Candidates calculating costs of campaigning

The cost of being elected to the Hibiscus & Bays Local Board cost the successful candidates an average of $2361 last year.

Figures released by Auckland Council show that returning member Janet Fitzgerald was the biggest spender on electioneering material, paying $3452, both Andy Dunn and Leanne Willis paid $1749 and Gary Brown paid $2495. Mr Dunn, Ms Willis and Mr Brown all contributed to each other’s costs as they were on the same Coast People & Penlink First ticket. The costs related to things such as brochures, advertising and signs.

Wayne Walker and John Watson, who were both returned to represent Albany Ward paid vastly different sums for their campaigns – Cr Walker’s expenses totalled $18,375 while Cr Watson’s were a more modest $7752.

In fact, Cr Walker’s spend was the fourth highest of the 20 councillors elected last year. Top of the list was Linda Cooper, $35,377 (who received donations of $14,615), followed by Paul Young, $28,636, and Pippa Coom, $20,468. 

Cr Walker’s biggest spend was on radio advertising, at a cost of $10,623.

Auckland Council budgeted to spend just over $5.7 million on last year’s election, compared with the 2016 election, which cost just over $5.3 million.

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