Tamihere has some strange friends

Written By: - Date published: 8:02 am, February 26th, 2019 - 20 comments
Categories: auckland supercity, Dirty Politics, john tamihere, local body elections, local government, supercity, taxpayers union - Tags: ,

Yesterday was an interesting day at the Herald.

I have a love hate relationship with the institution. 

I think that Simon Wilson, Matt Nippert and Dave Fisher are outstanding reporters, that John Roughan has good days and bad, that Heather Du Plessis Allan has mostly bad days but the occasional great day and that Mike Hosking should feck off to somewhere in his latest European sports car and leave us alone.

And I see lots of click bait.  And stories that I wonder how did they get there.

Yesterday there was this opinion piece from Jordan Williams, a person deeply implicated in dirty politics and head of the Taxpayers (how they must have laughed when they decided to call it a) Union.

Jordan chose to write in praise of John Tamihere and recommend him as the super city’s next Mayor.

This caused me a degree of internal reflection.

I thought that back in 2004 Tamihere could be the next PM of Aotearoa New Zealand.  I was present at a meeting of about 300 mainly european constituents thinking that giving Maori any rights over the foreshore and seabed was a really bad thing.

He stood up and explained why respecting their rights was a good thing and why Labour’s decision to remove these rules but provide recognition in other ways was acceptable.

He spoke without notes and without fear.

His Waipareira organisation has performed and still performs great things out west.

But he has weaknesses.  Just google “frontbums”, “roastbusters” and “cats” to see what they are.

He has announced that one of his major policies will be something that all lefties would agree with, the ending of homelessness.

But the details are difficult to understand. From Sophie Bateman at Newshub:

John Tamihere says if he’s elected mayor of Auckland, he’ll end homelessness within his first 18 months.

The former Labour MP made the bold promise on The AM Show on Tuesday morning, three days after confirming he’ll challenge Phil Goff in October.

“Within 18 months of taking over, there won’t be anyone laying on the streets,” he told Duncan Garner. “There’s no need for it and we’ve got enough resources to fix it, and we’re rewarding poor behaviours and you’ll continue to get them if you continue to reward them.”

He says he’d implement similar strategies to those used in west Auckland.

“If you go out to Hendo [Henderson] and others, you don’t have the type of nonsense you’ve got down in the CBD.”

Unfortunately there is still homelessness out west, far too much of it.

What I cannot work out is how the right will respond to this most Micky Savage of policies?

I get the feeling that this is a piece of feel good rhetoric, and the right is willing to go along with it because the desire for power and the chance of sticking it to the left are such strong motivators.

And Jordan, taking one for the team, Williams gets to be really enthusiastic about Tamihere’s campaign:

John Tamihere’s mayoral campaign represents the first opportunity for the centre-right to take control of our Queen City. It could, if the National Party stalwarts play it right, be the Super City’s first departure from Len Brown’s high-rates, high-debt, and low-transparency approach to governance, which Phil Goff has continued.

The first, but more risky, path to success is to get behind Tamihere, hoping he delivers on tackling the problem of council debt worth more than $20,900 for every Auckland household, and 2250 staff now on salaries of more than $100,000.

This appears to be Tamihere’s pitch to voters: a former Labour politician who can pull together pedigree from across the political divide to form a united ticket for Auckland — his core campaign team includes former labour union leader Matt McCarten on the left, and former National Party president Michelle Boag on the right.

Someone should tell Williams about Tamihere’s homeless policy, this is not the sort of proposal that the right generally agree with.

But wait there is more …

Tamihere’s team is engaging with the local government researchers at the Taxpayers’ Union to identify potential savings at the council.

But punch-drunk from Brown and Goff’s broken promises on rates, ratepayers may find it difficult to accept the word of yet another Labour Party politician running for mayor and selling the same snake oil. Nevertheless, Tamihere’s aggressive waste-cutting and house-cleaning rhetoric suggests he’s aiming squarely for the anti-Goff vote.

Neale Jones sent out this interesting tweet:

I wonder what the basis of the relationship is? Is the Taxpayers Union doing it out of the goodness of their hearts or are they being commissioned to do this? The funding and nature of the relationship would be interesting to understand.

I actually think that Goff has done a good job in holding Council together, keeping rates increases low but getting dedicated rates through that will allow for improving water quality and enhancing environmental protection.

Tamihere would hate the job.  It is a 70 hour a week job and you have to deal with huge egos around the Council table, deal with CCOs that are basically fiefdoms and propose and advance all sorts of things.

Lefties should be really worried about Tamihere’s buddying up to the right.  And Jordan Williams supporting him.

They risk getting rid of a moderate progressive mayor and getting someone who is rather risky instead.

Super City is one bad mayor away from disaster.  Tamihere would hate the job.  I think we can do much better.

20 comments on “Tamihere has some strange friends”

  1. woodart 1

    he comes across as a flake….not suitable for the hard boring stuff.

  2. Hongi Ika 2

    Tamahere will bolt in, he has got a good brain on his so long as doesn’t start slagging off people especially the different ones, not rapt in his blondie girlfriend from Remuera.

