Des Morrison

For once I agree with Rudman

Knock me down with a feather, I agree with Brian Rudman this morning.

?A lopsided mayoralty race is bad enough, but at councillor level, confusion abounds.

At least at a national level, our politicians drape themselves in the colours of their respective political parties, so voters get an idea of what they’re voting for.

But local elections are like a beauty contest where the bikini has been replaced by the burqa. Candidates hide their beliefs behind bland labels such as “Citizen” or “Ratepayer”.

I had hoped with the creation of the Super City, home to a third of the nation’s people, that the politicians seeking to govern us would shed this silliness, and embrace the labels we’re all familiar with – Labour, National, Green and the like. Even if that was a step too far for the civic worthies, I did expect them to coalesce among themselves into like-minded working partnerships that voters could identify with.

But the opposite has occurred. ? Read more »

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.? Read more »

The Secret Mayor

Len Brown is the Secret Mayor. He didn’t want anyone to know who he had dinner with and fought for 8 months all the way to the Ombudsman. He lost that fight. He wanted board appointments held in secret so he could put his mates on the board unchallenged. And now he has fought an attempt to have the business of the Maori Statutory Authority conducted with openness and transparency.

Secrecy surrounds a new funding plan for the Maori Statutory Board after Mayor Len Brown yesterday crushed a move by many councillors for an open debate on the issue.

Mr Brown, who campaigned last year on openness and transparency, did not want councillors speaking publicly about one of the biggest embarrassments of his six months in the Super City hot seat.

He gathered 11 votes, just enough to stop nine councillors who wanted to debate the council’s new negotiating position with the board in public.

Said councillor Cathy Casey: “It is time to speak out, say what you think and own your words.”

9 Councillors voted for openness. They were Cameron Brewer, Cathy Casey, Christine Fletcher, Mike Lee, Callum Penrose, Sharon Stewart, Des Morrison, John Walker and George Wood. They can hold their heads high.

The other 11 – Len Brown, Wayne Walker, Michael Goudie, Arthur Anae, Alf Filipaina, Richard Northey, Anne Hartley, Penny Webster, Sandra Coney, Penny Hulse, and Noelene Raffils need to be drummed out of the council for letting down their people.

Len Brown sat on a train and campaigned for openness and transparency. He promised “open books”. He has lied to Aucklanders. This discussion is about the budget of the?Maori Statutory Board, if that isn’t part of the books then what on earth is?

Aucklanders know now that Len Brown prefers the shadows, back-room deals and weasel words. He has the spine of a jellyfish and the gumption of a fart. It is unacceptable that discussions about spending ratepayers money are held in secret.

We deserve better.

 

Citizens and Ratepayers announces candidates

Citizens and Ratepayers has announced this morning some of their candidates for the upcoming Local Body Elections in Auckland. (Candidate Summary Profile Pack)

They are:

?Albany Ward
Cr Linda Cooper??? Waitakere City Councillor
Ms Josephine Kim?? Barrister and Solicitor

Albert-Eden-Roskill Ward

Hon Christine Fletcher QSO Former Mayor of Auckland
Cr Paul Goldsmith?? Auckland City Councillor

Franklin Ward
Cr Des Morrison?? Franklin District Councillor

Maungakiekie-Tamaki Ward
Mr Alfred Ngaro?? Community Development Consultant

Orakei Ward
Cr Douglas Armstrong QSO Auckland City Councillor

Te Irirangi (Howick) Ward
Cr Dick Quax??? Manukau City Councillor
Cr Jami-Lee Ross?? Manukau City Councillor

Waitamata and Gulf Ward
Cr Michael Barnett?? Auckland Regional Councillor

Whau Ward
Cr Noelene Raffills?? Auckland City Councillor

There are 6 European, 2 Maori, 1 Cook Islander and 1 Korean candidates, 4 women and 7 men. The balance of the team so far, age, (some young ones) experience, ethnic mix, gender mix is pretty good, very hard for the repeaters to criticise these selections so far.

The only one who is a bit scatter-brained is Christine Fletcher, but hey, she was elected mayor once so who knows.

I think scoring Alfred Ngaro is a coup, he is very well respected in the Pasifika community and I’ve heard will be a stunning candidate.

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