Auckland Mayoralty

RATINGS GUIDE:

$ to $$$$$ with $ being a leftist trougher and $$$$$ being small government dynamo

For some, however, a clown is more appropriate. More than one may be awarded.

I had initially planned to complete all the ward contests before moving on to the Auckland Mayoralty, but that meant it may not be completed until early October. Due to the Mayoral race being the only contest that every Auckland voter participates in, I think getting this published next is the right thing to do.

As of September 26, just 3.19% of votes have been counted. At the same stage in 2016, it was 5.79%

The scheduled ward and some local board races will resume following my article on the Auckland Mayoralty; starting with Devonport-Takapuna Local Board then Orakei ward and local board races.

Tricia Cheel – STOP Trashing Our Planet

So far this election, I’ve never rated any candidate higher than 4 clowns. Congratulations Tricia Cheel on becoming the first to get a 5 clown rating! For every loony, unscientific, paranoid conspiracy you can think of Tricia has so many more that you could never imagine.

  • STOP Trashing Our Planet members. Oh come on, are there really other members?
  • 80% of chronic diseases have an environmental cause. WHO says this is true though only 24% of diseases globally can be traced back to avoidable environmental causes.
  • 50% of wildlife and 72% of flying insects have been lost to extinction. Actually it is 99.9% and virtually all of them pre-date humans. Estimates of the number of species currently on Earth reach up to 14 million with only 1.2 million actually documented.
  • We cannot continue to gamble with our children’s health and the future of all life on earth. Evolution itself is responsible for most extinctions, with the average species surviving for ten million years.
  • We must start with ending drops of deadly, eco-toxic 1080. 1080 is the most effective pest control substance that also decomposes fastest in water and soil into harmless compounds.
  • One million species face extinction and we cannot continue with the out-of-control, corrupt, greedy profiteering, that has caused the problems in the first place. Animals farmed by greedy profiteering aren’t in danger of extinction.
  • Provide necessary infrastructure immediately through no-interest loans from the Government via the Reserve Bank. Tricia has also run for the Democrats for Social Credit. That will destroy the value of our currency. The Government will never agree to that.
  • Ask Central Government to pay for reduced costs of health care, from adoption a non-toxic blueprint for the city. (sic) I don’t know what this means

Cheel also wants to ban fluoride, 5G and genetic engineering. She is vocally opposed to vaccines. Will be interesting to see how her vote in South Auckland compares to the rest of the country. If that didn’t trigger enough laughs, check out these:

The coalition’s website laying out the platform for STOP Trashing Our Planet.

The chemical braindrain.

The Dangers of 5G

Michael Coote – Independent $

Coote has just one priority if elected Mayor of Auckland. That is strictly equal treatment of all races by Auckland Council. He targets special rights and privileges granted to Maori first and foremost.

In principle I agree with him but there are two reasons why I hesitate to give him a ringing endorsement. Firstly, the Council has no power to remove the Independent Maori Statutory Board, it exists as a consequence of central government legislation. Secondly, organisations set up for the purpose of implementing racial equality such as 1 Law 4 All, Hobson’s Pledge etc. tend to attract nasty racist white people. I’ll probably attract a bit of flak for saying so, but I’ve associated with enough groups and people interested in that issue and they quickly become riddled with genuine racists.

Coote is also running in Waitakere ward, so I had a look at his profile to see if there is anything else that interests him. Just dogs. He is really anti-dog. I sympathise a little but hating dogs is not a tenable campaign platform.

David Feist – LiftNZ $$$$

Feist is using the mayoral race to launch a new political party called LiftNZ. The policies are actually pretty good but have really been written with a central government election in mind. It is not currently a registered party.

Feist opposes the current compact city model Council planners have been pushing since the super city formation. Feist will abolish the urban boundary, permit housing on rural land, encourage targeted rates and widen motorways (not a Council responsibility).

He would like to draft a new Unitary Plan with affordable housing as it’s main priority. The plan will have a “price trigger” inserted so more land is automatically released when rural land just outside the boundary is 20% more expensive than land just inside the boundary. I think he’s gotten a bit confused – land inside the boundary is 8 times the price of land outside. Maybe he should just stick with the original, sensible urban boundary abolition.

