Mayoral Announcement

Affordable, responsive government for all of us – A revitalised Dunedin.

Four-term Councillor Lee Vandervis has announced that he is standing for the Dunedin Mayoralty in October.


“In recent years, we have suffered from indifferent leadership and a lack of vision. Dunedin has stagnated with unemployment 40% higher than the NZ average”, says Mr Vandervis. “There are basic and obvious things we need to do, and I’m intending to start on them from my first day as Mayor.”

“My vision is a city that works for all of us,” says Mr Vandervis. “We need to begin wise, careful investment for the future, reduce DCC debt, and make sure Dunedin is once again a wonderful place to live and work, with reasonable rates and good prospects for residents from all walks of life. We can only achieve that with leadership that listens closely to ratepayers, by collaborating as a Council on the basis of robust, open debate and mutual respect, and by making transparent decisions which adhere strictly to best practices,” says Mr Vandervis.

“I will work tirelessly to provide every resident of this city with an environment that promotes economic wellbeing, financial and environmental sustainability, and a high quality of life on an affordable basis.”

“I intend to release policy details over the weeks leading up to the election,” says Mr Vandervis. “I will begin with a back-to-basics review of how Council spends money and Staff time, and the value these resources deliver to city and to rural ratepayers. I will also provide parking improvements, climate change resilience in the low-lying areas that need it most, and actively manage the performance of Council companies, and get better value from our stadium.”

Mr Vandervis has extensive private sector and local government experience. “Born in Balclutha, I have spent my life learning and working in Dunedin, and I like nothing better than doing useful work.

“I spent five years overseas in electronics engineering, followed by two decades restoring heritage and farm buildings while running Dunedin’s largest lighting hire business. I have worked four terms as a Councillor, and I have both the business understanding and local government experience to lead a Council that will make Dunedin a better place for all of us – vibrant, inclusive, sustainable and energetic.”

“On Council, I have persistently asked the hard questions, voted against fickle spending, and pushed issues like debt, drainage and parking that directly affect the daily lives and financial health of ratepayers,” says Mr Vandervis. “I have exposed Council waste and vanity projects, demanded explanations for rates rises and staff costs, and called out closed-door decision-making and deviations from proper local government processes.

I have always pursued sensible, practical approaches rather than group or party ideology, and I have consistently advocated for better value from Council rates and fees. I am ready for the change from hard-questioning Councillor to respectable Mayor who will work hard here to lead a revitalised Dunedin. ”

“I am asking Dunedin to back my vision and my policies, so that our city becomes a better place for all of us. And I look forward to serving Dunedin as Mayor”, says Mr Vandervis.


About Lee Vandervis

My name is Lee Vandervis and I was born in Balclutha 60 years ago to Dutch immigrant parents who ran a successful building contractor business. I have been passing Dad nails since I can remember and I learned to swing a hammer usefully early in life. My parents always pushed the values of thrift and a broad education. At Otago University I gained a BA in Philosophy before going to London for 5 years overseas experience, working in electronics manufacturing and rising to Production Manager of Midas Audio UK, building mixing consoles for musicians like Stevie Wonder, Supertramp and Pink Floyd. I returned to Dunedin in 1981 to have a family and set up Vandervision Lighting Audio and Video, making it Dunedin’s largest lighting hire business, and restoring heritage buildings like Dundas st Church and 401 Moray Place along the way. I sold most of my business interests when first elected to the DCC in 2004. Dunedin City Councillor profile:
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