Auckland Council Elections Begin to Spark

Incumbents and Candidates Square Off


[Note from Admin] stand by for an update in regards to the poll results. Awaiting word on whether they will be released or not.

With October the month we cast our ballot papers on the 2013 Local Elections where get to vote in (and out) mayors, councillors, Local Board members and District Health Board members.

In Auckland this will be our second election as a Super City and already we have people squaring off for Ward Council seats as well as for the mayoral chains. As I mentioned yesterday in the run up post: “Does the Right Wing offer any serious alternatives or is it photo opportunities with the Prime Minister and which ever Minister trundled along, and angry press releases dumped into Scoop that sounds like a pile of Shrilling.”

Lets take a look shall we in brief at a mayoral candidate and two would-bes vying for your councillor vote.

For at the snippet piece on centre-right mayoral candidate John Palino from the Herald on Sunday.

From the HoS

Helpful Key on side – Palino

5:30 AM Sunday Jun 23, 2013
Auckland mayoral candidate John Palino with Prime Minister John Key at a breakfast held by MP Simon O'Connor.

Auckland mayoral candidate John Palino with Prime Minister John Key at a breakfast held by MP Simon O’Connor.

Super City mayoral candidate John Palino says he has the backing of Prime Minister John Key.

He has been photographed with Key at least three times this month, including twice this week. The centre-right candidate told the Herald on Sunday he believed the Nats had made “subconsciously, a tick for John Palino”.

“They don’t come out and say, ‘We support people’ … It’s how they help you out.” A Key spokeswoman said the party had not officially endorsed a candidate. “The decision on the mayoralty is one for the people of Auckland.”

Palino said he had also met people from the Labour Party, including Mangere MP Su’a William Sio, and was waiting to hear back from party leader David Shearer.

The article is also on page 12 of the hard copy if one wishes to look there.

Okay the poll numbers were not released and seems people are staying mum on them, despite the fact they should have been released to jolt the city and the MSM somewhat into paying attention.

If one is also wondering that yes I have met John Palino multiple times since he announced his tilt for mayoralty sussing out what John stands for and what he would bring to the table if he wins the mayoral chains off Len. But, I remind readers and the city that we do live in a liberal democracy and I can choose who I meet with at my leisure with those either vying for my vote or my business as a consultancy. Such as the nature of both free enterprise and democracy that we live in this city.

I am still asking for John to see if he would like to write a 1,200 word guest post for Talking Auckland in giving a summary of what he would bring to the city. The same invitation will also be sent to Len Brown as well.

As for my view on John; nice enough character and likeable in the times we have met thus far. Knowing his policy narratives that he is going to bring to the table for the city I would say that they are good policies that span both the left/right wing spectrum, AND the liberal/conservative spectrum as well.

However, I do serve a warning to our mayoral candidate(s); do not fall into the Unitary Plan and housing situation trap the central government has fallen into (especially around the Housing Accord). Our central government only sees the housing issue in Auckland in a one dimension prism (that is supply, supply, supply). There is more than just whacking some more houses in some out-of-the-way locations (as the Accord would do via the Special Housing Area provisions) to get housing affordability restored. You must see the problem in a three-dimensional prism and understand that the issue is at this point and time a three if not four prong issue. Those prongs being:

  1. Supply right across the city (Brownfield and Greenfield)
  2. Constructions costs
  3. Consenting process
  4. Planning process getting in the road and restricting freedoms
  5. Finance gearing

Okay so I added a fifth one but, two of those prongs can not be influences by council – only central government.

