“Roading and Gerrymandering in Mike Sabin’s electorate”

Radio NZ reports that there’s been record early voting in the Northland by-election – while early voting has only been promoted for everyone recently it’s interesting comparing it to last year’s general election.

Early voting figures were more than double those for the general election last September.

By last Friday, more than 5500 Northland people had voted – more than 10 per cent of enrolled voters. Most made their choice last week.

As well as the unusually high early turnout, electoral officials said there had also been a spike in new enrolments for the general roll since the Northland by-election was announced in February.

Another email that’s been circulated by Andrew Blake in the lead-up to this Saturday’s Northland by-election:

Date: Thu, 19 Mar 2015 16:34:17

Gerrymandering – Splitting the voting population in favor of the
group in power by any means necessary, such as specifically targeted
Better yet….. is to control the voters through the interaction of
MPs, Local Councils and Business….
……..in Northland  of course ….the purpose of the whole gerrymander
is to help the government shortchange the voters on Roading..

Ex MP John Carter …. now Mayor of FNDC ……never wastes time.
As soon as the Bye election was announced. John lays strips of
magnificent sealed road in the those places most affected by logging
The money? … from Central Govt?…..(How…John ..How??),…. Rates
from FNDC …..and ”gifts” from logging companies? The major logging
companies contributed  more to this project than they would ever have
dared do by way of contributions directly to the National Party in the
bye election campaign.?

In WDC ….so as to keep the Whangarei seat safe for Shane Reti!
….all Roading money all has been spent on  bridges, …….and
sealing roads in smart housing developments e.g McKinley Rd  ……so
that there is nothing left for Mike Sabins electorate!
But the people in that part of WDC are easily controlled via NRC….as
is indeed are the rest of Northland.

Watch National party enthusiast John Bain chair a meeting at NRC and
always be conferring  with the Governments Commissioner from the
Watch John at a Submissions Meeting enthusing on ”Roads of National
Importance “” and then brutally refusing to answer a question “”Do
Northand MPs give adequate support for ROADING in RURAL NORTHLAND.”
and then try to implicate Labour MP Kelvin Davies.
(John  did later answer a written question on gerrymandering.)

Requests for funding from NZTA have to pass through a committee and
guess who chairs it.?
And guess who sits on the Northland District Health Board?
(And as backup  the largest Logging Company has had its roading
engineer sitting on various committees within NRC.)

In this way the message is passed down from Government via NRC that
applications for ”sealing roads” are wasted.
No wonder WDC can tells us blithely in an email from the Mayor that
the Govt has ”prohibited” further road sealing.

Clearly Northland does not get safe National seats without fooling the
voters …but Control is what its about.
Who tried to infuence  the election of mayor in the 2010 WDC election
by asking a leading left of centre candidate to withdraw and accept
another post  in stead.?
Have you heard how Mark Simpson CEO for WDC  incurred …for the
council…200k of legal expenses when he fired an employee for
sponsoring the ”wrong”   mayoral candidate.?

Watch how Northland  MPs and Councils interact.
Despite saying they cannot interfere with workings of
Council……Northland MPs line up with Council and Goverment
ministers when expensive glamour projects are unveiled in Whangarei
……and when asked for help …….after returning the answer ”not
my electorate”” …..they now are to be seen almost immediately at the
Hustings supporting who is standing in…… ”not my electorate”

To ask  Mike Sabin for help on a Health and Safety matter with
WDC…..and get a reply “‘I will be reminding the Councils of their
responsibilies” is a sad experience.
It soon becomes clear that the only ”responsibility” of Northland
Councils  have is to get in behind the National Govt on roads of
National Importance.
And Shane Retis acceptance speech said little else.
In turn our councils do their bit.
Senior people take a day off work in Whangarei to turn up and meet
with dignitaries at the hustings to support the government candidate.

Happily this kind of gerrymandering sometimes comes unstuck at Local level.
Thwarted Ambition causes Havoc in Local Councils worldwide.
Can councillors really think they can get away with voting FOR the
Government on Roading but voting AGAINST the controversial
Hunterwasser..which is favoured of course…… by no less than John
Keys to the tune of millions of Government money……

Alas our councillors ….and MPs such as  Shane Reti has
proved……seem not up to the Machiavellien level required for this
kind of stuff.
Do our Councillors really expect to get a job with the Northland
Unitary Authority?
…. the biggest Gerrymander of them all.?

