Prominent broadcaster Marcus Lush wants to be Invercargill mayor

New Invercargill City councillor Marcus Lush at his home in Bluff. (File photo)

Robyn Edie/Stuff

New Invercargill City councillor Marcus Lush at his home in Bluff. (File photo)

Prominent broadcaster Marcus Lush will contest the Invercargill mayoralty.

Speculation has been rife in recent weeks that Lush would run for the mayoral position, although right up until Friday his public position was that he was undecided.

It’s understood he will join eight other candidates who have announced they are standing in the October 8 election, which includes incumbent Sir Tim Shadbolt.

Lush is currently in Auckland on a family matter and is expected to make an appearance on Seven Sharp on Wednesday night where he will confirm his intention to run for mayor, before his 8pm to 12pm talkback slot with Newstalk ZB.

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Marcus Lush and Sir Tim Shadbolt after Lush was sworn in as a councillor at the Invercargill City Council in 2021.

Robyn Edie

Marcus Lush and Sir Tim Shadbolt after Lush was sworn in as a councillor at the Invercargill City Council in 2021.

At the recent 2022 NZ Radio Awards, Lush, for the sixth consecutive year, was the winner of the ‘Best Talk Presenter–Non-Breakfast or Drive’ category.

Lush stepped into local body politics in 2021 when he won a by-election for a spot on the Invercargill council. He won with 7371 votes with the next closest candidate picking up 1534 votes.

Lush has lived in the south since 2002 where he has made Bluff his home with partner Vanessa and their two sons Denver and Tracker.

He has been critical of the Invercargill City Council in the past for spending too much time focusing on tourism project for Bluff and not enough on helping the community thrive.

The council has developed the Bluff Motuphue Tourism Masterplan for the port town, but Lush, in 2021, felt the focus on tourism was a “back to front” approach for the township.

“The council should focus on making Bluff a vital and exciting community. If that happens the tourism will follow. I just think the feeling is we have got the horse before the cart,” he said at the time.

Laterly he has also been outspoken in on the council’s multi-million dollar investment in an inner-city block development in Invercargill.

At a meeting in February, Lush believed his fellow councillors were looking at the block development through rose-tinted glasses.

He was not part of the council when it first agreed on the initial $25m investment into the development.

“I just think we’ve all got rose-tinted glasses on as to how well it is going to turn out,” he said at the time.

The list of mayoral candidates has expanded and shrunk this week in a rapidly moving feast as nominations officially close at midday on August 12.

At one stage there were nine candidates who had publicly said they were standing and that list included: Noel Peterson, Nobby Clark, Ria Bond, Tom Morton, Darren Ludlow, Toni Biddle, Rebecca Amundsen, Ian Pottinger and incumbent Sir Tim Shadbolt.

Then Amundsen and Pottinger both withdrew as mayoral candidates and instead are running for councillor positions.

On Thursday, Lush and Stevey Chernishov pushed the number back to nine again for voters to select from when they cast their votes in October.

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