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.

Orakei Ward

I’ve lived in this area for several years, in Remuera and Meadowbank for 3 years before moving over to the Shore for work reasons. Returned to this side of the bridge last September, living in St. Johns. Really feels like being back home again.

Incredibly my voting papers are still sitting on the kitchen bench unopened, a change from my usual modus operandi which is to tear them open during the journey from letterbox to door. Couldn’t see the point in opening them until I’ve researched the Council race today and the Local Board contest tomorrow. I don’t know about everyone who follows this guide but I am literally waiting to read my recommendations before voting.

Alan Barraclough – Green Party $

It’s not uncommon to see the Green party stand someone in this ward, with the exception of Cameron Brewer’s unopposed win in 2013. I wouldn’t have thought the party viewed Orakei as fertile territory. Interesting side-point from UN is the discovery that lifting people out of poverty has the unexpected consequence of being environmentally beneficial! Once community GDP breaches the US$5000 mark, individuals are sufficiently wealthy to start prioritising environmental improvements in their societies. Perhaps Alan is targeting the guilt-ridden wealthy liberal vote?

Barraclough believes there are more safety improvements that can be made on local roads for protecting children, pedestrians and cyclists. He has mentioned traffic islands along Remuera Road, a stretch that is generally slow and congested throughout the week anyway. Radical-leftists Generation Zero scored Alan Barraclough a B rating (that 75% for competence must have hurt).

Alan’s priorities if elected are:

  • Safety for our children, senior citizens and cyclists on the road, through more pedestrian sanctuaries and separated cycleways. (I drive Tamaki drive twice a day, a very wide and safe road, with cycle lanes available that could easily have a higher speed restriction if it weren’t for bloody cyclists riding on the road 2, 3 or 4 wide. Pedestrian sanctuaries is a term I hadn’t previously come across but it appears to be walking areas with zero vehicle access.)
  • Reducing the use of glyphosate and poisons in the city (New Zealand has a robust assessment process run by MPI that regularly tests milk, grains and peas for glyphosate residue. Milk, cream and peas tested have shown no trace of the chemical while some wheat samples have shown very low traces in a 2016 survey – the highest sample of 5.9mh/kg would require a consumer to eat 14kg of wheat based products every day of their life to reach the Acceptable Daily Intake for glyphosate.)
  • Removing plastic from our oceans (93% of plastic in the ocean comes from 10 rivers located in economically deprived parts of Africa, India and Asia.)
  • Strong action on climate change – implementing a climate emergency plan (invading China and India?)

Mike Padfield – Better Auckland $$

The Better Auckland ticket has Padfield and Carmel Claridge running for Council in Orakei and Maungakiekie-Tamaki respectively. Mike’s approach to city planning is a bit more rigid and narrow minded than his running mate.

Padfield lives in the area, owns a small business and has 20 years of involvement in Council and community issues. This is his second crack at winning Orakei; a tall ask considering the popularity of the incumbent. He was categorically thumped in 2016, finishing behind the Green candidate.

His priority is always Progress not Politics. Like those who cry People Before Profit who are left bereft of profit for the people, Mike will find it tough to make progress if he writes-off the necessary politics to achieve progress.

His biggest passion is enhancing parks, reserves and community facilities and begrudges the perceived ignorance of our neighbourhood by Council, despite the high rates paid in the area. He has a point though if the amount of rates paid was the main determining factor in where it is spent, wealthy local boards would be showered with cash while Otara-Papatoetoe has very little.

He is opposed to any selling off of parks and reserves, a mainstream local body viewpoint even in the very bluest of wards and says High Rise development in every street must stop. I think he is exaggerating a little but Auckland needs to remove the urban boundary to reduce land prices, building up and out. Protecting the property rights of existing home owners is my measure of appropriate development, not whether someone down the road is building a house that looks different to yours.

Desley Simpson – C&R – Communities & Residents $$$$$

Simpson is world famous in Orakei and very popular with the locals. She was Chair of Orakei Local Board 2010-16 and succeeded Cameron Brewer as Councillor in 2016.

Desley received a red cross from Auckland Ratepayers Alliance this month for signing their 2016 pledge to keep rate increases capped at 2% but voting for a 3.5% increase onwards from now.

However, Desley claims that she has championed a new ‘Value for Money’ programme producing $260 million savings in the first two years. A Herald reporter questioned these figures on Simpson’s Facebook page. Simpson doubled down in response to his claim that the Value for Money programme had saved $500k this year. She advised that Value for Money had realised $270m in savings over two years (Orsman claims 10 years) with an additional $69m saved on top this term…

I was somewhat sceptical and asked for evidence of the claims which Simpson provided:

In black and white, Value for Money programme reviews estimate $430 million in savings over ten years with $270 million already achieved. Desley Simpson is Chair of the Quality Advice Working Party, which has achieved a requirement that council agendas now contain headings including financial implications and risks.

I haven’t supported everything Desley has done while on Council. When Eden Park put out the begging bowl to Auckland Council, Desley voted with the majority to grant Eden Park $9.8 million rather than an alternative proposal to loan the money with no interest and no end date, only to be paid should the land be sold. I believe she aligned herself to the wrong side when supporting the implementation of Mayor Goff’s failed bed tax.

However when St.Heliers was under threat of wide-scale chaos being inflicted by Auckland transport on its roads, Simpson stood up for her ward against proposals to remove 40 car parks, build 12 additional raised zebra crossings, new traffic islands and extra cycle lane divisions.

It barely need be mentioned, but I suspect the Queen of the East will reign at least another three years.

MY RECOMMENDATION: You may cast one vote in this FPP contest

Desley Simpson C&R – Communities and Residents