Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Competing for Auckland

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  • Keir Leslie,

    Track record doing what?

    You know, I think that unless you chaired a national organisation protesting apartheid, it's probably best not to quibble with Minto's activist credentials. Sure, I disagree with him about a huge amount. But you have to respect the guy.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1452 posts Report Reply

  • Alec Morgan,

    West Virginia Morgantown USA. Coincidence I guess with all the ‘Morgans’ on this PA thread. Thing is if even PM Key reckons Wellington is dying when major state hiway works to the tune of 4 $Bill are planned in those there parts where the hell are we heading. Running a country or running one down?

    Tokerau Beach • Since Nov 2006 • 123 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    I never thought Auckland would be nuts enough to vote in John Banks. So I give up on guessing what's going to happen in the supercity race, for which we have sample data of 1 point at the moment. Minto would be a big improvement on John Banks, who Auckland elected twice. Politics is so weird I wouldn't be surprised if Kim Dotcom is one day elected mayor. The Mad Butcher could probably pull it off with only a month's notice.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10653 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to BenWilson,

    I never thought Auckland would be nuts enough to vote in John Banks.

    Was it the same local body election where the Left vote in Eden-Albert ended up getting cannibalised? Maybe it's not so much voters that are nuts, but rather the voting system that's nuts. Wellington moved to an STV system, and Auckland could do worse than to follow suit.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5430 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to BenWilson,

    I never thought Auckland would be nuts enough to vote in John Banks

    Well, Ben, I can't say either Banks or Brown gave me the political tingles three years ago, but at least the turnout was (marginally) above 50%. You don't have to like the outcome of any election, but it would be really sweet not to belittle anyone who at least got off their arse long enough to post back their ballot.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    Was it the same local body election where the Left vote in Eden-Albert ended up getting cannibalised?

    I couldn't fathom it either of the times it happened.

    You don't have to like the outcome of any election, but it would be really sweet not to belittle anyone who at least got off their arse long enough to post back their ballot.

    Voting badly is worse than not voting at all, in my honest opinion. Of course everyone has the right to do it. But that's not the same as it being the right thing to do.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10653 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    Was it the same local body election where the Left vote in Eden-Albert ended up getting cannibalised?

    Can't remember -- but that was a debacle of The Left. Thanks for linking to my review of the Birch Report. I do enjoy re-reading the old radio stuff. It was lively prose.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22834 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    Brown should go down. A bogus “centre left” captured administrator.

    I find statements like this incredible. claiming Brown is simply the “the less bad” candidate tells me the Mana party is either to mean spirited or simply to unfamiliar with the intricacies and mechanics of good government to appreciate the true scale of what Brown has managed to achieve in just three years.

    Len Brown was given a hospital pass under his own goalposts by a chortling Rodney Hide who was confident that the dog’s breakfast of his botched super city plan meant even the fly in the ointment of having the wrong guy win wouldn’t materially affect the grand plan to hock the whole lot off to a queue of entitled and greedy rich mates in the Auckland establishment. But under Len Brown’s leadership the council has managed to keep the CCO's in public ownership and largely in line, and keep the city’s administration working whilst beginning the merging of disparate IT systems, work forces and work cultures. At the same time, the council has produced a historic unitary plan based on actual democratic inputs and has kept the flag flying for PT and the CRL. And of course there was that little thing of the largely trouble free rugby world cup as well. These are very significant achievements, especially when you consider the whole time he has been mayor he has had to deal with an unrelentingly petty and spiteful central government and a petulant and boorishly wrong-headed CitRats opposition aided and abetted at every opportunity by the Herald’s resident business Quislings like O’Sullivan and Roughan. In short, Brown has achieved what Hide thought would be impossible without fatal political consequences and in doing so he has confounded the political right whose frustration at their inability to land a significant blow is symbolised by the Herald’s recent resorting to desperate panty sniffing stories to try and whip up anti-Brown sentiment.

    I am also furious at Len Brown for not decisively backing the PoAL workers. But I also realistic enough to recognise the constrained political environment he is operating in. The National government is incredibly arrogant and authoritarian and wouldn’t hesitate to pounce if given the chance. The new super city is hardly the political machine required to provide a base to directly oppose central government on anything. Personally, I won’t judge Brown until gets a chance to be mayor with a Labour/Green government in office. Until then, I think his political management has been almost (PoAL excepted) faultless and his general administration better than anything coming from the Beehive. Not a bad record for just three years.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2217 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    <threadjack>
    The opiate of the masses?
    Russell will Media 3 be asking Sky why they are using junkie slang to promote a nostalgia channel?
    Jones! derives from slang for Heroin, and for general unhealthy obsessions... - perhaps they are just being surprisingly truthful for once?

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7944 posts Report Reply

  • Mike O'Connell, in reply to BenWilson,

    Politics is so weird I wouldn’t be surprised if Kim Dotcom is one day elected mayor

    Of course Arnie the Governator took over California for two terms. So it's not beyond the realm of possibility of another Teutonic leader in an Anglo land. Kim Dotcom's pretty smart and he knows how to play the politicians at their own game. He's also a bit smarter than Arnie. I don't believe has declared any intent politically and it's far too early for 2013 anyway with the extradition, etc business to sort out.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 385 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    I don’t believe has declared any intent politically

    New Zealanders have traditionally had a strong anti-establishment mentality and I suspect a Dotcom party party opposed to the massive extensions to the surveillance state proposed by our friendly fascist prime minister could do quite well with the youth/geek/libertarian crowd, especially looking at how such “pirate” parties have become repositories for anti-establishment youth votes overseas. Also, if Kim Dotcom managed to get elected I suspect he would prove to be a natural politician and politically the idea of extraditing a serving member of parliament to the United States for anything short of murder is explosive. The public wouldn’t stand for it. So if I were he, I would consider getting electedas another way to twist the knife into the Key administration and a great way to help avoid extradition.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2217 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    He can't run for council or government as he isn't a citizen.

