Student Volunteer Army

No Sam, Dalziel will have to find someone else

What a bugger, Sam Johnson would have been a good councillor for Christchurch. He is a genuine top bloke.

I hope Lianne Dalziel finds someone equally as good because Bob Parker has to go.

Student Volunteer Army founder Sam Johnson will not challenge Mayor Bob Parker in the upcoming Christchurch elections, despite agonising over an offer to team up with Labour MP Lianne Dalziel.

The Weekend Press revealed Dalziel – the MP for Christchurch East and Labour’s earthquake recovery spokeswoman – invited Johnson to be her running mate and would-be deputy mayor in October’s local body elections.

Neither Dalziel nor Johnson would comment on Friday, but Johnson admitted last night he “very seriously did consider” the offer. He finally decided against it on Saturday afternoon.

“I really wanted to do it,” he said. “It was a really difficult decision to make, but I don’t think it is the right thing for me right now.”  Read more »

More popular than a dictator

The Press

The Press has commissioned a leadership survey of local personalities. The result are astonishing for one person in particular:

Tousle-haired Student Volunteer Army head Sam Johnson and controversial Christchurch City Council boss Tony Marryatt find themselves at opposite ends of the leadership spectrum in The Press’s Local Issues Survey.

In a time of crisis Christchurch residents have looked to their leaders for guidance and reassurance.

The Opinions Market Research survey shows some have inspired us with their efforts, others have dispirited us, and the work of others remains seemingly unknown.

The top dogs of local and central government agencies, and of business and community organisations, came under the spotlight in The Press survey of 300 Christchurch, 33 Waimakariri and 26 Selwyn residents.

Johnson’s performance was head and shoulders above the rest, with a staggering 98 per cent of the 359 surveyed considering he had done a good job.

Fifty-eight per cent said his leadership had been “extremely good” and 33 per cent said it was “very good”.

With figures like that  he will be giving lessons to the Kim, Assad and Putin. Perhaps he should stand for Mayor?

No photo op, just hard work

Good to see a Minister put in the hard yards not just a photo op unlike Phil Goff.

A Christmas visit to volunteers helping quake-stricken Christchurch suburbs may see new Minister of Civil Defence, Napier MP Chris Tremain, link government and the Student Volunteer Army.

Mr Tremain, who took up the ministerial role this month, spent yesterday shovelling liquefaction silt with volunteers in the hard-hit eastern suburb of New Brighton.

He also spent part of the day meeting with University of Canterbury student and the army’s co-ordinator, Sam Johnson, discussing ways the government could work with the volunteers.

“I spent about an hour with him talking through some of the issues he had co-ordinating volunteers between Civil Defence and his organisation, and to see if there were ways in the future we could streamline that,” he said.

“I think there needs to be a way that we can close that chasm between professional organisations and the groups of people that team up on the spot, and see if we can help these two types of volunteers to work together.”

Greens smear SVA leader and workers

Disaster Tourist Gareth Hughes posted at Frogblog about the SVA. He was doing well until the very end when he said:

The image of the lazy, selfish, and drunk student or the inept and corrupt student association so favoured of ACT and National Party arguments is well and truly busted.

Like a true pinko he couldn’t help himself and had to politicise the disaster in Christchurch.

This uncharitable individual talks up the SVA, then smears National and ACT without being aware of the facts.

Sam Johnson is a National Party member. He ran for the centre right Independent Citizens in the last local body elections, and won a seat on his community board. The politically aware in Christchurch rate him as a huge talent, even if Sam is far to modest to rate himself as that. He bought together a good group of students after the September 4th earthquake, and these people were not student politicians.

This blog understands that the UCSA provided Sam’s group funds to help out at the last election, and have been very, very helpful, but this is not a UCSA initative – it was Sam and his group of highly competent volunteer students that made it all happen.

On the community board Sam has also done some smart things. He has tried to build better relationships between drunken students and normal people, by dealing sensibly with problems. If you put rubbish bins on the road on a Thursday night when students are walking home from the pub drunk then there is a law of nature that says that the rubbish bins will be tipped over. So Sam asked to move the rubbish day to a day when there werent drunken students. There are other examples that have filtered through the tip line about what an exceptional guy Sam is.

Frogblog amongst other leftwing blogs and Gareth Hughes in particular need to accept that Sam is doing things for the right reasons, rather than for some narrow political advantage like them.

UPDATE: When I posted a comment on the post I ticked the “notify Facebook” option and my comment went to my wall. That prompted amny in the Whale Army to go and comment at Frog Blog. Well now those comments have been deleted except for the sychophant comments. Comments from me and David Farrar and Keeping Stock were all deleted. Seems that not only dot he Greens lie but they don’t want to be caught lying.

UPDATE 2: The Comments are back now…and they are blaming a technical fault…yeah right…caught int eh headlights more like.