C&R = Catastrophe and Ruin for the Auckland centre-right

In around 7 months, NZ will be in the thick of local body elections, the most important for the Auckland Council.

At this stage, there isn’t a declared centre-right candidate to take on Len Brown, though the rumour mill is running overtime on a couple of names.

However, Len for know is very much in the box seat, which is why Auckland needs a strong centre-right council to hold him to account.

The centre-right in Auckland Region is normally represented by the Citizens and Ratepayers ticket, who have historically done well on the former Auckland Regional Council and the old Auckland City Council.

Since the 2010 elections, when C&R did poorly in the first ever supercity elections, there has been a rebrand by C&R’s executive board and National Party hacks Alastair Bell and Mark Thomas, to try and refresh their image. But while the colours and names have changed, their political fortunes have not.  The new C&R, now known as Communities and Residents, has barely registered in the media over the last year. The C&R caucus is badly divided, and their board ineffective. Wags have said they should have renamed themselves Catastrophe & Ruin instead.

National has all but washed their hands of C&R in the elections this year, its caucus refusing to make available any organisation to the adrift group, instead encouraging individuals to participate if they feel like it. Candidate selections that were supposed to take place in November have been deferred and deferred as people go cold on standing for an organisation heading for defeat. Big fundraising plans have turned to dust and instead, a big levy is likely to be imposed on the hapless cannon fodder that stand. 

C&R will likely re-nominate and successfully re-elect Chris Fletcher in her Albert-Eden ward, Dick Quax in Howick, and George Wood for the North Shore.  They will win each of their wards, but apart from Dick in Howick, will have likely left-wing fellow ward councillors. That’s where the good news ends.

It is likely that C&R will continue to propose the useless and tired Noelene Raffills to stand in her late husband’s ward, though he passed away over a decade ago and she has since remarried and lives elsewhere. Compounding this awful choice of candidate is the fact that Raffills barely votes with C&R these days and and supports Len Brown on most issues.

C&R has lost Des Morrison, their councillor in Franklin, who can be summed up as “nice guy but invisible”.  Morrison walked from C&R a few months ago. He won’t stand again, but there’s no guarantees C&R has a better chance at winning back the Franklin ward against popular lefty Dianne Glenn. In the glamour contest in Waitemata, C&R will bring out the dusty carpet bag, and stand Mark Thomas, one of their main campaign brains and Orakei Local Board candidate as their best chance against Mike Lee. As Thomas takes his message of Remuera wisdom to Grey Lynn, he can console himself that the daily drive across town in the Porsche SUV will be comfortable, even if the audience reception is not. Meanwhile he is continuing to busy himself with a hatchet job on Desley Simpson in the local board which leaves me confused as to which dog I should back in that fight…perhaps we are best to leave them to themselves to chew each other to pieces. It is always fun watching the fur, though in this case mostly plastic, fly.

They have little idea on who to stand in the wards north of the Harbour Bridge, with George Wood the only known C&R candidate. Penny Webster, once an ACT MP but now firmly in Len’s camp is unlikely to be defeated by Christine Rose, who would also be in Len’s camp. Wayne Walker, a very strange man, will probably win re-election in the Albany-Hibiscus area. A small mercy for the centre-right is the possible retirement of Michael Goudie, a very young independent who likes being cool but stands for little else.

Out west, Mike Brickell, the invisible C&R Party President, is likely to fancy his chances against Sandra Coney (he is mistaken), and Penny Hulse will probably hose in by a bigger majority than in 2010. If John Tamihere sought a seat, he might pick this us, which would be a good result for the centre-right as Tamihere would be uncontrollable by the left.

In their Orakei heartland, independent and strong centre-right identity Cameron Brewer controls the Orakei seat, and can expect a thumping great majority again, much to C&R’s great jealousy. C&R will also have to contend with an opposition heritage-sports club local board ticket that is being set up in their heartland, which will come as a rude shock to those expecting an easy run.

