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Local Government results good for Labour and terrible for National

Written By: - Date published: 11:18 am, October 9th, 2016 - 80 comments
Categories: auckland supercity, labour, local body elections, local government, national, phil goff, Politics - Tags: , , , , , , ,

Labour balloon

Final results are still pending but already it is clear that the local government elections are very good for Labour and horrendous for National.

In Auckland the Auckland Future team failed to fire spectacularly. The team had problems from the start. Selecting a candidate who had previously stolen a dead baby’s identity and failing to prepare him for the inevitable media fire storm that ensued was one sign. Enrolling two candidates in the one council race was another. Despite throwing considerable sums of money at candidates in an attempt to break Labour’s hold on Pacifica its candidates failed to make any impact and in South Auckland not only was the left on Council strengthened by the election of Efeso Collins but Labour maintained a tight grip on the Mangere-Otahuhu and Otara-Papatoetoe Local Board.

Out west Future West, a Labour Greens coalition maintained its vice like grip of the Waitakere Ranges Local Board and in Henderson Massey Labour doubled its number of elected representatives to four.

On the North Shore, a traditional National stronghold, the failure was quite acute. In the highly blue North Shore ward liberal Councillor Chris Darby has been returned and Richard Hills is narrowly ahead of former Alliance MP Grant Gillon. Richard is a former Labour list candidate and someone with a great future in politics.

And in the Albany seat progressives John Watson and Wayne Walker clearly outpolled Auckland Future’s Graeme Low and Lisa Whyte.

The campaign was a real fuster cluck. My quick count is that they were successful in gaining only 7 positions out of 38 contested. I expect that retribution will be brutal and Judith Collins will be grinning from ear to ear.

And throughout the country Labour Mayors have been elected or returned to power. With Goff in Auckland, Justin Lester in Wellington, Dalziel in Christchurch with the backing of a solid left team, Chadwick in Rotorua, and Hamish MacDouall in Whanganui local government is looking decidedly red.

It will be interesting to see how the right responds to these results. In the meantime there will be some very happy Labour activists throughout the country today.

80 comments on “Local Government results good for Labour and terrible for National ”

  1. Grantoc 1

    The evidence is that there is little if any correlation between local body election results and general election results.

    There has been a very similar outcome in at least the last two local body elections; Labour or green leaning mayors in our major cities and similarly with councils. Yet this proved irrelevant when the general elections were held shortly thereafter.

    I doubt that National will be particularly concerned about this years outcomes.

    The results may be a bit of a morale booster for Labour; but would suggest that Labour not get too carried away by them either.

    • And we so needed a morale boost after the 2014 General Election. As most of the grass roots Labour Campaigners are also involved in Local Body Politics it is still a good day for Labour.

    • Incognito 1.2

      When it comes to the general elections National has a formidable PR (war) machine with loads of money (war chest) behind it. For years National has been eroding local democracy in favour of more centralised power in the Beehive; National continues to thumb its nose at people power and large sections of New Zealand society. A low turn-out is going to favour the status quo IMO.

    • weka 1.3

      It’s good for its own sake though right? Having more left/green local body officials is important.

    • Niki Gladding 1.4

      National will simply respond by continuing to undermine local government.

      • tc 1.4.1

        They were going to regardless of the outcome, if needed they just pass legislation under urgency and the MSM keep ignoring the realities.

        It’s business as usual for the shonky crew.

  2. JoshP 2

    Manurewa Labour looks doomed, got smashed by Action Team and Independents, the right are in complete control of Local Government there. They barely ran a serious campaign there, where was their MP in all this? Louisa missing in action doesn’t bode well for selection considering she always appears offside with the leadership. Local Body was her opportunity to strengthen her and Labour’s brand for 2017.

    Party should cut their losses, dump Louisa, bring someone fresh talent that can rebuild the image of the party there.

    • TeRatat 2.1

      Correct. In fact, yesterday Louisa didn’t even mention the Manurewa Labour Local Board team… as if to say.. she doesn’t really care about them.. and yet.. WE KNOW… Those people are her staunchest supporters

      • Wendy 2.1.1

        Huh?? What planet have you been on?

        Louisa was included in the representative Manurewa team flyers, was part of their launch and helped with promotion in many ways including, as we can all see, on Facebook. This is all just the beginning of a battle by real Labour in Manurewa to turn the tide from the legacy from George Hawkins who is a Tory as is Daniel Newman.

        At the last term, Action Team imploded and has had, up to this election, as well as for two terms, ex-Labour’s George Hawkins as a member of Action Team with the nasty Daniel Newman.

