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Brown picks up momentum

Written By: - Date published: 4:20 pm, December 15th, 2009 - 29 comments
Categories: auckland supercity, john banks, len brown, privatisation - Tags: , , ,

It’s interesting to look at the trend behind the headline 11 point poll lead Len Brown has opened up over John Banks as reported in today’s Herald. In April Brown was only rated as preferred mayor by 6% of Aucklanders verse 17% for Banks. A head-to-head poll in late July put him one point ahead of Banks and now he’s opened up a significant lead and surely has the momentum at the beginning of election year.

What is emerging is that Banks’ superb name recognition is not the positive his campaign hoped for. He is clearly a polarising figure, and voters seem to have pretty fixed views on him which will be hard to shift. His support base is firm, but so too is his opposition, and the latter is larger.

One suspects Banks’ polling is showing a similar story. He’s tried to soften his language in the past two months. He’s ceased to focus purely on rates. He’s even been talking about the importance of community services. The danger he faces is that in so doing he’s playing on Brown’s ‘home ground’, on issues where he lacks credibility.

Len Brown, by contrast, has much lower recognition, but is picking up support as he becomes better known. He’ll need to work to turn that 11 point poll lead into voter turnout. Given the increased interest in this election, the importance of the first council to Auckland’s future and the contrast between the candidates, voter turnout will jump next year (as it did after the 1989 local body amalgamations). He’ll also need to develop a comprehensive plan for Auckland, continue building his profile, build a strong campaign machine and keep up the momentum.

Rodney Hide might have handed the campaigns a defining issue – privatisation by including provisions in the third Auckland governance bill which reduce the threshold for selling off council owned assets, like the port. Banks is trying to disavow any intention to privatise any assets, but his past record is the opposite. Brown should run hard on this issue.

29 comments on “Brown picks up momentum”

  1. BLiP 1

    How long before its: Enter – Stage Right: Jenny Shitley ?

  2. As a tourist in New Zealand in 1988, only one week in the Country, I was waiting for a flight in Wellington airport when a smallish, greasy, rather Napoleonic figure expounding to a small entourage passed me on the way to the Koru lounge, or whatever the equivalent then was.

    My response to him was an instant, visceral dislike and distrust. I’m a pretty easy-going sort and anyway was on holiday with an hour at an airport to fill and the man wasn’t in any way rude and hadn’t pushed past me, and my reaction surprised me as I’d always considered that such immediate and instinctive responses to people were feminine and therefore untrustworthy, but I remember stepping back as he passed me with the kind of grimace on my face you reserve for when you’ve stepped in something brown and squishy of the pavement, and being surprised by the power of the feeling.

    Returning to New Zealand two years later to settle I saw the man again quite often, on TV and in the newspapers. It was, of course, John Banks.

  3. tc 3

    If john banks is the answer…..the question’s either too simple or ‘who doesn’t need the money but requires the position to feed his tiny egotistical mind’

    I don’t think any of it matters, Wodney Wodger and company will have it setup so it’s a lame duck position and if it is Len he’ll be gutted at what he inhereits.

  4. If a dead possum was up against John Banks i would vote for it to be Major in preference to him any day.

  5. Jared 5

    Yet another anti banks, pro brown post. Own up Sam Cash as to who you are. I don’t give a rats arse about the sites anonymity policy, it is clear you aren’t just a “concerned voter”, you are part of Browns election team.

    [lprent: Don’t be daft.

    How is this different from me working for my favorite political party?
    Or Irish with his fascination for the Workers Party (strange but true).
    Or rocky doing stuff for animal rights groups like SAFE.
    Or Steve and Tane last year doing stuff for the Greens.
    etc…
    We’re all involved somewhere.

    On the basis you’re looking at setting as the ‘criteria’, you should also ask DPF and Whale to stop posting pro-national/act posts.

    This is a place to post opinions from activists of the left – go and read the about. I’m interested in the posts on the local body campaign that started months ago. I’ll probably start working for the Auckland local campaigns in one capacity or another sooner rather than later.

    We don’t have politicians writing here and that is pretty much the limit. Read the opinions, disagree, agree or comment on those. If you don’t like it, go find another blog site and write your anti-Len Brown – pro the dipshit Banks posts there.

