C&R Cluster?

Is it a split or just jockeying

 

I had heard Communities and Residents (C&R)(the Auckland Local Government Centre Right main ticket) were not very well but seeing Orsman’s piece this morning AND hearing what Councillor George Wood pulled (good on him) has me wondering.

How bad are things for the Centre Right in the coming Local Government elections with the formal campaign period (12 weeks before October 12) effectively under way.

From the NZ Herald and our favourite reporter Bernard Orsman

C&R splits as members eye election spots

Deputy leader quits centre-right ticket, leader in quarrel over ward running mate

 

George Wood has set up a new ticket on the North shore to contest October's local body elections.  Photo / Natalie Slade

 Photo / Natalie Slade / NZ Herald
George Wood has set up a new ticket on the North shore to contest October’s local body elections. Photo / Natalie Slade

The deputy leader of Communities and Residents, George Wood, has abandoned the centre-right ticket and set up a new ticket on the North Shore to contest October’s local body elections.

 

And in the Albert-Eden-Roskill ward C&R leader and councillor Christine Fletcher has indicated she does not want C&R’s Mark Thomas as her running mate for two seats on council.

 

Mr Wood told the Herald he was still a C&R member but running for the two North Shore seats with Devonport-Takapuna Local Board member Joseph Bergin under the banner Fair Deal, For Shore.

 

Mr Wood, a 66-year-old former North Shore Mayor, said he and Mr Bergin, 21, who is not a member of C&R, wanted to focus on the high rates burden for North Shore residents.

 

In Albert-Eden-Roskill, a plan by Orakei Local Board member Mr Thomas to stand with Mrs Fletcher has not gone down well.

 

Before leaving for the United States last Friday, Mrs Fletcher said on Facebook that she hoped an Albert-Eden-Roskill team member would be her running mate, “hopefully an enthusiastic Nigel Turnbull campaigning beside me

You can read more over at the Herald

 

The last thing the Centre Right need with a very galvanised Mayor (after the massive transport announcement), the Centre Left incumbents at the moment pretty safe in their seats (this includes Penny Hulse and Richard Northey who will face stiff opposition from Centre Right candidates) and Len Brown on a odds of taking the Mayorship at around 85% currently.

Do I personally think there is going to be any massive change in the Governing Body make up post October 12 this year? Apart from maybe a couple of changes owing to retirements (and I stand corrected Councillor Fletcher is NOT retiring) the make up won’t change much. This means status quo from the last three years continuing for the next three years.

Is this a good thing? On the finances side no it is not. But, both sides can have equal blame laid at their feet for a less than desirable Long Term Plan followed by tacking on projects like money for a church and the White Water Rafting project.

With the Unitary Plan and Transport issues at hand, stability in the Mayoral and Governing Body make up would be a good thing as these two mega projects grind their way through the political processes.

With concessions being gained in the Unitary Plan for all moderate sides of the debate (if Councillor Northey, Auckland 2040 and myself (and there will be countless others) can pull off Unitary Plan concessions in benefit for the city while showing 😀 faces then something must be going right), the last thing the city needs is destabilisation of the Unitary Plan process. Something that candidate Ms Krum who is contesting Northey’s seat could very well do after her Shilling exercise at her launch. Heck even ATB picked up on it and was not flattering towards her at that point in time.

As the Deputy Mayor said last week, we don’t need re-litigation of the Unitary Plan which Councillor Brewer effectively did last week. That did seriously annoy a lot people and even had three media outlets effectively bagging him for it. Based on Ms Krum’s first campaign release (first impressions count and that one was the worst I have seen thus far in the campaign) all we would see is an increase in re-litigation on the Unitary Plan over the next three years that gets the city NO WHERE!

Also any increased destabilisation in the Unitary Plan while concessions are being gained (and powerful economists are in general support of the Unitary Plan ( Get real with city plan ) could be lost. That would annoy the wider city to no great amount due to petty politicking! Oh this is a challenge to Ms Krum to lay out her comprehensive alternative to the Unitary Plan rather quickly. A guest post can be set aside for her if need be. 

 

As the Mayor formally launches his campaign for re-election in Sunday the race will be on for the chains and the council ward seats. Effectively here come the theatrics folks – groan!