Hamish Coleman-Ross

Some interesting titbits from Auckland Council election returns

Hamish Coleman-Ross should stick to sailing

I’ve been going through the Auckland Council election expense and donation returns over the past few days since they were released on the Auckland Council website.

There are some interesting titbits to digest.

Greg Presland, who is now putting his name in the hat for Labour in New Lynn didn’t declare a single donation or contribution but spent over $40,000 getting himself elected.

If he wins the selection that would seem a total waste of resources. Presumably, he is now spending even more of his own money trying to secure Labour’s selection. Life must be good as a small community law office.

Looking through the returns of failed candidate Calum Penrose was really interesting, particularly on his expenses.   Read more »

Who is running the post-truth politics campaign?

Hamish Coleman-Ross, the loser campaign manager who cost Penny Webster and Calum Penrose their seats is blaming post-truth politics for his loss.

But it seems it is him running the post-truth politics bullshit.

The truth about Council spending, staff numbers and debt is actually quite positive. There’s a reason the organisation has an AA+ credit rating and you would think that would be enough to convince people, but it’s not. Most people’s understanding of Auckland Council comes from the Herald,which regularly paints a picture of an organisation that’s out of control and gone wild with overspending. It’s not a bad yarn, insomuch as there must be a hero to come slay this grisly beast. Save us all, Goff-man!

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Drop kick campaign manager tries explaining why he lost two seats

You have to laugh when a losing campaign manager starts explaining away why he lost the only two campaigns where sitting councillors got rinsed.

You can laugh even harder when he tries to explain it all away by using terms like “post-truth politics” which only political tragics know what it even means.

Losing sucks. But when you do, I believe it pays not to disappear into the night, nor to sit and lick your wounds claiming that you were hard done by. The results are what they are and in an election you must respect the decision of the people. I do so without ill feeling or regret. That said, post analysis is important and so I’d like to share my thoughts about the shock results on campaigns for which I was responsible.

In June I severed my links with the media world to take on the role of campaign manager for three sitting councillors seeking re-election: Calum Penrose, Penny Webster and Sir John Walker. Sir John, who has Parkinson’s Disease, needed to show voters that despite his illness he was still fit for the job. I produced a “hearts and minds” video and radio campaign so people could see and hear the man and know he was still fighting fit for the role. He was successfully re-elected on Saturday.

John Walker wasn’t re-elected because of some flash videos on social media which Hamish Coleman-Ross claims…he won because of name recognition.

The other two were a little different, mainly because when it came to being councillors they were exceptionally good at their jobs. The strategy was simple: campaign on the results delivered. The list of achievements for these two was immense. Calum was responsible for taking 158 bylaws from all the amalgamated councils and simplifying them down to 20. The stand out was the “dangerous dogs” bylaw, supported by an amnesty wherein owners could have their dogs de-sexed, chipped, registered and even provided with a muzzle for a mere $25. The response was so successful that central government used it as a blueprint for its own nationwide “dangerous dog” law.

In July this year, the bylaws review programme Calum led was named supreme winner at the Institute of Public Administration New Zealand (IPANZ) awards. Other achievements included successfully advocating for laws to be changed so that police can now be present on trains and securing funding to have the Takanini interchange widened.

Penny also had big achievements on the transport front. She was able to secure the Matakana Link road to greatly assist the traffic flow around Warkworth and pushed for more money to seal roads – then delivered in the form of $10 million over three years, up from an original $1 million per year. She even found time to sort out badly designed roundabouts and get more funding for rural fire service, amongst many other issues big and small.

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