved, despite Slater setting up an interview he gave to the Sunday Star-Times newspaper

So Slater has had some involvement at the start of Palino’s campaign, and has associations with Lusk who widely thought to have had input into content at Whale Oil (this is covered in detail in Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics), but is not in Palino’s team.

Whale Oil has favoured Palino as a candidate in posts, and has attacked other mayoral candidates, especially Palino’s main right-ish opponent Vic Crone, but that may be more to do with Slater’s well known dislike of Michelle Boag and others supporting Crone than anything.

National (-Key) for Crone

Vic Crone’s Auckland mayoralty bid has had obvious backing from a political party, and her National crew were out in force for the launch of her mayoral campaign (I thought she launched months ago but that’s what last night’s event was called) .

National minus John Key of course. And minus Bill English, who has a candidate to promote in Wellington.

Tim Murphy reports at Politik:

The National Party turned out in force last night for the launch of ‘independent’ Victoria Crone’s Auckland mayoral campaign.

… last night looked like Crone had finally got the formal approval of the National Party.

She was Introduced by National MPs Mark Mitchell and Alfred Ngaro and with a video exhortation from former Prime Minister Dame Jenny Shipley, Crone’s big night was an emphatic coming together of the centre-right.

Speakers from both the Communities and Residents (C&R) and Auckland Future blocs spoke in her favour. 

Government ministers Nikki Kaye, Maggie Barry and Paul Goldsmith were joined in the 130 strong crowd by National Party president Peter Goodfellow, the current Auckland regional chair, Andrew Hunt and the two immediate past chairs Alastair Bell and Alan Towers.

Crone played up her links to the National-led government.  “I have been building on my existing relationships with the government and how do we partner together. I worry about a 30-year politician who has been boxing out of the red ring….”

With three weeks to go before three weeks of postal voting opens, the right’s anointed one declared: “This thing is winnable. Let’s not let a leader from yesterday cruise into the mayoralty of Auckland.”

There was one notable absentee:

But missing from the launch was John Key who has maintained a refusal to endorse Crone arguing that as Prime Minister he will have to work with whoever wins the Mayoral race.  

That seems a bit quaint.

Key has pretty much praised Phil Goff without endorsing him, but he also let a bit out about his likely actions last year.

Newshub: Key: I could work with ‘Mayor Goff’

Prime Minister John Key says he would be happy to work with Phil Goff as Auckland Mayor, should the veteran Labour MP throw his hat in the ring and win.

This morning on the same show Mr Key didn’t give Mr Goff his endorsement, but had praise for his former Prime Ministerial opponent’s skills and experience.

“I don’t mind the guy.”


Mr Key says he won’t be giving any candidates his official endorsement, but may work behind the scenes to give whoever is standing on the right a fighting chance.

“Last time I went to a few fundraisers for John Banks – so privately I’ll do some things where there are people around, and people could have worked it out. But we won’t actually ultimately go out and say ‘it’s this candidate’ or ‘that candidate’.”

Key may work behind the scenes for Crone but the National Party is openly virtually endorsing her campaign.


Q & A – homeless people, sex offenders and Wellington mayoralty

Today on Q & A:

Where should the Corrections Department house sex offenders?

This week, a Lower Hutt community won its fight to have a sex offender moved from their neighbourhood.

Meanwhile, one south Auckland community has been fighting for the removal of a high risk sex offender from their neighbourhood but to no avail. We go back to Mangere and talk to a young solo-mother of three who fears for her children’s safety as the sex offender lives over her backyard fence.

Jessica Mutch interviews Corrections Minister Judith Collins on the best way to rehabilitate sex offenders and keep communities safe?

This was an informative interview detailing the intent and current practice of Community Protection orders.

Homeless people:

Plus Katie Bradford visits the small tourist town of Taupo with a big city problem – a growing number of homeless people. She finds a community rallying around to help out. Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford joins us live to discuss the issues.

Twyford says that the Government should declare a state of emergency as there is a social housing crisis.

National politics in Wellington mayoralty:

Whena Owen looks at the contest to be Wellington’s mayor – and why central government politicians have got involved too.


Auckland mayoral poll – two leaders

In two ways of looking at an Auckland mayoral poll there are two leaders – Phil Goff easily leads the other contenders, but ‘Don’t Know’ easily leads Goff.

But care needs to be taken with this poll – it has been done by a pollster with an unknown record and was done entirely online with none of the traditional polling being done.

