Monday, September 30, 2013

Wellington local election voting guide: Mayor

Yes, I get to vote in the local elections.  Better my vote than, well anyone else's really (look if you can't be arrogant about your own vote then don't bother).

So here's my run-down of the motley lot that are standing, and a motley lot it is.  I can't get enthused about almost any of the candidates.  So I figured since blogs are about venting one's opinion, I'd do a bit of my own.  Of course because voting is by STV you get to rank the candidates, which means you don't need to rank anyone you find particularly loathsome (after all being ranked 8th is worth more than not being ranked at all).

Remember, one of the most important things for Wellingtonians should be remembering what happened in Christchurch could happen again.  Wellington needs a Mayor and Council that can take on central government bureaucracy and be for private property rights.  It's a shame it doesn't have enough standing who do.


Mayor

Unlike Auckland, thankfully this role is one of chairing the Council.  There are no specific Mayoral powers (nor should there be), but the Mayor is typically seen as "leading" the city.  I don't want the city led, but I do want an effective chair so...

Rob Goulden: Smells like a NZ First candidate.  Can't spell the word lose (see number one of top five issues here).  Has got a healthy regard for the private sector, but an unhealthy disregard for individual freedom (Whaleoil reveals that his reputation for being a bully ).  He has apparently little idea of what should be the proper role of local government (a first aid kit in every car??).  He has done enough to not deserve a rating, his commitment to fiscal discipline does not excuse his past behaviour. An MBA from Massey University that he brags about says a lot.  Don't rank

John Morrison: For me, just, "Mystery" Morrison is the leading candidate for Mayor.  However, it is more a matter of least worst choice than best choice.  He wants to "create jobs", unfortunately supports the cargo-cult of the runway extension (despite it being highly unlikely that even if a foreign long haul service was attracted, that the airline would pay enough landing fees to pay for the cost of the extension).   He unfortunately supports the "living wage" which means higher rates and of course wants more arts, cultural and sporting events, though it is unclear if that means ratepayers subsidising them.  So what is there to like? He wants to accelerate the consents process, he supports the central government funded major highway improvements and prefers bus lanes to the nonsense of light rail.  Finally his approach to the environment is about reducing costs to "carbon neutral vehicles" and supports adequate parking, not a war on private transport.  A centrist candidate he surely is, but he doesn't want to wage war on night life downtown either, so he,just, gets my tick.  The primary reason being he is the best chance to eject Celia Wade-Brown.  Rank 1st

Karunanidhi Muthu: May be a nice chap, but he doesn't believe he will win.  Yet wants you to vote for him. He is keen on airport expansion and some other projects, but I don't want a Mayor who doesn't think he will win. This from a former Nat.  Rank 3rd

Celia Wade-Brown:  The current Mayor standing on the "A good choice for Wellington's future" banner is, of course, a Green.  It's unclear why she is concealing this.  As such of course she believes in a bigger council. she wants council to expand its social welfare activity of "affordable housing" and pay more than market rates for employment.  This Green Mayor hilariously wants to expand the airport, but has opposed improved roads to the airport.  She wants to "invest" other people's money rather too often for my liking,  I'd prefer people got their own money back to invest themselves.  However, most importantly she supports fueling the current housing bubble by retaining urban growth boundaries and pursuing the intensification agenda, pushing the cost of larger family homes out of the reach of anyone, except those she wants to subsidise.  She deserves to be ejected.  Don't rank

Jack Yan:  Now he seems an intelligent chap, he went to a first rate primary/intermediate school, speaks French and basic Swedish and is a director of the Miss New Zealand Consortium.  However, he once stood for the Alliance, in 2008 no less.  I was going to rank him as second, but pretty much killed that off.  To believe so recently that hard-core state socialism is an answer is at best horribly misguided, at worst rather scary.  His reason was because his friend was leading the party!  That's not really good enough. Add his plans for a high speed rail link to an expanded Paraparaumu Airport as an international airport (I'm sure Kapiti residents can't wait!) and I'm afraid he doesn't know his own limitations.  He's a central planner on housing too.  His misapplication of the Downs-Thomson paradox is palpable (i.e. new roads always create congestion he claims so he opposes a bridge) , so I'm sorry Jack you don't deserve a rank either.  Leftwing voters may like him though.  Don't rank.

Nicola Young:  The Young family have a history in Wellington politics, with Bill Young, the former long-standing National MP for Miramar, perhaps being one of the most well known (although it appears it has been multiple women from the family who have tried in politics in reason years).  So she is a Nat.   She isn't bad, largely because the others are mostly worse.  She'd be a safe pair of hands, although much of what I've read online doesn't really give me much confidence.   She wants more street lighting, more political statues (so that Wellington's political history can be a tourist attraction, not realising that nobody comes to New Zealand for that).  She wants more canopies over footpaths and wants to spend more money on the arts (including a permanent home for the NZSO).    She wants mandatory street numbering on buildings.  Her "latest article" in a property rag is unreadable because it has been uploaded to a low resolution.  Sadly she is keen on the airport runway extension (but then who isn't?), and the only saving grace from her campaign flyer is her opposition to light rail.   She has a slightly disturbing authoritarian approach to drunkenness as well, wanting new Police powers to instantly fine people for being drunk.  Now I'm happy about action against those who vandalise, harass or otherwise cause harm to others, but drunkenness itself should not be a crime. Rank 2nd if only because she has a chance of beating Celia.

That was disappointing.  Hardly a peep about amalgamation.  None talk about confining Council to its core business or about freeing up land for new housing to be built.  Never mind, it is the Council that you get to choose more members of, so tomorrow I'll be writing about Onslow-Western Ward.

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