Translating the local government election jargon

Written By: - Date published: 12:30 pm, September 16th, 2016 - 13 comments
Categories: local body elections, local government, Unions - Tags: , ,

NZ’s largest union, the Public Service Association, has produced a handy guide for cutting through the buzzwords, just in time for everyone who’s getting their voting papers in the mail …


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13 comments on “Translating the local government election jargon”

  1. save nz 1

    Good translations!

  2. Lanthanide 2

    Biased crap, presented as if it is a neutral way to ‘explain’ what people mean.

    • Pasupial 2.1

      I do not think that this is crap, though it is certainly biased towards those who put communities before exploiters. The clue is in the top left and right corners where it states; “think about voting for these people” & “question these people”. That is not; “presented as if it is [ ] neutral” in my estimation.

      One phrase that is absent is; “open for business”, but I am having trouble coming up with a nonpornographic translation for that (usually beginning the phrase; “wide open…”).

      It comes to mind because of this interview with the mayoral candidate Cr Whiley Coyote:

      …I was the spokesperson for Pro Gas, so I wouldn’t say the oil industry [sic]. I think there were two parts to that. One, there was always an opportunity for gas exploration and a successful find off the Otago coast, and the jobs and the millions of dollars it would bring. The second part of that is that clearly the portrayal the rest of the country got from Dunedin was that we weren’t interested in this opportunity. We failed to say Dunedin is open for business.That’s what we have to continually speak out about…

      • dukeofurl 2.1.1

        I had to laugh at that- Open for business for offshore gas drilling.

        That means FiFo workers who live in Christchurch or Auckland. helicopters based at Mosgiel means they never even see Dunedin.
        The drilling rigs are on short term lease with crew from ‘all care no responsibility’ global corporates. production platforms will be built in Thailand/China and sailed here. Port Chalmers tugs will be used!
        If there is a problem. the government will force oil majors like BP to pay billions- yeah right !
        the insurance companies walked all over them in Christchurch, like Warner Bros did in Wellywood.

    • Scott 2.2


      It could be summed up to be: Vote for anything that might increase the number of PSA members even if at your expense, don’t vote for anything that suggests you deserve value for money for your rates.

      • dukeofurl 2.2.1

        NO need for votes for that, hear the screams of outrage from developers who dont get their consents done on time is enough to increase the staff numbers.

      • Those are great suggestions, Scott! I agree, they missed a couple of important translations:

        “Unions just want to get more members” = “I hate people who work getting together to use their collective power”

        “Value for money” = slash services to the bone and then sell them off to your mates.

    • AB 2.3

      The translations of the right-wing slogans are pretty solid and accurate. The translations of the left-wing slogans are somewhat patsy and over-generous. Could have been done better.
      But making these translations has become a necessary part of voting in local body elections. Candidates hide their real beliefs behind these dopey statements.

  3. Ovid 3

    So those on the right are on the left and those on the left are on the right, right?

  4. TC 4

    ‘Lets all work together’ = ‘once in I will do as my backers instruct’

    ‘No water meters’ = ‘after consideration water meters are seen as the fairest way’

    ‘Safer communities’ = ‘central govt issue over police resourcing’

    ‘Time to be wise’ = ‘how could It be worse than the last one’

    ‘Fresh thinking’ = ‘no experience but willing to show up’

    ‘A real plan for a growing city’ = ‘rehashing nz institute dogma’

  5. Jenny Kirk 5

    How about our local doozy –

    “Free parking in the CBD” which in effect means all the workers park in the CBD and the shoppers can’t get a carpark !

  6. jcuknz 6

    I wouldn’t vote for the top left guy as my recycling bins go out once every couple of months at most with a bag 40l of rubbish. People are too lazy with their waste.

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