        • Anahila 2.1.1.1

          Kia Ora. First and foremost great campaigns by duly elected Labour members – congratulations.

          I was proud to stand for the first time on a Labour ticket in Manurewa. Last term Action imploded – and has had up to this election Labour’s George Hawkins on this Team.
          http://i.stuff.co.nz/auckland/local-news/manukau-courier/72967372/manurewa-local-board-members-split-from-ticket
          To say our Manurewa MP didn’t support us is rubbish. Louisa was included in our flyers and helped to promote us in many ways. On a closer analysis- the Action teams votes decreased. It’s just the beginning and we need to combat this legacy of George Hawkins.

  3. weka 3

    Meanwhile, in the provinces,

    ECAN elections (first since 2010, the govt will still appoint some commissioners and appoint the Chair).

    All three candidates that belong to the politically-left People’s Choice party – Pham, Roberts, and Lowndes – were elected.

    Pham and Roberts are both ecologists, and Lowndes has been involved with the Canterbury Water Management Strategy.

    Cullinane, a lawyer and accountant, also has a focus on water and has been the North Canterbury regional manager for Fish & Game New Zealand.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/85125351/environment-canterbury-twothirds-did-not-vote

    It also looks like the Hawkes Bay District Council has tipped in favour of opposing the Ruataniwha Dam.

    Both these results are potentially huge in starting the shift around rural councils finally stepping up with regards to the environment. Interesting that both places hae had to endure things beyond the pale and so have voted to act.

    • Vaughn 3.1

      Weka, I’m not sure about the Hastings District Council but certainly the voting balance in the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council has moved against the Ruataniwha dam. If the HDC balance has also changed then people power has really won out in this region – and that result will (should) concern the government. Note to Craig Foss (National MP for Tukituki – in case anyone didn’t know who he is), the clock is ticking…

      • weka 3.1.1

        thanks, you are right. I’m from down south, so haven’t followed that closely and don’t know the area or the politics (shouldn’t be confusing a regional council with a district one though). Here’s the link,

        http://www.nzherald.co.nz/hawkes-bay-today/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503462&objectid=11725142

        • RedLogix 3.1.1.1

          I’ve found this a tricky issue to parse. I’m not fundamentally against the principle of water storage. Almost everything people do in the landscape will have some impact; the question is how much impact, for what benefit … and in whose interests?

          And on balance Ruataniwha fails this test.

          I’m not sure if this was linked to earlier; but it’s clear from this editorial the tide has turned. And not necessarily for the obvious reasons:

          Thus, it can be argued that voters in the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council elections, particularly the Napier and Hastings wards, have voted emphatically against the proposed Ruataniwha Dam.

          The dam proposal, driven by council officials, was mostly given a green light by a 5-4 majority in favour on the old council. Chairman Fenton Wilson, deputy chair Christine Scott, Napier councillors Alan Dick and Dave Pipe and Central Hawke’s Bay representative Debbie Hewitt ensured that as many boxes as possible were ticked.

          The anti-dam councillors, Rex Graham, Peter Beaven, Tom Belford and Rick Barker were always going to be on the losing side.

          But, there seems to have been a groundswell building in Napier and Hastings. Increasingly this newspaper started hearing about normally conservative, pro-establishment residents of Napier being strongly opposed to the dam being built.

          Some of them were retired accountants, CFOs and businessmen who had done the sums on the back of an envelope and decided that the financial case for the dam did not stack up.

          Paul Bailey, until recently a Green Party office holder and avowed anti-dam campaigner, put himself up for election again, having been thumped in the elections three years ago.

          This time he has found himself, along with incumbent Alan Dick and former councillor Neil Kirton, elected to the council. Mr Pipe and Ms Scott had not stood for re-election so there were two vacant seats.

          The theory is that many dyed-in-the-wool National Party supporters have backed a Greenie (Bailey) in a bid to send a strong message that they do not want their rates spent on the dam.

          http://www.nzherald.co.nz/hawkes-bay-today/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503462&objectid=11725335

          Oh and here is a cross link from another forum on the same topic:

          https://tramper.nz/?view=topic&id=9207

          • Richard Rawshark 3.1.1.1.1

            To me it should be simple, and just down to money, there is plenty of rainfall in this country to allow every farmer to irrigate to his hearts desire.

            It just requires clever planning. Water storage dams, catchments, etc.

            Plus a little realization from farmers if they are going to use a natural resource to make money they have to pay and do some of it themselves.

