Local government is the breeding ground for political parties, where newbies cut their teeth and prove themselves. It is also an incredibly important part of our system of governance, with dodgy councils being able to waste lots of money then stick out their hands for more from government.
Strategically it makes a lot of sense for political parties to run strong local government campaigns. The strategic stupidity of the National Party means that they are not doing anything at these local body elections. The Board has not got involved at all, and caucus also put it in the too hard basket just last Tuesday despite the impassioned plea from Auckland based MPs.
This means National’s proxies, C&R in Auckland, and Independent Citizens in Christchurch are going to get no support from National, and will get a sound hiding from Labour in the coming elections.
Labour aren’t so squeamish to get involved in local body politics. They do so for two reasons…one is training in campaigning and honing their get out the vote machinery and the other is local body provides a retirement path for their MPs. Instead of using local body politics as a training ground they use it as a retirement plan
National on the other hand ignores both but the evidence to the contrary is before them.
National has many MPs who were a success in local body first and then became MPs, Nathan Guy, Jami-lee Ross, Sam Lotu Iiga, Paul Goldsmith…not many National MOPs retire to become local body politicians.
National ignores local body politics at its peril, and peril is what they face, especially in Auckland.
I will outline this in a separate post.