The letter that was tabled in Parliament about how Shane Reti threatens Alex Wright – Andrew Blake #3

There’s been some controversy in Northland with people from a ‘dusty roads’ group (Pipiwai Titoki Advocacy for Community Health & Safety Group) and National MPs involving emails and a recorded phone call between Alex Wright and Whangarei MP Shane Reti.

Andrew Blake wrote the emails, and has provided copies and comments.

No 3 is what Alex (and I ) wrote to Shane
Alex was absolutely stunned by the phone call by Reti who she has never met here though there was a previous email from his secretay a month or so back warning Alex off the bye election (and immediately a call by Reti to say forget that email….was never meant etc.)

It is  addressed that email to Shane  because I had already had a long correspondence with Mike Sabin that  literally made me ill …he was so evasive and clearly had no interest in his electors. And I thought that we were in for more of that from Shane Reti…but this time with ”threats”” What is incredibly sad is that one month back Alex made a speech to WDC at the Pipiwai Marae saying that “”we have Shane Reti on board with us””

Both Shane and Mike said they would help” in secret”” (Ask how often minutes are c kept of our meeting with Council.Never!)

The whole thing is about what people read…… not so much from the words …..but the context and ”body language”. The Overall opinion is that Shane tried to warn off a community group.

A much more interesting opinion of 100% of people I have talked to…… is that “”he was put up to it by National.””.  Such is the faith in this Government now.

Email #3

Date: Wed, 18 Mar 2015 12:04:45 +1300
Subject: The letter that was tabled in Parliament about how Shane Reti threatens Alex Wright?

The letter below  to Shane Reti  was tabled in Parliament today by Labours Phil Twyford Shadow Transport Secretary  after he had verified  Shane Reti MP threatening Alex  in which Shane Reti was objecting to a previous
letter “‘How Northland is Actively Neglected in Mike Sabins electorate”

In Parliament yesterday.

Hon PHIL TWYFORD : Has he (Simon Bridges) been advised that the Pipiwai Tītoki Advocacy for Community Health and Safety Group, which is campaigning to get more money spent sealing Northland roads, allegedly received a
threatening phone call from his colleague Shane Reti telling it to tone down its demands or it would not get what it wanted?

Hon SIMON BRIDGES : I am not aware of that. I am aware of the general project. It is one that I think does need looking at. Of course, if we did that, the other side would accuse us of pork-barrel politics. On this side of the House we have got strong voices inside Government who can make a difference on projects that matter to people in the north.

Hon PHIL TWYFORD : I seek leave of the House to table the email from the Pipiwai Tītoki Advocacy for Community Health and Safety Group—

Mr SPEAKER : Leave is sought—[Interruption] Order! I will put the leave. Leave is sought to table that particular email. Is there any objection? There is none. It can be tabled.

Document, by leave, laid on the Table of the House.

From Alex Wright to Shane Reti

“”Dr Shane Reti
National Party
Whangarei Electorate.

Dear Dr Reti

Thank you for taking the time to call me on Wednesday 11 March 2015. However, your phone call has left me worried and confused.

Firstly, Mr Andrew Blake writes his own emails on his behalf not for the Pipiwai Titoki Advocacy for Community Health and Safety Group.

Mr Blake was extremely frustrated by his contacts with Mr Mike Sabin last year and before that with Mr Phil Heatley also.

Secondly, there is no one here, in the Pipiwai Titoki Advocacy for Community Health and Safety Group, threatening anyone.

You made mention in your phone call to me that there is a threatening behaviour coming through from our Group.

The only threatening behaviour that we can tell is from what you said in the phone call, “ if we continue down the path we are taking then we will get nothing”.

If you talk to people in Northland you will hear repeated much of what Mr Blake says about how Northland is starved of our fair share of funds and how support in Parliament by our sitting Members of Parliament is lacking.

People here are puzzled as to why you, a Doctor and well known for your free clinic to the people of Pipiwai, have not given the support to what is now seen by the voters in this Electorate, the Media, Police and even the Councils as an effective campaign to alert New Zealand to a Health and now a Road Safety Hazard on our roads with the high density of log truck passes?