Out in South East Auckland former C&R candidates have ceased paying levies and quietly slipped away, most will now stand as independents. Michael Williams, having been convicted of drunk driving has now fallen foul of the disrepute rules of C&R, but he had already done that with his bombastic and high handed failed coup against his own deputy. He has refused to meet anyone from C&R either before or since the public debacle. At least the voting electorate will get to see more of his poor wife as she drives him from meeting to meeting while he is a disqualified driver.

In Manurewa-Papakura, Calum Penrose and Sir John Walker will expect to hose in with greater numbers. Penrose is probably the best centre-right intellect on the council, and Walker, neither left-nor-right and a charming guy to boot, are two great reps that C&R will probably embrace as best they can.

If C&R’s 2010 result was 5 councillors, with one walking since then and the other voting with Len must of the time, then they go into the election with only three incumbents and one confused old woman. They will be very lucky to gain much more than that. With the other centre-independents not likely to number more than 4 or 5, it seems Len will have both the throne and the cheap seats for three more years.


THANK YOU for being a subscriber. Because of you Whaleoil is going from strength to strength. It is a little known fact that Whaleoil subscribers are better in bed, good looking and highly intelligent. Sometimes all at once! Please Click Here Now to subscribe to an ad-free Whaleoil.

  • cows4me

    Auckland is lost. Why would the multitudes vote for a center right candidate when the left can promise to spend someone else’s money. As things get tougher in the big city and the poor get poorer a center right candidate would have very little hope of pushing right wing policies. The turkeys won’t be voting for an early Christmas until their heads are on the chopping block.

  • I concur with Cam’s analysis on this as much as this makes a rather gut wrencher of a read. Least my home Ward of Papakura is in safe hands with Penrose standing for re-election

  • williamabong

    National have washed their hands of New Zealand would be a better statement, come on Key time to get off the fence and actually do something, and that doesn’t include shit like recycling has-beens like Nick Smith.

    • Mr_Blobby

      Yes that’s a bit more on the mark.

      What is happening in Auckland, the Mayors vision for ” the worlds most livable city”. Is a council intent on micro controlling everything, they are busy writing bylaws for the sake of writing bylaws or more likely building a bureaucracy to end all bureaucracies. The compliance costs, penalties and inevitable rises in rates will be astounding the result will be the Worlds most unlivable and unaffordable City.

      The National Government has a lot to answer for this shambles. But more important who is going to fix the problem.

      • StupidDiscus

        Colin Craig.

        • Hazards001

          Colin Craig will turn out to be like every other bible bashing Christian fundamentalist. A self serving low rent one trick pony spouting an agenda for the fascist Muppets to lap up and put a no talent wannabe onto the gravy train.
          You go hard.

        • Mr_Blobby

          Just when I thought there might be hope for you Stupid, perhaps not.

  • LionKing

    C&R is effectively dead man walking. Old retreads, headed by people that still are aghast and still can’t believe that people didn’t vote for them. Captured by PC bullshit about co-leader (egos so big they have to be pacified by being “co’leaders”).

    Rebranding excise a complete joke. No sign of new candidates. No sign of National Party support. No sign of competent candidate for Mayoralty (they’re so clever they’re waiting until September to announce candidate). No sign of inspiration. No hope.

  • peterwn

    From a nationwide perspective I would rather have Len Brown and co. in Auckland since it enhances National overall election prospects. Anyway even if National set up shop in Auckland local politics it would be faced with the same problems as C&R unless for example it persuaded a senior and effective National MP stand for Mayor. And these problems are likely to drag National down overall. No wonder the Board and National MP’s outside Auckland do not want to touch Auckland local elections with a bargepole.

  • Sir Cullen’s Sidekick

    Let Lentil Brown win. Then Kiwis will never vote for the lunatic lefts in the general election. Lentil’s office costs NZ$ 10,000 a day to run and he wants more funding. This is exactly how NZ will be when the lunatics take over in 2014. Tax and spend.

