City Vision Launches Online Campaign Strategy For Auckland Local Government Elections With Revamped Website,
City Vision targets younger Internet-savvy voters to secure majority position on Auckland City Council
AUCKLAND – 2 August 2001 – City Vision, the progressive centre left grouping on the Auckland City Council, today
launched its revamped website, www.cityvision.org.nz signalling a significant online component to this year’s election
campaign. According to City Vision Campaign Committee Chair and Auckland City Councillor Kay McKelvie, the traditionally
low voter turnout at local body elections compared to general elections (approximately 50% compared to 80%) forced City
Vision to look beyond the electoral communication methods used in previous years. “The Internet provides a two-way,
low-cost, high accountability medium that reaches thousands of voters in Auckland City,” she said.
“Recent surveys of how the Internet affected the 2001 general election in the United Kingdom reveal that young people
were nearly three times more likely to use the web to find out about politics than older generations,” said Kay
McKelvie. “These findings point to an international trend. Younger voters in New Zealand, particularly in urban areas
like Auckland City, are much more interested in the Internet as a route to politics than older voters. Therefore it is
incumbent on City Vision to communicate with these voters in a medium in which they are comfortable.”
Polls in the United States suggest that people with Internet access are more likely to vote than those without. A survey
conducted by Democracy Online Project after last year’s November elections in the United States, found that more than
one in three Americans (35 percent) used the Internet to get information about politics, campaigns, or issues in the
news, compared to 25 percent in 1998. Four in ten Internet users (40 percent), or 14 percent of the total US adult
population, stated that the Internet was important in providing them with information that helped them decide how to
vote in the 2000 elections.
City Vision Online Campaign Strategy
“There are some fundamental rules to Internet campaigning that City Vision will strictly adhere to,” explains McKelvie.
“Our web site will have a simple structure with no glitzy graphics. It is important that people can easily access the
web site from home on slow modems.”
“Furthermore, we see email as a way of offering our supporters instant, focused and widespread communication. And it is
two-way. People can have real input into our campaign. Interactivity between voters and candidates is one of our major
online campaigning goals. We intend to set up a genuinely interactive policy discussion email list in which Auckland
voters can debate issues with our candidates. Separate email lists will be run for campaign news and for voting
reminders, so people can choose exactly what sort of information they receive from our campaign.”
About the 2001 Local Government Elections; a postal vote
Triennial elections for elected members of all local bodies throughout New Zealand are to be conducted this year by
postal vote. Voting papers will be sent to all eligible electors, by post, from Friday 21 September 2001 and voters will
have three weeks to send in their ballots, the deadline being 12 noon, Saturday 13 October 2001. Preliminary results
will be released on 13 October.
About City Vision
City Vision was established in Auckland City in the run up to the 1998 local body elections. A co-operative partnership
between Labour, the Alliance and community groups, City Vision stood candidates across the city to challenge the
controversial incumbent Council dominated by Citizen & Ratepayers representatives.
As a result, in Auckland City, five City Vision councillors were elected out of 19 positions. In addition, two Labour
councillors and one Independent councillor endorsed by City Vision were elected, bringing the centre left representation
to eight on the Auckland City Council. For the first time in 60 years, right wing interests no longer had a stranglehold
At the same time, City Vision gained a majority of representatives on three community boards. These were Western Bays,
Avondale, and Eden-Albert. City Vision also won two out of four Auckland City seats available on the Auckland Regional
Council. Mike Lee and Jack Henderson were the successful candidates.
Since the 1998 elections, the minority group of City Vision representatives on the Auckland City Council has worked in
an MMP-type environment where gains have, by necessity, required the support of some of the other councillors.
Nevertheless, City Vision has been able to implement significant policy changes of benefit to Aucklanders. Continued
City Vision representation on Council is the key to ensuring that Auckland's local and regional government provides an
opportunity for progressive policies.
More information on City Vision and the Local Government Elections is available at http://www.cityvision.org.nz