Duynhoven spent most on election

OREN OAARIKI
Last updated 05:00 10/01/2014
New Plymouth's mayor Harry Duynhoven stand
Harry Duynhoven

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Ousted mayor Harry Duynhoven is still counting the cost of a failed election campaign.

And most of it came from his own pocket.

New Plymouth District Council documents show Mr Duynhoven spent 64 per cent of the total amount outlaid by the four candidates in last October's election.

Of the $27,693 total, Mr Duynhoven accounted for $17,947.

He said he spent what he described as an appropriate amount to fund a successful campaign, with $15,837 of his own money and $2110 in donations.

"The vast amount of money came out of my pocket.

"Would I have spent all that money had I known what the outcome would be? Well, I think you know the answer to that."

He received just 7677 votes compared with winner Andrew Judd's 16,883.

Mr Duynhoven said it was the most he had spent on a campaign and about double the amount of other campaign efforts.

Most of the money was spent on advertising and graphic design.

"You'd have to ask the newspapers whether they guarantee results in advertising," he joked.

He also queried other candidates' declarations.

"I'm amazed at some of the candidates' billboards and how they got them at such a remarkable rate."

Mr Duynhoven's campaign effectively cost him $2.30 per vote, compared with Mr Judd's, whose votes cost about 30 cents each.

Mr Judd spent $5319 on his campaign.

He used the money to pay for print adverts, billboards, a website and copywriters.

The other candidates, Craig Piercy and Chris Wilkes, both spent just over $2000, which was mostly spent on advertising.

Electoral donations and expense forms had to be returned to council electoral officers by December 11.

Candidates who ran for council also had to submit campaign expenditures.

Several candidates had missed that deadline and New Plymouth District Council electoral officer Barry Rollo said they risked a fine of $1000 if convicted.

He had not yet taken action against these tardy candidates.

"Most of them are working on it," Mr Rollo said. "If we find that they aren't working on them then we would have to act."

Oren Oaariki is a Whitireia journalism school student.

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