Manurewa-Papakura ward

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’m a Manurewa native myself having grown up in Wattle Downs until moving to Mt. Roskill aged 14. Started school at St. Annes Primary School. Their carelessness in permitting space and dinosaur books in the library ensured I was an atheist by the time First Communion was due. I attended Manurewa Intermediate and then spent Years 9 and 10 at James Cook High School. Apparently it wasn’t a great school at the time but I can’t say I noticed. I also played cricket for Weymouth for 4 seasons which I willingly admit to being crap at. Top figures of 20 runs and 3-14 attained in the season I was placed in a team 3 grades below my age group.

Manurewa-Papakura ward has been poorly served since the 2010 amalgamation, by representatives that supported Len Brown and his 9.9% rates increase or who slept through meetings. That started to change in 2016…

There are six candidates contesting this two member ward. Daniel Newman of Manurewa-Papakura Action Team is the only incumbent.

Angela Dalton – Manurewa-Papakura Action Team $$$$

Angela has been well known and enormously popular figure in South Auckland politics for quite some time, having topped the polls for Manurewa Local board in 2016 and 2013. The 2010 results are a bit more difficult to find. Her leadership has been competent and firm, though that hasn’t been without controversy in this year’s local board contest.

Manurewa has its own particular challenges with illegal rubbish dumping and escalating numbers of homeless rough sleepers, but they’re issues that Angela’s chairmanship has excelled in dealing with. Other successes resulting from Dalton’s time on the Manurewa Local Board include opening the Manurewa Sports Centre, the recovery of Netball Manurewa at Browns Road and the transformation of Riverton Reserve in Randwick Park.

A playground at Randwick Park was completed in April of this year. While Jacinda Ardern has allowed school children to influence Government policy on climate change and banning plastic bags, Manurewa Local Board were a bit smarter, giving children from Randwick Park School the opportunity to design 3D models of what they wanted the playground to look like. It includes a Kuzebo structure, a rocktopus and a flying fox.

With Councillor Daniel Newman, Angela Dalton and the local community successfully put a stay on the repurposing of a Oranga Tamariki care and protection facility into a youth justice residence. There had been no prior consultation of the local community on having the facility in a residential area and taking the Ministry of Children to court was a win for local residents.

I don’t always see eye to eye with Angela on some issues. Her wowserish campaigns against on-license bars and new liquor stores have been very effective, no doubt pleasing existing liquor retailers who have fewer competitors to deal with. Recently a proposed upmarket sports bar in the former Manurewa RSA premises has been blocked from opening, one of many businesses prevented and jobs not created.

There are a lot of candidates making wild promises to voters that they simply cannot achieve. The complexity of the Council’s functions makes it difficult for voters to know just what candidates can actually deliver and many of the candidates themselves either exploit this confusion for votes or simply don’t know themselves. Angela knows exactly how local government works and isn’t shy about truthfully communicating what can or can’t be done to voters.

Karin Kerr – Independent $$

Kerr’s candidate profile is very brief and contains little to inspire. No signs and a sad statement to accompany voting papers don’t fill me with optimism at her chances. I’d have left it at that and moved on, but there are people in the ward who have insisted I look a bit closer.

Karin Kerr is a property manager and the founder of Homestar Rentals. This is her first attempt at local body politics and she is running a low budget campaign. Working in the rental market brings with it knowledge and abilities that complement being a local representative. I’m advised that there is a grassroots buzz that is growing but I have no way of verifying that.

Maybe in three years.

Ilango Krishnamoorthy – Labour $

Auckland is a bit odd politically. South Auckland is painted red every election in central government but when it comes to Council, fiscal conservatives seem to have staked out some secure territory.

Krishnamoorthy has lived in Manurewa for thirty years, owns a printing business and is very active in the Indian community. He is a Trustee of the South Asian Trust which provides counselling support to ethnic groups and is a founding member of the NZ Hindu Temple Society. The Indian News Link describes him as “one of the most popular community leaders.” I’ve never heard of him but we probably go to different bars.

From his candidate profile: “Ilango’s focus is preserving and promoting the amazing natural environments and public facilities that Manurewa-Papakura has to share with all Aucklanders”.

Maybe he needs to build some amazing public facilities before promoting them?

Both Labour candidates finish their statements with: Voting for all our Labour endorsed Mayor, Councillors, Local Board and DHB candidates guarantees you the most effective advocates working with Manurewa MPs Louisa Wall and Peeni Henare. #VoteLabour #LetsDoThis

It’s a bit sad that they have to resort to name dropping the local MP to get people to vote for them. Probably because in the 2016 local board elections the top 8 positions went to Manurewa Action Team, followed by three Independents, followed by four Labour candidates, followed by It’s Worth It Manurewa, followed by Ilango Krishnamoorthy.

