Former ACT MP Gerry Eckhoff delivers a speech at the Dunedin Town Hall, 29 March 2009. (Photo by the author). Local body politics constitutes something of a paradox. In election years, interest is low and apathy high, with voting turnout under 50% (compared with still a 70%+ rate in national elections). Coverage of councils’ activities in the national media is accordingly minimal, unless there is some particular interest point such as an entertaining mayor along the lines of Tim Shadbolt or Michael Laws. Even in most local newspapers (with some exceptions), coverage of local body politics takes a decided back-seat...
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