Written By: - Date published: 11:36 am, May 7th, 2018 - 52 comments
Categories: by-election, elections, labour, national, Politics, same old national, Simon Bridges - Tags: dan bidois, northcote by election, shanan halbert
The Northcote by election is developing into quite a fascinating battle.
By all rights it should safely be National’s seat. Opposition parties do not lose by elections. And although it has been a marginal seat in the past the inner glow caused by dramatically increasing house prices should mean that this is National’s in a canter.
But their campaign is showing the same sort of ineptness that cost them the Northland by election.
Take for instance their campaign launch. Media coverage suggests that their candidate, Dan Bidois, has no idea of what happened during the past nine long years of National rule.
And he is engaging in that time honoured tory technique of blaming everyone else for National’s ineptitude. Because he thinks that everything is all Auckland Council’s fault and is vowing to take them on.
From Felicity Reid at Stuff:
National’s Northcote by-election candidate Dan Bidois feels that behind every door he knocks on in the Auckland electorate is someone dissatisfied with spending too long sitting in traffic.
So when he officially launched his campaign on May 6 he had a three-point plan targeting transport, fuel taxes and improved local services and a catch-cry of: “Lets get Northcote moving”.
Contesting a by-election gave him the luxury of avoiding national level policy issues, instead focusing on the hyper local, so if elected, Bidois made clear he had Auckland Council in his sights.
“There isn’t one solution, so I will be holding council to account for the services that they can get improved in the area.
Does he not realise he is running for Parliament and not Council? And that his Government did precious little to improve Auckland’s transport system apart from finish off what the previous Labour Government had started? And that increased congestion is directly related to increased population growth that National caused as its primary economic policy?
He then talked about this crazy idea of making Onewa Road’s T3 lane into a T2 lane. This would be a retrograde idea that would wreck an arrangement that is working very well. As said by Greater Auckland seven years ago the idea was utterly mad. But one project that is an outstanding proposition, which has met with a great deal of nimbyism and which Labour has pledged to fund will also be supported by Bidois.
“I will support SkyPath, but it has got to stack up financially and it needs to make sure that it doesn’t impinge on the private property rights of those in the Northcote area,” he said.
He enters into head scratching territory by confirming that he will campaign on “no new fuel taxes” but acknowledging that there were “significant shortfalls in [the] Auckland Council transport plan” while at the same time decrying that the money will not be spent in the Northcote electorate. Apparently Northcotians are unusual in that they never, ever drive in the greater Auckland area and will therefore receive no benefit from the revised and fully funded ATAP.
He then hits peak political cynicism.
Bidois supported intensified housing in the electorate but said the right infrastructure needed to be in place.
“That means things like car parks, wastewater drainage, sufficient schooling and transport infrastructure.
“If there is intensification without this necessary investment, like what is proposed for Zion Rd then I will oppose it and be vocal about it.”
He must think that Auckland Council has a magic money tree where funding for growth and new infrastructure can be paid without collecting it from ratepayers or through charges or Government grants.
The targeting of the comment suggests that National is going to run a very stupid campaign. I am quietly confident that the good people of Northcote are much brighter than this.
If you want to help out with the Labour candidate, Shanan Halbert’s campaign details can be accessed here.