Local Body deserters

There’s been a number of people who have only recently been elected to local body councils talking about putting themselves forward to stand in the general election.

Apart from the cost any by-elections will impose on the councils, this shows either a shoddy lack of commitment to a three year term they sought from voters less than half a year ago, or a cynical using of their positions as a stepping stone to national politics.

here are some I have heard of just over the last couple of weeks.

Auckland: Denise Lee seeking Maungakiekie MP nomination

Maungakiekie-Tamaki Councillor Denise Lee hopes to bag a National Party nomination and replace outgoing Maungakiekie MP Peseta Sam Lotu-liga when he retires later this year.

Lotu-liga announced in December he would not be seeking re-election of the Auckland seat prompting Lee to jump at the opportunity.

She was re-elected as Maungakiekie-Tamaki Councillor last year after securing the majority of votes.

“When you get selected twice as councillor, and the last time with the majority of votes, it is a good sign that you’re a good representative to serve the people well,” Lee said.

A good representative doesn’t jump off their three year council gig after a few months just because of political opportunism.

Hastings’ mayor Lawrence Yule to seek Tukituki nomination

On Friday he announced he was planning to seek the National Party’s nomination for the Tukituki electorate, after 15 years as mayor or Hastings.

A large number of locals, along with members of the National Party had encouraged him to run, he said.

“I did not expect Craig Foss to resign, now I have to deal with that opportunity. I have been pretty humbled by the number of people who have approached me to stand.  I think I can make a difference in Wellington, for the people of Tukituki, and for the National Party,” he said.

Deal with an opportunity for himself and stuff the people who voted him as mayor, and will have to fund his ship jumping if he succeeds.

Wellington:  Paul Eagle looks at running in Rongotai as Annette King heads for list

Less than three months after becoming Wellington’s deputy mayor, Paul Eagle is eyeing up a seat in Parliament.

Eagle said he was considering calls from Labour Party members to contest Rongotai, the Wellington electorate seat long held by the party’s deputy leader, Annette King.

If he did contest Rongotai, he would stay on as deputy mayor  – though he may drop some portfolios – but said there would be “a resignation immediately” if he won the seat.

So he would ditch some of his council responsibilities to suit his own ambitions, essentially using his deputy mayor salary to tide himself through a national election campaign and only resign if how won the seat.

How convenient for him – and inconvenient and expensive for his council.

And there’s two Green councillors here: Nelson byelection could be parting gift from councillors bound for Beehive

An $80,000 byelection could be on the cards for Nelson if two city councillors buzz off to the Beehive.

Second-term councillor Matt Lawrey is the Green Party candidate for Nelson in this year’s general election, while third-term councillor Kate Fulton is still waiting to hear if she’ll win her bid for the West Coast-Tasman candidacy.

If either win the electoral seats, or are placed in Parliament as Green Party List MPs, Nelson City Council will foot the bill for an $80,000 by-election.

So Lawrey is already committed to being a part time councillor, part time general election campaigner.

Councillor Matt Lawrey said it might be time to revisit the legislation that governs how city councillors are replaced.

“[It] does raise questions, and maybe it’s time we looked at changing the system so in the event of a councillor dying or having to leave the role, the next highest polling candidate gets a seat at the table,” Lawrey said.

“That would certainly be a cheaper and more efficient way of doing things.”

But Lawrey is not “having to leave the role”, he is trying to switch jobs mid term because it suits him. A cheaper way of replacing councillors might help him justify his lack of commitment, but it’s not good practice.

But Chief Electoral Officer at electionz.com Warwick Lampp said the legislation ensured fair process in cases where the next highest polling candidate received significantly fewer votes than the winning candidate.

“I think you could legitimately argue that the community didn’t want that person and then they’ve [been given] them… It has to go back to the democratic function with a completely new election, where anyone can stand,” Lampp said.

The highest polling failed candidate could have got hardly any votes.

And it’s not very fair on candidates who put time and money into standing in the local body elections and just miss out for successful candidates to desert at their convenience.

Are there any others who have announced their wish to desert their elected position just  a few months in to a three year term?

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28 Comments

  1. Linda Cooper an Auckland Councillor has also put her hat in the ring for Helensville, it should be remembered that both Ken Livingstone and Boris Johnson had overlaps with being an MP and Mayor of London so perhaps some of these peeps could do both jobs until the next local election ?

