Porirua Mayor Nick Leggett's campaign for a second term was backed by everyone from property developers to his gran, electoral expense returns show.
The campaign expenses of candidates in October's local government elections have begun to be released, with Porirua City Council the first off the mark. Other councils will be publishing candidates' returns over the next week.
Mr Leggett was the biggest spender in Porirua - he chalked up $7560 in expenses but recouped $3600 in donations, including $1000 from Aotea property developer Carrus Corporation.
He said the council's involvement with Carrus was coming to an end, but he would proceed with caution if any issues involving the developer landed on the council table.
"I don't foresee any issues coming up in which I would have to vote, but if there are, people know about the donation and I would do the sensible thing . . . firstly, I would seek advice, but depending on what the story was, yeah, I would [abstain]."
Several local businesspeople and family members made smaller donations, including Mr Leggett's grandmother.
He said some donations were actively solicited and others were offered, and it was just one of the ways in which the community showed its support.
"People understand it's expensive to run a campaign and they're happy to lend a bit of a hand. I've been transparent and declared every donation, because I think people need to know.
"Some people donated hours and hours of their time delivering leaflets, and some gave me $500."
Former deputy mayor Liz Kelly, who was unsuccessful in the hotly contested Eastern Ward, spent $5140 and picked up $1600 in donations, including $1000 from the kaumatua of Ngati Toa.
Northern ward councillor Bronwyn Kropp spent $4130, making her the next biggest spender of the successful candidates. The median spend was just $1814. Eastern ward councillor Litea Ah Hoi was the councillor who got the biggest bang for her buck, spending $940 to earn her seat on the council.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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