Modest spending by council candidates

Marlborough Mayor Alistair Sowman was the region's big spender in the run-up to the October local body elections, outspending his three mayoral rivals.

However, his $13,000 expense bill was still less than half of the $30,000 allowed under election laws.

Election expenses were filed on Friday and published on the Marlborough District Council's website on Monday.

It lists all but one candidate's spending and any donations they received.

Blenheim ward candidate Aaron Goodwin has yet to file his expenses.

Electoral official Mike Porter said the council was trying to contact Mr Goodwin, who was believed to have moved to Auckland.

If he did not respond, the failure to file would be referred to the authorities, as per the law, Mr Porter said.

However, the figures show that Mr Sowman's $13,000 was value for money, equating to 63 cents per vote.

Rivals Jamie Arbuckle spent 90c cents per vote, Brian Dawson $2.94 per vote and Richard Feather just under $9.05 per vote.

Of the four mayoral candidates, only Mr Arbuckle and Mr Dawson received donations: Mr Arbuckle got two anonymous cash donations of $400 and $500; and Mr Dawson got $2112 from Marlborough Travel.

It allowed him to use one of their buses for signage free of charge.

Of the 26 council candidates, only Jessica Bagge, Adelle Galloway and Laressa Shenfield received donations.

Mrs Shenfield's $1840 donation from her parents, Colin and Lynnette King, to pay for signs, was the largest.

The most frugal candidate was Marlborough Sounds ward candidate David Oddie, who spent $16.60 on paper and photocopying for a brochure.

He was elected with 1206 votes, meaning he spent .013 cents a vote.

The Marlborough Express