Peter Neilson – Labour

Local boards are where political careers are born and sometimes where they go to die. Peter Neilson was in parliament for 9 years and Minister for Revenue, Works and Associate Finance. I’ve never heard of him and can’t remember when I last heard of a Minister of Works.

Wyatt Creech was the last Minister of Works in 1993 while Neilson held the post for 9 months in 1990.

So, Neilson was a Minister in the greatest New Zealand government of all time and I’ve still never heard of him.
In his blog, Peter hinges his strategy for winning the ward on getting non-voters out to vote. Sounds like a Labour party strategy in the 2014 election that planned to win by getting 1 million non-voters out to vote. That didn’t work. This won’t either. The problem with non-voters is that they don’t vote.

Neilson loves “the optimism of the people he meets while walking the streets of Panurewa (sic).” His priority if he is elected is to unite the community by holding a 2 day 2020 Vision conference involving community organisations, sports clubs, churches, local councillors, the Local Board, our MP’s, the Mayor and others. On day 1 they will agree on what needs to be done. One day 2 they would decide what they need to do in the next 3 years and the following 7 years.

Manurewa MP Louisa Wall asked this guy to run for Council.

Daniel Newman – Manurewa – Papakura Action Team $$$$$

Uttering this guy’s name in the ward generates very strong feelings for positive and negative reasons alike. I had to take a closer look. He lives in Wattle Downs and (unlike me) attends St. Annes Catholic Church because he actually wants to.
The Whaleoil blog called “Daniel ‘Vlad’ Newman the most formidable man in Auckland Politics.” NZ Herald writers Bernard Orsman and Simon Wilson both rated Newman’s performance 8/10; the highest rating for anyone on Auckland Council.

Newman is a fiscal and social conservative, practical and with a no-nonsense approach to his role as Councillor. When Auckland Council announced that the CRL was facing a $500 million cost blowout, Mayor Goff was said to have weakly said, “nobody is surprised no matter how unwelcome these costs will be.” I preferred Newman’s approach. He said parts of the funding formula gave him “the shits” and he expects Crown Company City Rail Link Ltd to pay the added cost.

It’s not hard to find stories about the larger than life Councillor over the past term. They include small scale practicality such as when a Papakura art group went to their local board about difficulties accessing a community hall since changes to the carpark had made things difficult for members on the upper-end of the age scale. Within weeks Newman and board chairman Brent Catchpole were at the site, working with the art group and Council officers to get a simple, quick fix.

A Summerset Retirement Village resident finding it increasingly more difficult to enjoy visiting Karaka Lakes due to an absence of seating and this was brought up at a local board meeting last April. Newman shares my impatience with getting things done the bureaucratic way, saying they would have a chat with developers to get it done without going through workshops and board meetings.

In a ward where illegal dumping and poor health outcomes are common, Daniel has taken Housing New Zealand to task for trying to reduce its spend on rubbish collection with 125L bins for 3 bedroom houses. In South Auckland, 3 bedrooms notoriously means much larger families living there and the bins are not adequate for many tenants.

When Councillors Darby and Hills teamed up with Goff to announce free bus rides on weekends for kids under 15, potentially costing $643,000, it was dismissed by Newman as a “schooze” which wouldn’t help the majority of Aucklanders who depend on private vehicles.

“An election year sweetener on public transport fares will be paid for by foregoing other urgent initiatives, including new public transport services,” he said.

Daniel Newman is widely considered to lead the so-called B team, who oppose Phil Goff’s mayoralty (vs the A team councillors who vote with Goff). His manner is blunt and can be divisive but Newman shows no sign of caring.

Veronica Turner – Justice for Families

Veronica’s affiliation is a bit strange for local body politics but I knew I had seen it somewhere before…

Susanna Kruger is running for Mayor yet again. Each time she pledges to implement some business or education project owned by her company. That’s where I had seen it…

Veronica Turner runs South African market days to share her South African culture with New Zealanders. She also organises networking teas and ladies’ retreats. Kruger has clearly trained her apprentice well, the website for these ladies’ retreats is included in Turner’s candidate profile. ( ladyinbusiness.info )

Turner’s priorities are introducing a low-cost housing scheme yet to be introduced by Justice For Families and assisting families to become financially independent through Create Your Own J.O.B. workshops. Something like this?

What a bloody cheek!

MY RECOMMENDATIONS: You may cast up to 2 votes in this FPP contest

  • Angela Dalton – Manurewa-Papakura Action Team
  • Daniel Newman – Manurewa-Papakura Action Team