NZ’s Dodgiest Local Body Politician – Pete Rainey III

The only man to win two nominations for NZ’s Dodgiest Local Body Politician so far, Pete Rainey, has won a third. Sources inside the Nelson Mail have been talking to the tipline, about the plan hatched to take the catering and liquor at sports venue events for the Council itself.

This means council contractors will pick up the lucrative contracts from the council, rather than the profits going to the sports organisations. And who should benefit from this the most? The people who already manage to win contracts and subsidies from the council, including Pete Rainey.

The people of Nelson already know that Rainey had to seek retrospective approval from the Auditor General for his various council contracts when he knows full well that elected members must get this approval before they actually receive council money. They know this because he squealed like a stuck pig when the Nelson Weekly broke the story.

The amounts are:

2011 $55,051
2012 $47,821
2013 $63,242
2014 $60,926
2015 $62,232
2016 $69,983  

Apparently, the Nelson Mail are blocking stories about this, as Cr. Matt Lawrey is calling in favours to hold the editorial line supporting his mate Pete Rainey. This is despite anyone who has even the faintest idea about what is going on in Nelson knows that the rugby, cricket, football and basketball bosses are on the war path over Rainey’s proposal.

Rainey was slammed from the floor at the recent mayoralty debate hosted by Sports Tasman. He steadfastly refused to provide any specifics about his proposal despite being repeatedly challenged to do so.  He has since gone to ground on the idea and is remaining tight-lipped despite growing concerns in the sports community about what his election pledge might mean for the Makos, Giants, Tasman United and international cricket events in the city.

Sports in provincial towns like Nelson are a vital part of the community fabric. Yet they always struggle financially, and so a mayor taking away a vitally important revenue stream is a major threat to their survival. A mayoral candidate who already makes a lot of money from council contracts deserves a piggy nose and the trougher label.


How this major news story has not been run in the Mail is beyond us. From this distance, it has all the hallmarks of a provincial newspaper suppressing adverse publicity about a favoured figure. Fortunately, there are people at the Mail with integrity who are willing to share their information.

  • redeye

    He is also one of those living wage nuts and thinks the council should be able to solve some obscure problem he calls inequity.

    • Horatio 53

      I think you’ll find Reese has signed the pledge on the Living Wage front. Just about every candidate has, without knowing the cost to ratepayers. They were all ambushed by the Living Wage people.

  • Ray

    I met this guy the other day.
    I actually thought his election posters were a caricature of him….But no, he actually looks like that.
    Ex music teacher who has reinvented himself as a “businessman” for his Mayoral endeavors. His “business”, of course is trousering council money.
    What nobody is mentioning is his connection to the Fringed Hill gondola project of which his brother is chairman.

    From May 13 2016
    “Following concerted lobbying from the Nelson Mountain Bike Club and
    individuals during annual plan submissions last week and driven by the
    rapidly-developing enthusiasm of Mayor Rachel Reese, councillors
    accepted a late item which saw them allocate $100,000 to spend on the
    off-road trail network, with about 20 per cent of that going to strategy
    and the rest on physical work.

    In a $178,000 package they also
    carried $50,000 unspent in this financial year to 2016-17 for a grade
    two [beginners’] mountainbike track in Marsden Valley, budgeted $5000
    towards a new Fringed Hill track and $8000 for a toilet at the top, and
    $15,000 towards the reinstatement of the Codgers Track.

    If that
    wasn’t sufficient they then agreed to give $100,000 towards the Fringed
    Hill gondola project being developed by the Nelson Cycle Lift Society,
    something that hadn’t been recommended in the staff report on the late

    No surprise that the Nelson Mail is sitting on this stuff with the collusion of Lawrey.

  • Horatio 53

    Gee. I’m not a fan of Rainey at all but this smells of being a hit job. To talk about sports in Nelson struggling financially is a joke. The professional sports bodies in Nelson have been troughing from the ratepayers for years. Millions of dollars gone into Trafalgar Park and Saxton Field. $800,000 from Council for some C grade World Cup Cricket matches. A new $6.5 million “community/sports centre” at Stoke which is in reality a clubroom for the Stoke rugby club (which is contributing nothing despite being flush with funds after selling their previous clubrooms). Nelson is full of troughers of all sorts, arts and sports. Rainey represents the arties, Reese represents the sports troughers. No-one represents the poor bloody ratepayers.