Big spending did not necessarily translate into success in October’s local body elections, figures show.
Mayor Bob Parker paid for most of his $60,281 campaign to win a second term, but nearly two-thirds of the $62,283 campaign run by his main rival, Wigram MP Jim Anderton, was from anonymous donations and contributions from two Christchurch Labour MPs.
Election expense claim forms obtained by The Press also showed that two new city councillors, Tim Carter and Jamie Gough, both spent more than $20,000, while several sitting councillors who were re-elected spent a fraction of that.
Others who spent a large sum failed to win a council seat. Former councillor Bob Shearing spent more than $15,000 in his bid to retain his Riccarton-Wigram seat, only to lose by 32 votes, while Sir Kerry Burke spent more than $15,000 for a Spreydon-Heathcote seat but was defeated by the two incumbents, who together spent just over half that.
In the US some candidates spent $150 million and lost massively. Spending money gets your message haerd, but doesn’t mean that it gets well received.