    You pay, I spend.

  • StupidDiscus

    though the rumour mill is running overtime on a couple of names.

    Let’s hope one of them is Cameron Slater!

  • Anonymouse Coward

    The right do not have a monopoly on sub-optimal local body tactics.

    What about the Megan goes to Wellington, Jim gets to be Mayor stitch-up in the Peoples Republic of Christchurch.

  • JeffDaRef

    I genuinely supproted the Supercity concept – a “new brush” approach to a city that was strangling itself.

    But the biggest disappointment was that it got populated by recycled pollies on both sides of the spectrum, at both council and local board level.

    So the “bold new approach” had neither nothing bold, nor nothing new, about it.

    I’d love to see a non-lefty candidate campaign on a rates CUT – then handpick a decent CEO that can achieve it – despite all the wailings theres still plenty of fat there when you see the money being thrown into pointless community organisations and projects that benefit only a handful of people.

    • Hazards001

      Well you need to give yourself a good uppercut. I vocally and tirelessly campaigned against the supercity as I also did with MMP many years ago (I even flew back to NZ on my wages as a construction worker to rail against MMP).

      Anyone that could not see the inevitable rate increases and bureaucratic money wasting as the top sleaze balls consolidated their patch is either blind or living in a fantasy world.

      The anger I feel as I daily watch our city being fucked over by these tossers is impossible to communicate through here. And I see it daily as a result of my work.

      NB I work in a privately owned business.

      • Mr_Blobby

        The National lead Government has a lot to answer for. But the question remains who is capable of fixing the problem.

        • Hazards001

          The National Government did not introduce MMP, or WFF or interest free student loans or extended paid parental leave that can be extended to fathers or….ffs the list has no end.

          The shameless debacle that is the supercity is in the big scheme of how badly we have been fucked over by the 9 years of the self serving gaggle of gays and unionists leaves me in no doubt that the supercity is a small trade off payment when viewed objectively.
          Of course the bludgers of the left will see it otherwise.

          • StupidDiscus

            MMP, or WFF or interest free student loans or extended paid parental leave that can be extended to fathers or..

            Or the dole or the DPB or ACC or National Super (wait a minute…)

            The supershitty was designed by Hellen to always have a leftist majority. Why Rodney took on the job of implementing Hellen’s last great gift to the left I’ll never know (well he did work at a uni – perhaps, like Rodger, he was a leftist all along)

        • Hazards001

          As too fixing it..well if the best we can do is Christine “lets fence lockable spa pools” Fletcher and Mr PC plod lets protect our own patch Woods then good Fn luck getting anything in this clusterfuck of a supercity sorted out!

        • StupidDiscus

          Colin Craig.

      • StupidDiscus

        NB I work in a privately owned business.

        then your probably deserve a vote.

        unlike 90/100 “Kiwis” who are on the government tit.

        (unless you have WFF, EQC, a state house, kids in state schools, go to state hospitals, have parents on the Super, – in which case you’re just another bludger like all the rest)

        • Hazards001

          I have NONE of the above. But I do have a social conscience. I believe that people that CAN’T not won’t help themselves should be given assistance by those that can. I have paid more in direct taxation than I will ever be able to claim now matter how long I live.

          Not that it matters a damn.

    • Quoting: [But the biggest disappointment was that it got populated by recycled pollies on both sides of the spectrum, at both council and local board level.]

      Seems we are going to be in the for MK II version this November when we cast our election papers for Auckland Council.

      I don’t see much in the terms of fresh blood or even fresh meat coming in 2013 and even 2016 unless the Centre Left roll out university trained hacks.

      Just on an idle thought though, did consider maybe contesting a Local Board seat down here in Papakura on the centre-right side. Catch is I said “did consider”

      What happened? Starting a small business or Local Board. Went down the Small Business side