Given what a pain it was to vote for three different entities in Wellington, I thought I'd give my general approach to the local elections cross New Zealand.
1. Anyone who claims affiliation to the Greens, Mana, Labour or City Vision is beyond the pale. They all want more of your money, and want to control your property and your lives through intrusive bylaws. Ignore them.
2. Affordable City candidates want to control rates, give you more control over your property and leave peaceful people alone. There are candidates in Auckland, Masterton, Porirua, Hutt City, Wellington and Invercargill. In Auckland, select Stephen Berry for Mayor. Tell your friends he isn't a typical candidate. He doesn't have Parliamentary political party, business or union affiliations.
3. Anyone who advocates a big project funded by your rates should be ignored.
4. Anyone who considers climate change, poverty or international issues as a priority should be ignored, they are not part of what local government should be involved in.
5. In some cases you are justified in voting for someone you wouldn't otherwise support to avoid evil and incompetence. Unfortunately, in some cases you can't. Cathy Casey's competitors are either watered down clones or lunatics. However, the vile Richard Northey can be removed by voting for Denise Krum. In Wellington, Helene Ritchie in the Northern Ward, has a record of appearing to act like a hysterical lunatic. Fortunately, you can tick not only Reagan Cutting, but Justin Lester and Jacob Toner to avoid her. Peter Gilberd wants to do too much and Malcolm Sparrow wants amalgamation.
Christchurch I pity, because whilst the odious Bob Parker is not standing for Mayor, the choice is far from inspiring. Lianne Dalziel is probably front runner, but it looks like Christchurch's earthquake has brought out the mad people, like Tubby Hansen.
Finally, don't worry too much if you don't have anyone worth voting for. Don't vote if you like. The less electoral mandate this collection of petty fascists and control freaks have the better. It is a legitimate decision in a liberal democracy to say "to hell with the lot of you", then when the leftwing local demagogues talk about how they "represent" the community, you can say they don't represent you.
Of course, if it gets you that wound up, then maybe next time you should stand for Affordable City?