Sunday, September 19, 2010

Auckland Super-City Mayors Compared

Several people have commented to me that they have no idea who they're going to vote for in the upcoming elections. I'm yet to receive my voting forms but I've spent about 12 hours over the last four days trying to find out what the candidates stand for, and I've summarised my findings below in an easy to follow, categorised package.

I've chosen six key policy areas to compare: Auckland's Assets, Infrastructure, Local Government, Public Transport, Rates, and Water. I've also put what I consider to be their political leaning (left, centre, right) or any overt party Affiliation, and any Other information I deemed noteworthy. The idea is that, with this done, I can allocate points to each candidate on each policy - 1 point for something I agree with in principle, and 2 points for something I really approve of - and the candidate with the most points will win my vote.

Some of the candidates either have no policies at all, seem to have nothing that fits into the above categories, or have not made much of an attempt to publicise themselves, so I've not included them here. My information below is a summary, in my own words, of what the candidates have provided to the NZ Herald or on their own websites and/or Facebook pages. If you think I have interpreted any particular policy incorrectly, or if you find a policy which I've left blank, please let me know and I'll amend this accordingly. I've tried my best to use the candidates' own words or what they seem to intend, rather than using my own ideas.

BTW if anyone knows how to put a table into these blogs I'd appreciate a heads up - this looks much better on my Word document as a table and it's much easier to draw direct comparisons on key issues.

Oh, and it's in alphabetical order by surname - seemed the most logical way to organise it all!

Note: PPP = Public Private Partnerships; CCO = Council Controlled Organisations

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Aileen Austin

Affiliation - None (sounds like a conservationist)

Assets - Guardianship for future generations

Infrastructure - Maintain existing infrastructure

Local Government -

Other - Wants to defend "the NZ-Kiwi way of life"

Public Transport - "Sensible" self funding solutions

Rates - GST off rates

Water -

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John Banks

Affiliation - National

Assets - CBD Rail loop, develop Waterfront

Infrastructure - Reduce street signage, improvements for pedestrians, invest in CBD improvements and develop world class infrastructure

Local Government - Promote local board funding and powers

Other - Current Mayor of Auckland

Public Transport - Another harbour crossing,; more development for buses, rail, ferries and an integrated network

Rates - Savings within 3 years

Water - Consumer choice vital

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Marlene Barr

Affiliation - None (leftist?)

Assets - Council to oversee assets

Infrastructure -

Local Government -

Other -

Public Transport - Focus on improving Public Transport

Rates - Budget will be carefully examined

Water -

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Len Brown

Affiliation - Labour

Assets - Maintain public ownership; roll out free entry to pools etc across the city

Infrastructure - Develop a high speed broadband throughout the city as a high priority, focus on developments to enhance the export and tourism sectors

Local Government - CCOs need to work for the community; bring in Maori seats for Council

Other - Current Mayor of Manukau

Public Transport - Fully integrated Public Transport system linking road, rail, ferry and air

Rates - Examine the possibility of a “Poll Tax”

Water - Maintain public ownership

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Penny Bright

Affiliation - None (Left)

Assets - Keep in public hands

Infrastructure - Maintain at current status

Local Government - Keep out the unelected CEOs of CCOs

Other - Anti-corporate, Anti-SuperCity

Public Transport -

Rates - Decrease

Water - Council run not corporate

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Hugh Chapman

Affiliation - None (leftist?)

Assets -

Infrastructure - Reduce traffic congestion; rejuvenate Manuaku harbour

Local Government - Local Boards should consult and listen to residents & work with CCOs; More role for Local Boards in community expenditure and planning

Other -

Public Transport - Elevated passenger transport systems; a 10 year plan to integrate Public Transport

Rates -

Water -

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Colin Craig

Affiliation - None (rightist)

Assets -

Infrastructure - Keep costs down – no big spending or borrowing for major infrastructure work until after the recession

Local Government - Each local area is to be empowered; binding referenda will be held on major issues for the Super City

Other - Organiser of the March for Democracy (protest against the anti-smacking law and government's response to referndum) 2009

Public Transport - Anzac Centenary Bridge as harbour crossing; radical improvements to Public Trasnport required