He will also allow residential subdivision on all land zoned rural in Auckland.

Genevieve Forde

Genevieve looks one of those nosey neighbours who sticks their head over the fence to complain when your grass grows a bit too high.

The number one concern she has is the climate and she wants to create a plan that will reduce GHG emissions 45% by 2030 as the UN advocates.

She wants to achieve this by marginalising private cars, providing free public transport, electric buses and more safe priority lanes for bikes. By Marginalising cars, she means a 30km/h speed limit everywhere unless you’re driving a bus, except schools and hospitals which will be 5 km/h. OMFG, Are hospitals causing car accidents? Lime Scooters will be banned.

There will be a train to the greenhouse gas producing airport after the CRL is finished, then a train over the harbour bridge. A TRAIN OVER THE HARBOUR BRIDGE!

She also wants to protect Auckland’s environment by leaving Chamberlain Park as it currently is. Golf courses aren’t actually good for the environment so I wonder if she literally means leaving it as it currently is and removing golfers.

No concrete, sediment or untreated sewage in the ocean. Banning all plastic bags and drink bottles with zero waste to landfill. She also wants to plant native trees everywhere (on Chamberlain Park or not?), return Ihumatao to Maori guardianship (destroying the entire Treaty settlement process), stop all cruelty to sentient beings (need a lot more detail on what that could mean) and provide homes for all homeless people. Apparently, this is a “more humane, feminist attitude.”

I initially felt a little bad about saying Genevieve Ford looks like a nosey neighbour sticking her head over the fence. Not any more.

Phil Goff – Independent $$

Len Brown with his pants on isn’t the worst Mayor Auckland has had. That was Len Brown. Rates increases have been capped at 2.5% as Goff promised in 2016 but he has no intention of doing that if re-elected. He claims to have saved hundreds of millions of dollars through improved efficiency in the Council. “Hundreds of millions” is one of those phrases people use when they actually have no idea what the figure is.

Kinda like this excerpt from his website where I have no idea what he is saying

“In 2016, we set out to plan to million years to make our city greener and combat the effects of climate change. This year, we will supersede that number.”

His other policies are a review of the performance of CCOs. AT is barely accountable and it was Phil Goff who removed councillors from the board of AT. He wants to plant 1.5 million trees over the next three years. He will reduce the cost of public transport for children, costing $4.1m a year. From 2020 the Council will only purchase electric or hybrid cars. All cleaners contracted to Auckland Council will be paid the Living Wage of $21.15 and work to end homelessness by identifying every homeless person by name and target services to those individuals.

This isn’t ground-breaking or revolutionary stuff. This isn’t visionary blue sky thinking. It’s minor window dressing.

On September 9, a complaint related to Phil Goff’s 2016 electoral return was lodged with the Chief Electoral Officer. John Tamihere says it hasn’t come from his campaign “We know nothing and you have a cheek to cast aspersions, but not surprising.”

I was unlikely to support Goff but after looking at his website, I can’t understand why anybody else would either.

Alezix Heneti

Alezix is also running for Albany ward and Hibiscus & Bays Local Board. Disappointingly she has just used the same candidate profile for each. Lazy.

I’ll just link to the crazy 2016 Auckland Mayoral debate. She’s the lady in orange.

Jannaha Henry

Jannaha Henry isn’t a politician but at least she isn’t motivated by identity politics. She’s just putting her hand up. She’s on LinkedIn if you want to know more.

I don’t.

John Hong – Independent $

John has taught English in Universities for 10 years, which is quite surprising. He has been a representative for global companies and has extensive experience in government sectors in Auckland.

He knows what Aucklanders need and want. He’s not telling us though. His website does a good job of giving the impression that I got from his corflute signs. He looks like a politician standing for election in a democratic but highly authoritarian country like Singapore.

His campaign videos are…different.

