Build The Surge For Chloe Swarbrick!



THE SO-CALLED “MILLENNIAL” GENERATION has been harshly criticised for its lack of political engagement. Clear away the red mist of Boomer rage, however, and the under-30s disinclination to participate in electoral politics takes on a very different aspect. Be it inspired by sophisticated political science, or simple gut instinct, the Millennials’ refusal to validate the politics of neoliberalism by joining in its electoral rituals is easily defended.

Sometimes, however, casting of a ballot can inflict a serious blow to the neoliberal order. The most obvious recent example is the British electorate’s decision to leave the European Union. A great many young Britons who hadn’t yet voted in a general election (because “politics” and “politicians” always win) voted for Brexit because they sensed that, if they did, politics and politicians would, for once, be the losers.

Chloe Swarbrick’s decision to run for Mayor of Auckland has given the city’s young voters a similar opportunity to make a real difference. With virtually no money, and in spite of being excluded (until very recently) from the mainstream news media’s coverage of the election, a recent poll showed Swarbrick in fourth place, after Phil Goff, Vic Crone and John Palino.

Essentially, only 15 percentage points separate this 23-year-old political prodigy from second place. A concerted effort by voters under 30 could easily see Swarbrick surging towards runner-up status in the 2016 Mayoral contest.

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What good is coming in second? The answer is simple and important. By outperforming both Crone and Palino, Swarbrick will identify herself as a political phenomenon. She will be feted by the news media as the voice of her generation – proof of the Millennials’ potential to completely upset the calculations of “politics” and “politicians”.

More than a few political commentators have observed that the next centre-left prime-minister has yet to be elected to Parliament. If Swarbrick is propelled into second place in the Auckland Mayoral election, then Labour and the Greens will soon be competing fiercely to get her to accept a winnable position on their Party Lists.

I remember meeting Helen Clark for the first time when I was an undergraduate student at Otago. She was just six years older than me, but I could tell, even back then, in the early 1980s, that this junior political studies lecturer from Auckland was going to play a major role in New Zealand’s political history. I defy anyone to watch Swarbrick’s performance on last Sunday’s Q+A and not reach exactly the same conclusion.

The Millennial Generation’s progressives have their representative – now all they need to do is vote for her!


  1. Yes ! Vote for Chloe !

    For Gods sake, not bloodless, neoliberal old goff or dodgy palino and as for crone? Every time I see her photograph I smell mothballs.
    Auckland is a young, urbane city and needs a young, urbane person to give the Old Guard a kick in their whatsits.

  2. Well spotted chris I was similarly impressed, her interveiw was very engaging rational and not a turn off as are most politicians interviews.

  3. I must agree, I was rather impressed by Chloe’s performance during that interview on Q+A on Sunday morning. The way she dealt with some challenging questions was in a very self confident manner, and not being short of bold. It should have make many young and also older Aucklanders take note and seriously consider her rather convincing position on matters of concern for so many of us Aucklanders.

    Here is a link to Q+A and that interview:

    Chloe is progressive, but still also pro business as I noted, but that is probably due to her being more pragmatic and down to earth re the status quo we have. She says she operates a business, but it cannot (yet) pay a high income.

    As a youthful novice as a candidate for a BIG job, she will need to stand up against these damned very dominant vested business interests we have in Auckland, always flexing their muscles. Indeed they do determine what really goes on in the city, and what is going to be planned for the future in Auckland.

    My concern is, as long as we have these very powerful large and medium size business lobbyists dominate the Committee for Auckland, nothing much will change, they deserve to be taken to the cleaners – and to task:

    Any Mayor, whoever will win the contest, must face this formidable challenge, same as any Concillors who may not agree with neoliberalism. While I am tempted to give my vote to Chloe, I fear she will on her own not have the strenght and perseverance to deal with the Committee for Auckland and other powers (incl. Central Government), no matter how principled and strong and determined she may be.

    Thus I will still rather consider to protest vote for Penny Bright, who has fought this “rotten” status quo for years.

    The Mayor on her or his own though, can only do so much, as with a Council full of neoliberals, what can be done to bring the needed change?

    Most certainly, Chloe Swarbrick is a personality, a character and politician to watch out for, she will be one with future potential, and whether she may consider party politics or not, she will be back whether she becomes second or not, to be engaged for the causes she has taken up to fight for.