    • Chris 2.1

      The first thing engaging Williams makes you think is “wow, he’s going to lose a lot of support now”. But you have to immedidiately correct that with “c’mon, this is New Zealand. He’s going to get even more support”.

  3. Peter 3

    The only way that “Within 18 months of taking over, there won’t be anyone laying on the streets,” will be if Tamihere has a gang going around and physically removing people and putting them somewhere. How about Mt Eden and Epsom? No, not in the prison, in some council housing purpose built in the neighbourhood.

    It’ll be a goer what with Christine Fletcher and her mates behind it.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12053090

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/104131029/epsom-residents-back-david-seymour-over-social-housing-letter

    Tamihere, Williams, Fletcher, McCarten and Boag being together is like one of those catastrophe/action/horror/fantasy movies. A huge earthquake hits the Auckland region and all the exotic, weird, one of a kind animals end up in the same cage.

    • lprent 3.1

      .. will be if Tamihere has a gang going around and physically removing people and putting them somewhere..

      He probably needs to define that platform clearly at an operational level. And with costings.

      After all he could always excise the Durante solution after being elected. It’d be a Trump like solution to living up to his election promises. Cheap too.

      As you can probably tell, I don’t rate John Tamihere highly as a politician. He makes way too many stupid mistakes.

  4. Yeah nah to John – I don’t like or rate that guy.

  5. I cannot see where I endorsed JT – the piece was just as much a call to action for someone on the centre-right to make a stand.

    And for the avoidance of doubt, the Taxpayers’ Union will work with any candidate to help identify where savings can be made.

    ^JW

    • mickysavage 5.1

      Kia ora Jordan

      “John Tamihere’s mayoral campaign represents the first opportunity for the centre-right to take control of our Queen City. It could, if the National Party stalwarts play it right, be the Super City’s first departure from Len Brown’s high-rates …”

      “The first, but more risky, path to success is to get behind Tamihere … ”

      But you are right. Your last sentence suggests a candidate of the right could come through the middle.

      But you appear to be perfectly happy with the prospect of a Tamihere mayoralty?

    • Anne 5.2

      Tamihere’s team is engaging with the local government researchers at the Taxpayers’ Union to identify potential savings at the council.

      A team of researchers. 😕 And who might they be oh mighty one?

  6. Chris T 6

    Have a lot of time for Tamihere.

    He also brings something to the table that has been sorely missing.

    Straight talk, a sense of humour, and a personality.

    • woodart 6.1

      you could say that about trump. but woefully unfit for public office. do you want crusty the clown?????or someone who will do the hard yards?is this what modern society has unevolved to? elect a clown character to entertain us… what a circus if thats what you want…

  7. cleangreen 7

    Jordan Williams said; – “John Tamihere says if he’s elected mayor of Auckland, he’ll end homelessness within his first 18 months”.

    Yeah right!!!!

    He at best will erect a ‘Tent city’ as Napier did after the 1931 earthquake?

    Jordan Williams is making similar such claims that Politicians often make that never come to pass?

    Or maybe jordan Williams is fancying his chance at standing for a National Party seat in Auckland?

    • Peter 7.1

      Botany?

      No, his appearances in court mitigate against him making the mark.

      Um … , well … , maybe not.

    • Chris T 7.2

      It wouldn’t be that hard tbf.

      Except for the ones who what to remain homeless, of which there are very few

    • BG 7.3

      Well, we’ve currently got a government that promised a 1000 homes in its first year, while anyone with half a brain knew that they couldn’t. And when they finally got caught out lying, they just recalibrated the numbers.

      Perhaps JT thought, hell if the govt can get away with promising things they can’t actually deliver, why can’t I?

  8. Hongi Ika 8

    He has got a big personality however he needs to make sure the brain is engaged b4 he opens his gob, ie making comments about females in the Labour Party and commenting inappropriately about teenagers sexual relationships in West Auckland with his m8 Willie jackson.

    Probably have a good show if the Goof Ball put’s up the White Flag.

  9. Mark 9

    It’s a bit rich to read Jordan “we won’t reveal our funding” Williams bitching about “low-transparency approach to governance”. But then, with the “Taxpayer’s Union”, their first lie is in the name.

  10. mosa 10

    Tamihere has never been left wing and it was a mystery to me why he was not in the National party.
    He is on record saying how much he admired Bill English and John Key so if the people of Auckland want a left leaning mayor they are out of luck as the race currently stands.
    As for cosying up with Jordan Williams this is at least giving us an early indication of the people he will be wanting to collaborate with including Boag and Fletcher.
    It is unsettling.

  11. One Two 11

    hoping he delivers on tackling the problem of council debt worth more than $20,900 for every Auckland household, and 2250 staff now on salaries of more than $100,000.

    All monetary systems are debt based systems, hence there is no present approach to prevent debt from growing without bringing Auckland to s standstill…appears to have happened by any observational standards…

    The options available to slowing (tackling) the debt increasing are, or should be unpalatable to the majority…and are proven only to amplify existing levels of inequality and poverty…without reducing debt levels…

    Council staff salaries are dwarfed by fees paid to consultants and contractors who control and have over-run AC and CCO’s…

    Entire teams and functions have been outsourced in recent years , while cost continue to increase along with the debt…

    TINA!

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