The Spinoff: Exclusive: new Spinoff/SSI poll shows Phil Goff with huge lead in Auckland mayoral race

A survey commissioned for the Spinoff’s War for Auckland pop-up site puts the Labour MP well in front of his nearest rival, Vic Crone, just weeks out from voting. But many remain undecided.

Comparing the contenders (decided voters):

  • Phil Goff 60.3%
  • Victoria Crone 15.5%
  • John Palino 7.9%
  • Penny Bright 4.6%
  • Mark Thomas 3.3%
  • David Hay 2.8%
  • Other 5.6%

This is a big lead for Goff. Being the only one with well established name recognition the lead isn’t a surprise but perhaps the size of his lead is.

Crone has a huge job to try and close the large gap.

Palino stood against Brown last election so should be known, but his campaign has failed to impress since it launched.

But the numbers look a bit different when adding one significant number.


  • Don’t know 43.7%
  • Phil Goff 31.2%
  • Victoria Crone 8.0%
  • No intention of voting 4.6%
  • John Palino 4.1%
  • Penny Bright 2.4%
  • Mark Thomas 1.7%
  • David Hay 1.4%
  • Other 2.9%


Despite the large lack of certainty – about half chose none of the candidates – that is still a huge lead for Goff. As ‘don’t knows’ get to know other candidates the gap may close but this looks like it is Goff’s campaign to lose. This seems unlikely as he is likely to run a fairly bland campaign.

However the accuracy of this poll is unknown. It was conducted by am international pollster with no phone surveying done.

Survey Sampling International conducted an online survey of 760 Auckland residents 18+ with quota applied for gender, age and Auckland region. Polling took place August 17-19 and there is a margin of error of +/- 3.6%.

From the SSI website, About:

SSI is the premier global provider of data solutions and technology to drive business success.

As the premier global provider of data solutions and technology for consumer and business-to-business survey research, SSI reaches respondents in 100+ countries via Internet, telephone, mobile/wireless and mixed-access offerings.


Labour versus Leggett ctd.

Current Porirua mayor Nick Leggett resigned from the Labour Party earlier this year so he could stand for the Wellington mayoralty against Labour’s anointed candidate Justin Lester.

Leggett’s candidacy seems to be really bugging Labour. Recently Andrew Little attacked him and banned a Labour MP from attending an event Leggett went to. See Little trying to forbid MPs associating.

And the Labour campaign against Leggett seems to be continuing online.

Mike Smith seems to only post at The Standard when there is important business to attend to.

On Tuesday Smith posted Leggett in Parkin’s pocket?

Former Councillor Chris Parkin interviewed in Wellington’s DomPost shared his ambitions – investing in property in central Wellington, and getting Porirua mayor Nick Leggett elected in Wellington, of all places. Word has it that large billboards for Leggett around the town have been funded by Parkin. The last thing Wellington needs is a mayor who’s in a property investor’s pocket.

And yesterday Smith attacked again: Leggett in Gollins’ pocket too!!!

It gets worse – another property developer is rattling the tin for Porirua carpetbagger Nick Leggett for Wellington’s mayoralty. 

It seems Andrew Little might have been right to warn Stuart Nash MP off association with Leggett’s campaign.

Yes, this is worse – for Labour. It’s a sign that they are worried about Lester’s chances and worried that Leggett is taking votes off their candidate.

‘CC’ asks (currently unanswered): “This is getting pretty close to dirty politics isn’t it?”

Labour certainly seem to be filthy about Leggett.

And Smith is twisting what actually happened – the event Nash was warned off was in Auckland and had no connection to the campaign in Wellington.

I wonder if this has something to do with it:

Claire Robinson ‏@Spinprofessor
Little bird told me polling showing Wgtn mayoral rice tight tween Justin, Nick and Jo, but Jo getting more 2nd votes than others

It seems that politics hath no fury like a Labour Party challenged by one of their own.



Goff distancing himself from Labour

In a local body election where Labour (and the Greens) are more actively and openly supporting candidates it is interesting to see that current Labour MP, Phil Goff, appears to be trying to distance himself from Labour in the Auckland Mayoral contest.

Phil Goff steps out in National Party blue-and-white <& his latest policy has the same hue


There are obvious mixed political messages there. And that will be deliberate.

Goff’s website is also absent any Labour links – and doesn’t seem very left leaning:

“A city that thrives on talent and enterprise
– where talent and enterprise can thrive”

 Meanwhile Goff’s opposition…


Similar blue plus some Labour-like red.