  4. Two things where Chris may be wrong though:
    1. “Sometimes, however, casting of a ballot can inflict a serious blow to the neoliberal order. The most obvious recent example is the British electorate’s decision to leave the European Union. A great many young Britons who hadn’t yet voted in a general election (because “politics” and “politicians” always win) voted for Brexit because they sensed that, if they did, politics and politicians would, for once, be the losers.”

    As far as I know, it was rather the younger Brits who voted to stay within the EU, and the middle aged and older ones who voted for Brexit.

    2. “More than a few political commentators have observed that the next centre-left prime-minister has yet to be elected to Parliament.”

    So does Chris then think, that they are right, and so we can expect a fourth term for Key next year? I think this is still premature, and rather defeatist, even while Andrew Little may not be the best candidate to lead Labour and the opposition, there is still a chance he may take Labour to victory, despite of the dismal polls and present situation they are in.

  5. “red mist of boomer rage”?
    What have you been smoking, injecting, imbibing?
    You sound like Hosking and Henry the well loved comedic duo.

  6. I have thought for a long time now that the younger generations should be having more say in how this country is run.

    After all, it is them that will have to live and deal with rising immigration, increasing debt, fresh water problems, increasing pollution etc.
    I am sure that they do see all, in a different light to us older generations.

    So all power to this young lady, I wish her well in the upcoming election.

  7. Only seen her on Waatea, and she aced it. Pity Wellington hasn’t got anything like the Chloenator, wish we could vote for her.

  8. Too young to have skeletons. She would be a breath of fresh air and the start of a better direction, for as long as I can remember.
    White, rich, old men, with NO Concern for the next generation is all I will say.

  9. I like Chloe.

    She’s friendly, personable, articulate and presents very well on the campaign trail.

    Her policies – not so much.

    Chloe supports privatisation via Public-Private-Partnerships (PPPs).

    More significantly, Chloe supports the Auckland Unitary Plan and intensification, as do Generation Zero.

    In my considered opinion, this ‘One Plan’ for Auckland has been ‘democracy for developers’ and dominated by the interests of commercial property developers and investors represented by the NZ Property Council.

    Auckland Council and most Auckland Council Controlled Organisations (CCOs) are members of the NZ Property Council, which in my considered opinion, as an anti-corruption campaigner is a significant and arguably corrupt ‘conflict of interest’.

    As ‘activists get things done’ I have petitioned Parliament for an inquiry and provided evidence recently to the Local Government and Environment Select Committee in support of my petition, calling for an inquiry into the alleged conflict of interest regarding Auckland Council’s membership of the NZ Property Council.

    In my considered opinion, Generation Zero, in their support for the Auckland Unitary Plan and intensification, pushing the line that those residents and ratepayers attempting to defend their local communities against decimation by developers, are effectively selfish baby boomers stopping young people from getting their foot on the property ladder.

    How convenient for the NZ Property Council to have these young advocates, on the same page, singing their same tune, but in a way that is far more effective pushing young vs old than if this were done by suited middle-aged property developers?

    In my considered opinion, Generation Zero are effectively the ‘Youth Branch’ of the NZ Property Council.

    Unlike all the Auckland Mayoral candidates, (including Chloe) I am actively opposed to corrupt corporate control by the 1%, locally, nationally and internationally.

    For years I have actively campaigned against Council (Corporate) Controlled Organisations (CCOs), Public-Private-Partnerships (PPPs) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA).

    Because I am the only Auckland Mayoral candidate directly standing up to corrupt corporate control by the 1%, the effective censorship I have been facing by (corporate controlled) mainstream media is simply breath-taking in how blatant it has been.

    In 2013, in the only poll that counts, the election result, I polled 4th, with 11,723 votes.

    That was before Auckland Council tried to force the rating sale of my freehold home, over my disputing and refusing to pay rates because of the Council’s failure to disclose where exactly public monies are being spent on private sector consultants and contractors.

    Although some citizens (who are not familiar with their lawful rights and the Council’s statutory obligations under s.17 of the Public Records Act 2005 (google it), apparently want me to have a frontal lobotomy and forget mine, and just be a good sheepish slave and just pay my rates, like they do, I’m not budging until I get the transparency to which I, and all citizens are entitled.

    So, that is why, unlike Chloe, I’m not getting the TV coverage and being excluded from mainstream media Auckland Mayoral debates.

    The real debate would be between myself and Phil Goff.

    The topic?

    Rogernomic$ wrecked Auckland.

    What do you say to that Chris?

    A real ‘meat and spuds’ debate on the substantive issues, rather than the candy floss ‘bubble and fluff’ we’re getting now?

    Kind regards

    Penny Bright

    2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate.

