The biggest spender does not always win the prize in elections.
Hastings mayoral contender Wayne Bradshaw spent about $3000 more than rival Lawrence Yule in this year's local body election, but failed to tear the chains away from the incumbent.
Most councils have now released details of election candidates' spending and donations in the October election.
In Hastings, Mr Yule spent $15,405 - including a $5000 donation from someone identified only as "K Atkinson".
Mr Bradshaw, by comparison, spent $18,535, including $3200 from four separate donations.
All was not lost for Mr Bradshaw, though - he was elected to the council.
Greater Wellington Regional Council candidates all managed to get elected on less than $10,000, with Prue Lamason spending the most - $9935.
Chairwoman Fran Wilde managed to top the Wellington constituency with a lead of more than 5000 votes, on a budget of $1800.
The two successful Green candidates - Paul Bruce and Sue Kedgley - reported party donations of $4400 and $4660 respectively.
In Hutt City, successful mayor Ray Wallace's $18,125 spend means he paid about $1.18 for each of his 21,513 votes. By comparison, the incumbent's only rival, Phil Stratford, spent about $550 - his 3326 votes costing about 17c each.
In Upper Hutt, Wayne Guppy won his fourth term as mayor for $1546, which looks like bang for buck next to councillor and mayoral hopeful Helen Swales, who spent $7830.
South Wairarapa looked to be one of the cheapest places in the region to run for office - mayor Adrienne Staples ran unopposed and did not spend a cent, and the average spend by council candidates was just over $400.
Carterton Mayor Ron Mark also ran unopposed so did not fork out for a campaign, although his deputy, John Booth, made an investment of $2160 to secure his seat on the council - more than double the median spend of $912.
In Napier, new mayor Bill Dalton spent $16,826. Nearest rival Roy Sye, who was elected a councillor, spent $13,900. Of that, $5750 came from 14 people and groups.
Mr Sye's expenses were listed as part of $30,260 spent by the "Positive Change" collective of candidates that included successful councillors Mark Hamilton and Graeme Taylor.
- The Dominion Post
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