GUEST BLOG: Bryan Bruce – Confused about Local Elections?


I guess most of you have seen the hoardings and know it’s Local Council election time again. But do you know the voting day? How to vote ? The candidates standing in your area? Do you know what they believe?

Well, I’m a reasonably informed person, I live in Auckland and until this morning when I did a Google search I didn’t know the answer to any of the above questions.

So I did the following search : Auckland + Local Elections+ Candidates and found the following very helpful site:…/default.aspx

You type in your address and it comes up with info about who is standing and statements from each of the candidates.

For me there was one instant surprise . As a result of billboard osmosis I had wrongly assumed there were only 2 candidates for Mayor of Auckland – Phil Goff and John Tamihere.

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It turns out they are just the ones with lots of money for billboards. In fact there are 21 candidates for Mayor.

The site also supplied with me everything I needed to know
about voting which starts on Sept 20th and finishes October 12, 2019

Local Councils have a lot of power and influence over our daily lives.

I am not sure what each of the Councils will be doing to inform voters about each candidate but I certainly hope they are not going to leave it for individual voters like me to Google it.

Bryan Bruce is one of NZs most respected documentary makers and public intellectuals who has tirelessly exposed NZs neoliberal economic settings as the main cause for social issues.


  1. +100 – it seems to be up to the individual to research the candidates… and work out what to do. The media has only concentrated on two Mayoral candidates so that is confusing.

    I’m assuming I am already enrolled to vote, but it is not at all clear!

    I can totally see why there is low electoral turn out is expected!

    They ain’t exactly trying to encourage democracy there at the council, under Uncle Phil.

  2. Agreed. Once upon a local body election, I was surprised to have a woman turn up on my doorstep, stating that she was running for council, and was in the process of visiting EVERY household in the community! Very impressive. She wanted my views. But, sadly, she did not get in.
    As a consequence, I have thought about erecting my own billboards, etc, around election time stating something to the effect that “I will only vote for those who have come to my door, wanting to know my views.”

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