Dead local bodies

Labour/Greens have largely been punished in the local body elections, except in Wellington!   There appears to be three primary reasons for this,
  • Housing intensification by allowing bully building in the outer suburbs but they claim these as ‘inner suburbs’;
  • Large cost public transport – like light rail.
  • Three waters
I support intensification but Labour/Greens have not made a logical case for intensification. They have simply focused on increasing housing supply through the private market as being the primary way to deliver housing affordablity. And they have given hundreds of millions if not billions of dollars to the ‘build to rent’ i.e. rent for life, business model through interest deductability from tax. They have made no attempt at making any of this ‘affordable’. The long term economic stupidty of what they are doing is mind boggling. Their plan simply won’t work to deliver affordable housing but will destroy the liveability and historic nature of our cities. It will also do nothing to fix the ‘donut’ shape (empty in the middle) of many of our cities.
In Wellington free public transport with bus lanes would be far more effective than the billions of dollars talked about for the proposed short distance light rail; which won’t have large time savings. Especially when we have existing rail infrastructucture that we can use so much more effectively. But this all counted for nothing for voters perhaps in part as local media, Dominon Post, appear loath to publish alternative views about intensification. But it can be argued that Wellingtonians in voting did appear to back the destruction of hIstoric Wellington. Though I don’t believe they actually did.
These are the two issues that shifted many voters to the right. But the right wing is trying to twist this multi pronged issues into saying in the media that the main problem and cause for voters to swing to them is the three waters.  Even on TV One news Jessica Mutch (9 October) backed that idea of three waters being ‘the’ problem. This is the give away of the rights real agenda.
The right desperately want the three waters stopped as that is what will impact them and their  business buddies most of all. They want to maintain their inefficient control of local authority three waters assets. They want to be able to command water resurces for business purposes and not community purposes if they so wish, e.g. Look what they did to the Canterbury Regional council they got rid of it just so they could give water rights to farmers. Resulting in more dairy cows, and now there are dangerous nitrate levels.  They want the ability to borrow using the assets as backing to do this. They want to create debt to inhibit future Labour councils ability to undertake social policies, or climate change actions. They want to control the future through debt.
They want, Wayne Brown in particular, central government money to spend as they want on roads and businesses. Labour/Greens have to stand firm on three waters over all these items. If Labour diverted the budgeted money from light rail into proper planned urban intensification along existing rail transport routes this could be the way to meet Auckand needs without feeding Mr Browns destructive tendancies.
Labour/Green centrists once again will be the problem. Wanting to be seen to work with the elected officials rather than saying Mr Brown was only elected by approx 13% of eligible Auckland voters.  Testing times for centrists are coming but local body and business appeasement will only build future problems. They must be tough on these new councils. None of them, including Wellington, really have any true mandate for signicant change.


  1. Wellington went Green mainly because of its young demographic allied to the large number of Vic Uni students in the mix.
    Ah well, at least she’s promising to fix the sewers. If she can do that it would be a blessing.

    • Hit the nail on the head Andrew. 2 reasons why Wellington went fully woke.

      1. Many 35’s and under live and work in Welly. Most in public service, those of us with families move out of Welly because larger houses are cheaper, good family facilities in the Hutt for ezxample and you can have a flat garden.

      2. Wellington is in dire trouble drainage and water wise. They already have top quartile, maybe top decile rates and the council hasnt delivered anything since the days of Celia Wade Brown. They must support 3 waters or the ratepayers are screwed so the vote left is not surprising.

      The vote for Whanau over Eagle is because of the young demographic and Wgtn’s long term aging greenies (that still think the Greens are the party of the environment) and because of Eagle’s poor debating performance and lack of Nouse as well as the Dom Post’s blatant electioneering in support of Whanau.

  2. We’ve had enough.
    Is anybody listening. This is part of the real left working class speaking, so I’m guessing not.

    What we only laughingly call the left has gone way too far. If they ever bothered to listen they’d know the writing is now written on the wall in the blood of the people. Remember red?

    This is another red flag that won’t be heeded. The ‘far-right’ bogey man will be dragged back in by the flunkey media who believe they know the people while studiously avoiding the ”deplorables’ as always. Yet they will pontificate according to whatever script those they fawn over give them. The Nazis, Anon, conspiracy theories……

    Yeah we’re just so stupid they need to control our every move. For our own good of course.
    Giles could do another study…………chuck him a few mill to think about it. He and Sophia have fantastic plans for renovating the third house.

    We refuse to take their smug, lying, nudging, patronising, authoritarian cronyism any more.
    Got that?

  3. Are you seriously suggesting that Jacinda Ardern go to war with Wayne Brown? That for sure would be one way to lose her the election in Auckland, and thus New Zealand.

    In fact, based on her interview on AM, she is going to find the common ground. It looks like Light Rail s dead, even you think that is sensible.

    Three Waters makes no sense at all in Auckland. Water Care, which covers one third of all council owned water systems throughout New Zealand works very well as it is. In fact probably the best functioning part of the super city.

    If he government wants to improve water infrastructure in the Far North, direct grants would make more sense. They are less than 2% the size of Water Care. A full amalgamation of the entire system north of the Waikato river makes no sense simply to sort out the issues of the Far North.

  4. Stephen – cool article…How much authority does the Local Government actuality have with 15% – 35% voter turn out…bugger all!

    • But that’s the point Nate, when you dont vote you gift the *** the authority.