            You don’t buy a corner shop and expect the government to stock the shelves or the taxpayers to pay for your deliveries, So farmers could be made to look into catchments etc reservours

            I mean they are all for neo lib aren’t they?

    • miravox 3.2

      Congratulations People’s Choice candidates. But, for a different view*

      People’s Choice – 2 ecologists and Artist?
      Government Commissioners – 2 Lawyers and a Banker, I expect.

      *Copyright J.Key

  4. alwyn 4

    But wasn’t it a right-wing National Party aligned candidate who won in Auckland?
    He might have stood as an “independent” but using the National Party colours and the National Party type typeface on his advertising should have been enough of a hint.
    Surely he wasn’t trying to mislead the public?
    Not Phil. “Say it ain’t so Joe”.

    • Grey Area 4.1

      Thought something similar myself about Goff. But in one sense it doesn’t matter if he can forge a positive relationship with central government. Good luck with getting them to do anything meaningful about the housing crisis when their policies are such a large part of the problem. But if he can, good him.

      As a non-Aucklander I do have some emotional investment in our largest city. I was pleased when after imposing the Supercity the NACTs got Len Brown but I feel he not only let Aucklanders down but others of us as well.

      Good that Goff’s leaving parliament. Being allowed to cross the floor to vote for the TPPA, when it bore no relation to the so-called “free trade agreement” that he was part of starting, was puzzling to me.

      I’ll watch Goff with interest to see what he actually achieves.

    • dukeofurl 4.2

      he wasnt using national party colours, they are identified with Auckland -blue, the same as wellington goes for yellow and canterbury red.
      In fact Auckland Council has the same blue in its signs and letterhead

      • You_Fool 4.2.1

        Actually Goff had exactly a 1/4 of his signs in labour red, 1/4 national blue, 1/4 ACT yellow and 1/4 Green’s err green… It was to show his “independence” that he was not bound by one colour or party, but was going to be non-partisan.

    • tc 4.3

      He’s gone from central govt so it’s a great result for the left.

      We’ll see how aligned he is based on the DP/MSM treatment he gets in what is mostly a lame duck/poisoned chalice position created by nact.

    • Groundhog 4.4

      Phil Goff WAS the National Party candidate for mayor (tongue in cheek…but only just).

  5. Great to see some success for candidates standing directly under the Labour banner. While I love left blocs, it bodes well for Labour if they can use the council elections as a trial run for general elections. And it directly challenges the concept that local elections shouldn’t be about party politics.

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1610/S00117/a-good-night-for-labours-local-government-candidates.htm

  6. Stunned mullet 6

    What was voter turnout like across the country ?

    • Paul 6.1

      Around 40%, I think.

      • Stunned mullet 6.1.1

        Apart from the obvious i wonder how we can get more engagement in the process from the public.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 6.1.1.1

          Wait for Simon Lusk to die?

        • Paul 6.1.1.2

          Look at the media for an answer.
          Bradbury nails it

          5: Duh – online voting – duh Award
          Every time there’s a bloody election, some clown in the mainstream media writes some ill-informed opinion piece asking if online voting can turn around the decline in participation. Only the most drunk and lobotomised journalist would attempt to argue for online voting in the post-Snowden era. We know that 5 Eyes has the ability to hack any system and the bloody second you move voting online, the entire credibility of the electoral process would forever be tainted. The only way to ensure educated voters never vote again, would be to make the election online because participating in a voting system open to hacking would be immoral and educated people would boycott an electoral system that open to being rigged. Shut up about online voting already!

          4: Low vote turn out Award for idiocy
          The most audacious crap spouted about the election is by current affairs hosts complaining about the low voter turn out. So how many public interest stories about local government did Story do? Sweet FA is what they did. The media can’t blame voters for the low vote turn out when all that media is serving up is clickbait bullshit. The mainstream media last week spent more time on a rugby player having sex in a toilet than the fact SERCO scammed us and an MP was kidnapped in International waters! To bitch about the very low intelligence environment that these media personalities themselves are helping to create is like being forced to buy fire insurance from an arsonist. You help make the problem Heather, you don’t solve it.

          http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2016/10/09/top-5-dumbest-crap-nz-media-said-about-local-elections-wrap-up/

          • Paul 6.1.1.2.1

            And this.

