$ 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.

Waitakere Ward

Waitakere voter turnout is about the same as other parts of Auckland: 23% down on 2016.

Penny Hulse has stepped down from Auckland Council. Unfortunately, she is still standing for Waitakere Licensing Trust, screwing over low-income wine connoisseurs and whining about how everyone in politics is mean to her. The remaining incumbent is Linda Cooper. You may cast up to two votes in this FPP contest.

Peter Chan – Independent $$$$

It is hard to find centre-right candidates in Waitakere. Even harder to find electable centre-right candidates that have actually been elected. Peter has repeated this feat enough times to prove it has nothing to do with being top of the list. Peter was first elected to Henderson Community Board in 2001, Waitakere Council in 2007 and has been on the Henderson-Massey Local Board since the 2010 amalgamation. Being elected to Deputy Chairman in 2016 is a testament to his work ethic and the regard he is held in by people across the political spectrum.

Chan’s work for the community includes founding the Waitakere Ethnic Board, the Lantern Festival (a highlight of the year in Auckland) and formerly a Waitakere City Cultural Ambassador.

Peter has a very consistent 10-11% support in Waitakere. Linda Cooper, the centre-left National Party list candidate, was elected to Council with 18% last time. Waitakere has the best opportunity to elect a Councillor from the sane part of the political spectrum since the 2010 amalgamation.

Prior to moving to Auckland in 1996, Peter was a successful Hong Kong businessman who became a Justice of the Peace in 2001. In 2017, he revealed other talents that he had largely kept to himself. He is also a poetry enthusiast who composes verses in classical Chinese using a thousand-year-old language style and technique. Chan teamed up with another Chinese musician who had the idea to create a show based on 13 of Chan’s poems.

Peter’s priorities for the coming term including keeping rates reasonable, prioritising buses in public transport and supporting local communities.

Tricia Cheel – STOP Trashing Our Planet

Tricia has been trashing our neighbourhood pasting her rants onto power poles around the city. Her candidate profile in the Waitakere voting guide is identical to the one she wrote for her Mayoral candidacy, which I have already covered.

She is the first candidate to receive a 5 clown rating in Stephen Berry’s Guide to Auckland Local Elections, and generously pledged “I Will Never Vote To Poison You.”

Linda Cooper – Independent $

First elected to Auckland Council in 2013, Linda Cooper is the single biggest disappointment since I discovered everyone who got elected received a $142 briefcase. I don’t mean I wanted one (though it looked very nice), I mean I thought we had elected a hard arse fiscal conservative. It turns out we elected Penny Hulse’s BFF.

Linda Cooper, former National Party number 74 list candidate, also expressed her interest in becoming the MP for Helensville when Sir John Key resigned in 2017. That doesn’t say anything for Cooper’s pedigree: rather the sad state of the centre-left National party.

While the Governing Body itself doesn’t have large political parties holding a majority of the seats like central government, it certainly has groupings. From 2010-2016 the centre-left supporters of the centre-left Mayor held a slim majority with a smaller, consistently right-wing grouping opposed. There has also been a similar number of independently-minded councillors who could go either way. Since 2016 there has been a so-called A-team supporting Goff and a B-Team opposing him, with the former having a slim advantage in numbers. Whatever you want to call it, Cooper has virtually always been on the leftist side of the ledger.

When Len Brown wanted to pass the 9.9% rates increase in 2015, Cooper was one of the ‘Terrible Ten’ that supported it. When Cooper called Daniel O’Connor “a judgemental little cock” on the Pride Parade Facebook page, not only did she tarnish all Pasifika and Korean people as being homophobic, she then apologised: not for being racist but for being rude to Daniel. Turns out one complaint was made under the Code of Conduct. 

Who does that?

Cooper’s priorities for the next term give Piha residents a good reason to feel left out. They aren’t mentioned once. What is mentioned is continuing the $1 billion savings made since 2010? When the hell did that happen?

Michael Coote – Independent $

Michael Coote is also running for mayor. Unlike some dual candidates, he has at least bothered to write a separate pitch for the Council race. Unfortunately, it is one long anti-dog rant.

I’m a cat person myself but who is running this coot’s campaign?