We have support from the Northland District Health Board and other agencies and we are now waiting for your support.

Please note that the number of passes used by Government as a standard was derived long before the World Health Organisation reports on Pm10 particles came out. The dust lingers in the air after the traffic has passed and is a proven carcinogen.

All this is accepted now and documented. Jan Wright of the Parliamentary Commission for the Environment can verify this.

As someone as yourself,  who knows these roads and the conditions that people live in here.

Do you support that Road Dust especially Pm10 as described in the World Health Organisation reports and Dr Jonathan Jarman’s report has the potential to become a Health and Safety risk for road side residents where there is a high density of log trucks passing over unsealed roads?

Please note that no one here has any interest in bridges. The National Northland Candidate, Mark Osbourne was laughed out of the Kaikohe RSA the other night on that one.

Our Communities sole interest is to have our Unhealthy and Unsafe Roads sealed.

You have given our Group no clear written assurances for our requests of help for our roading issues. Why is this and when can we expect to have something in writing from you?

It is almost like you have been stone walled by your own Party. At least in the interim our Group has had the honour of you taking the time to make two phone calls to speak with me regarding our Unsafe and Unhealthy roading issues.

May our Group remind you that, you were elected to represent the people who voted you in to make our Communities a safer and healthy place for living in.

The Pipiwai Titoki Advocacy Group has been given new information that your National Government will not offer any financial assistance to the Whangarei District Council to seal our Unsafe and Unhealthy unsealed roads.

Without any written information to the contrary from you it will mean without any doubt this new information is correct.

Dr Reti, can you please lend us your very much esteemed support to our campaign on, Road Dust being a Hazard to the  Health and Road Safety to Motorists and Roadsiders.

Your agreed support will follow and accompany documents to the Police, New Zealand Transport Agency and both the Whangarei District and Northland Regional Councils.

We ask for your support by reply to this email. Obviously and without threat, “No” will be the public understanding as the answer by default if you chose not to reply.

On behalf of the Pipiwai Titoki Advocacy for Community Health and Safety Group we will anticipate your reply email by Wednesday 18 March 2015.

Thank you.
Yours sincerely,

Alex Wright.
Spokesperson for the Pipiwai Titoki Advocacy for Community Health and
Safety Group

How Northland is Actively Neglected in Mike Sabins electorate – Andrew Blake email #2

There’s been some controversy in Northland with people from a ‘dusty roads’ group (Pipiwai Titoki Advocacy for Community Health & Safety Group) and National MPs involving emails and a recorded phone call between Alex Wright and Whangarei MP Shane Reti.

Andrew Blake wrote the emails, and has provided copies and comments.

No 2 was the second one that Shane objected to and rants on about neglect in Northland and how it is “”organised neglect.”” .ie the Nat Govt trying to save money by ”shortchanging ” us on or roading needs. It is again not addressed to Shane specifically……. but to all Parliament etc

Email #2

Date: Wed, 11 Mar 2015 16:36:46 +1300

Subject: How Northland is Actively Neglected in Mike Sabins electorate.

Northlands MPs might seem to be  helping the  Goverment in Wellington shortchange Northland Electorates .?
Despite a vigorous  two year campaign,…….it has proved impossible to pin down either of
Northlands National MPs to commit to helping with   Roading, Health and Safety matters.?.

When asked to intercede with Councils for some  compliance with national directives on Health and Safety for instance, our Northland MPs insist they cannot ”interfere” with ”the working of Local Council”

By insisting that  they owe more loyalty to their Party than to the people who elected them…..(and despite being asked to do so several times)…….our Northland MPs choose NOT to question…. or protest in Parliament about:

1)How inadequate the Road Funding is that allocated to Northland by NZTA;

2)How Road User Charges are diverted to other regions such as Waikato by both Government and Business;

3) How our Councils WDC and NRC are in blatant breach of Environment Law and the Resource Consent Act in terms of the Air Pollution on our Unsealed Roads.

Requests to help with any of these matters gets some very devious answers. Both Northland MPs have used  ……the word ”secrecy” …ie they insist they can only help their voters ”in secret”..

