Cry baby

March 21st, 2014 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

The ODT reports:

Police have decided not to pursue a complaint against the Otago Daily Times made by Dunedin city councillor .

Cr Vandervis complained to police in December about the publication, just before the local body elections, of an article rating councillors’ performance during the last council term.

He believed the article breached the by attempting to interfere with or influence voters in the process of voting in the elections.

What an insane complaint. Having a person or publication state what they think of a Councillor’s performance is not interfering with an election.

One of his biggest complaints was over the timing of the article, which was published as voters were receiving their electoral papers.

”If the ODT had decided to do this a month prior to people getting the election papers, not a problem.”

That’s the exact time you do want to hear opinions. This is like saying that there can be no media coverage of local body issues in the final three weeks.

University of Otago public law specialist Prof Andrew Geddis said there was never a chance of the complaint being successful.

”Simply providing information about candidates and your considered opinion as to their behaviour or performance – there is just no way on earth that is going to be considered interference.”

If Cr Vandervis did take a private prosecution it would be thrown out of court at the first hurdle.


7 Responses to “Cry baby”

  1. kowtow (13,220 comments) says:

    Vandervis is one of only a few councillors down here who challenge the out of control spending going on by Council.

    As such he’s a great councillor.

    He doesn’t belong to the in crowd either and fights a lonely crusade,there’s so much vested interests in the rate take.

    He is adept at getting publicity and keeping his name in the headlines.

    Good luck to Lee ,at least he cares about the rate payer.No one else seems to.

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  2. lazza (612 comments) says:

    Dunno this ” Cr Vandervis ” but if his electoral complaint is an uncharacteristic? rush of blood, his and Russell Garbett’s comments this AM on the dopey Queenstown real estate investment by DCC … investigated by the OAG were very well founded.

    We in Rodney (circa 2004?) wasted about the same dollars ($6M) on their equally dopey Mad Butcher retail real estate adventure.

    Mayor at the time Law goes scot free, as does existing disgraceful Akl Cr Webster assisting. Both with NO accountability … same as for Dunnydone.

    Oooh Boy … when will it ever change?

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  3. RRM (12,581 comments) says:

    It is completely out of order to say that an elected official is shit at his job, merely because he’s shit at his job.

    Off to the Ministry of Love you go.

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  4. Komata (1,768 comments) says:

    Let me see: Because of his actions, this individual isn’t somehow associated with Labour or the Gweens is he?

    One wonders…

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  5. kowtow (13,220 comments) says:


    He’s an independent.Strong on council accountability for its spending ……no way that’s green or liabore.

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  6. Komata (1,768 comments) says:

    Thanks for the clarification KT – appreciated, it makes a change from the usuals…

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  7. doggone7 (1,657 comments) says:

    …but it is not unusual for Cr Vandervis to complain regardless of whether or not some see him as Devil’s Advocate and the necessary magnifying glass on Council affairs.

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