For a mayor to lead his or her Council in getting the housing situation under control, you MUST attack prongs; 1, 3 and 4 simultaneously at the same time. To just attack just prong number one which is all central government knows how to do (to show its lack of truth depth of understanding) is putting you on the fast track for either a comprehensive debunking in the (social) media and subsequent beating in the upcoming election or the next election if you do get in. This message also applies to any right-wing councillor candidate standing as well (to be commented on soon). So consider this a warning as not only are the blogs paying attention but, but the city is as well…

Oh and here is a hint here, the Unitary Plan (having read the document front to back) is an actual enabling document that goes some way in liberalising out our planning restrictions. It goes part of the way to the methodology I submitted on in the Auckland Plan but, not quite there yet (in handing over to the Local Board most planning oversight). For more check my submissions where the Semi-Liberal Plan District is outlined!


As for our right wing candidates who wish to become councillors

I have noticed two potential candidates of the right wishing to stand for Council. One is standing in the Waitakere area (so a challenge to the Deputy Mayor) and the other in retiring Councillor Richard Northey‘s area of Maungakiekie-Tāmaki.

Starting with Waitakere lets take a quick look at Facebook.

Cooper for Council – for the ward seat of Waitakere. Essentially a direct challenge to both Sandra Coney and more to the point our Deputy Mayor – Penny Hulse.

I have not seen policy narratives come from Ms Cooper yet but seriously, what is it with centre right oppositional candidates all vying for photos with the Prime Minister and at times a Minister. It makes the quote from the Prime Minister’s Office (“A Key spokeswoman said the party had not officially endorsed a candidate. “The decision on the mayoralty is one for the people of Auckland.”) somewhat hollow.

It also gives the strong inclination that National (and in part the government) from behind the scenes is trying to seek influence post October 12. Yep Labour and the Greens officially back candidates and at least they tell the city that. But, National never has and always prefers to lurk behind the scenes out of the public eye. To me that is indication the government wanting direct influence on and over the Council post October 12…

It is also something to watch more closely than those of Labour/Green backing. As I said at least you know the sway of those candidates or incumbents and what the central party machine is inclined to do. That allows the voter to make an informed vote on the grounds of ‘if I vote for this Labour backed candidate” I know both the central party machine is implied and will have “influence” over policy direction.’

Where as with National lurking (although these photo ops with the PM seem to be giving things away) in the background, you don’t know up front what the centre-right candidate is really standing for or how much influence is being held over them by the central party apparatus. No informed vote can be truly made if one does not have all the facts front right and centre.

So one will be keeping an eye on the centre-right candidates closely as we approach October 12. Also this lurking crap by National is a key reason of me being naturally suspicious of my own Party – to which I will do a post on later).

As for the Maungakiekie-Tāmaki contest, this came to my attention because of a press release mentioned into Twitter:

  1. 43Louis Mackenzie Mayo ‏@LouisOutlook21 Jun

    Another ignorant NIMBY by the sounds of this, please don’t vote for her. Go Richard Northey! #unitaryplan …

    Ben Ross46Ben Ross ‏@BenRoss_AKL21 Jun
  2. @LouisOutlook I thought Northey was retiring at the end of this term. As for Ms Krum I have seen that name somewhere before

    Louis Mackenzie Mayo43Louis Mackenzie Mayo ‏@LouisOutlook21 Jun
  3. @BenRoss_AKL @louisoutlook Well in that case we will have to see who else will stand.

    Ben Ross46Ben Ross ‏@BenRoss_AKL21 Jun
  4. @LouisOutlook that is where I have seen her name; The national party

As yes I believe I have met Ms Krum at a National Party conference either last year or the year before. Also probably why after reading the press release from Ms Krum I was a little bit surprised at the releases quality – POOR quality.

I have read the press release front and back just to make sure I was reading it correctly. For Ms Krum unfortunately Louis was right and (not shown here) ATB also being correct in that fact Ms Krum showed no alternatives to what is in the UP. So in essence a shrilling exercise from a centre-right candidate who in all honestly should have known much MUCH better.

Dropping shrilling or rather dog whistling press releases as a candidate for the council elections – especially as a centre right candidate with whatever links to National about the Unitary Plan is utterly dumb! Yes DUMB!