Shane Henderson – Labour Party $$$

Typically for a lefty, thirty-one-year-old Shane Henderson has had a stellar rise in politics. Not so stellar as to have a Wikipedia page, making my job slightly more difficult, but stellar all the same. He’s actually earned it too unlike a certain list MP, helicoptered into a safe seat that accidentally turned a trainwreck into Government (then a trainwreck).

Shane Henderson graduated law in 2010 and his first job was providing free legal advice to members of the community in Henderson. That experience motivated him to try to do more and he was elected to Henderson-Massey Local Board in 2013, repeating the feat in 2016 by getting the highest number of votes and being elected Chair.

I think Shane stands apart from most Labour politicians. He is genuine, competent, knowledgeable (if you don’t discuss economics) and in my opinion certainly capable of replacing that retiring extremist. I’m obviously not the only one who has noticed; Labour’s other much less suitable candidate, Greg Presland, is seeking to piggyback on Shane’s star to also get elected. I haven’t noticed Sir Bob Harvey endorse Greg.

Shane is a Labour Party candidate but he’s a moderate and it’s not like Waitakere is spoiled for choice.

Shane’s main priorities for Waitakere are

  • Dedicated rapid public transport to the Northwest
  • Investment into town centres (a course in economics would help him understand why that isn’t happening on its own and isn’t a great idea in heavily populated urban areas)
  • He shares Peter Chan’s goal of delivering another swimming pool for Waitakere.

Shane is also on the Waitakere Licensing Trust. Kick him off so he has time to properly dedicate himself to important matters.

Greg Presland – Labour Party

This is a bit of a downer. 

The other Labour candidate.

The one I can’t find an endorsement from Sir Bob Harvey to go with.

Let’s get on with it.

Greg has been a Waitakere City Councillor. He has also been on the Waitakere Ranges Local Board for the last nine years, serving as Chair since 2016. However, Presland reveals candidly that this work is beneath him in his candidate profile…

“But Council is where the important decisions are made and this is why I am standing for Council.”

Not just once.

“But Council is where the important strategic decisions are made and this is why I am running for Council.”


He wants to do something important. 

Titirangi Locals Concerned Over Infestation of Huge Rats

Paul Talyancich – Independent $

Paul is a political newbie and I don’t know a hell of a lot about him

His first policy is to give $11,190 to people in his ward. That’s 10% of a councillors’ salary.

Paul, I know you’re new to this but fuck. You don’t directly bribe the voters. You promise them things. Like a Penlink crossing. Over and over and over again. Don’t deliver it coz then you’ll have to think of something else. But never offer them cash!

He has lots of other ideas, which aren’t core Council business. It doesn’t matter though because he started with cash bribes.

Game over.

Dillon Tooth – Independent $

Dillon is the Milo Yiannopolous of Waitakere politics. I don’t mean he’s a far-right feminine homosexual Catholic. I mean he cuts down trees for a living and wants to be the Councillor for Waitakere.

The 26-year-old arborist was born into a working-class West Auckland household. I like how he describes himself as having a “working class perspective.” It’s like identity politics but straight white men can win.

Tooth describes local election turnout as a “crisis of disengagement and distrust.” I wouldn’t call it a crisis. Perhaps technology coupled with record low global poverty, infant mortality rates and the highest life expectancy levels in human history have revealed that politicians aren’t what they made themselves out to be for decades.

“Over the past two decades we’ve seen a steady decline in political participation and trust in government, which is making it harder for the few that are still engaged to influence government decision making.”

My worry is that the few who are engaged are having too easy a time influencing government decision making.

Dillon is running a policy-lite campaign. He wants to increase communications between councillors and their constituents. He also wants to build community think tanks where the public can innovate and co-create public policy in a way that’s not shrouded in bureaucracy.

I suggest he get elected to a local board for three years and then see how he feels

Dillon’s election signs are hand-painted by his wife Esther. They are quite something to behold and I recommend you look at them.

MY RECOMMENDATIONS: You don’t have to cast both your votes. You can cast just one if you like. Whether you cast one or two, my recommendations are in the following order.

  • Peter Chan – Independent
  • Shane Henderson – Labour Party


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Waitakere Ward: An Absolutely Biased Guide to Auckland Local Elections
Stephen Berry

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,...