This morning I gave a guest lecture to Post-Grad journalism students at AUT on election coverage of the recent Local Elections as well as relationships between the Council and Central Government.
That Spin-Off article I have up there was this one: Post-truth politics comes to Auckland: A candidate campaign manager on why he lost
While I will post bullet-point notes on what I covered, specifically I am going to point this bit out here from The Spin-Off piece:
The lessons to be learned here are twofold. Firstly, Auckland Council do not communicate their achievements in an effective manner and their relationship with community media is poor to non-existent. Secondly, the strong anti-Council sentiment has been fuelled by the inability of leadership to rally the troops and get strong public buy-in on the city’s many projects. This may change with a new mayor who has campaigned on changing the culture of Council, but the election also illustrated bigger challenges that all politicians now face.
That specific comment did raise heckles with some in Council but when I mentioned it to the Post-Grad’s today they gave a more sympathetic ear to Hamish who wrote that Spin-off piece I’ve quoted.
It basically came down to this (need to read from bottom to top):
The Committee Chairs and the Deputy Mayor need to operate with decent independent support and allowed semi-autonomy in decision-making. This would as Ryan said allow them to champion messages and policies while being nimble enough on the communications front as well.
Will see where Goff goes after the swearing-in on November 1
Council and Committees needing to be nimble with the message and less paranoid about the message. Bernard (who got name dropped a few times today) will spin it his own way that is going to be a certainty. But and especially the blogs are quite nimble enough to counter off Bernard (if need be) and run with the stories (subject to one’s own bias as I demonstrated today in terms of why I prefer Hulse over Simpson as Deputy Mayor).
Lot’s to take home but a very joyful morning.
My thanks to Richard and the students for having me today.
Local Body reporting
- Initial two horse race between Goff and Crone
- Enter Chloe
- Chloe ignored by Herald and RNZ
- Chloe and Social Media protest
- Chloe expose in the Herald and increased coverage – recognised as one of the six
- Reporting narrowed to rates, housing, transport and reputation score
- Auckland Plan and Unitary Plan missed out entirely including two big planks:
- City Centre
- Southern Initiative
- RNZ and Spinoff were reactive to social media happenings and did try to promote dialogue through things like Spinoff endorsements and the Warcast
- Nothing or very little on Local Boards outside of Community papers and even that was sparse
Relationship between Central Government and Council
- Was in a good state as Len Brown left
- Unitary Plan
- Tad frosty with Goff after Goff was at receiving end of Congestion Charging and Vancouver Tax (Key) while it was unpredictability earning a rebuke from English
- Still need to know who Deputy Mayor is
- Govt has moved on housing and immigration which Goff campaigned on
- Governing Body 13-8 progressive-conservative – although Fletcher could swing it 14-7
- Depends on Committee make up and who chairs
- AT and Panuku to get new CEOs