Complaint about Christchuch mayor Phil Mauger's election campaigning passed on to police

3:30 pm on 29 November 2022
Phil Mauger

Christchurch Mayor Phil Mauger. Photo: RNZ / Nate McKinnon

A complaint about Christchurch Mayor Phil Mauger's campaigning in the lead up to last month's election has been forwarded to police.

The complaint related to Mauger handing out thousands of Covid-19 rapid antigen tests (RATs) to community members and comments about using his own fire truck to help reduce the Bromley wastewater treatment plant stench.

In April, Mauger said he would be willing to pay $4000 out of his own pocket to deal with the smell.

The complaint was made in September by Aaron Campbell, who briefly worked on rival candidate David Meates' campaign.

Campbell said he believed Mauger breached a Local Electoral Act rule that banned people gifting individuals or groups items that could potentially influence the way people vote.

Campbell also made a complaint against Halswell ward candidate Paul Lonsdale for giving away RATs to a community group.

Lonsdale said he was unable to comment while the matter was before the police.

"I'm particularly concerned if this activity is deemed compliant with the Act and in future elections if the same or similar activity would also be seen as compliant, that's where individuals with either access to resources or if they have money could use that to unfairly influence the outcome of the election," Campbell said.

Christchurch City Council electoral officer Jo Daly said she had received complaints about two candidates' campaigning and had referred the complaints to police.

A spokesperson for Mauger's campaign said they were confident he had not broken any rules but declined to comment further while the complaint was being investigated.

Campbell said his complaint was laid independently of David Meates' campaign.

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