Jim Boult’s victory in the recent local election was a clear majority. His total 6175 votes was clearly ahead of Nik Kiddle’s 3999. However, last week, electionz.com released the voter breakdown by wards and the result wasn’t quite so reflective of public opinion.
In the Wānaka ward, Jim Boult received 1573 votes, whilst Nik Kiddle received 2795 — showing a clear preference for the anti-airport campaigner.
In the post-election period, Kiddle was quite critical of Wānaka voters, believing they didn’t turn out for him like he has anticipated. However, after the ward statistics were released, he said, “I'd like to mention my deep appreciation for the support that Wānaka clearly delivered for me as a mayoral candidate. Prior to the details of the ward results I mistakenly thought that I may not have polled as well as expected in Wānaka. But I can see now that was not the case. My weak polling occurred in Queenstown and Arrowtown.”
In response to the ward statistics, Mayor Boult said, “I’m elected by the district not by the various parts of it and I was voted by a clear majority and that’s where my responsibility lies. I will continue to discharge my duties equitably and fairly across the district.”
Significantly however, Jim Boult’s support in Wānaka actually increased considerably from the 2016 election when he received only 1155 votes. The total mayoral votes in 2016 was 6050, compared to 6175 this year.