At Henderson-Massey’s only meet-the-candidates meeting (West Heights Residents and Ratepayers Association), Future West and Citizens and Ratepayers were questioned about why we were bringing ‘national politics’ in to local elections. There was a mad rush of sitting so-called ‘independent’ Waitakere City councillors (including several former Team West candidates) to take a swing at us and the Citrats.
It put Future West and the Citizens and Ratepayers in a strange position – we agreed with each other. Apparently, our positions on local issues would be determined by Phil Goff and John Key. Unless it was Labour (or National) policy, we would be hamstrung to vote against it. We were accused of being fly-by-nighters, who were only interested in our next political step (in obvious contrast to one candidate, who was a Henderson Borough councillor in the early 1950s).
What a load of crap.
To think that Goff and Key are going to have the time to determine our order of business for the Henderson-Massey Local Board gives you an indication of how deluded, self-involved, and – quite frankly – out of touch some of the sitting councillors are.
Future West has been very clear about where we stand. Our leaflet and billboards have Labour and Greens logos on them, as well as community independents, and are coloured red and green, in contrast to the Citrats blue billboards. To their credit, several Citrat candidates outlined their involvement in the National Party, although there’s no mention of the link between National and Citizens and Ratepayers on their website. Also, while everyone knows that the Citrats are broadly supportive of John Banks for Mayor, they seem a little ashamed to say so publicly, while we’re quite clear about our support for Len Brown.
Our blog has outlined our position on several important issues, such as public transport, continuation of the Eco-City, and asset sales. We have vision for West Auckland. We want to see West Auckland go forward, rather than stand in the way of changes – which according to Waitakere Mayor Bob Harvey is several sitting councillors’ track record.
So, what do these ‘independent’ councillors stand for? Apparently, they’ll ‘listen to you’, and you can ‘trust them’. Several are riding on the back of their names (apparently, their parents and grandparents were quite good at making wine). Yes, they’re the same old crowd.
I’m not sure how you can trust candidates who are campaigning with no vision, limited energy, and a stale, out-of-date mindset, with an equally out-of-date photo to match. Also, as David Wilson, from AUT’s Institute of Public Policy said on Friday’s news (about 1:33 in), you can’t be certain how independents will behave once they are elected.
West Auckland needs new, fresh, energetic and open representation under the Supercity, otherwise we’re going to get lost. The best candidates to stand up for West Auckland under the new structure is Future West.