            1: No one knows anything trumpet of unaware self stupidity Award
            The dumbest thing said in the wake of the elections has to go to Stuff.co.nz. Stacey Kirk complains that she doesn’t know anything about the candidates. She’s a political journalist FFS. She complains she knows nothing and neither does anyone else, so you know, why bother eh? In terms of self sabotage this would be hilarious if it didn’t highlight the woeful ignorance at the heart of our political media elite. The bloody media in this country don’t bother covering local politics because they are far too busy on All Black Sex in Toilet romps. To complain about the very ignorance your own ‘news’ service are helping breed is so eye rolling I’m staring into the top part of my skull.

            The media’s ignorance is our ignorance and their chase for clickbait bullshit clouds our ability to have a functioning democracy.

            Our watchdogs have become free market clickbait lapdogs.

            http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2016/10/09/top-5-dumbest-crap-nz-media-said-about-local-elections-wrap-up/

            • Niki 6.1.1.2.1.1

              Except it’s not ignorance is it – the lack of media coverage is intentional and the drop in voter turnout is by design. Make local government irrelevant and then implement the NZCID’s proposal – 5 super Councils with all powerful Mayors…(shiver)

          • Chuck 6.1.1.2.2

            Bomber Bradbury is always good for a laugh, in-between being an expert witness for Craig.

            He must be due for a new I-Pad from Dotcom, in time to plan the 2017 election strategy for Mana / Internet party 🙂

  7. The Chairman 7

    Auckland is now Goffam City.

  8. Wayne 8

    Naturally I am interested in the North Shore results. For at least 20 years there has been a split between how people vote locally and nationally in North Shore. We have often had left wing councillors and local board members and sometimes they have been the majority. This time our local board is split down the middle. As a result I expect Mike Cohen to be the chair and he will do a good job at that.
    However, I don’t see any real evidence in the Shore that voters are about to make a big shift in their vote in next years general election.

    • Nick K 8.1

      Mike Cohen will do a good job as chair? I’m afraid that is so wide of the mark it’s not on the same shooting range.

      • mickysavage 8.1.1

        Mike will be good. Considerable experience and well versed in local government politics.

        • Anne 8.1.1.1

          And he has been chairman of the local board off and on for years now – well known and well liked.

          • Wayne 8.1.1.1.1

            Which is also why Mike was the highest polling candidate. People know him and trust him.

  9. swordfish 9

    Woo Hooooo !!! … Leggett loses !!!

    And when Leggett fails … Phil Quin fails … and when Quin fails … all the hopes of Labour’s Blairite Right are dashed … and when their hopes are dashed … political life becomes considerably less insufferable.

    • Sacha 9.1

      or Leggett now has enough time on his hands to organise the others if they can fund him.

      • swordfish 9.1.1

        Perhaps … But – despite the plethora of positive media spin (especially courtesy of the Dominion Post Editorial team) – Leggett’s uber-ambition and his upward political career trajectory have finally taken a decisive hit.

        Not quite the Establishment’s Blairite Golden Boy anymore – the potential future Labour leader that Tories just lurrrvvvv to love no longer seems to possess that midas touch.

        • swordfish 9.1.1.1

          And, on top of that, we Poriru-vians are not only rid of a Blairite Mayor …

          … but also find a former PSA Pres beating the Right-leaning favourite, Euon Murrell – a long-time Councillor who, just like Leggett, was a real estate agent representing the affluent Tory-voting Northern ward. What’s not to like ?

        • Muttonbird 9.1.1.2

          You might even say Leggett’s steps backwards happened when he began railing against NZ Labour and mixing with Quin and Farrar and company.

          He’s the guy who believes he represents the true values of the Labour party according to Espiner’s piece on him the other day.

    • Nessalt 9.2

      So when opinions different from yours exist, life is insufferable.

      There, there dear. Have a bottle and a lie down

      • One Anonymous Bloke 9.2.1

        English comprehension 101:

        a. without opinions that differ from Swordfish’s, there would be no hopes to dash.

        b. “political life” ≠ life.

        c. the meaning of “considerably less”.

        Please try not to display illiteracy so often.

        • Nessalt 9.2.1.1

          haha righto. I think you need to look up comprehension in the dictionary and then apply it to your fucking retarded statement.

          A) see answer to C
          B) Semantics, subset of greater definition of life, assumption that leakage occured from subset to parent set. Fairly rational assumption given the use of the term “insufferable”
          C) “considerably less insufferable” = what is existing is insufferable (oppressive and overwhelming meaning) and this is a reduction on that. so it becomes somewhat sufferable.

          you on the other hand are the conceited, ignorant and arrogant meaning of insufferable. A proper bore. probably can’t even chew and breathe at the same time.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 9.2.1.1.1

            No, that isn’t what “less” means.

