September 21, 2004

Local elections

The local body and health board election voting papers arrived yesterday and what a depressing line up it is we have to choose from.
Since our island is in the Auckland City area we get to choose the mayor from among an assortment of National Party have-beens - a liberal one and an illiberal one - and an entrepreneur bent on not upsetting the chicken coop.
I voted for Lindsay Perigo's love child (I'm sorry, I couldn't resist that one!). I reckon giving that young whippersnapper an early taste of local body politics will immunise him against parochial politics for life.

Now the race for our council seat is much more interesting. There is real choice there. Considering it's only one seat out of a couple of dozen on the Council that we have direct influence on, a little fun in voting is warranted. My man is Rocky Rhodes from Team Rooster, an outfit that wants to break away ("de-amalgamate" in local body speak) from the big city and run island affairs independently. Our sitting Councillor, of course, unhappy of losing her cushy seat in the town hall, is arguing fiercely against going it alone, claiming $8 million in rate money would be insufficient to run our affairs ourselves. Many a third world country would be more than happy to have a budget as large as that to tackle potholed roads and to set up a planning bureaucracy. Opponents of UDI have been scaremongering by releasing accounts "proving" the city made such huge investments on the island that we would be incapable of servicing in one year. They obviously haven't heard of depreciation rules, or is it just mischief making?
Manukau city candidates and the Mayor of Waitakere City have already said they would gladly have Waiheke Island in their local body area. I bet they would, but over my dead body!

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