    I guess he could set up a party and invite NZ citizens to join the list.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    mayor with a Labour/Green government in office

    I really look forward to that. Cullen held up rail network investment last time Labour were in govt, for instance, but I don't see that happening with the Greens to keep them honest about priorities. Imagine what can be delivered with a constructive partnership between central and local government.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19719 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Sacha,

    Cullen held up rail network investment last time Labour were in govt, for instance

    But once he got the religion, he got it fully. Everything that's happening to the Auckland rail network currently is courtesy of Cullen (with grudging thanks to the Minister for Everything and the Minister for Pies for having not cancelled any of it).

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    For sure. And we have Bob Harvey and others to thank for persevering with Cullen.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19719 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    He can't run for council or government as he isn't a citizen.

    Can't run for Mayor, can't be spied on by our (formerly) foreign intelligence agencies... the poor man is in purgatory

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1727 posts Report Reply

  • Morgan Nichol, in reply to Keir Leslie,

    I don't know what prepares anyone for the mayoralty, but I'm not convinced being an activist does it. It's a very negative role, being a professional protester. It seems to me that it's about tearing things down, not building them up (of course they tend to be things that deserve to be torn down).

    I guess I just don't find Minto to be particularly inspiring, regardless of how laudable HART may have been.

    But it's not like Auckland has a great history with selecting mayors, so maybe we could try a new approach.

    Given my historical lack of success in voting for Auckland mayors (I didn't vote for Les Mills, Christine Fletcher, John Banks, Dick Hubbard, or Len Brown) it's probable that me voting for someone other than Minto will fractionally increase his chances.

    Actually I think I may have voted for Hubbard. Just not the time he won.

    Auckland CBD • Since Nov 2006 • 314 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    Meanwhile, in the wake of the 'dying city' remarks, the hoary old AKL vs WLG thing has ramped up a notch, and a bit of a nasty one at that. The Dom is using the furore as an excuse to endorse a super city format for WLG at all costs - and to grind an axe with Mayor Celia.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5430 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Morgan Nichol,

    maybe we could try a new approach

    Like electing councillors using a fair voting system and then having them choose a leader from amongst their number, as in the way we choose governments?

    The current system of directly electing mayors is mostly just a contest to see who's the biggest and loudest dickhead.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    The current system of directly electing mayors is mostly just a contest to see who's the biggest and loudest dickhead.

    We do get to vote for a bunch of other things at the same time. I think I'd also prefer to directly vote for the mayor than to have them chosen by a party. It would be excellent if the choice was a run-off thing, though, so that vote splitting just never comes into it.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10653 posts Report Reply

  • FletcherB,

    Heh... I just got phone surveyed by Curia... on Auckland mayoralty candidates, rail improvements, funding, etc...

    Would I vote for John Palino, Maurice Williams, Len Brown or John Minto, etc.

    I gave my best pro rail, pro housing intensification, anti C&R answers... :)

    West Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 893 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to FletcherB,

    ooh, do write some of the questions here while they're fresh in your mind.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19719 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to FletcherB,

    I'd tell them that David Farrar would make an excellent mayor and would find the role a great opportunity to meet girls.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • FletcherB,

    Asked me how I rated on a 1-5 scale John Key, David Shearer, Len Brown, Maurice Williamson...

    Did I think NZ was headed in right or wrong direction.

    Asked who I'd vote for today if a national election was held, and who I voted for last time.

    Asked if I thought housing affordability was a major, moderate or non-issue.

    Asked if housing affordability was due to land shortage, high compliancing/legal costs, or property developers profiteering...

    Asked if Auck Council or NZ Govt were able to improve housing affordability. (I said 50/50).

    Asked about expanding metropolitan limit, and increasing housing density in local centres.

    Asked whether I thought CRL was very important, somewhat important, nice to have but not at expense of roading projects, or not needed at all.

    Asked whether Puhoi-Welsford motorway extension was very important, somewhat important, nice to have but not at expense of rail projects or not needed at all

    Asked about how transport improvements (of whatever type) should be funded, vis local fuel tax, local rates, national fuel tax or central govt taxes.

    Asked how above funds, once raised should be split rail vs roads. (I went for 70% rail-30% roads- I haven't read about whats required so I pulled that from my ass :)

    Asked if knowing a council candidate was on a Citizens & Ratepayers (or whatever they've changed C&R to stand for now?) ticket would make me more or less likely to vote for them. No other council tickets were mentioned or asked about.

    There may have been a few more questions on the same subjects, but it was pretty narrowly focused on getting an aucklander's view on the major auckland issues, and how to pay for them, and does Maurice Williamson have a show... :)

    West Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 893 posts Report Reply

  • FletcherB,

    Oh yeah... and it seemed like the questions were designed properly to find your opinion, not to direct it... which I've heard can be the case with some "polls" which are really advertising...

    West Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 893 posts Report Reply

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