The Unitary Plan is a hot topic button issue at the moment and one being kept a very close eye on by myself, Auckland Transport Blog and the MSM (usually after both of the blogs have run a debunking exercise). Any shrilling by the centre right and particular journalists on the UP was heavily debunked very quickly. Just ask Orsman and Auckland 2040 in the levels of debunking from all sorts of media angles and publications. Auckland 2040 and myself are defrosting the relations between each other but, it shows what happens when shrilling and misinformation is pumped out and seized upon.

I especially do not take lightly to shrilling exercises against the Unitary Plan as Auckland is my city and my home and both which I take an extreme amount of pride in. Thus heavy debunking will be run if spotted!


The Conclusion?

Two fold:

First: National stop the lurking behind the scenes make crystal clear your intentions for Council and the City. Labour least have the balls to put it out there front right and centre with their candidates and policy influence for which the voter is aware of an makes their choices! How about manning up and throwing your official weight behind candidates and bring the playing field back into balance. The City DETESTS lurkers (and most likely a reason why C&R got thumped in the last election).

Second: Why I should tell this to the Centre-Right I be damned if I know, But, cut the shrilling and put something decent on the table. At least (although different) Auckland 2040 put up a credible alternative to the Unitary Plan for virtually everyone to consider. We as a city knew where they were playing, what they were against and what they wanted. We might have agreed or disagreed but we knew! Those who shrill and put no actual credible alternative forward do not deserve our attention nor vote (apart from debunking exercises).


You are all being watched (and by the comments starting to come through that point is ringing true)…

7 thoughts on “Auckland Council Elections Begin to Spark

  1. I have seen nothing of substance from John Palino yet. It’s all ‘lets change and make things better’ kind of talk which at the end of the day sounds nice to voters but really means squat. Manukau, while it could do better and I beleive the DUP could make some provision fot it, is already changing. There are already apartments there. Get rid of the parking minimums and that would get some change. There is still time for the LB to consult with Council over such things. As for making transport better, unless hes can wrest control of AT, such things are pretty much controlled by Wellington now anyway. And we know what they want – more roads. Which leads me to think that, even though I recognise he has faults, LB is on a better track to the kind of Auckland that I want to live in.

    “People like their way of life and live where they do by choice or need. Now with the “Len Brown Unitary Plan” it will not be our choice and that is wrong. Some of us have lived in our homes for many years and plan on living our remaining years there. If this plan becomes reality things will change for us. Our rates will be out of control, the traffic will be unbearable and most of us will have to sell and leave Auckland. Do not allow this to happen!”

    Change happens. Get over it. What about those who have been living in near rural land who are now surrounded by lots of homes? They’ve had to adjust to change just like city dwellers.
    The traffic will be unbearable? So John, tell me what you will do with the traffic.

  2. A picture speaks a thousand words !
    So who is this person standing alongside the Right leaning candidate ?
    What is the intention or is it a take over of the Auckland monster they created ?


  3. I have just checked about your comment on Denise Krum’s press release which is based on what the people of Maungakiekie-Tāmaki want and need via their Councillor and I am surprised that you are asking people to vote for a useless Councillor Richard Northey in the Maungakiekie-Tāmaki contest. when he like Len Brown and Penny Hulse want to tell the people what they need and want they are just kidding themselves even if part of what is in the U. Plan is good for Aucknlad its a matter of principal and their process is/was totally flawed!. Richard Northey will loose big time on October 12th 2013, any bets put your money where your mouth is Ben Ross.

    1. Would you care to explain what part of the process so far for the Draft Unitary Plan is flawed? It seems that the Council is following a very thorough process, with feedback being taken on the first draft before the opportunities for formal submissions on the final draft later this year.

  4. You say Denise Krum’s press release was poor Quality? dont know got to read it?. Ben Ross but then how many very poor quality and hopeless, existing Auckland Councillors do we have at least around 10 CL and one CR leaning Councillors. Denise Krum knowing a bit about her would be better than any of these Eleven existing Councillors. Do ya want to bet!

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