Who should you vote for?

Written By: - Date published: 6:39 pm, September 20th, 2016 - 38 comments
Categories: local body elections, local government - Tags:

From this week you’ll be receiving voting papers in the mail with a booklet full of 150-word blurbs by people you’ve probably never heard of. How to make sense of it all? Well, plenty of organisations have been compiling their political naughty-or-nice lists, and because I’m a total nerd I’ve put them all together into one beautiful endorsement extravaganza!

boromir-it-is-a-gift

Get out and vote, people.

This list is also at Boots Theory and will be updated there as other endorsements come out …

Candidates supporting Jobs That Count

These candidates have pledged to stand up for good jobs, strong communities and a clean environment.

Candidates supporting a Living Wage

The Living Wage Movement is calling on council candidates around the country to support a Living Wage for directly employed workers and for contracted workers delivering services on a regular and ongoing basis.

Candidates supporting the environment

Generation Zero has put together comprehensive scorecards on a range of environmental issues and collated them on a nice little website.

Labour Party candidates

Green Party candidates

By far the most comprehensive list! Key campaigns are also being run in:

Auckland-specific: The Spinoff

As part of their ongoing War for Auckland, The Spinoff have created an endorsement tool – click here!

Mayoral endorsements are here.

Read more about the Spinoff’s endorsements.

Wellington-specific: The ‘ista

Wellingtonista’s local body survey is legendary. This year they’ve had just three responses – from Diane Calvert, Justin Lester and Troy Mihaka – based on a strategy of “we’re volunteers, we aren’t working ourselves to death to help you lot get good PR.” But they make for great reading, so check them out.

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Let me know in the comments if there are any other good endorsement sets out there! Yes, that means the rightwing ones too – Family First’s central government scorecards are always good for telling you who’s worth voting for, if not in the way they intend.

38 comments on “Who should you vote for?”

  1. Cinny 1

    Hiyas, I’m in the Motueka ward of the Tasman District Council. There are bugger all candidates standing this time round. Unfortunately some are well passed their used by date, or are failed business men that want a stable salary.

    It’s been a long hard decision for me to choose three candidates from the five standing for the Motueka Ward, there is only one person I’m voting for, the rest don’t really appear to care about our region, rather their own agenda instead of the community.

    May I comment whom I am going to vote for and not vote for and why?

    [lprent: Yes – especially the why. When I get a few minutes I’ll scribble down my voting strategy this time in my small provincial setting as well (Auckland Central) where we have the same problem about people well past their use-by-date and their intellectual capacities. Like Bill Ralston FFS.. ]

    • maninthemiddle 1.1

      “Unfortunately some are well passed their used by date, or are failed business men that want a stable salary.”

      We get that in national politics, with MP’s jumping from one trough to another…Kevin Hague, Russel Norman..

      [lprent: Banned for 2 weeks for doing a smart arse diversion comment that had nothing to do with the post and bugger all to do with the comment you were replying to. You should know better. I delight in dealing to people doing that kind of diversion at the top of the comments section in a post. ]

      • Sabine 1.1.1

        Paula Bennett.

        Did that woman ever work in the private world or did she go straight from single parent beneficiary to Minister?

        • srylands 1.1.1.1

          If I recall correctly she worked as a support worker in a nursing home. Is that what you mean by ‘private world’,?

    • DoublePlusGood 1.2

      I say go for it.
      Also, maybe you’ll get to beat them in the next election!

    • Cinny 1.3

      The best way I found to do research on candidates in a small community, where water is one of the paramount issues (some want to build a dam) is to ask around the locals, especially the ones whom have lived in my community for a long time. The local left wing oldies are the best to ask for their opinion.

      I was told that Paul Hawkes is a failed business man, he’s had a number of businesses that he has run into the ground. Turns out he has been on the community board and done bugger all. The Jamie Seddon wharf he said he was going to sort out, well it’s had orange plastic safety net around it for years. He fails to complete things. Don’t get me started on how he had the pedestrian crossing moved just a couple of metres, what a waste of money that was.
      I won’t be voting for Paul Hawkes, he is seeking re-election to be chair of the community board along with standing for council. He says “There is a list of unfinished business I would like to see the Board complete and with this in mind”
      My elderly anti Key neighbour told me that Paul was thick as two planks.

      Next up Barry Dowler…
      “I have represented the Motueka Ward for the last thirteen and a half years, the first four and a half as a Community Board Member and the last nine as a Tasman District Councillor.” Back in 2013 he wanted to build a ‘top of the south’ prison. He opposed doing up the library, but has since changed his mind… votes lolz, everyone round here wants to see the library improved.
      Sorry Barry I won’t be voting for you either. There is something about you, I’m not to sure of, I know you own commercial property around here.

      Martin Lucas
      Ex police detective, that wants to be in a position of control, again! Check out his track record… Local authority experience: Elected Kaiapoi Borough Councillor 1986-89; Elected Kaiapoi Community Board Member 1989-91; Board of Trustees Member St Patricks’ Kaiapoi 1987-91, St Peter Chanel Motueka 1992-95; Member of Kaiteriteri Recreation Reserve Board 2001-2008
      I’ve been told he is a slippery snake, not the best endorsement.

