As promised in our opening billboard review, it’s time to lay it on the line and declare the BayBuzz judged best and worst billboards in the 2007 local body elections.

Candidates, someone had to lose, so here we go. The worst billboard for 2007 goes to – Wayne Rewcastle – candidate for Hastings District Council (Havelock North ward).

* Maybe it’s the quarterfinal hangover, yet simply put, the red white and blue strip has all the allure of dishwater right now.

* The name Rewcastle is Scottish in origin. Hence the Havelock highlander could have leveraged off this, substituting the Hire a Hubbyesque “The Man for the Job” for the celebrated “There Can Be Only One,” – quirky, sexy, bankable.

Mona Lisa is enigmatic for her smile, Rewcastle for this puzzling sneer. Unintentional perhaps, but a friendly billboard countenance is a no-brainer. The candidate has either just swallowed a low flying wasp, or has run dry of Metamucil.

Now for the winner, which for 2007 goes to – Mick Lester – Hastings District Council candidate (Hastings ward).

* A timeless black and white piece, (I detect a subliminal “C’mon the Bay!”) set in the heart of Hastings, with the kitsch yet homely clocktower, and a polished slice of Spanish Mission courtesy the Westerman’s Building.

* If one aspect needs sharpening, it’s the slogan – “I’m Here for You” – a bit flaccid, a bit 90’s sitcom, yet we’ve seen worse.

*The candidate/canine angle is the trump card. Terriers are famous for tenacity, loyalty and energy: attributes obliquely bestowed upon the candidate by association. The clearly visible registration tag on the dog collar also lends Lester instant rapport with fellow bylaw abiding ratepayers – and voters. Kudos, Mr Lester.

Well, those were our billboards, this term. BayBuzz think the competition has highlighted two primary discussion points: 1) Kiwis still struggle with the idea of selling themselves, and 2) There was a total absence of any quirk, quip, pun – not a hint of (intentional) self satire. It seems the imagination is still a luxury.

So, for those candidates firing shots at apathetic voters, maybe ask if you’ve done enough to fire them up.

Happy campaigning to all – and best of luck!


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