Google shows local elections a low priority

By Kim Fulton

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Hawke's Bay people are more interested in the royal family than local body politics, if Google searches are anything to go by.

Postal voting for New Zealand's last local elections began on September 20, 2013 and voting closed on October 12.

Hawke's Bay searches for the term "elections" relative to total searches reached its 2013 peak between October 6 and 12, according to Google Trends.

Google rated levels of interest from low at one, rising as interest levels go up. Search interest in "elections" went from six to 100 in one week.

However, the America's Cup attracted more interest the previous month, when Emirates Team New Zealand narrowly lost the competition to Oracle Team USA.

Prince George also attracted more attention than local politics when he was born in July 2013.

Searches for "royal baby" at the time of his birth exceeded "elections" searches at their peak.

Google interest in rugby also topped interest in local politics throughout the year in Hawke's Bay.

Nationally, searches for the term "elections" also peaked in the week before voting closed.

Mayor Len Brown was the most searched for Auckland mayoral candidate in 2013.

However, Google searches for Mr Brown relative to total searches peaked after the elections, following the revelation of his affair with Bevan Chuang.

Search volumes for the mayoral candidates in Hawke's Bay districts were too low to appear on Google graphs.

Candidates for this year's local elections will be officially announced in mid-August. Voting papers will be delivered between September 16 and 21, and voting closes on October 8.NZME

- Hawkes Bay Today

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