      Peter Canton, dude you wanted to rip down John Krammers family bach! Sorry Peter you won’t be getting my vote, don’t you know who John Krammer is? He’s our favourite labour party old boy. Leave him alone, he hasn’t got many years left and has done so very much for Motueka, shame on you for picking on an old man.
      No vote for you Peter.

      Then there is David Ogilvie you will be getting my vote Sir, you may be in your 70’s but you genuinely care about Motueka. I’ve heard many good things about you since i’ve been asking around, good things from ex councillors and local residents.

      I’m still gathering info, hoping to catch up with our local MP for his advice, and will be asking his campaign manager for his thoughts as well. You only find out so much from the paper, the best way is to ask around those in your community to find out what the candidates are really like and make up your own mind.

      The vote for mayor is a tricky one for me, one of my parents is on the incumbents campaign team. I’m not sure if I will vote for Kempthorne or one of the others for mayor, still gathering info for that choice.

      Cinny OUT 🙂 lololz 🙂 good luck everyone in making your choice, ask the locals and approach the candidates, gather as much info as you can. Shame the media isn’t more involved in local body reporting.

      • prickles 1.3.1

        Hi Cinny, I can’t comment on your local Motueka ward councillors as I haven’t taken the time to study them. Great summary though – thanks. We can only hope that they will be well moderated by those in the Richmond ward where we seem to have some very good people standing – several for the first time and openly stating that they are standing because they are unhappy with our current council.

        As for the mayor, Richard Kempthorne has had a pretty good crack at it after 9 years and our rates and the Council debt are still headed skyward. Kit Maling appears to have gone missing completely – he hasn’t appeared at the last 4 public meetings. He is very pro the Lee Valley Dam which will cost all of us a small fortune well on into the future and which we don’t actually need. Kit Maling is also the Chair of Waimea East Irrigators – the company which will benefit the most from the construction of the dam – so he is definitely off my list. Maxwell Clark is less well-known but appears to have a good grasp of local issues and is very much against the dam. He is promoting the use of weirs, reservoirs and domestic water retention tanks which is infinitely more affordable for us than the $90million dam. He has also come out strongly in favour of bringing forward the funding for the Motueka library plus sorting out the ongoing flooding/stormwater issues over that way. He’ll be getting my vote.

  2. weka 2

    Just going to have a little grumble here, not at your post Stephanie but at the general paucity of activism and action around local body elections. By far the biggest environmental issues are regional and district council issues not big city ones. If NZ wants to save our water this is the election to pay very close attention to people standing in regional councils and figure out some strategy. Unfortunately most people will be exposed to the standard greenwash candidate rhetoric statements they reading the paper and not much else and that’s what they will make their decisions on 🙁

    • Cinny 2.1

      well said

    • Macro 2.2

      Transition Town Thames had a very good and well attended meeting last saturday (tea coffee and yummy cake provided! 🙂 ) at which almost all of the candidates for the Thames ward were present and presented speeches and answered questions from the floor. This candidate stood out for me 🙂 mind you I am her dad.

    • I absolutely agree. Local body elections don’t get nearly the kind of attention they should because the assumption seems to be that all the “important” decisions get made at a central government level – and the only things that matter in local government are rates and roads.

      I also think there’s an issue with the received wisdom that people “don’t like party politics in local government”. It’s a convenient myth for the right that attempts to derail genuine progressive campaigns, and I have to think it’s part of the reason people are so disengaged. As you say, a whole swathe of much-the-same rhetoric from people all claiming to be “Independent” hardly gives people the idea that they’ve got a real choice.

      • mickysavage 2.3.1

        Part of the problem is there are so many candidates and so many of them are independents who want to cut rates, support community and preserve the environment! And it is so difficult to work out what. Give me party labeled candidates every day …

        • Pat 2.3.1.1

          a bigger part of the problem i believe is almost half of most electorates don’t directly pay rates and consequently are disinterested

          • Sabine 2.3.1.1.1

            see it the other way, almost half of the electorates pays rates on properties they don’t own and watch a council work only for property owners. Why bother if you are a tenant or business owner how leases his / her property. You pay the rates, you get no consideration.

            • Pat 2.3.1.1.1.1

              believe we are describing the same cohort

            • maninthemiddle 2.3.1.1.1.2

              Or another way … if you are renting, you get a host of services that are paid for by your landlord.

              • Sabine

                ah now that would be a dumb landlord.

                a good landlord has everything inclusive the maintenance paid for by tenants. but then, i guess the amateur land lord class of NZ that specializes in flipping houses every six week to six month does not care for such things.

                no mate, there is no service a land lord pays. User pays, thus sayeth the free market.

              • s y d

                I think you’ll find any landlord still in business factors in rates into the rent charged…

              • Pat

                which are subsequently offset against income as an expense by said landlord….an action not available to owner occupiers and ultimately paid by the tenant in any event.

              • I wish my Landlord didn’t include “their” rates in my rent, lol.