Ted Johnston $$

Ted kinda reminds me of a brash, hard-arsed Republican politician. That image is hurt a bit by his A3 hand painted, recycled signs. You can see him hammering these into the ground with a giant hammer, wearing a vest. It’s a pretty cool look.

He’s a 58 year old criminal lawyer from Otara, who stood for TOP in 2017. He wants to ban bikes from the city to reduce congestion, a rapid frequent rail system that takes people where they want to go and set up giant warehouses for homeless people in South Auckland so they would have somewhere to eat, shower and sleep.

Johnston also wants an amnesty for the parking and bus lane tickets issued by Auckland Transport.

Check out this article on stuff. And his interview on bFM

Susanna Kruger – Justice for Families

Kruger has run for Mayor several times. As far as I can see, she does it to promote her self-help courses rather than actually get elected. Her candidate profile links you to susannakruger.co.nz

The website for Justice for Families links you to more of these courses. Manurewa-Papakura candidate Veronica Turner is also promoting some of her own.

It’s pretty pathetic.

Craig Lord – Independent $$$$

In what threatened to be a two-horse race, Craig Lord has worked very hard to set himself up as the underdog third candidate. His campaign platform began as being proudly policy free, though he seems to have moved away from that as the election moved into voting mode. He is running a very professional campaign and invested in an attractive website.

Quoting Dr Ben Carson “We’ve been conditioned to think that only politicians can solve our problems. But at some point, maybe we will wake up and recognise that it was politicians who created our problems.”

He wants council to forget about the niceties and focus on the necessities. Instead of increasing rates, get smarter about financial operations. Lord advocates building a waste to energy plant, stop building park n rides in favour of comb parking towers. Fuel tax is a blunt and regressive instrument, Lord would start a conversation about replacing it with an electronic tolling system.

He also says the building consents process needs a reset and review of the fines for breaches while finding better processes to control rogue developers and builders.

I like him. He’s certainly in the top tier of candidates in 2019.

Brendan Maddern – Independent $$

B, as his friends call him, thinks we urgently need to find a better way to deal with plastic. He will build roads from it.

He didn’t want to run for Mayor but couldn’t wait for someone suitable to do it. He is a roading candidate, but one who wants to use plastic waste to build roads. Could he bring car lovers and environmentalists together into a giant coalition and win the mayoralty?

No.

Thanh Binh Nguyen – Independent

Nobody will ever believe Nguyen is going to demilitarise the waterfront if he keeps using Kim Jong Un’s barber. He ran in 2016 on a platform of building tidal power generators.

In 2019, he has 5 general resolutions for the governing of Auckland Transport. They include words and phrases such as Liberate the Auckland Waterfront, demilitarize the harbour, withdrawing all heavy military hardware and weapon systems. Evacuate all ordnance and explosive. Complete troops withdraw by 2030. Liberate the airspace above Devonport for public transport.

It sounds like he is taking the piss but I don’t think he is.

Phil O’Connor – Christians Against Abortion

Phil has been running for Mayor for a long time. I don’t know how long but he beat me by a slim margin in 2004. It is the same modus operandi every time. No face pic. Refuse all interviews. Attend no debates. Put up no signs. Campaign against abortion for a position that has nothing to do with abortion.

Tom Sainsbury – Independent

smiley face

When New Zealand tries to do a kiwi version of something overseas, we do it on a lower budget, less dramatic music, NZ accents and a much smaller prize pool. Wheel of Fortune, Sale of the Century, Family Feud, Keeping Straight (our $10,000 prize copy of $100,000 prize Fear Factor).

Our comedians are similar. Jono and Ben, Guy Williams… He calls himself a comedian…I suppose his Dad might.

I hadn’t really seen any of Tom Sainsbury’s stuff prior to the Mayoral race though I understand he had previously impersonated Paula Bennett. He is standing for Mayor as Fiona, the wine reviewer. It’s quite good.

“I’ll give running the city a good go. I think raising three children has given me a lot of know-how. I haven’t worked a job, per se, as my Stanley was the breadwinner, but I helped him with his books occasionally, so I know a little about finances.”

That is literally what some local board candidate profiles look like.