    ‘Activists – get things done’

    • Well said, Penny.

      The governing NZ Statutes (Local Government Acts 2002 and 2012)require the processes of local government to be transparent, for all parties to be consulted and their interests considered, and for planning to be appropriate to the present and future NEEDS of the community.

      None of that occurs, of course, because the system is rotten to the core and is geared to the wants of the tiny minority of exploiters and opportunists, the so-called 1%, and geared to propping up failing status quo economic arrangements. What is more, council officials are richly rewarded for serving the interests of the 1%, thereby increasing the level of dysfunction in society whilst at the same time failing to abide by NZ Statutes. Needless to say, there is NO accountability.

      And, of course, there is no debate about any of the fundamental issues either because the vast majority of candidates:

      a) know nothing about the issues (not even the law relevant law)

      b) would have no workable policies even if they did know the law.

      Thus the ‘ship’ continues to flounder and take on more water in a ‘storm’ that increases in intensity as time goes on. And a few people at the top make a lot of money.

      • I agree with the above two comments. Thanks to you both.

        Under the surface, lies many truths and most have a hard time
        with the truths reaching the light of day. Thanks Penny and
        Afewknowthetruth for continuing the hard fought battle against
        ignorance ; corruption and narrow minds.

        Why not more media outlets giving Penny more air and print support ?
        We know why and the biggest reason is greedy criminal corporate control and their dictating to most NZ media.

    • Thanks very much, Penny.

      I know you have ruffled a few people’s feathers over the years, and some are not that fond of your “style” of politics.

      But you have at least been consistent and reliable in what you stand for, and what you fight for.

      There are few if any of the candidates we have for Mayor, who can say that of themselves.

      You are right on much of what you mention, and Chloe is still on a learning curve, I fear, although as a person and candidate she has much going for herself, certainly being a person of integrity.

      So people who want to vote in Auckland have to be very careful in making their decision, this is not an easy one, but a very important one.

      The Auckland Plan, the Unitary Plan and what comes next, it is all stuff that has been propagated by such that also are members of the Committee for Auckland, and some arrogant, self serving “leaders”, who all have very vested interests in “growing” the population and economy, at a cost to all of us, but benefit to them (more profits, rates and so forth).

      So far I remain inclined to vote for you, even if it is partly a protest vote. My papers arrived yesterday, the coming days I will make my final decision.

      Also very important, even more important, is our vote for the Ward Councillors and less important, but necessary, our vote for the boards. So people, do your thinking and weighing up, do not fall for the MSM and others’ spin, vote mindfully and yet clearly against neoliberalism, big business and those that just want to make ever more profits and otherwise only pay lip-service to you all.

    • Quote:
      “The real debate would be between myself and Phil Goff.

      The topic?

      Rogernomic$ wrecked Auckland.

      What do you say to that Chris?

      A real ‘meat and spuds’ debate on the substantive issues, rather than the candy floss ‘bubble and fluff’ we’re getting now?

      Kind regards

      Penny Bright

      Hah, I really like that fitting closing to Penny’s comment!

      • I agree, Penny you have my vote too – never giving up and telling it as it is – the country needs more interesting and dedicated people just like you – you make Auckland central a more vibrant place when you get about the place tirelessly working for the betterment of the city.

      • Penny’s fight started also with the water privatisation agenda, which Council pushed, forcing all to abide by their new rules.

        Most people soon gave in, others fought on, but fell one by one, and gave in, Penny carried on.

        You do not get it what she is fighting about, hence your silly comment.

        It is this problem with many in New Zealand, they may know something is wrong, but nobody stands their ground, and when one or a few dare continue stand up, and stand out, the tall poppy syndrome sets in, to attack the ones that are right, and hammer them into line.

        You love bullying people into line, do you not?

          • Oh really? Well, we can’t allow that in New Zealand, can we? Outspokenness is considered “loud” and “rude” by too many, hence so many just never say much anyway, shrug their shoulders and put up with everything.

    • Have to agree with Penny here. Chloe seems like a great person, but Generation Zero is the Natz youth of the Property council. Would prefer to have a candidate that can think out of the square on the unitary plan.

      How can you endorse sustainability when the Unitary plan has got rid of sustainability, got rid of history, got rid of affordability criteria and currently be under appeal by Forest and Bird??? Yep more houses, more people and more cars, sorry don’t see that as more sustainable for Auckland, even if we are more tightly packed into million dollar apartments of 65m2 or commuting 2 hours per day due to traffic from the new zoning rules.

      As for PPP’s – they are death!

