Kim Fulton is a NZME. News Service regional reporter

Google-eyed at celebs over elections

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Mayor Len Brown shows off his microphone skills during a Unitary Plan meeting at the Auckland Town Hall. PHOTO/DEAN PURCELL
Mayor Len Brown shows off his microphone skills during a Unitary Plan meeting at the Auckland Town Hall. PHOTO/DEAN PURCELL

Aucklanders are more interested in Kim Kardashian than local body politics, if their 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.

Auckland 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 22 to 100 in one week.

However, election interest fell short of the relative interest in reality music competition X Factor NZ three months earlier.

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.

The America's Cup attracted more relative interest than elections the month before voting closed, when Emirates Team New Zealand narrowly lost the competition to Oracle Team USA.

Mayor Len Brown was the most searched for Auckland mayoral candidate in 2013.
However, Google searches for Mr Brown peaked after the elections, following revelations about his affair with Bevan Chuang.

In the lead up to the elections Aucklanders were more likely to be searching for New Zealand singer songwriter Lorde. Her single Royals topped the charts in 2013.

Auckland searches for American socialite Kim Kardashian also trumped searches for mayoral candidates in the months leading up to the election.

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.

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