13 Oct 2013

Dave Cull returned as Dunedin mayor

5:04 pm on 13 October 2013

Dave Cull has been elected mayor of Dunedin for a second term.

Mr Cull saw off eight challengers, with his nearest rivals former ACT MP Hilary Calvert and anti-debt councillor Lee Vandervis.

Mr Cull spent much of his first three years as mayor dealing with the fallout from previous council's decisions such as how to pay for the city's new stadium. He hoped that could be left in the past.

"The last term of council was a pretty challenging one. We had some pretty major challenges to confront," Mr Cull said.

"We've tackled most of them and now is the time to consolidate, bed down and move on with some more positive stuff, perhaps."

Mr Cull said he was pleased he had retained the confidence of the community.

Although Hilary Calvert failed to unseat Dave Cull as mayor she was strongly backed as a councillor.

Ms Calvert says she has been elected to clean up the city's finances and Dunedin's voters want a tighter approach to the city's finances and some accountability.

She says voters clearly weren't totally happy with the financial direction of the current council or she would not have polled so highly.

Ms Calvert says there is an impressive array of experience coming to the council table.

Kircher takes Waitaki

Further north, self-described conservative Gary Kircher has been elected mayor of North Otago's Waitaki district.

Gary Kircher beat his nearest rival, current deputy mayor Jim Hopkins, by about 3087 votes to 2691.

Mr Kircher is an Oamaru business man and employment broker. Seven candidates stood to lead the district, which includes Oamaru, after sitting mayor Alex Familton retired.

Little change in Clutha

And in South Otago, voters have made little change to the Clutha District Council.

Bryan Cadogan has returned strongly for a second term, his 4274 votes triple those of his only challenger, Hamish Anderson, who attracted 1463. Only two of the 14 councillors are new.

Mr Anderson strongly attacked Mr Cadogan's leadership style during the campaign. Mr Cadogan said it had been a hard two months, and he was ecstatic to retain Clutha's.

"It's a mandate to say that what I'm doing, the people believe in," he said.

"You don't know the first time. I suppose the first time I was voted mayor, people were hoping. Well this time they know what they are getting and to get that support, I'm just so humbled and so thankful."

A big aim was to get the district's youth unemployment down to zero next year, Mr Cadogan said.

Otago Regional Council

Only two new councillors have been elected to a largely unchanged Otago Regional Council.

Graeme Bell and Gary Kelliher replace Doug Brown and Duncan Butcher.

An unsuccessful candidate, Jon Mitchell, says no candidates from Queenstown were elected and that shows it's time for Queenstown Lakes to have its own constituency on the council.