      I don’t care if a politician is in their 70’s (Bernie Sanders proved that) or in their 20’s. It’s the policies and discourses that matter.

      I’m tired of hearing NZ politicians say ‘just build more houses’. Sorry it’s more complicated than that …. but politicians seem to love to say it whether Blue, Red, Green bearers – now spreading to the Mayoral candidates. As for taxing only on land value, wonderful for the developer who owns an apartment with 200 toilets discharging into he wastewater, and 200 people using the library and roads, but not so good for the old lady whose lived in a small house on a large section or the lifestyle block offering organic vegetables. Goodbye Great Barrier Island and hello Nelson ST!

      Chloe’s policy on her website.

      “Taxing improvement disincentivises development, and can incentivise land banking and speculation – in essence, holding the market and surrounding community to ransom. Ransom for land, which, had it been used effectively, could have in the meantime been used to curb our housing crisis by providing more housing, or adding to our economy by being utilised for business.”

      Build, build, build – with Chloe… and encourage even more to build!!

    • Correction – the youth chose not to vote because of their mistrust and disgust with their govt. and the system that has damaged their economy and quality of life. Brexit won because it was the right and honorable thing to happen.

      • You really have no clue why youth chose not to vote. They just didn’t. Probably for many reasons.

        I was just saying that according to polls the majority of under 25s said they were in favour of Remain but then couldn’t be arsed to actually vote.

    • andrew..andrew..always with the false-facts..

      that millennials didn’t vote/caused brexit lie was first peddled by the sky polling company..

      i was also sucked in by it – and used it as a platform to whine about dumbarse-millennials/w.t.f. were they thinking..? was then revealed that sky had used old/pre-brexit data to form their bullshit conclusions..

      ..this yoof-bashing-lie has now been well and truly put to bed – and is now only being peddled by the unknowing..

      ..which brings us to

  10. Thanks Penny – don’t worry, it is obvious to some that you are NOT receiving the media coverage you deserve.
    For me, it is a good reason to vote for you.
    My main concern with Chloe is that she IS being pushed, some what, in our face by the M$M – and as I said above it would be great to have fresh eyes ( direction ) but nothing is ever that simple.

  11. I’m not sure if it helps Chloe to be ‘endorsed’ by a man who thinks Hillary Clinton is planning on “repairing an economic system that serves only obscene wealth”, while dismisses Bernie supporters, and Bernie, as being ridiculous and somehow undemocratic.

    • Actually I misread the 3rd to last last paragraph…Vote for Chloe…The “next centre-left prime-minister”.

      So I’m completely out of order, Chris is the perfect person to promote Chloe.

  12. Who to vote for in the Auckland District Health Board though? I usually avoided this vote only to see the likes of Wayne Brown elected. Who is the sensible left wing choice in that particular area?

  13. Where is my longer comment submitted earlier today ? ? ?

    Come on – more bias and possible ? Dirty Politics ? ?

    Come clean – why did you delete it instead of publishing it ? ?

    More importantly and to the point – what do you get out of denying the truth and avoiding those ideas and folks that do not agree with you ? ?

  14. If Auckland had the STV system of voting for mayor, a lot more voters who back “outsiders” like Chloe would be persuaded to cast first preferences for her but not be worried that in supporting her they might be inadvertently helping the political right candidates.
    Crappy voting system Auckland.
    It is there because the comfortable established middle class local politicians feel safer with it, not because it is any better or that you Auckland voters want it.
    Change the voting system Auckland.
    Even my dullsville city operates STV.

  15. Where is my comment ?
    Please give reason for not including it ?
    What are the issues around this and your avoidance of responding ?

  16. Whos fault is it that Aucklands population is increasing to a level where
    housing and infrastructure cannot cope.No more neo liberals vote Penny Bright.

  17. I’m still waiting for a straight answer to my straight question to Chloe – given her stated support for privatisation via Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) for infrastructure – does she support PPPs for water services infrastructure?

    Given that transport and water are the two most significant areas of Auckland infrastructure – it would appear to be somewhat politically incoherent for Chloe to make ‘fish of one and fowl of the other’?

    If Chloe supports PPPs for infrastructure (which she does) – then, logically, Chloe therefore supports PPPs (privatisation) of water services infrastructure?

    HUGELY politically unpopular in Auckland – water privatisation.

    How many of those folk who have already voted for Chloe, didn’t realise that she supported privatisation via PPPs and are now regretting that they have made a mistake?

    Are you one of those people Chris?

    Penny Bright

    2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate.

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