Mark Thomas

Auckland mayoral candidate Crone has no National Party endorsement, and never will

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I’m not filled with confidence with the launch of the latest candidate for Mayor of Auckland.

Victoria Crone has been spoken about for weeks yet on the day of her announcement she sent out an email that MPs I’ve spoken to said was timed for 16:17 announcing that she would be making her announcement that she was standing for mayor at 16:00. Worse the email was sent from a gmail address. There is no branding, no website, and no domain name. It is real amateur hour stuff and if she is paying advisors she needs to seriously think about the advice she is getting.

On the plus side though, all credit to her resigning from her job to campaign full time. That is real skin in the game. Will Phil Goff match that? Somehow I think not.

Auckland’s newest mayoral candidate is not a household name, but it’s likely she’ll be well known in business circles.

Victoria Crone, Xero’s New Zealand managing director, has announced she’ll run for Auckland Mayor next October as Len Brown steps aside.   Read more »

Michelle Boag & Auckland’s Future

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The media have started to cotton on to former National Party President Michelle Boag promoting a new centre right coalition for local body politics in Auckland called “Auckland’s Future”.

The tip line has been running hot with people saying that Boag has yet to convince any candidates to sign up, and because of this she cannot get any money for “Auckland’s Future”. This is not very surprising as the centre right in Auckland local body has not won anything of note since 2007, and aspiring mayoral candidate and pastel lover Mark Thomas managed to rebrand C&R so much that absolutely no one wanted to vote for them.    Read more »

The Thomas Mark campaign diary for the week

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Campaigns are all about momentum.

On that basis, I’m delighted to report that my campaign has plenty of momentum.

Yesterday, myself and two others were waving signs on the side of a road in Avondale. People waved. Some promised one vote by holding up a finger, others were a bit confused and thought it was a MMP campaign because they promised me two votes! Good vibes. Bless them out here.The cardboard signs are artfully designed in teal blue and dark blue. The font has been chosen to maximise “punch factor”. Looks really good, if I may say so myself!   Read more »

Independent? Yeah, sure we’ll believe that one Phil

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Phil Goff reckons he will be an independent candidate for Mayor of Auckland.

After nearly 30 years as a Labour candidate in elections and once leading the Labour Party to their second worst defeat in recent years, he thinks that Aucklanders will forget all that and all of a sudden think of him as an independent.

Either that or he thinks Labour’s brand is so damaged it is best to remove it from his own branding.

Former Labour Leader Phil Goff is likely to run for the Auckland mayoralty but not as a Labour candidate.

Mr Goff told POLITIK last night that if he runs he will run as an independent.

However he would stay on as a Labour MP until (and if) he was elected.  Read more »

Understanding the Thomas Mark Mayoral challenge

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Those reading a newspaper this morning will have been surprised, if not amused, to see that Thomas Mark of the Orakei Local Board is running for Mayor.

Thomas Mark is known in National Party circles, mostly as the guy that Bolger knifed in that infamous Wellington Central campaign in 1996.

According to his website, Mr Mark is promising “new leadership” for Auckland. Quite how this is different from everyone except Len Brown I’m not so sure. However, I look forward to watching Thomas Mark trying to out-leadership a former Parliamentary leader with extensive cabinet experience.     Read more »

The five reasons why left wingers are pure evil

Tim Stanley writes at the Telegraph in response to a claim by a left wing blogger in the uK that right wingers are evil. He gives his 5 reasons why left wingers are pure evil.

The Labour-supporting blogger Sunny Hundal has done his bit for world peace by declaring that Right-wingers are all “evil”. Obviously, it’s political hyperbole at its most silly. But this kind of rhetoric is increasingly common among Left-wingers who think that conservatives who want to reform welfare, stop the NHS from killing people or make sure kids can leave school with the ability to tie their own shoe-laces are – to use Sunny’s words – “heartless bastards.”

So if we’re going to play this game of tit-for-tat, I’d like to offer evidence that it’s the Left that’s pure evil rather than the right. Aside from hating freedom and the baby Jesus, they also commit these five mortal sins without any thought for the rest of us.

He lists the 5 reasons…Ill try and put a NZ context on them.

1. Bad stand-up comedy. Call me old-fashioned, but I always thought a comedian was a fat man in a tux who came on stage and told jokes. But Left-wingers will laugh at something not because it’s funny but because they think they’re supposed to – which been an enormous boon to the careers of “alternative” comedians like  Jeremy Hardy, Josie Long, Robin Ince, Mark Thomas and Marcus Brigstocke (seriously, folks, I’ve known colonoscopies that are funnier than Marcus Brigstocke). Their acts are basically George Galloway speeches with a laughter track added and one of their favourite targets are the “fascist simpletons” who believe in God. Oddly, though, they never pick on fundamentalist Muslims. They can’t seem to see the funny side of having a fatwa put on their head.   Read more »

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 »

Trevett on National’s lack of courage

Claire Trevett rang me for a chat yesterday about Maurice Williamson dropping out of the mayoralty race. Strange since Helen Kelly thinks I am irrelevant.

One of National MP Maurice Williamson’s supporters says he dropped his ambition to run as Auckland’s mayor partly because the National Party refused to let him stand under the party’s banner.

Unlike Labour and the Greens, National has never stood candidates in the local body elections but National-aligned blogger Cam Slater said Mr Williamson was trying to get the party to change its stance. Mr Slater, who is a friend of Mr Williamson, believed National’s refusal had cost the centre-right the only chance to beat Mayor Len Brown.

Mr Williamson announced yesterday he had decided against standing, saying he had taken personal, political and funding issues into consideration in his decision.  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 »

Tamaki redux – The Blokefest continues

Simon O’Connor has won the nomination for one of National’s safest seats – congratulations to Simon who won on the final ballot in the rushed contest to replace Allan Peachey after he resigned for ill health. This selection process has been exceptionally well run by the electorate chair and there has not been even a hint of skullduggery except by the President making his usual hamfisted interventions but no one in National thinks this is malicious, it is just the president has tits for hands.

The rushed selection has arguably not allowed delegates a proper chance to get to know the candidates, but the result accurately reflects the Tamaki constituency preference for a conservative male candidate who is well networked into the party, who presented fairly well and was good off-the-cuff. It also represents their desire to play it safe, by not selecting a candidate who would have represented unacceptable public relations risks for the party. There is also a suggestion that the aged males of Tamaki did not want a woman, which excluded three of the unsuccessful candidates (two of whom were female).

Commiserations to Denise Krum, who gave a great speech on the night and who presented well. It is unfortunate that she is still being tagged with the description of “former United Future president” in the Herald – she has earned the right to be described as National through and through.

Mark Thomas probably hung up his political boots last night after coming third (insiders suggested he was likely to win, and he had the support of some prominent Auckland Nats). His Party involvement has been defined by rejection at important moments –  knifed by Bolger and humiliated at the hands of the famously narrow-minded Tamaki electorate.

It looks like once again Tamaki will have to be satisfied with a less than average MP.