The clown rating isn’t meant to be complimentary. It’s meant to be mean. The dollar sign rating isn’t really appropriate either. Smiley face rating?

Glen Snelgar – Old Skool

I never really wanted to comment on people’s appearance but for the Mayoral race, I’ve done it multiple times. Glen’s picture looks like one of those computerised  wanted criminal images the police create.

Glen is promising to freeze rates, claiming the policy is so popular it has been copied by other candidates. On his website he says his policy is to cap rates, not freeze them, so rates will go down. Confused? He is.

Wai te Mata is an ancient riverbed flooded by seawater. A new agency, environment auckland, will map the seafloor to determine the historical extent of the riverbed. Then it will be reserved for aquatic recreation and excluded from any other development except new harbour bridges.

He would like to build a museum on the waterfront called Te Mata made out of floor to ceiling smoke-glass that mimics Auckland’s obsidian glass. However, he promises not to do that because it is a vanity project.

He will also scrap the 11.5c fuel tax.

Snelgar was an honours student of Dr Paul Buchanan at Auckland University. He emailed the lecturer asking for notes because work commitments prevented him from attending the first day of a military politics course. Buchanan told him he was not a suitable student if he could not make it to the first class and told him he should drop the paper.

In 2010, Snelgar changed his name by deed poll to John Banks, intending to run for Mayor against John Banks and Len Brown. His candidacy was rejected because name changes by deed poll need to be made 6 months prior to nomination and Snelgar had done so just two months before.

Newshub gave four candidates an opportunity to present their policies while running an egg and spoon race. This is the sort of segment best avoided by credible candidates but if played right, can be good for their image. Snelgar looked like a grumpy middle-aged skateboard-less skater and failed the task of appearing fun and likeable. The other candidates were John Hong, Tom Sainsbury filling in for Fiona the wine reviewer and Peter Vaughan. Peter won the race and our hearts.

Northern Action Group has endorsed Snelgar as the 2nd best option for Mayor after Craig Lord. They’ve also endorsed total muppets Steven Garner and Geoff Upson for Rodney Local Board.

I leave you with bFM’s interview.

Tadhg Tim Stopford – The Hemp Foundation $

I hope it is OK to call him Tim. Tim wants to raise funds through local bonds rather than selling assets. Isn’t raising bonds just borrowing money?

Tim likes the Old Council Flats at the bottom of Western Park. He wants to build more, using Local Bonds, for Aucklanders to ‘rent to buy.’

He also wants to use Ports of Auckland land to create a world class waterfront by making Ports of Auckland invest in NorthPort.

John Tamihere – JT for Mayor.co.nz $$$$$

Tamihere shoots from the lip and sometimes it gets him in trouble. Actually, it gets him in a lot of trouble, a lot. His sacking from cabinet by Helen Clark was the first time I’d heard of ‘front bum.’

John has accomplished a lot outside of politics, in his career as a barrister he argued cases in front of the Privy Council, eventually working for the Maori Land Court and the Department of Maori Affairs. In 1991 he became the Chief Executive of the Waipareira Trust, providing health and education services to Auckland Maori and he was elected back onto the board after leaving Parliament in 2005. He’s also been selected as Person of the Year by the Sunday Star Times, New Zealander of the Year by North & South and Man of the Year by Metro magazine.

JT is a divisive figure, with supporters as passionate as his opponents, due to his blunt and outspoken style. In Maori politics, Tamihere has been an advocate for urban Maori who often don’t have any links to tribal iwi, labelled by Tamihere as “feudal tribal structures” and dominated by elites. Tamihere says Maori need to “take responsibility for our own actions” rather than “blame others for our failure.” It would be easier to write a list of the people Tamihere hasn’t offended. I’d be on it.

Tamihere has injected excitement into 2019’s Mayoral election with his candidacy which it bloody needed. Previous challengers to the incumbent have been John Palino, Vic Crone and Mark Thomas, none of whom have brought the energy to the race JT has.

He might have been a Labour party man for many years and if it were the 1980s that would make sense but in 2019 the Labour brand has nothing in common with John.