    However stop whining pronto because it is beginning to annoy me. It violates the site policy. And I’m inclined to exercise a long ban so I don’t have to waste time responding another time – it wastes my time. ]

    • Jared 5.1

      We know who DPF and Whaleoil are, they make it no secret that they support National. I enjoy reading the standard, but a member of browns election team hiding behind a pseudonym to slag off banks is low, very low. Imagine if the Herald started running opinion pieces under a pseudonym criticising Brown or Banks. It wouldn’t stand. Yet its ok on the standard for a member of Browns election team to post anonymously against Banks? I don’t care about the content, I care about the fact that there is no accountability for Sam Cash, he can write pretty much anything against Banks while working for Brown and get away with it. How is that transparent? You say you dont have politicians writing here, but someone working for an election team is ok?
      All I want is for Sam Cash to admit who he is and who he works for. Is that so much to ask?

      [lprent: ‘Sam Cash’ is a left-activist who has been posting here since 2007. He may or may not currently being a paid activist – I don’t care. He says he is writing in a private capacity and writing his own opinions.

      DPF is a right activist who has been posting on usenet and the blogs since about 1994 that I know of, including periods when he was working for politicians and political parties. However his usenet posts and his blog are done in his private capacity – that is what he has stated and I generally accept that. It doesn’t stop me stirring on the subject occasionally though when he sounds too much like a shill for National. But I really don’t care because his posts do seem to reflect his own opinions.

      Whale has been posting for a while, and clearly writes his own opinions. However in my opinion he seems to get a hell of a lot of help from somewhere with a *lot* of research capability. I’d love to know who that is – because it feels very political and well-funded. But I’d get the same answer that you will get here.

      The rule here is that we will disclose if a politician is posting. We ask posters if they are posting in their private capacity on things that they’re interested in – thats it.

      You know this (been looking at your comment history – you have credibility). Live with it because my patience is running out. ]

      • Gooner 5.1.1

        I’ll back lprent up on this.

        This is a left blog and Brown is a left candidate. It doesn’t really matter whether Sam Cash stuffs things in letterboxes to help Brown or not. The bias is apparent; disclosure is not necessary.

        You come here and you know what you’re gonna get – same for Red Alert and at our place.

        • lprent 5.1.1.1

          My god, we’re in agreement.

          It is the nature of blogs. We don’t get paid for it (at least not yet), our opinions are opinionated, and we don’t have significant advertising dollars (in fact this site has none) to run away when they see what we write. Therefore we aren’t a newspaper or broadcast media and don’t follow the same ruleset. I write most of my posts in less than half an hour including research. Typically it gets done before or after heading to the job that pays me – but not for blogging. We do this because we feel like it.

          Also, you never quite know how things change for activists. I think that rocky just got brought onto the community board because a C&R person dropped off. She was the next highest candidate in 2007. The last time that issue came up, she was living in Christchurch. By Jareds reckoning I should be dumping her if she writes about local bodies? But I’d like to hear what her thoughts are – I’m sure others will as well.

          I’m pretty sure that some of our writers are unionists. I’ve never been in union although I’ve been on the other side a lot. Should I stop them writing about what they’re interested in?

          The whole idea is bollocks. As Gooner says. You go to a site because of the slant that they write on. If you know the bias then you can use that to assess the information and opinion. Thats how I read The Economist or No Minister. The ones that are a pain are the media outlets that allege they are ‘balanced’ and therefore probably run with hidden or implicit biases.

      • BLiP 5.1.2

        Imagine if the Herald started running opinion pieces under a pseudonym criticising . . .

        It does. Every day. Its called The Editorial. It doesn’t even have a psuedonym, its anonymous.

      • mickysavage 5.1.3

        Shock Horror

        Standard poster is left wing activist and may be involved in a campaign to elect a good progressive to the second most important position in the country.

        Care to criticise any aspect of the post? It all looks pretty right to me.

        • Jared 5.1.3.1

          I wasn’t criticising his post mickysavage. I was however criticising the fact that he doesn’t make his conflict of interests known. As I said before, I don’t care about the content of the post, part of reading a blatantly biased leftwing blog is to garner a different perspective. Opinion is just that, opinion, its neither right nor wrong, it just depends on who is reading it, and that is fine, I don’t have a problem with Sam Cash who ever he might be, expressing his opinion, however strong and consistent it might be. My whole point was that if you are clearly working for a political campaign, not just delivering pamphlets, but actively involved in a campaign and you write an extended series of opinion pieces against the opposition, you should declare your conflict of interests. That is all I will say though, its clear this isn’t an issue lprent is going to change his mind on over night and I don’t particularly want to be banned.

          [lprent: Thank you.

          I’d point out that it would be really easy to claim exactly the same thing about me. I’ve worked on Labour campaigns since 1993 in a similar level to what you’re claiming across multiple electorates. I concentrate on doing numbers. But that frequently involves suggesting and often implementing strategies. Your line is blurry because you could easily extend it to any activist who is competent or involved, because it is feasible to claim that they have conflicts of interest. It would probably include almost every articulate activist who writes for a blog. Extending the same argument to leaving comments could be pushed in the same way (and has been).

