Saturday’s ODT p6 favoured me with good information on my election billboard design as follows:

• Campaign signage for Dunedin candidate Lee Vandervis includes a nod to Hollywood and a photo of the South Seas Exhibition, which Dunedin hosted in 1925-26.

The Otago Daily Times asked Cr Vandervis what this imagery signified.

The Hollywood-style font is a reference to musician Frank Zappa and his line about politics being the entertainment branch of industry, and for Cr Vandervis it denotes some suspicion of old-boys’ networks.

And the exhibition?

“A little less than 100 years ago Dunedin had the talented people and vision to create the extraordinary South Seas Exhibition on the back of high productivity, close to where our underused stadium now sits,” Cr Vandervis said.

The council of the day put a small surcharge on the tram ride to the exhibition, “which paid for our main town hall to be built without going into large debt to build it”.

Dunedin still had a remarkable range of talented people, but a vision for progressive, innovative industry had lately been lacking, he said.

The colours of Otago and Ukraine appear — “a warning that the world economy is under threat and that we need to look to our own resources to maintain our quality of life in Dunedin”.

Now you know.”

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