Whakatāne politicians' election donations and spending revealed

12:53 pm on 3 January 2020

Election expenses for the Whakatāne district have been revealed, with some candidates sinking thousands into their campaigns and others nothing.

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Failure to return the forms on time can lead to a fine of up to $1000 under the Local Electoral Act. Photo: Charlotte Jones/LDR

Several candidates, both successful and unsuccessful, failed to return their election expense forms on time, despite having well over a month to do so.

Of the mayoral candidates, Julie Jukes spent the most, putting $14,666.78 into her joint campaign for the mayoralty and councillor for the Whakatāne-Ōhope ward.

Jukes spent her money on radio, print and social media advertising, brochures, signage and $4300 on One of a Kind campaign management.

Despite being unsuccessful in the mayoral contest, Jukes said she felt it was money well spent as she was re-elected as a councillor for the Whakatāne-Ōhope ward in what was a competitive and hotly-contested election.

She said if she were to run again, she would spend more time doing face-to-face campaigning. At the time of this year's election Jukes had a staff member on leave for six weeks so was unable to leave her business, Rositas, and meet with the public in person.

Jukes came in fourth in the mayoral race.

Hinerangi Goodman has dropped her fight for the Murupara-Galatea seat this election but has promised to return in three years' time.

Hinerangi Goodman Photo: Charlotte Jones/LDR

Mayoral and Murupara-Galatea ward candidate Hinerangi Goodman spent nothing on her campaign.

She made a conscious decision not to spend any money on her campaign and considers she did well to come so close to being elected.

"Any money I did spend was spent on motels and petrol getting to and from Whakatāne for mayoral debates and the swearing-in ceremony," she said.

  • ‘Down but not out’: Ousted councillor Hinerangi Goodman drops legal action
  • Goodman came last in the mayoral race and was beaten by one vote in the Murupara-Galatea ward by Alison Silcock following a contentious recount.

    Silcock spent $1238 on signs and a new mugshot for her campaign.

    Whakatāne mayor Judy Turner.

    Whakatāne mayor Judy Turner. Photo: RNZ / Dom Thomas

    Judy Turner, who was elected as mayor, spent $11,115.42 on new photos, signs, leaflets and print, radio and social media advertising during her campaign.

    In the race for the Whakatāne-Ōhope ward, successful candidate John Pullar spent the most and also received the most in donations.

    Pullar received $2000 cash and signs to the value of $5371.80 from the Shephard Family Trust.

    He spent $13,816.19 on signs, photos, Proevents campaign management and print and radio advertising.

    Unsuccessful candidate Wayne Marriott also received a donation of $1171.25 from business Art & Acre of which he is a co-director.

    Marriott spent the money at Warehouse Stationery, on Facebook, at Diverse Graphics, Bay Media and on his $200 nomination fee.

    Another candidate for the Whakatāne-Ōhope ward spent $30 on Facebook advertising to encourage people not to vote for her.

    Kay Boreham accidentally entered herself in the run for the ward when she intended to run for the Whakatāne-Ōhope community board.

    Boreham spent her campaign asking people not to vote for her. Despite this effort, she still managed to secure 667 votes.

    In the Galatea-Murupara ward, unsuccessful candidate Jackie Te Amo spent the most, with most of her spending money coming from various donations.

    Te Amo received a $500 donation from the Tūhoe Manawarū Tribal Authority, $1700 from the Ruatāhuna Farm Trust and $1000 from the Mataatua Marae in Ruatāhuna.

    She spent $3268.19 on her nomination fees, at various petrol stations, on catering from supermarkets including Pak'n Save, signs, clothing, hair and makeup from Kmart, Pagani and a pharmacy and photos from Harvey Norman.

    Te Amo was elected unopposed to the Murupara Community Board.

    In the Rangitaiki ward, successful candidate Wilson James spent the most on his campaign. He also received a sizeable donation of $7250 collected on his behalf from various members of the public.

    James then spent a total of $6256.76 on radio and print advertising and signage. The remaining cash, $993.24, was donated to the rescue helicopter fund.

    Several candidates, including Pouroto Ngaropo, Mike van der Boom, Hans Tiakiwai, Ged Casey, Dee-Dayna Hale-Riddiford, Les Knowles, Memorie Jenner and April O'Brien failed to return their election expenses forms on time.

    Failure to return the forms on time is an offence and can lead to a fine of up to $1000 under the Local Electoral Act.

    However, local electoral officer Dale Ofsoske said he would be giving candidates a short grace period to get them in.

    Election donation and expenditure forms can be found on the Whakatāne District Council website.

    Successful Whakatāne District Council candidates' election spending

    • Judy Turner: $11,115.42
    • Andrew Iles: $2036.75
    • Alison Silcock: $1238
    • Victor Luca: $4106
    • John Pullar: $13,816.19
    • Lesley Immink: $12,783.75
    • Julie Jukes: $14,666.78
    • Nandor Tanczos: $1667.43
    • Gavin Dennis: $3467.84
    • Wilson James: $6256.76
    • Gerard van Beek: $2420.74
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    Local Democracy Reporting is a public interest news service supported by RNZ, the Newspaper Publishers' Association and NZ On Air.