Tamihere has unveiled some really bold and innovative ideas which have been measured, costed and are workable. Freezing taxes might make the existing Mayor and Councillors baulk, but it can be done if you’re not a flimsy ‘efficiency finding’ seat warmer. I ran on a rates cutting platform in 2013 and 2016 before withdrawing due to the overcrowding of candidates on the right. The sums added up then and John Tamihere has done that this time.

Plans to sell 49% of Watercare and Ports of Auckland while retaining ownership of the land the ports sit on will also generate extra funds for Council instead of repeatedly screwing the Auckland ratepayer. Ports of Auckland paid $60m for 3 new cranes it hasn’t been able to use yet, resulting in the dividend paid to Auckland Council dropping by $100m.

The proposal to turn the Harbour bridge into an 18 lane double decker with bus and rail added has been sneered at by biased reporters on the Herald (looking at you Simon Wilson) and criticised by Goff as unaffordable with a $10 billion price tag. Sources within the Tamihere camp ridicule that figure which has been costed by professional transport engineers as closer to $2b. Removing public transport from private transport on different levels will also remove additional pinch points on the motorway leading to the bridge.

Additionally JT has a plan to pay for the additional roading infrastructure using congestion charges and electronic road pricing. That’s the fair way to pay for roads instead of the regressive regional fuel tax, another soon to be casualty if John wins.

The tram from nowhere which hasn’t got anywhere but would ruin Dominion Rd will be scrapped under a Tamihere mayoralty. If you visit the Mt. Roskill shops on the intersection of Mt Albert and Dominion Rd, the tram has already destroyed local business areas and construction is still yet to start.

John Tamihere is a maverick and a straight shooter. He isn’t going to play backroom politics or follow in the footsteps of earlier dullards. Shake it Up and Sort it Out is his campaign slogan and I’m confident that is exactly what he will do.

Peter Vaughan

I’d heard Vaughan was a numerologist, which is a bit strange though up until writing this article I figured he was sane.

Maybe not.

He won an egg and spoon race but he isn’t going to win the Mayoralty. He wants to stop Round Up, 1080 and 5G.

5G is like 4G but better. 4G was an improvement on 3G. Before 3G was the equally terrifying but absolutely safe 2G. All that stays the same is the crowds of loopies who think it causes brain cancer. They survive because they lack the one thing brain cancer needs.

His first priority as Mayor will be to get all Councillors and senior executives to introduce themselves to one another if they don’t all die from 5G first.

Look at his website if you like but that’s enough loons for me.

Annalucia Vermunt – Communist League

Oh crap. I wasted enough of my life on Patrick Brown, the Communist League’s Manukau candidate. Vermunt says you should see his profile to find out more. Or you can read my guide to Manukau.

I’m a little intrigued by her defense of free speech and her opposition to “anti-hate speech” laws. Especially because the 1959 Cuban Revolution is the example of how she thinks working people should overthrow the capitalists.

Wayne Young – Virtual Homeless Community

Wayne Young was ruined by the leaky home saga. Commuters on Tamaki Drive will recognise Wayne as the guy holding a sign every weekday morning. He’s been doing that since 2011, maybe longer.

Both of us stood as Independent candidates in Tamaki in 2011. I spent thousands on corflute signs and hand-delivered 10,000 leaflets. He held a sign on Tamaki Drive every morning. He smashed me 358 – 152.

Over the years we’ve changed our styles a bit. I mellowed out and accepted income tax, his signs stopped being cheerful political commentary. I drive past him on the way to work now and I’ve got no f***ing idea what those signs mean.

MY RECOMMENDATION: You have 1 vote in this FPP election

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Stephen Berry
Stephen Berry is compiling this guide on the Auckland Local Body elections as an independent commentator. His recommendations are based on his own research and are not on behalf of any organisation. Previously, Stephen was the Libertarianz candidate for Mayor in 2004 and in 2013 stood again under the Affordable Auckland banner. He attracted 4% of the vote, finishing in third place. You can also find the guide on www.facebook.com/stephenberrysguidetoaucklandlocalelections