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.

Whau Ward

It’s been a wild ride, but now we approach the final ward contest. 

There are 5 candidates contesting the Whau ward. The two-term incumbent is Ross Clow from Labour.

Ross Clow – Labour Party $$$

Prior to the Super City amalgamation, Clow was on Waitakere Council serving as finance chairman. He narrowly lost to Noelene Rafills in 2010 but was successful in his second attempt in 2013. Phil Goff appointed Clow Chair of the Finance and Performance Committee.

Clow is also President of the Portage Licensing Trust which administers a monopoly over liquor sales in West Auckland and chairman of The Trusts Community Foundation which runs pokie machines in the trusts’ outlets around NZ and in some parts of West Auckland. That alone demonstrates why Clow doesn’t deserve to be a Councillor, but I’ll return to that in the final rating articles to come in a couple of days.

Clow’s voting record in the 2013-16 term includes some good

  • Opposing the 9.9% rates increase in 2015
  • Voted to remove the ban on demolishing pre-1944 houses

But mostly bad

  • Affordable housing quota for developers under the Unitary Plan
  • Voted against denser housing
  • Voted against offshore oil exploration (not sure why there was a vote on that)
  • Voted for site of value for mana whenua
  • Voted to maintain minimum floor sizes in central city apartments

Voting against intensification and for maintaining minimum floor sizes does far more to hurt housing affordability than token requirements to build affordable houses which are simply subsidised by higher prices in the rest of the development.

Ross Clow was naturally the first port of call when The Spinoff asked him what he thought of Mayoral candidate John Tamihere’s plan to freeze rates for three years. Clow didn’t seem to have a clear idea of how that saving would be achievable. Neither did Desley Simpson surprisingly, considering she has been vocal about saving $260 million over the past two years through her ‘Value for Money’ programme, on top of the $62 million in efficiency savings the Council has budgeted for over the next three years. Tamihere’s rates freeze is expected to cost $180 million.

On the other hand, Clow was part of a minority of councillors who voted to give Eden Park a no-interest loan, with no end date for payment, worth $53 million, payable if the Eden Park Trust is wound up and the land sold. Unfortunately, that vote was won by 12 councillors who elected to give Eden Park a no strings attached grant instead. I’d prefer the Council finally dealt to Helen Clark and her obstructive neighbours who must take some responsibility for the economic unviability of the stadium.

Clow is also pragmatic when it comes to managing the Council’s portfolio, in clear contrast to ideologues such as Mike Lee. In April, the Council sold its Graham Street offices in Auckland CBD for $58m. It is expected the sale will also save the Council $117m in maintenance costs over the next decade.

However, when it comes to Mayor Phil Goff, Clow is firmly in his corner. Whether that is due to being appointed Chair of the powerful Finance and Performance Committee is for you to decide. In 2018 he rated Goff an 8/10 for his performance, saying “Introducing comprehensive water quality and environmental programmes, that will achieve in 10 years what previously would have taken 30 years, may well be the Goff legacy”.

Paul Davie – Community Independents

I first came across Paul Davie when the Free Speech issue became hot in New Zealand, following Phil Goff’s false claim that he was stopping Stefan Molyneux and Lauren Southern being permitted to hire the Bruce Mason Theatre. I’ve regretted doing so ever since.

I spoke in favour of free speech because I believe it is impossible to preserve our liberal democracy without it. Davie spoke because he actually supports Molyneux and Southern. 

Davie has previously been a candidate for the Conservative Party in 2014, earning a perfect score in Family First’s Value your Vote survey and in 2017, quoted as saying New Zealand was “God’s land not Maori land,”  but left to form a breakaway party because the Conservatives weren’t Conservative enough. That resulted in the founding of One New Zealand which split into two One New Zealand Parties when the majority of the party board kicked Davie and some other reprehensible creatures out.

Davie describes himself as steadfastly independent, serving no political master. Yet, he belongs to a ticket called Community Independents. You’re either independent or you’re on a ticket. Community Independents is a ticket.

Paul and Kathryn Davie lost their jobs as real estate agents for Ray White after historic comments about Muslims, Africans, Australian Senator Fraser Anning, multiculturalism and a warning by Kathryn that “civil war was coming” over the issue of teaching Te Reo in schools that were screenshotted and spread by far-left radical groups.

Don’t vote for him. Seriously…just don’t.

Anne Degia-Pala – Independent $$$

Degia-Pala stood in the 2016 election, finishing fourth with 12.2% She is also one of the few Council candidates to sign the Auckland Ratepayers Alliance pledge to never vote for a measure which will result in rates increasing more than 2%

Degia-Pala has also been a candidate for New Zealand First, her candidacy announced by “the Maestro himself.” She is a Fijian-Indian who moved to New Zealand 30 years ago and switched from Labour after witnessing a young couple being out-bid at an auction next door by an Australian purchaser who owned seven other properties.

In 2017, a controversy brewed over a planned visit by prominent ex-Muslim speaker Ayaan Hirsi Ali, which was shortly cancelled due to fears for Ms Ali’s safety. Anne Degia-Pala is Muslim and said while Ali’s talk may be interesting it isn’t representative of everyone’s experience. She disagreed with Ali’s views but agrees the threats go too far.

Anne is a board member of Drowning Prevention Auckland, NixCrew Road Safety Trust and a committee member of the National Lottery Outdoor Safety Committee. Previously she has held the roles of Waitakere Ethnic Board President, Auckland Council People’s Panel and Generosity New Zealand.

Her priorities should she be elected include upgrading footpaths and cycleways, financially responsible and accountable for debt reduction, supporting partners in environmental groups for healthy waterways and sustainable living programs and accessible public transport to ease traffic congestion and reduce emissions.

Jessamine Fraser – Green Party

Oh dear. It’s unicorns and rainbows should Fraser be elected. Her priorities include addressing housing issues whilst retaining accessible public spaces and protecting the unique environment. That translates to throwing your money at social housing (not a Council function), causing the waiting list for social housing to explode because if you fund it, they will come.

She wants to make Whau climate resilient by reducing waste through addressing the volume of “stuff wrapped around goods.” If she’s referring to produce sold in plastic bags, she is ignorant of the significant extension in shelf-life plastic packaging delivers and clueless about the impact removing “stuff wrapped around goods” will have on the poor as food waste and prices increase.

She wants income-linked Council housing expanded ensuring people aren’t forced out of their communities by development and rising house prices. The dingbat doesn’t understand that development, increasing the supply of housing on the market, relieves the pressure on house prices.

Fraser is excited by the strong sense of political engagement in the area (this was written pre-lowest voter turnout ever) and wants to be part of realising the potential that carries for grassroots action for arts, culture and heritage. She’s gonna splash your cash at artists producing crap nobody would willingly purchase.

Tracy Mulholland – C&R – Communities and Residents $$$

Mulholland is the current Chair of Whau Local Board, though no longer a member of the Labour Party. She is also the New Lynn Business Association Manager.

While Chair Whau Local Board, she was involved in delivering a new Avondale Community facility and library, playgrounds and town centre upgrades. She also mentioned $105m for the Whau Pool and Recreation Centre, though a figure that high doesn’t come from local boards alone.

Whau Local Board is the first in Auckland to launch a specific plan for its ethnic population. A bit ignorant when you consider there are over 100 ethnicities in Whau, though not all will be considered ‘ethnic.’ I think this virtue signalling treads a dangerous line.

The only reference I can find to the reasons for Mulholland’s switch to C&R is hidden behind a Herald paywall.

MY RECOMMENDATIONS: You have one vote

  • Tracy Mulholland – C&R – Communities and Residents

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