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Rotorua election challenge withdrawn

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 21/11/2016

Failed Rotorua mayoral candidate Reynold Macpherson has withdrawn his court action to have last month's election outcome overturned.

Dr Macpherson, an academic, was challenging the result on the grounds the Rotorua Lakes Council's chief executive, Geoff Williams, withheld an "unfavourable" outcome of a National Research Survey public perception survey on the previous council's performance, releasing it a fortnight after the election

When the petition went to a preliminary hearing on Thursday Dr Macpherson argued withholding the findings prejudiced his mayoralty chances and the substantive matter was set down for November 29 for a four-day hearing .

However, he withdrew the petition on Monday.

He said he hadn't taken the decision lightly but all parties agreed that continuing with it was in no one's interest. All undertook to make no further comment or detail any settlement.

In a statement the council said both parties accepted by withdrawing the petition rising costs were prevented from rising further.

Mr Williams was granted leave to be added as an additional party to the petition at Thursday's hearing before Judge Kevin Kelly in the Rotorua District Court.

His lawyer argued the action could affect his council role and future career.

Dr Macpherson, who founded the Rotorua District Residents and Ratepayers Association represented himself at the preliminary hearing.

Sitting mayor, Steve Chadwick a former Labour cabinet minister, beat Macpherson by almost 3000 votes at the October 8 election.

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