        • lprent 2.3.1.2

          Hey MS, I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of City Vision candidates I had to vote for this time – all the way down to my local board. Mind you I was surprised at how many of them I’d run across at various stages. Hardly had to do any research to dig out the obscure and the unwantable.

          It was a pleasure voting for them even after I’d read my way through the other blurbs.

          I found a few other DHB independents worth voting for as well to help keep the nutters out.

        • Cinny 2.3.1.3

          agree

      • weizguy 2.3.2

        I’ve had many a conversation where “we don’t like party politics in local government” is the key argument against my preferred candidate (who is running for my preferred party).

        Every time I hear it, I ask why. I’m yet to receive a coherent answer beyond “Councils make sure my bog can flush and rain drains downhill. Stay out of social agendas ffs!” I get the sense that they’d prefer that a system where John Key appoints a city manager who sells off assets and cuts rates. The “stick to your knitting” view of local body politics is political – just one that many would prefer to keep hidden.

        Most people don’t have an answer, but they’re happy to repeat it as if it was in any way throught through. At the least, a party affiliation will give you some sense of what people stand for (because you sure as hell won’t get it from what some of the candidates have to say – Nick Leggett, I’m looking at you).

  3. Editractor 3

    How is the Generation Zero group organised – does each region sort of do its own thing? I was pleased to see that their Auckland website discusses their methodology for assigning the scores (“Our criteria”) but other regional websites don’t seem to. You can read the statements of the candidates of course, but the scores lose meaning if you don’t know how they were derived.

  4. Sabine 4

    voting was fairly easy here in westie land. we have some good labour and green candidates standing and they got my votes.
    t’was very easy actually.

  5. Ian 5

    John Key is smart. Letting Goff And Dalziel keep sucking from the public tit is brilliant strategy. Both of them are more useless as tits on a bull and they get to own the displeasure of the voters

    [Stephanie: This has only the loosest of connections to the actual post. Keep your comments on topic or take them to Open Mike.]

  6. No mention of Southland???
    The Regional Council is important down here and has Eric Roy trying for a seat this time around.

    Here’s my profile (follows the format requested by the Southland Times)

    http://robertguyton.blogspot.co.nz/2016/09/southland-times-candidate-profile.html

  7. jcuknz 7

    HAng on a minute …. As I read my voting papers it clearly stated it was an offence to try and influence a voter
    So I am a little suprised at seeing this thread.

    • James Thrace 7.1

      There are specific things required to fall within that category of influencing the voter.

      Having a discussion thread is not within that category.

    • The lists above provide information which people *may use* when deciding how to vote. As it says, I would equally link to endorsement posts by Family First or the National Party, if they sullied their hands with local politics.

      And our law is simply not as restrictive as you’re implying, otherwise nobody would ever be able to talk about politics at all.

  8. Ed 8

    I found information about Wellington candidates for the CCDHB here:
    http://wellington.scoop.co.nz/?p=92678 , leading to:
    http://wellington.scoop.co.nz/?p=92684
    and http://img.scoop.co.nz/media/pdfs/1609/FINAL_PHA_Scorecard_Singlesided.compressed.pdf
    Apparently their are quite a few anti-fluoridation candidates standing in different areas of the country

  9. JanM 9

    I’m in Whangarei and am having a lot of trouble finding out who is for and who is against the Hundertwasser Art Gallery project. I’ve found a list of yes/no voters who are already on the council, but the new candidates are not being very forthcoming. I do not want to find myself voting for someone who is against this very important project. Help!!??

  10. mlpc 10

    If Justin Lester is standing as a Labour candidate, why isn’t he campaigning under Labour colours like the other Labour ward and regional council candidates?

    Is he ashamed of being Labour, or is he just trying to con the voters?

  11. Brendon Bonner 11

    I did not attend the Living Wage event at the Wesley Church on Taranaki Street on 1 September as it is out of my ward and I am flat out campaigning in the Southern Ward. There was no question on the invite asking if I supported the Living Wage and somehow my support, as expressed on my FB campaign page, got missed. There I say: “I support the WCC continuing to promote a Living Wage for it’s staff and contracting staff. I would like to see WCC encouraging the private sector in this – for the benefit of all Wellingtonians”.

    If elected (and Scoop says I will be) I will be a pro-union, pro-worker voice at the WCC table. I am a union member and worker – I am hardly likely not to support the Living Wage!
    I even describe myself as a socialist in my campaign video at https://www.facebook.com/VoteBrendonBonner1/

    Could you correct your list please.

    Regards,
    Brendon Bonner
    Red/Green Independent candidate
    Southern Ward WCC

  12. the pigman 12

    The Spinoff has a great books section, but it has an increasingly homogenous political angle, particularly where it comes to Auckland.

    Their advice to vote for Bill Ralston in preference to Mike Lee should ring alarm bells. Chris Trotter utterly eviscerates this advice: http://bowalleyroad.blogspot.jp/2016/09/from-good-guys-to-fall-guys-spinoff-and.html

    While I don’t think Chris is right to paint The Spinoff and its editorial policy in such broad strokes, by taking such a one-eyed Auckland angle they have opened themselves up to criticism.

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