Another similar blue plus some read highlights.

Has anyone hear about any polling done for the Auckland mayoralty? Whale Oil claims that Crone and Mark Thomas are lagging but spoiling Palino’s chance of competing with Goff by splitting the right wing vote. Poll rumours are notoriously unreliable.

Goff is not promoting himself as left wing anyway, far from it.


Mayoral candidate ‘rumoured’

Otago Daily Times reports on a ‘rumour’ of a new entrant to the Dunedin mayoral race that could liven up the contest somewhat.

If this proves top be true it would pit a fresh face with strong business interests against the incumbent Dave Cull who has had strong Green leanings, Aaron Hawkins who is the official Green Party candidate, and long time Cull combatant Lee Vandervis.

Bid for mayoralty rumoured

The Dunedin mayoral race could be about to heat up as  lawyer Susie Staley, of iD Dunedin Fashion Week fame, is believed to be considering a bid for the city’s top job.

Councillor Andrew Whiley said yesterday he would pull out of the race if another candidate, who he declined to name, entered the race.

The Otago Daily Times understands Cr Whiley was referring to Ms Staley, but she declined to confirm or deny she was standing when contacted yesterday.

“The rumours can keep going,” she said.

Apart from being a lawyer, Ms Staley has served on a variety of boards including those of Tower, Maritime New Zealand and PGG Wrightson, and was a finalist in the Women of Influence Awards in 2013.

She stood down as iD Dunedin Fashion Week chairwoman last year after more than 15 years of service to the event.

If Whiley doesn’t stand for mayor (he would presumably stand for re-election to council) Staley (if she stands and gets significant backing) could threaten Cull’s hold on the mayoral chains, especially if Hawkins splits Culls vote.

Hillary Calvert has announced she won’t stand this year,.

Cr Whiley said it would be in the “best interests” of Dunedin for him to stand aside should the other candidate stand.

“I think there is a very good candidate who could do a lot for Dunedin.”

If elected, they would give Dunedin a more “pro-business” focus and tap into a widespread sentiment that council had not achieved much in recent times and fresh leadership was needed.

This could make the Dunedin contest a clear clash of business versus green interests.

Plus Vandervis, who may continue to pick up protest and maverick votes but has proven to not have the temperament for leading the council after ongoing ugly clashes with Mayor Cull (he recently served defamation papers on Cull).

I don’t know if Staley has any political affiliations. If not she will be up against the Green Party, plus Cull, who I presume will be standing as an independent now that the fairly (some say very)  left leaning Greater Dunedin group has been officially disbanded this year.


Green candidate proposes local currency

Stuff reported on Saturday that Dunedin was on the comeback trail.

Dunedin: The return of New Zealand’s first city

Dunedin was New Zealand’s first city, but has since been overtaken in size by six other cities. But something is stirring in the Edinburgh of the South, and Dunedin is on the comeback trail.

This morning the ODT reports on the major planks of  Green candidate’s mayoral campaign – a ‘living wage’ city and a Dunedin currency. This is supported by Green co-leader Metiria Turei.

Living wage, Dunedin dollar his platform

Dunedin mayoral candidate Aaron Hawkins has announced his intentions to transform Dunedin into New Zealand’s first living wage city and establish a local currency if elected mayor.

Speaking at the Green Party’s Dunedin local body elections launch, the first-term councillor said he wanted to push for every resident to earn a living wage and to establish a local currency, the Dunedin dollar, modelled on the Bristol Pound.

My dream for Dunedin is to become New Zealand’s first living wage city. That is a city where every worker, regardless of where they work, makes a living wage.”

Dreams are free, but forcing up wages could be expensive for businesses, and could well cost jobs.

The creation of the Dunedin dollar would complement the city’s push for wider economic equity, he said.

“The Dunedin dollar sits alongside our existing currency, rather than trying to replace it,” he said.

“A living wage and a Dunedin dollar are both commitments to doing economics differently.

Commitments to setting up a Green experiment in Dunedin.

Some of the Green promoted cycleway experiment was botched and had to be redesigned, and some had to be scrapped because costs were going to be double what was estimated.

“They both work from the bottom up rather than waiting for the trickle down.”

The objective was to encourage people to spend their money with local, independent businesses in the city.

Based on the local multiplier effect, the currency was aimed at keeping more money within the local economy.

“If I were elected mayor, I would happily take 25% of my income for that elected position in the Dunedin dollar,” Mr Hawkins said.

