Maungakiekie-Tamaki 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.

There are four candidates standing for one position in this Council ward.

Josephine Bartley – Labour $$

Bartley was elected in the 2018 by-election caused by Denise Lee’s election to Parliament and subsequent resignation from Auckland Council. Prior she had served on the Maungakiekie-Tamaki Local Board since 2010.

Josephine has identified her priorities if re-elected as ensuring infrastructure keeps up with growth in the region, improving water quality, more housing and transport options and ensuring that the Council spends wisely.

She is a member of the Tupuna Maunga Authority, the organisation responsible for co-goverance with Auckland Council of mountains in the area. Five mountains have now been made car-free since 2018, a nonsense decision that makes the apparently improved views much more difficult to see. The first was Mt. Eden, which I opposed at the time. Bartley wasn’t on the authority until much later but has overseen rolling out the car-free policy on others.

It is unfortunate that Bartley’s election has resulted in the predictable mutter about ethnicity, sex and group identity. This ignorant viewpoint expressed on Salient in August maintains that Council is terrible at engaging with Pasifika people and that we have to vote in Pasifika people to change this.

Bartley hasn’t countered that narrative, speaking last year on intersectionality at the Women in Public Sector Summit. Before being asked to speak, Bartley didn’t know what intersectionality was. Her powerpoint presentation doesn’t make it any clearer. However it is essentially a review of identity groups and their oppression being factored in to how we can reduce barriers to people achieving equitable outcomes. The problem with identity groups is that every individual is part of more than one group; ethnic, sexuality, disability, gender, gender identity and infinite others which then have to be compared against individuals from other countless identity groups of various perceived disadvantage. Ultimately, if you think about it properly, the conclusion is that each of us is an individual; the smallest minority group. This is a conclusion that the left never manages to reach because thinking would help them realise it is silly.

Ironically, Bartley used her position on the Maungakiekie-Tamaki local board to oppose the Point England Development Enabling Bill in 2017 which was part of concluding a Treaty Settlement claim with Ngati Paoa. This bill allowed the iwi to build 300 houses on reserve land removing Auckland Council from the consultation process. Bartley claims to not oppose the treaty settlement yet wanted more people to be able to have an opinion, something I think the treaty settlement process has never been short of.

Josh Beddell – C&R – Communities and Residents $$

Beddell ran in the 2018 by-election on a joint Auckland Future/C&R ticket, losing to Josephine Bartley by around 1500 votes. Auckland Future is dead but C&R are giving Beddell a second chance to take the ward. There are a lot of National party-affiliated donations behind him also.

Auckland Future was an absolute cluster that essentially handed the Council to the centre-left for another three years. Bedell was one of the few people who stuck around to manage Crone’s disastrous Mayoral campaign.

Josh says he has over a decade of experience advocating for residents on issues such as the Onehunga foreshore, rail, Tamaki Regeneration and Ellerslie noise barriers. His policy platform includes cutting waste (where?), core services (what?), safer neighbourhoods, reducing the cost of living (yeah, right), axing the petrol tax (central government, not local) and taking control of AT (how?).

I’ve seen all this before.

Carmel Claridge – Better Auckland $$$$$

Carmel was one of the founders of the Auckland Ratepayer’s Alliance before being elected to Orakei Local Board in 2016. She stands apart from the average nobodies using predictable language about rates, efficiencies and cutting waste who end up being no different.

From building a Council watchdog to being elected to Orakei Local Board as Deputy Chair, Claridge proved she was made of different stuff immediately. In her first week she got the elaborate nibble spread provided in local board meetings axed, saving tens of thousands of dollars annually.

Carmel is an environmentalist but does this in a practical, hands-on manner as Chair of Friends of Pourewa Valley and the Tamaki Estuary Forum. She has also used her seat on Orakei Local Board to advocate successfully for improvements to the management of Waiatarua Reserve. She was the only dissenting voice when Orakei Local Board voted to give ratepayer money to wealthy home owners for pruning their own trees.

While taking responsibility for transport issues on Orakei Local Board, she worked hard to acquire knowledge of the issues being raised by residents. Not just a familiar face at residents association meetings, consulting with locals but personally visiting traffic sites and intersections identified as issues by residents. That led to improvements in the road layout, parking configuration and bus shelter at Meadowbank Train Station.

Just about every candidate on the spectrum talks about cutting government waste. Very few have a record of actually doing it. Every candidate talks about fixing traffic congestion, Claridge has demonstrated that she can achieve improvements in an area local board otherwise has no responsibility for. Imagine what change she could affect with a seat on the Council. It’s easy to see who deserves your vote in Maungakiekie-Tamaki.

Patrick O’Meara – United Locals

United Locals is a 3 person ticket with one candidate standing on each of the Maungakiekie-Tamaki local board subdivisions. It’s surprising that two other apparently intelligent people would see merit in being associated with O’Meara.

His priorities are oxymoronic slogans such as “fairer pricing in Rental and the Housing area, and stop the high apartment buildings that are being proposed.” Indeed, his candidate profile is so poorly written, you don’t need me to point out you’ve got a fringe candidate on the ballot.

I’ll still do it.

O’Meara has been involved in several organisations such as the Tamaki Estuary Protection Society, Panmure Basin Advisory Committee, Panmure Historical Society and photographed in suburban newspapers collecting rubbish from creeks.

Those who have dealt with O’Meara suggest he is a disruptive annoyance. A governance dispute inside the Tamaki Estuary Protection Society, in which O’Meara has lost, will attest to that. Patrick has attempted to suspend a life member, thwart constitutional AGM processes, prevent members from renewing subscriptions to stop them voting all in order to maintain his position as Chair. A long list of easily verifiable accusations were denied by O’Meara and another individual with him and the court ruled against them. TEPS will now hold fresh elections with an independent chair and O’Meara along with other respondents are liable for costs and ordered to return all TEPS documents and financial reports.

O’Meara is yet to comply with the courts judgment which should have occured in May 2019. As a result, the High Court has ruled he is in contempt. Should he fail to comply with the order by October 18, the warrant for arrest currently lying in court will be executed.

A vote for O’Meara may very well be a vote for another by-election.

MY RECOMMENDATIONS: You may cast 1 vote in this FPP contest.

  • Carmel Claridge – Better Auckland