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Two clear winners in election spend-up races

Two clear winners in election spend-up races

14 January 2014

The numbers are in for election expenses in the races for the Rotorua local body elections in 2013 and there are two clear winners.

The clear winner in the mayoral spend-up stakes is Steve Chadwick. The new mayor spent a total of more than $31,000 in expenses paid and received a donation of $2,000 from Joe La Grouw.

The ousted mayor Kevin Winters by comparison spent $24,805.35 and recorded no donations over the $1,500 mark for reporting.

But the real winner is again that well-placed outsider, Tania Tapsell, in the large field of candidates for the Rotorua District Council.

Although she did spend a measly $287.50 on advertising with The Radio Network, the rest of her money was mostly spent on hardware, including $3,031.68 on billboards and car signage and $1537.55 on business cards and pamphlets.

The stand-out spend in Tapsell’s list was the $266 spent on Facebook advertising, with her online presence being a key factor to her coming in eight out of a crowded field of candidates.

While some of her opponents did spend up in the local newspapers, the Rotorua Daily Post and the Rotorua Review, Tapsell’s decision to spend mostly on billboards and flyers and to focus on the online conversation paid off.

Comparative figures were not immediately available between 2013 and the previous election in 2010. This is partly due to the fact that different conditions applied in 2013 due to the “Banks” fiasco in earlier Auckland elections.

However, the spend in both the Daily Post and the Review seemed quite light, with the numbers indicating the DP advertising packages as relatively low levels. For example, long-time councillor Trevor Maxwell’s only expenditure was $1,682.45 in the DP.

Glenys Searancke also only spent $1442.00 with APN NZ Media, owner of the DP. But, given her status in the theatrical world, she also spent $1133.81 with the Radio Network where she was able to give voice to her role at the council.

The highest polling council candidate, Merepeka Raukawa-Tait, spent $2,200 with the DP out of a total spend of just $2,560.00.

The lessons coming out of the numbers will probably keep only those few who really care wide awake at nights.

ENDS

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