Noelene Raffills

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But local elections are like a beauty contest where the bikini has been replaced by the burqa.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 »

These Auckland Muppets should be voted out

These are the muppets who voted for Cathy Casey’s motion for Auckland Council to reject a free convention centre. They do not deserve any support and should be booted from the council including George Wood.


“The governing body does not support the Government’s proposal for SkyCity to develop a convention centre in return for changes in our gambling legislation to increase gambling at the SkyCity casino.”


Cathy Casey, Sandra Coney, Alf Filipaina, Michael Goudie, Ann Hartley, Penny Hulse, Mike Lee, Richard Northey, Wayne Walker, George Wood

All of them need to go.? 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 troughers want a bigger trough

Penny Hulse and other troughers elected to the new council are whinging about their pay.

Greedy Little Piggy - Penny Hulse

Greedy Little Piggy - Penny Hulse

Deputy mayor Penny Hulse said on the basis of workload and expectations, her 20 fellow ward councillors were underpaid.

“The pay scales treat us as though we are members of small boards. They do not recognise the jobs we have been given.”

“They have been set by people who don’t recognise the job we do, how much work or time is involved.”

She said she wasn’t sure what an appropriate salary was, and although they shouldn’t be the same as MPs, “our jobs are similar”.

She was willing to settle into the job, but wants salaries reviewed.

Her comments were supported by North Shore councillor George Wood, who said he was “surprised” by the remuneration levels.

“That it’s at the level it is has surprised me, given the work we are expected to do. But given we are the first cut, so to speak, we will just have to wear it,” he said.

“This is something the Remuneration Authority will have to look at.”

Waitemata and Gulf councillor Mike Lee said the salary was “not sufficient”.

“It’s meant to be a super city. The council is meant to undertake the responsibilities of what was a regional council and a city council, but that is not reflected.”

This is what happens when you elected old duffers and pinkos. They always want a bigger suck of the sav. Poor old George Wood looks confused, ho on earth can he express surprise at the remuneration levels? As for Mike Lee and Penny Hulse, well they are just pinko troughers looking for more public money to wallow in.

Local Government Minister Rodney Hide rubbished the request, saying that if councillors didn’t like the pay they shouldn’t have stood, since salaries were announced three months before the election.

In June the Remuneration Authority announced the new mayor would receive $240,000, and councillors an $80,000 base rate, with more allocated to committee chairs, though the exact amount is unclear.

So no surprises there then, except for poor old George.

Whau councillor Noelene Raffills also considered the salary low, but said she didn’t put herself forward for money.

But Howick councillor Jami-Lee Ross disagreed, warning his colleagues, some with business incomes, to resist being greedy. “We knew what the salaries would be before we put ourselves forward, so why would we now ask for more?”

Good to see some councillors can see the bleeding obvious. Haven’t seen a pinko councillor though with similar perspicacity.

No wonder Len Brown was under pressure from the pinko councillors to have 55 committees. All the more meetings to fill up the trough with ratepayer cash.

I think with a spendthrift Mayor and a whole bunch of pinkos on the council we should be vigilant on how they propose to spend our money. The warning signs are already there, that though there will be no credit cards, the Deputy Mayor looks to be establishing some nice expense accounts for the councillors.