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Last chance to vote …

Written By: - Date published: 9:03 am, October 9th, 2013 - 8 comments
Categories: elections, local body elections, local government, uncategorized - Tags:

Vote2Sorry for the repeated reminders but this is important.

Today is realistically the last day for people to record their vote in the 2013 local body elections.  If they are keen they can deliver their votes to various local collection points which in Auckland includes libraries during the next couple of days but they should send them in today to be safe.

There is much at stake.  For instance in Auckland the left right balance on Council is close and the loss of a few council battles could spell the difference between retaining our assets and having a living wage and a compact city and a first world transport system or watching our assets being sold, having a Council that refuses to do anything for our poorest paid, and watching Auckland sprawl and seeing everyone sit in their cars and wonder about what happened to their quality of life.

The Mayoral race in Auckland appears to be a foregone conclusion and this is probably the primary reason for the reduced turnout.  Despite the Herald’s attempt to talk up the race and to create the mowing of strips of grass as a significant issue this time round the Len v Banks type battle is not present and public enthusiasm is lower.

But the Mayor only has one vote and the Council contests are important.  There are a few that will be fascinating, out west progressive Christine Rose is against Linda Cooper who is somehow both not aligned and number 73 on National’s list.  In Whau Ross Clow has a good chance of unseating former C&R candidate Noleen Raffles.  In Maungakiekie Richard Northey is up against a well resourced campaign by C&R’s Denise Krum.  In Albert-Eden-Roskill the wonderful Cathy Casey will hopefully hold off Nigel Turnbull.  In Manukau Ava Faamoe would make a wonderful replacement for former National MP Arthur Anae.  There are a number of fascinating and important battles for positions.

Throughout the rest of the country the issues will be similar.  In each community there will be a battle between those who want to cut public funding to the core and those who want to spread the love around, in the realisation that a little rates expenditure can achieve a great deal of public good.

I have seen this time and time again.  With a little bit of investment in community great things can be achieved.  Local Government is capable of achieving a great deal of good with a minimal budget in a way that Central Government or the market are unable to.

I recall reading a transformative post by Chris Trotter many years ago when he said that Community was the new left.  Instead of the battle being between workers and employers he said that the new battle would be between those of us who believed a community orientated collective approach that believes in the preservation of our environment will be the alternative to the neoliberal maximise the wealth of the already wealthy few approach of the right.

This local Government election in particular provides the opportunity for lefties and progressives to make a stand.

Go ahead, make sure that you vote and your family and friends vote because your community depends on it.  And make sure that they vote today.  The future health of their community depends on it.

8 comments on “Last chance to vote … ”

  1. tinfoilhat 1

    When are the results issued ?

    “With a little bit of investment in community great things can be achieved.”

    I’d go further and say don’t wait for the council or government the community can achieve wonderful things all by itself without interference by self interested politicians.

    • mickysavage 1.1

      There is a continuous vote going on in the background in, I believe, most areas. By about 2 pm on Saturday people should have a good idea of what has happened.

      I agree about community being able to achieve great things by itself but a bit of political support and some resources can help immensely.

      • tinfoilhat 1.1.1

        “I agree about community being able to achieve great things by itself but a bit of political support and some resources can help immensely.”

        Or hinder the process and increase costs and the time taken immensely.

  2. Sosoo 2

    No I won’t vote. The candidates are terrible. I award them no points.

  3. Tiger Mountain 3

    Commendable spirit Micky. Agree with the community angle given the “precariat” scenario so many of us live in. Been letter boxing out West and jollying up everyone I meet to vote.

    2013 looks like the nadir of postal voting for local elections; including papers not delivered, papers removed from mail boxes, fraudulent “collectors”, just to add to the general disengagement of so many people. Which hopefully means online voting and/or even one date voting in the near future.

    But good luck to the candidates supported by the left, lotterylike as this one is. Walking the dog the other evening and went past a house with a “Mrs Doubtfire” (Raffles) hoarding on the property, immaturely gave it the raised middle finger as I passed and two cars honked and drivers gave me the thumbs up for reasons one can only guess at!

  4. karol 4

    I have posted my vote. Clow it is. And mainly I went for the Labour, Whau candidates, plus one Mana one. Great to see people standing up and showing their political colours, while most others seem to be conservatives hiding behind “independent”.

  5. Pasupial 5

    I got my voting papers in the post on Monday – with the STV system used down here in Dunedin that came to 47 separate numbers or ticks (Masupial only used 30ish, but I was voting against Calvert as much as for Hawkins). As much as I appreciate the STV system, there has to be some streamlining of the process. Maybe having political party approved rankings could get that down to 4 ticks (with option to rank individually for the truly obsessive – such as myself)? Of course that would mean more partisan politics in local government, but things are going that way already.

    Electronic voting seems to be a more worrying alternative endorsed by Pam Jordan (the electoral officer for the Dunedin City Council):

    “Mrs Jordan said electoral officers across the country would be ”very keen” to see a switch to online voting, having lobbied the Government to make the change. ”I would be quite happy to participate in that trial. I should imagine that there will be more volunteers than places available.””

    “University of Otago political studies lecturer Associate Prof Janine Hayward believed there would be no harm in a shift to online voting, but cautioned research suggested it would make only a ”marginal” difference to turnout.”

    – See more at: http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/275527/alarm-low-voter-turnout#sthash.lAwwGtKA.dpuf

    I personally believe that there would be harm from switching to on-line voting, but the low turn-out this election will probably be used to justify its implementation. Even despite supporters admitting that turnout wouldn’t be markedly improved.

  6. FYI

    ‘Open letter’ from Auckland Mayoral candidate Penny Bright to Auckland Mayoral candidate John Palino:

    “Can you be trusted John Palino? How ‘successful’ have your NZ businesses really been?”

