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Saturday, 23 March 2019 04:11 am

Mayoral hopefuls angry at being dismissed by academic

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DEFINITE ARTICLE: The Dominion Post story that upset mayoral candidates.

MAYORAL candidates have labelled a newspaper readers’ poll as a joke, a disservice to democracy and biased.

The Dominion Post story on the poll quoted an management academic as saying it was a waste of time for anyone other than John Morrison and Celia Wade Brown standing.

The poll put candidate John Morrison in the lead for the Wellington’s mayoralty, followed closely by incumbent Celia Wade Brown.

Candidate Nicola Young said the academic’s remarks were like a brain surgeon commenting on a legal matter and the Dominion Post poll was a joke.

Dr Andy Asquith, a senior lecturer at Massey University’s School of Management, criticised the lower polling candidates for bothering to run in local body elections.

“Dr Asquith seems to be commenting outside his area of expertise,” Ms Young said.

“It’s hard to believe the DomPost would publish such things – It’s irresponsible.”

Candidate Karunanidhi Muthu was also surprised that the Dominion Post would publish Dr Asquith’s statements and said the article could negatively influence potential voters.

“Asking why other candidates even bothered to stand is a great disservice to democracy.”

Mr Muthu said the poll sample of 239 people was too small and couldn’t be trusted.

Candidate Jack Yan did not think Dr Asquith was very civic minded and said that his comments were no better than comments in a blog post.

“I believe that democracy should mean that everyone should be able to stand and be heard.”

Candidate Rob Goulden said the Dominion Post did not give equal opportunity to all those running for Mayor.

“The Dominion Post is manufacturing consent,” Mr Goulden said. “They have their own horse in the race.”

The Dominion Post article comes after Radio New Zealand’s October 6 Mediawatch programme critiqued media coverage of local elections.

Show host, Colin Peacock said Mediawatch had not found a paper that endorsed specific candidates but that did not mean that they had not expressed opinions that could influence readers.

Mediawatch questioned whether opinion polls published by local papers were helping people to make more informed decisions in voting or a distortion of the political process.

Janet Hook, professor of marketing at Otago University, interviewed during the Mediawatch broadcast, said self-selecting readers’ polls do not provide a reliable estimate of how a population might vote.

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  1. Well done you!! I read an article of yours this week and thought “that’s good” but this is absolutely brilliant!!!!!

    What these candidates are telling you is absolutely true..believe me.!

    Rob Goulden is a close friend of mine of 15 years standing and I am on his team. Don’t assume I’m too close or biased……you’d be wrong!

    Listen to what people have to say then think about it.

    During this exercise I sat back and analysed basically everything that came out of their mouths on most issues. then got a copy of Dompost last Saturday (pg 2) on leadership. ( should note the article finally showed up on Stuff yesterday, not Dumpost!

    The next job was to match what they were saying they would bring to the city if they were Mayor, and combine that with their background experience and skills to see if there was a fit. There was….and that’s not bias! Rob.

    Have a look on Vote.co.nz…………see what you think.

    I should note at this point that the commentators are saying that our new Mayor should have served time at the council before they ever become Mayor.

    At least one candidate has said that other Mayors have not had that experience and been fine. That was then, this is now!

    It’s NOT too late, just must be hand delivered to Council by midday Saturday.

    Finally, you have real talent and I mean it sincerely. I am going to pass this article of yours to Lindsay Shelton at “Scoop” on the net.

    CHALLENGE! Very short deadline. What can you come up with next. Remember what they said was absolutely correct..they can’t all wrong.

    I believe in you, and you will go far. We need smart people like you!

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