            For example, if I say that I am less illiterate than you, there can still be depths of illiteracy below yours.

            • Nessalt 9.2.1.1.1.1

              So “considerably less insufferable” couldn’t mean to a smaller extent? a reduction in the range of if you will?

              Couldn’t it mean a smaller amount of, if you can quantify insufferability of course. What is your mass by the way?

            • Nessalt 9.2.1.1.1.2

              Forgot to edit: 1/7 for comprehension numb nuts. you can’t even comprehend the meaning of the word comprehend.

  10. Jack Craw 10

    And a large number of small g greenies elected all over NZ, Northland being a very good example. Whangarei DC and Northland RC are now much more green.

  11. Chris 11

    Was good to see Chloe Swarbrick acing John Palino. She should be proud of her result overall.

    • Paul 11.1

      Can’t believe there are 22,280 people who think Palino is a suitable mayor for Auckland after the Wewege incident in the car park.

      • Chris 11.1.1

        Yes, there is that.

        • Paul 11.1.1.1

          25,000 votes on a $8 000 budget.
          Imagine if a political party with a decent budget chose to engage the electorate with an alternative vision. Oh yes, we’ve seen what happens then….
          Corbyn

  12. JustMe 12

    In the 80s NZ was called the Mouse that Roared due to our anti-nuclear stand. Perhaps so many years in hibernation the Mouse(those who really voted in the local body elections)are starting to wake up and roar more so than ever before.

    But be assured of one thing and that is Key & co will naturally find someone to blame for the outcome of the local body elections. It’s all part, parcel and the package deal of the Key government.

  13. Lee 13

    THIS is just the beginning. There will be a red tsunami next year! Bring it on we are ALL WAY MORE than ready! 🙂

  14. rod 14

    I take it Bernard Ormston’s next brief, from Granny Herald, will be to slag off Goff for the next three years, come what may, All in the name of Team National.

  15. Adrian 15

    The hiding was really evident as well in the Marlborough District Council vote, the righties ( who got Simon Lusk down here to run their campaign, and the inevitable shitfight fallout that followed that ) were pants-down thrashed in the leadership race, even the retired Nat MP of the last 9 years not only couldn’t get a sniff as mayor he missed out on a true blue farming WARD seat as well.
    Now that’s a punch on the nose.

  16. Karen 16

    Bit more background on Chlöe Swarbrick today – nice counter to the nasty comments about her from some here yesterday.

    http://thewireless.co.nz/articles/the-election-might-be-over-but-don-t-expect-chloe-swarbrick-to-disappear

  17. righty right 17

    labour tightened its grip on the mt roskill local board as well removing local cop and all round nat nigel turnbull fantastic news roskill bi election ahead

  18. thechangeling 18

    Some of you jokers (jokeresses) are bloody funny to read today. Cut the humour will ya, this is supposed to be a serious forum after all!

  19. NZJester 19

    Apparently according to National mouthpieces the Labour seat of Mt Roski about to be vacated by Phil Goff is apparently ripe for the picking by a National candidate.
    But with the Greens not standing a candidate I don’t think National has much of a shot.
    Some National people are not happy that Labour and the Greens are using one of their own tactics against them.

    • AB 19.1

      “Some National people are not happy that Labour and the Greens are using one of their own tactics against them”

      Completely different tactics.
      Labour are not throwing a seat they could themselves easily win to a bogus, ‘shell’ party (ACT, UF) in order distort the proportionality of parliament and violate the principles of MMP.

      So you should really have said “some National people are upset that Labour could be more certain of winning the seat by collaborating with the Greens and without recourse to the outright corruption so characteristic of the National party”

  20. tc 20

    How did hamilton end up as last I heard it was close between Nat stooge Southgate and local self promoter King.

    Hardaker had no future in central govt, being more like Collins than the likes of tolley/wilkinson, so slung her hook back to the cushy law gig.

  21. Tanz 21

    The turn out was at an all-time low. Says everything really – people just know that they don’t really get any say.

  22. Tanz 22

    The govt controls council anyway, so how is that bad for the Nats.

  23. Kat 23

    Listening to Hooten this morning on RNZ the mayoral outcome is down to colours. All blue in the advertising, and apparently it sure fooled everyone, even the Nat voters.

    And here we are with most thinking New Zealanders regarding Trump as the idiot. Hooten must be on his spin team. Even NZ.s biggest spin merchant Key thinks Trump is indefensible.

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