It is great that Lianne Dalziel has been elected for another 3 years. I never had any doubt about her ability to win. During the election debates I was concerned about the absurdity of the campaign against her by Darryl Park. Promoting zero rates on your campaign billboard is like saying the lawn will stop growing if I tell it to. The campaign became completely side-tracked by it. I found the lack of discussion on real issues quite troubling. So much of our media coverage is now driven by clickbait.
The Council seems to be a good one with some good new skills added. To the best of my knowledge James Daniels is the first Ngai Tahu rep since Hori Brennan who was on the Council, I think in the 1970’s. It is also good to have a real live contractor on the Council, Phil Mauger. The first task for Sara and Mike will be to get Phil to bike to Council meetings! I’ll be there to take a photo to send to his father…
Well done everybody.
It was interesting to look around New Zealand and see where the vote was above 50%. It was in areas where the voters knew their candidates. That might be a lesson for larger cities. I am passionately interested in politics. Especially Local Government politics, and what it represents. However, when I was the MC for the St Albans Residents Association “meet the candidates” evening, the names of the wards, and where they crossed was, quite frankly, confusing.
In my reading forward thinking local governments around the world are looking to Citizens Juries to assist getting things much more democratic. The future of politics is at village level. As our electronic age removes international, and information, boundaries on our screens, it is more and more important that we get to know our neighbours. In our own neighbourhoods and villages. As we walk, or bike, around our suburbs and shop at the local butcher, or green grocer, we stop and greet each other in a human way. We ask about each other’s lives. We share our thoughts and concerns. That’s community.
We must get to know who our local elected reps are. Not on a superficial level. They are the ones who share the table next to us at the coffee shop. They are highly paid to be the best community workers and advocates for our suburb, and our City. It’s their responsibility to ensure that we have levels of accountability which are much better than they have been in the past. CCC as an institution has become too self-absorbed. The elected reps have become pawns in the game rules set by a bureaucracy, disinterested in real accountability. The elected reps have been buried in the detail of the engine room, rather than the destination, of our City. We need planning and direction which leads us to be a real 21st Century City, in the Mainland of New Zealand. Our current city planning is pathetic. We need a determined and strategic-focused Council table.
The place for parish pump politics must be at the Community Boards. This is where we reinforce our villages. A question I have in my mind. Where are our villages? Maybe it is time to define them and reinforce them. My local village is Edgeware. Where is yours? Again, who the hell is leading the planning at this sort of level.
We must thank both those who have succeeded to be elected into positions of responsibility at all parts of our Local Government. We must also stop and thank those who stood who have not succeeded. We need a test of local democracy every three years (although a 5-year term would be must healthier) and these people have given us that opportunity.