          It would simply stifle debate. ]

  6. Jenny 6

    The key of course, to a Len Brown victory is as you pointed out Sam, being able to turn this 11 point lead into voter turnout.

    Rightly the campaign will be waged over public service, and rates increases

    The support of the unions and their membership could be won with serious pledges, not to privatise Ports or Council services and assets.

    Accompanied with pledges not to raise rates for home owners. (if more income is needed, business which has had years of rates cuts should be made to pay a fairer share.)

    Also the the imagination and enthusiasm poorer people of South Auckland who are Brown’s natural support base, could be be achieved by pledging to protect and expand council services that have proved popular.

    In particular a policy that has been raised by Councillor John Walker’s heart, the continuation of the provision of free swimming pools, a policy that leaves the Banks team spitting, but has really captured the hearts of South Aucklanders.

    Teaming a statement pledging the continuation of Auckland wide free libraries, (which is also under threat from the Banks team), with the expansion of the free swimming pool policy, region wide, could I feel capture the electorates imagination.

    And could bring some much needed fire into the campaign, as well as being a clear and easily understood point of difference between the two teams.

  7. Gooner 7

    Ten months to go. The athletes are still in training. I’ve seen many an athlete who looks a million bucks in training….then they hit the start line and it turns to custard.

    As I said, ten months to go. A long, long, long time in politics.

  8. We are looking at you dudes up North, because,
    down here in Christchurch we have a likely dissolution of our Regional Council soon,
    and further melt down of separate councils.
    .
    The only name in town is Bob Parker, but he is near fascist in his visions and
    hegemony rule.

  9. frog 9

    Yeah, Sam. Hide’s third Auckland restructuring reveals the true agenda.

    As I posted here:

    * The Minister of Local Government, rather than democratically elected local politicians, will decide what Council Controlled Organisations to establish and appoint their initial directors.

    * The new Council Controlled Organisation “Auckland Transport’ will have between 6 and 8 voting directors, but only 2 of them can be elected members of the Auckland Council. This transfers effective control of transport-related powers and functions from elected councillors to unelected Ministerial appointees.

    * Elected councillors will be prohibited from being directors of all other Council Controlled Organisations, again transferring effective control of vast areas of Auckland’s governance from elected councillors to unelected Ministerial appointees.

    * Watercare Services Limited’s water pricing will not be subject to Auckland Council policy or direction from mid-2015, and the Auckland Council will be permitted to privatise it from that date.

    * The Auckland Council will be permitted to sell strategic assets from mid-2012, meaning that privatisation plans can be completed before voters get a chance to have a say on them at the 2013 local elections.

    * A tokenistic and toothless board will be appointed to advise on issues of significance for mana whenua and Maori within Auckland. The Auckland Council will have no obligation to follow its advice.

    The campaign will be waged over democracy and privatisation.

  10. Tim Ellis 10

    It isn’t very surprising that Mr Brown would be ahead in any poll, let alone a Labour Party poll leaked to the media presumably only because it looks good for Mr Brown, and that the regular commentator on the supercity and John Banks smear merchant, Sam Cash, would post on it.

    Mr Brown has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars promoting himself all over the city for months. It is no wonder he wants tight spending limits in the last few months of the campaign, to choke off any competitors in the race.

    • r0b 10.1

      let alone a Labour Party poll leaked to the media

      Up to your old lying tricks again Tim? Disappointing.

    • The Voice of Reason 10.2

      Any proof that Brown has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars, Tim? And shouldn’t you be busy auditing Banks?

      • Tim Ellis 10.2.1

        Mr Brown’s billboards have been all over the city TVOR. Hundreds of thousands of dollars comfortably.

        • The Voice of Reason 10.2.1.1

          C’mon Tim, break it down for me. How many billboards, what locations, how long have they been in place? I know they’re expensive, but hundreds of thousands of dollars? I think not.

          Banks’ problem, other than your support, is that Auckland is bored with him. Time for a change, aye?

        • Pascal's bookie 10.2.1.2

          So nah then.

          See banks’ two page ad in Metro? He reckons the sydney opera house was best practice for waterfront development. Or something. The ad’s a bit conceptually confused, which figures.

      • felix 10.2.2

        And shouldn’t you be busy auditing Banks?

        LOLZ!

  11. Fank yew very much, yer bin a great audience. I’m here all week, tell yer friends and do try the shrimp!

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