      I think a number of councillors got in unopposed. Therein lies the real tragedy, at least where 35% voted there was a choice. What about the poor folks who had a choice of Igor the Nutjob or nothing??

    • If you win by 1 goal or a 100 it is still a win. It is sad that so many do not care or do not have the time to care .Many at the poorer end of society may have had some hope that their saviour had arrived when Labour won 5 years ago but with figures showing 135000 children and 700000 adults are living in poverty I imaging hope is a distant dream so what would drive them to participate in a system that does not care about them .

  5. 1. Older people vote more so it swings the vote to the right when there is a low turnout.
    2. Such a low turnout indicates the voters don’t believe the mayor and councillors make much difference to things. More figureheads.
    3. The smart vote is for the person with the best relationship with the government, someone who can squeeze money for big infrastructure projects.
    4. An analysis of what each past mayor achieved over and above what would have been done anyway would be useful and provide the new mayor a bit of motivation.
    5. I would look for someone who wants to fix/add one thing in their town. For example a site for tiny homes in each town, provided by Council.
    6. I would like to see inclusionary housing in every main centre. It works superbly well in Queenstown, the only place it is used. In Queenstown there is a two month booking period for some restaurants due to a shortage of staff. I love when this happens because change only happens in crisis mode. We need more dysfunction in our towns than we already have, so things change. Queenstown is the model of how NZ will be in the future, an extremely dysfunctional community.
    Please check out the Queenstown Lakes Community Housing Trust.

  6. Don’t be fooled that Auckland was some progressive nirvana under Goff. It wasn’t,
    it was rather, a confused mess. We are building housing subdivisions without parking OR effective public transport offerings. Ideologies at their very worst by Auckland Council!

    Ironically Brown was out in a helicopter following the rail line to Helensville in Auckland noting all the potential for housing development, noting it was better there than the fertile growing land of Pukekohe. He’s 100% correct! Yet the line north west of Swanson is largely unused except for twice daily freight trains. If our current Transport Minister had a clue, which he doesn’t, he would see that this line fits nicely into housing plus cleaner transport modes all in one at a pittance compared to his insane single line light rail nightmare no one but he wants. Mike Lee certainly saw the benefits of the NW rail link but it was ended by short-sightedness with the Auckland Super City.

    I am hoping that these baby steps are going to be a new reality of common sense for Auckland at least!

    • Yes XRAY, I would agree that the rail out west should be utilised. It’s odd seeing all those relatively new houses out past the Helensville golf course, and yet rail is not in operation. Instead they all jump in cars and clog the north western city bound in the morning and then join the queue to Costco on the way home ( a queue which is still huge at times)

  7. the only ‘housing help’ the LINO is ever going to give is to the sons and daughters of the middle class(y’know the mythical first time buyers) the poor can just fuck right off.

  8. It must be remembered that the Christchurch Commissioners were government appointed, and overrode the “will of the people”. However, I agree with Stephen. This whole issue of “three waters” reeks of venal vested interests, and water supplies should be placed in the hands of central government authority.

  9. The saddest thing about this is that the populace dont see any point in voting as they dont see it as important.

    Mainly I think its because they think everybody is much the same. Local Govt is boring, rates are high but what isnt these days, the council are doing a middling job, its not terrible, seems okish so why bother voting? Also some I think, imagine councils are puppets for corporate or governmental interests.

    But what’s awful is that the answer to all our current democracy and identity politics woes is more local government not less. We should be pushing for central government to be devolved to once over lightly and for local government to be less political whilst forming a robust and democratic response to a greater variety of local and regional issues.

    Let the community work with itself and sort out it’s own issues. Local policing? and some element of local social and health services would be good as well. One size doesnt fit all.

    If everyone voted and you lived in an area where there were big pockets of ethnicities for example, if people did vote in local elections, then issues like co governance happen organically. Similarly with crime, if you have a druggies haven, then you have local initiatives that target this. Maybe with central government funds available.

    If you stopped paying so many bureaucrats in central Govt, there may be money to pay more to local candidates so they feel it is worth standing rather than simply a retirement job or an altruistic or “its good for my business’ deal. Better candidates could imply better performance. Our Councillors only earn $36K per annum.

    We could have really vibrant, representational communities if we could only see the value in it.

  10. ” Even on TV One news Jessica Mutch (9 October) backed that idea of three waters being ‘the’ problem. This is the give away of the rights real agenda.
    The right desperately want the three waters stopped as that is what will impact them and their business buddies most of all ”

    Another example of media bias against what their supporters oppose. McKay is a National party cheerleader who will not ” fit ” in TVRNZ after the merger …one would hope.

    Media bias is still skewing the debate to reflect other’s agenda’s not actually representing the issue fairly or truthfully and adding in their own bias and propaganda with labelling what they don’t agree with as the ” problem ”

    When you have a public broadcaster that uses a ” political correspondent ” that has gone on record to defend the National party from undue criticism in this case from Adern and Davis in 2017 then you have a major issue around biased propaganda and the rights of all those who don’t share the National parties opinion on everything and just want to be informed of the facts and both sides of argument in a free speech democracy.

  11. The grown-ups are tired of the talkfest party(s).

    The dial has moved from 50.1% in 2020 to I’m fuck’n bored with this lot!
    So in 2022. They’ve been consistently losing followers up until the last RM poll of 29.5%.

    That movement has translated in the local body elections to a slight right advantage across the country.
    2023 is gunna be a doozy.


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