Rates - Local Boards to set their own rates; keep rises to a minimum

Water - Opposes long term corporate monopoly on water

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Vinnie Kahui

Affiliation - None (leftist)

Assets - Retain in public ownership

Infrastructure - Make it easier to develop sustainable buildings

Local Government - Effective engagement with communities essential

Other - Bring more events to Auckland – V8 Super cars, film and TV crews

Public Transport - Make it more effective, efficient, eco-friendly and cheaper

Rates - “Sort them out”

Water - Public ownership

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Alan McCulloch

Affiliation - Leader of One NZ Party (Centre-Right)

Assets - Public ownership

Infrastructure -

Local Government - Return to local Mayors for each of the regions; replace CCO directors with publicly elected officials

Other - Former Mayor, East Coast Bays.

Public Transport -

Rates - No overall rates increases

Water - Public ownership

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Steve McDonald

Affiliation - None (Centre-Left?)

Assets -

Infrastructure -

Local Government - “meaningful consultation” between Mayor and the Council and Boards– empower local boards

Other - Has served on Henderson community board for 2 terms

Public Transport - Needs shaking up

Rates - Don’t rate people out of their homes

Water -

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Vanessa Neeson

Affiliation - None (rightist - married to former National MP)

Assets - “I even know how to defeat graffiti”

Infrastructure - Build social capital through PPPs

Local Government - Maintain a tight relationship with CCOs

Other - 18 years as Waitakere City Councillor

Public Transport - We need a first class Public Transport system

Rates - Remove GST from rates

Water - Water provision should be first class

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Simon Prast

Affiliation - None (Left)

Assets - No sale of public assets

Infrastructure - Funded by regional, national, and private sources

Local Government - Local boards to be fully incorporated into democratic practice

Other - Actor and Director, wants to make Auckland the First City of Pacific-Asia

Public Transport - Efficient, effective, affordable Public Transport solutions needed; a new bridge; Airport-Britomart rail link

Rates -

Water - Public ownership

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Raymond Presland

Affiliation - None (rightist)

Assets -

Infrastructure - We need buildings and places we are proud to show off.

Local Government -

Other - Retired businessman – worked in farming and textiles

Public Transport -

Rates -

Water -

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Annalucia Vermunt

Affiliation - Communist League

Assets - All assets to be owned by the Public

Infrastructure - Public Works organised to provide public housing, health clinics, child care etc

Local Government - No cuts to Council services; bring in Maori seats to the Super City

Other - There is plenty of wealth in Auckland to provide for what the workers need

Public Transport - Public Works to provide the Public Transport required by workers

Rates - Opposes GST on rates but no actual statement about rates

Water - Opposes water taxes and corporate interest in water

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Andrew Williams

Affiliation - None (Centre-Right)

Assets -

Infrastructure - Complete key regional infrastructure

Local Government - Properly resource and empower local boards

Other - Current Mayor of North Shore City

Public Transport - Fully integrated Public Trasnport system; another harbour crossing

Rates - “Don’t Waste the Rates!”

Water -

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David Wilmot

Affiliation - None (right)

Assets -

Infrastructure - No more “lolly projects” until we get back in the black

Local Government -

Other -

Public Transport - More roads not rail; Public Transport is a dead duck and a waste of money, private automobilisation needs more support

Rates -

Water -

3 comments:

  1. Going through the policies and rating them (as well as deducting points for things which REALLY annoy me like Wilmot's lame Public Transport policy!) I've ended up with a clear winner - Colin Craig - with John Banks in second and Vinnie Kahui, Vanessa Neeson and Simon Prast 3rd equal. Hmm, how the hell did lefties get so many points? Maybe I'm not as right wing as I think I am?

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  2. Although I agree that Colin Craig does look impressive (apart from the fact that 3/4 of his latest pamphlet is dissing his competition), does he have the popularity to get in when Banks and Brown have the larger number of followers??

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  3. Yeah, good point Krystle. That's what really concerns me - there are far too many candidates and the vote will be split so many ways. I'd like to see a two stage election process - the first to whittle out the also-rans and then a run-off election between the top three or four. At the moment I'm holding off voting for another few weeks and just listening to polls - if it looks like Brown is going to get in then I may have to vote Banks just to keep the Manukau Muppet out of office!

    ReplyDelete

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