Our MPs  also  seem loath to venture opinions on Northland in Wellington  ….except where it interacts with  ”Roads of National Importance”

Which is fine if you live near SH1 between Warkworth as far as the Bay of Islands but rather sad if you live on Dirt Roads, Narrow Rds, Unmaintained Rds …and until last week…..those places needing Wider Bridges

Despite being not allowed to interact with local Councils. Our MPs  DO turn up  in public alongside Government Ministers when our Council launches “Glamour projects” in Whangarei eg  such as the new and misfunctioning  swing bridge.

And  our MPs do meet informally with Council at  e.g the Mayoral Forum and elsewhere.
Is it in such ways that the Northland Councils get the message of what is expected of them by Govt.?
It seems to Northlanders that sometimes our  MPs behave more like Political Commissars than Representatives of the People?

And Now….
With one MP out of action…  the National Govt has  an even  better way of controlling democracy in our local Councils in Northland.

All you  need is for one of the Commissioners for the Kaipara to sit on Northland Regional Council meetings.

With a decision on the Northland Unitary Authority  looming …..it might seem that such a representative of the Commissioners for Kaipara is referred to (and deferred to?) in all matters ……and that such a person often has strong views on what is ALLOWED by Govt; eg on Roads and Air Pollution matters

“Dust and Unsealed Rds in Northland are a NO-GO as far as funding is concerned.”
(We get this information before the submissions process is complete)

Anyone who knows Northland does not need to be told how passionately most of our local Council members  and Whangarei businessmen get in behind our National MPS  and support  Central Goverment in any way that will save expense on infrastructure on RURAL NORTHLAND.

A perfect example is the way logging interests drive rough shod over all humanitarian concerns and seem to control the  vote in all Roading matters.

In  Northland it seems that up until now our Electoral Process has been just a plaything for the National Party.
Can we hope that a new MP will change things?

Northland road safety: Andrew Blake email #1

There’s been some controversy in Northland with people from a ‘dusty roads’ group (Pipiwai Titoki Advocacy for Community Health & Safety Group) and National MPs involving emails and a recorded phone call between Alex Wright and Whangarei MP Shane Reti.

Andrew Blake wrote the emails, and has provided copies and comments.

No 1 the background is that Alex Wright was isolated and treated badly
in a meeting with WDC om Monday 11th when we were expecting Daron
Turner to show up. He is a spokesman for the Northern Transport Group.
I  wrote to him cc Parliament etc Quite  obviously angry and to get
publicity during the bye election. (This is Mike Sabins electorate)
about our roads.
Daron comes to see us with Insp Murray Hodson  this week. He is a good
guy I hear.

Email #1

Letter to Daron Turner,…TGLTD, and any parties interested in  Road Safety

Date: Tue, 10 Mar 2015 12:00:25 +1300
Subject: WDC Council, Business and Wannabe MPs show NO INTEREST in


Even a bye election…….  here where we live…… seems unable to
motivate WDC on ROAD SAFETY…..
Where is YOUR honour in this matter.
The attitude of Business in this looks just a SHAM of interest in
other peoples distress….While business goes on regardless.!

Apart from an intial contact with Insp. Murray Hodson …(which he
initiated.)….YOU have made no useful contact  or taken any part in
meaningful negotiations
with WDC about improving ROAD SAFETY and reducing the DUST
HAZARD…caused by log Trucks
Your truckies have not made any lasting attempts to go SLOWER and

At this moment…in still air….. there is a column of dust 200mts in
the air above Wrights farm.
And the School bus passes through this 4 times a day.
PLEASE  come and see it.

YOU could have made a difference at the meeting yesterday …….. but
PREDICTABLY you were not there.That is STANDARD behaviour for both
Council and Business in this.

If YOU cannot take some sort of responsible interest in the hazard
that the log trucks are causing…
……then WE will find a way of SLOWING the trucks ……….
…..and WE will ask PUBLICLY  that you DIVERT  from Wrights Rd….the
trucks that WE monitor as being the fastest and most inconsiderate of
road safety……
…….and WE will DIVERT  traffic  at SCHOOL BUS TIMES

Yours Andrew Blake for  PTRG

A lengthy email address list provided that looks like it includes all MPs from all parties plus many others including transport groups and media. Andrew says the list can be published but I don’t think it’s necessary.