Would wages be topped up to ‘living wage’ level with the Dunedin dollar?

The council would spend the next term designing “something that fits our local situation” to be launched by 2019, he said.

Only if the council – not just the mayor – supported the Green dream.

Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei described the proposals as “fantastic concepts for the city”.

“We need to be supporting the living wage and challenging council and challenging our business community leaders to step up,” she said.

“And the Dunedin dollar is all about supporting each other.”

So it sounds like Hawkins’ dream is a part of the Green local body strategy.

Hawkins is very much a Green formula campaigner, sticking to strategy and script.

A current contentious issue in Dunedin is the redesign of the main one way streets to include cycle lanes and remove hundreds of car parks.

This was already controversial in the last mayoral campaign, but is now closer to reality – and the opposition to it is also stronger, there’s a lot of people getting very annoyed at streets that are dominated by underutilised cycleways.

So Hawkins and the Greens will have a challenge selling their ‘living wage city’ and Dunedin dollar on top of this.

But there is quite a large Green vote in Dunedin. The city could become a green nirvana.

However current mayor Dave Cull is fairly Green leaning so Hawkins and Cull will compete and may split the Green vote.

However there is also likely to be a strategy to stack the council with Green votes even more.

Labour mis-using taxpayer money?

First a word of caution. This apparent bust comes from the Taxpayers’ Union, who say they are funded and run independently but those involved in running it have close links to National.

They have put out a media release today claiming that Labour appear to be running the campaign for Labour mayoral candidate in Wellington out of their Parliamentary offices. Non-parliamentary activities and electioneering are forbidden uses of parliamentary funded resources.

The Taxpayer’s Union say they have been leaked this email:


That suggests that “we” from the Labour’s Party Whips office have produced a campaign video for “our Labour candidate for the Wellington Mayoralty”. It is a least a bad look, and it may breach Parliaments rules.

Labour were warned about misuse of Parliamentary resources earlier this year. The Taxpayers’ Union was also involved there. From Speaker’s Warning To Labour Over Parliamentary Funds:

Some weeks ago Labour sent an email in the name of Paul Chalmers, the Project Manager at Labour House, to Labour’s Auckland supporters detailing how Andrew Little had opened a Auckland office that will be “the centre of the Labour and progressive movement in Auckland and the place to co-ordinate the local government and General Election campaigns.”

The email also called on “like-minded partners” to share office space and other facility resources.

It appears that Andrew Little and his MPs are pooling together taxpayer resources to open a campaign office in central Auckland for the Party and Phil Goff’s campaign for the Auckland mayoralty. Use of taxpayer resources in this way is clearly against the rules.

The Speaker has confirmed that the Parliamentary Service will be monitoring Mr Little’s spending and has written to him setting out the rules for taxpayer funded out-of-Parliament offices.

The letter from the Speaker to Labour begins:


And concludes:


That is a very clear warning to Andrew Little. Labour should be well aware of these rules anyway.

MPs campaigning for local body office while paid for by taxpayers is suspect, although it has both potential benefits and disadvantages.

Not surprisingly David Farrar has also posted on this, fairly carefully, at Kiwiblog: Lester’s campaign being run from Parliament?  Farrar is heavily involved with the Taxpayers’ Union.

But regardless of the source this does look quite dodgy from Labour, especially after already being warned by the Speaker.

Given there past actions I presume the Taxpayers’ Union will advise the Speaker about this, but don’t expect significant repercussions – that’s why parties keep flouting Parliamentary rules, because they think they can keep getting away with it.

But this is not just flouting Parliamentary rules. It is flouting democracy, giving some candidates an unfair advantage over others.

Now I don’t know if this refers to the same Lester campaign video:

Wellington mayoral candidates get creative and cringeworthy with online campaign videos

Wellington’s mayoral candidates have taken to social media, releasing online campaign videos to sell their message to voters.

Labour candidate and current deputy mayor Justin Lester takes an active approach attending various community events and has citizens endorse him. Robinson says Justin ticks nearly every box with his video.

“He shows that he is embedded in communities, in a variety of communities and people trust him and people endorse him. While people are talking about him he’s actively engaged in a whole variety of environments.

“You can’t fault this video I would have to say in my 17 years of campaign video watching this is the best campaign video any NZ candidate has ever produced.”

Claire Robinson believes anybody running in an election should follow the lead of Wellington’s candidates and campaigns will continue to evolve with technology.

I don’t know what Robinson would think if Parliamentary resources were used to make the video.