Penny Webster

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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New Zealand’s Dodgiest Local Body Politician – Penny Webster

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Penny Webster is allegedly a right winger, but Len Brown got her to chair the money committee on council and she let Len spend like a drunken sailor. Then she tried to run the bullshit line that all Rodney’s rates had been spent in Rodney. Read more »

The push back against ratbag councillors begins

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I said it would come, and so it has come to pass.

Those councillors who voted for Len Brown’s massive rates hikes are now being targeted directly by the Auckland Ratepayers Alliance.

The Ratepayers’ Alliance has today launched a “These Councillors are Rubbish” campaign exposing two of the “Terrible Ten” Auckland Councillors who allowed Len Brown to hike rates by 9.9% last year, and are failing to prevent changes to local waste services which will see some households pay twice as much for domestic waste collection.

In the next 72 hours 72,000 leaflets will be distributed in Rodney and Albany targeting Councillors Penny Webster and Wayne Walker, their voting record, and their apparent support for a new waste regime which will see their constituents pay much more for waste.

Ratepayers’ Alliance Spokesperson, Jo Holmes, says “This is the first step of our campaign to name and shame those who have supported Len Brown’s high rates, high debt agenda.”   Read more »

Is Auckland Future going to Endorse Penny Webster?

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There are a large number of disappointing councillors on the Auckland Council, but when it comes to disappointment none is more disappointing than Penny Webster.

Penny Webster accepted the Chair of the Finance & Performance Committee, which means she manages a lot of the budgeting process and therefore has to take responsibility for the ridiculous spending Len Brown’s council has undertaken. She has to take responsibility for the massive increase of debt, and she has to take responsibility for the massive increase in rates. So Penny Webster is a tax-and-spend liberal who has proven it by taxing and spending her guts out on behalf of Len Brown.   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 arrogance of Len Brown is astonishing

Lame duck Mayor Len Brown threw a party to celebrate his pillaging of ratepayers’ pockets and his shameless breaking of his election promises.

Auckland Mayor Len Brown and council staff held a ratepayer-funded party hours after passing a new budget that includes a 9.9 per cent average rates rise for households.

Senior staff have defended the function as a way of thanking staff but critics say the decision was misguided when thousands of Aucklanders were smarting from big rates increases.

After passing his budget by one vote – and avoiding plunging the city into a financial crisis – Mr Brown left the Auckland Town Hall on Thursday night to join chief executive Stephen Town and 50 or so other staff for drinks in the Herald Theatre at the Aotea Centre.

Last night, the mayor’s chief press secretary, Glyn Jones, said Mr Brown briefly attended a function to thank staff for their work at the completion of the council meeting.

Mr Jones said he, Mr Brown and a senior adviser, Theresa Stratton, attended from the mayoral office.

Last night, a council spokeswoman said the council finance team hosted a function for around 50 staff from 4pm to 6pm at the Herald Theatre. Read more »

Face of the day

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Auckland councillors have voted 10-9 to approve Mayor Len Brown’s new 10-year budget.

Those to vote for the budget were Mayor Len Brown, Arthur Anae, Bill Cashmore, Linda Cooper, Chris Darby, Alf Filipaina, Mike Lee, Calum Penrose, Wayne Walker, Penny Webster.

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Councillors to vote against the budget were Cameron Brewer, Cathy Casey, Ross Clow, Chris Fletcher, Denise Krum, Dick Quax, Sharon Stewart, John Watson and George Wood.

Time to rinse the Terrible Ten

There are at least ten councillors in Auckland who will need a strong third party campaign against them at the next election.

Auckland councillors have voted 10-9 to approve Mayor Len Brown’s new 10-year budget.

Those to vote for the budget were Mayor Len Brown, Arthur Anae, Bill Cashmore, Linda Cooper, Chris Darby, Alf Filipaina, Mike Lee, Calum Penrose, Wayne Walker, Penny Webster.

Councillors to vote against the budget were Cameron Brewer, Cathy Casey, Ross Clow, Chris Fletcher, Denise Krum, Dick Quax, Sharon Stewart, John Watson and George Wood.

Those ten councillors, plus many in the opposing list have enabled Len Brown’s wasteful spending and budgets over two council terms.

This vote won’t save them as we head into next year’s local body elections.   Read more »