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  19th January 2017

      Are any of them like Boris? He’s just got himself in the diplomatic buffalo droppings with a remark that the EU shouldn’t treat Britain like an escapee in a movie about World War Two.

      Reply
      • Pete Kane

         /  19th January 2017

        WWI G. Hope you Mum’s good.

        Reply
        • Pete Kane

           /  19th January 2017

          your (sorry)

          Reply
        • Gezza

           /  19th January 2017

          Nope, 2. I’m not often wrong Pete.
          https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/jan/18/boris-johnson-world-war-two-punishment-beatings-brexit-francois-hollande

          Ma’s good thanks. Am starting a ‘hearing test’ campaign. Quietly at first …

          Reply
          • Pete Kane

             /  19th January 2017

            And the thing is it’s so unobtrusive in terms of aids today. She will ‘hit her knees’ when she feels the ‘new’ beginning of good hearing.

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  19th January 2017

              Also, when we spoke on the phone this morning, she said “I switched the ringer off on the phone in my bedroom. Do you think I should switch it back on?”

              “No ma. It’s good for me to get a panic-stricken call from your neighbours late at night & have to go racing down to your place in a sweat in the car to check that you’re still alive!”

              “I’ll swtch it on, shall I?”

              “Yeah I think that would be a good idea. Love you.”

        • Gezza

           /  20th January 2017

          God Ma’s funny Pete. Just this minute got off the phone with her. She’s off down to the doctor’s to get her physical for her driver’s licence renewal. Her last words were:
          “You’re not still growing that beard are you? It puts 10 years on you. Shave it off ! You’re not going to attract anybody looking like that !” 😀

          Reply
          • Pete Kane

             /  20th January 2017

            DL, now that’s true motivation – for all.

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  20th January 2017

              She avoids the motorway, but yep, if there’s a back way to anywhere within 20 km she’ll still drive herself unless we’re off somewhere as a team. She’s never had an accident.

          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  20th January 2017

            Good advice from Ma, G. But check it out with your FW.

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  20th January 2017

              She has already said, “it looks ok, but you shouldn’t let it get much longer than that & keep your hair short”, Al.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  20th January 2017

              Never mind the look, how does it feel, G?

            • Gezza

               /  20th January 2017

              Soft as duck’s down, Al. Also, when one ponders matters whilst gently massaging it avec les doits there’s no question that one’s wisdom increases.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  20th January 2017

              But do you find left-overs from lunch?

            • Gezza

               /  20th January 2017

              A wise-bearded gentleman does not even acknowlege such an unwise question.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  20th January 2017

              Somehow this reminded me of you, G:

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  20th January 2017

        Who cares if the Frogs are upset, G? Shows Boris is doing something right.

        Reply
        • Pete Kane

           /  20th January 2017

          Exactly. Alan has Boris gone up in your estimation – particularly in terms of his FO role?

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  20th January 2017

            I always liked Boris for his mastery of the language of diplomacy. Just wouldn’t want to rely on him for detail. Obviously May had him sussed when she organised her Cabinet.

            Reply
        • Gezza

           /  20th January 2017

          Both FO roles, I imagine.

          Reply
  2. Gezza

     /  19th January 2017

    It’s an interesting dilemma. Although on one hand I could resent the waste of time & effort choosing a councillor or mayor to vote for, if I thought they would be a good MP and stood amongst a bunch of others I definitely didn’t want – I probably would wear the annoyance on the grounds a council could probably run reasonably well without them.

    Reply
    • patupaiarehe

       /  19th January 2017

      It happened up here G, with Clayton Mitchell. He got an ‘electorate seat’ on the council, then got into parliament as a list MP. In My Humble Opinion (did you see what I did there?), Mr Mitchell still lives here, and despite being a list MP, still represents Tauranga…

      Reply
  3. Brown

     /  20th January 2017

    “… it is a good sign that you’re a good representative to serve the people well,…”

    What that really means is that I’ve tested the trough and can get my nose in a bigger one.

    Reply
  4. That would be fine Brown, if you could reliably see and absolutely determine other people’s thoughts and motivations on our behalf …

    If we allow people the freedom to do things, why are we surprised when they do them …?

    Although politics isn’t exactly the property ladder, its still a potential career path, isn’t it?

    Reply

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