    Dear John,

    Your Auckland Mayoral candidate’s statement :

    “Since becoming an Aucklander in 1996, I have created and run a range of successful businesses and pursued many projects in hospitality, marketing and media.”

    However, upon doing a bit of ‘due diligence’ myself, and today checking the NZ Companies Office website, I have discovered that there is currently only one NZ -listed company, of which you are a shareholder and Director.

    Your own.


    Searching the NZ Companies Office under Directors and Shareholders for John Palino, comes up with the following list:


    AUCKLAND VIADUCT LIMITED (1774431) (Struck off) – Director
    In Liquidation

    THE SOUP KITCHEN LIMITED (1794268) (Struck off) – Ceased Director

    THE IVORY LIMITED (1005433) (Struck off) – Director
    In liquidation:

    RUBY’S LIMITED (1077352) (Struck off) – Director

    ACCENT MARK CONSULTANTS LIMITED (919709) (Struck off) – Director

    SAL ROSE LIMITED (1544005) – Ceased Director

    ALBERTON VILLAGE PROPERTY LIMITED (1629794) – Ceased Director

    STARKS BAR LIMITED (2212784) – Ceased Director

    In summary – of the 9 above-listed NZ companies, 5 have been ‘struck off’
    (of which 3 of those companies have been liquidated).

    So what is your definition, John Palino, of a ‘successful’ business?

    In your Auckland Mayoral candidate statement, you say:

    “Auckland ratepayers deserve accountable, transparent and representative local government serving community needs.”

    However, you don’t have any stated ‘ACTION PLAN’ in order to achieve’accountable, transparent and representative local government serving community needs.’

    I do.


    Do YOU John Palino, agree with this 19 point ‘ACTION PLAN’ for genuine transparency, and democratic accountability?

    Yes or no?

    If no – why not?


    1. Get our anti-corruption domestic legislative framework in place so NZ can ratify the UN Convention Against Corruption.

    2. Set up an NZ independent anti-corruption body tasked with educating the public and PREVENTING corruption.

    3. Change NZ laws to ensure genuine transparency in the funding of candidates for elected public office and political parties at central and local government level.

    4. Legislate for an enforceable ‘Code of Conduct’ for NZ Members of Parliament (who make the rules for everyone else).

    5. Make it an offence under the Local Government Act 2002 for NZ Local Government elected representatives to breach their ‘Code of Conduct’.

    6. Make it a lawful requirement for a publicly-available ‘Register of Interests’ for NZ Local Government elected representatives.

    7. Make it a lawful requirement for a publicly-available ‘Register of Interests’ for NZ Central Government staff responsible for property and procurement, (including the Ministry of Health), in order to help prevent ‘conflicts of interest’.

    8. Make it a lawful requirement for a publicly-available ‘Register of Interests’ for NZ Local Government staff, and Directors and staff employed by ‘Council-Controlled Organisations (CCOs) responsible for property and procurement.

    9. Make it a lawful requirement for details of ‘contracts issued’ – including the name of the contractor; scope, term and value of the contract to be published in NZ Central Government Public Sector, and Local Government (Council), and ‘Council-Controlled Organisation (CCO) Annual Reports so that they are available for public scrutiny.

    10. Make it a lawful requirement that a ‘cost-benefit analysis’ of NZ Central Government, and Local Government public finances be undertaken to prove that private procurement of public services previously provided ‘in-house’ is cost-effective for the public majority. If not – then return public service provision to staff directly employed ‘in-house’ and cut out these private contractors who are effectively dependent on ‘corporate welfare’.

    11. Legislate for a legally-enforcable ‘Code of Conduct’ for members of the NZ Judiciary, to ensure they are not ‘above the law’.

    12. Ensure that ALL NZ Court proceedings are recorded, and audio records made available to parties who request them.

    13. Make it a lawful requirement for a publicly-available NZ Judicial ‘Register of Interests’, to help prevent ‘conflicts of interest’.

    14. Make it a lawful requirement for a publicly-available NZ ‘Register of Lobbyists’ and ‘Code of Conduct for Lobbyists’ at Central Government Ministerial level.

    15. Make it a lawful requirement at NZ Central and Local Government level for a ‘post-separation employment quarantine’ period from the time officials leave the public service to take up a similar role in the private sector. (Help stop the ‘revolving door’).

    16. Make it a lawful requirement that it is only a binding vote of the public majority that can determine whether public assets held at NZ Central or Local Government level are sold; or long-term leased via Public-Private –Partnerships (PPPs).

    17. Make it unlawful for politicians to knowingly misrepresent their policies prior to election at central or local government level.

    18. Make laws to protect individuals, NGOs and community-based organisations who are ‘whistleblowing’ against ‘conflicts of interest’ and corrupt practices at central and local government level and within the judiciary.

    19. Legislate to help stop ‘State Capture’, a form of ‘grand corruption’ arguably endemic in NZ – where vested interests get their way at the ‘policy level’ before legislation is passed which serves their interests.

    Prepared and authorised by Penny Bright, Auckland Mayoral Candidate, 86A School Rd, Kingsland, Auckland 1021 waterpressure@gmail.com

    Kind regards,

    Penny Bright
    PROVEN ‘anti-corruption /anti-privatisation’ campaigner.
    2013 Auckland Mayoral candidate


    [lprent: Penny, these are starting to get too damn long, and asking rhetorical questions of someone who doesn’t read this site is simply daft.. I’ll tolerate it until voting closes and then I’d expect a resumption of more focused comment style. Otherwise I’ll start folding and/or paraphrasing them myself until I get bored with it. ]

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