Mayoral candidate ‘rumoured’

Otago Daily Times reports on a ‘rumour’ of a new entrant to the Dunedin mayoral race that could liven up the contest somewhat.

If this proves top be true it would pit a fresh face with strong business interests against the incumbent Dave Cull who has had strong Green leanings, Aaron Hawkins who is the official Green Party candidate, and long time Cull combatant Lee Vandervis.

Bid for mayoralty rumoured

The Dunedin mayoral race could be about to heat up as  lawyer Susie Staley, of iD Dunedin Fashion Week fame, is believed to be considering a bid for the city’s top job.

Councillor Andrew Whiley said yesterday he would pull out of the race if another candidate, who he declined to name, entered the race.

The Otago Daily Times understands Cr Whiley was referring to Ms Staley, but she declined to confirm or deny she was standing when contacted yesterday.

“The rumours can keep going,” she said.

Apart from being a lawyer, Ms Staley has served on a variety of boards including those of Tower, Maritime New Zealand and PGG Wrightson, and was a finalist in the Women of Influence Awards in 2013.

She stood down as iD Dunedin Fashion Week chairwoman last year after more than 15 years of service to the event.

If Whiley doesn’t stand for mayor (he would presumably stand for re-election to council) Staley (if she stands and gets significant backing) could threaten Cull’s hold on the mayoral chains, especially if Hawkins splits Culls vote.

Hillary Calvert has announced she won’t stand this year,.

Cr Whiley said it would be in the “best interests” of Dunedin for him to stand aside should the other candidate stand.

“I think there is a very good candidate who could do a lot for Dunedin.”

If elected, they would give Dunedin a more “pro-business” focus and tap into a widespread sentiment that council had not achieved much in recent times and fresh leadership was needed.

This could make the Dunedin contest a clear clash of business versus green interests.

Plus Vandervis, who may continue to pick up protest and maverick votes but has proven to not have the temperament for leading the council after ongoing ugly clashes with Mayor Cull (he recently served defamation papers on Cull).

I don’t know if Staley has any political affiliations. If not she will be up against the Green Party, plus Cull, who I presume will be standing as an independent now that the fairly (some say very)  left leaning Greater Dunedin group has been officially disbanded this year.

 

Snow day

After several days of dire forecasts it looks like being a snow day in Dunedin today. There’s a very light smattering of snow on the ground and it is current snowing gently.

The forecast is still mixed – “Sleety rain, snow flurries about the hills. Cold southeast” – with light precipitation off and on through the day. It is currently 0.8 degrees in Dunedin (MetService), and on the University weather site it has risen to 1.0 degrees from a low of 0.3 but there is no sign of snow on their webcam (close to sea level).

The Roslyn webcams give a good indication of the state of the city, in the hill suburbs at least. One view:

RoslynWebcamSnow

So it is currently snowing there too with a light covering of snow on the road but many peoeple would drive on that.

Roslyn is about 150 metres compared to 100 metres where I live which can make a difference.

The Northern Motorway will either be closed or is likely to be causing problems for some motorists.

I won’t know what this means for my day until it gets light in a couple of hours. The snow could have increased by then, or it could have stopped and melted back. So I may or may not get a snow day at home, olr a part snow day, with light overnight snow it is often ok to drive by mid morning.

We will see what daylight gives us. But going by the current Highgate pics it looks like more snow for a while anyway:

RoslynWebcamSnow2

Increasing but still passable for the foolhardy – it’s silly to be driving in these conditions especially as it is deteriorating.

Temperatures have dropped slightly in the last half hour but that’s common just before dawn.

But this doesn’t give me a day off work. I do most of my work by phone and online and wee are prepared for the occasional bit of weather, so I just communicate from a different location, and have important work that needs to be done today.

UPDATE: that flurry has already passed by, and there has been more traffic in Roslyn.

Another update:

RoslynWebcamSnow3

It was a short snowfall that is clearing quickly off the roads already. This is fairly typical. Looks like work on time unless another flurry comes through.

Schools are closed until 10.00 am and hill suburbs are likely to be risky.

ODT:

Snow and ice have closed Dunedin’s Northern Motorway, prompted a delayed start for many schools and affected bus services in the city this morning

The Hits: DUNEDIN NOTICES for Friday (updated 7:51am)

SCHOOL/KINDY CLOSURES/DELAYED STARTS
All primary and intermediate schools and Dunedin kindergartens from Mosgiel to Port Chalmers to Waikouaiti – delayed start at 10am

info on whether particular classes are being held.

Different angle to Baldwin Street

Baldwin Street in Dunedin is supposed to be the steepest street in the world. I’ve always wondered about that and am not sure how comprehensively that has been checked out but it’s quite steep. I’ve been up it two or three times.

It has become quite a tourist attraction. I’m not really sure why.

Today was a special occasion with the annual jaffa race, with a crowd of 15,000 odd attending. It was a perfect fine cool day for it.

BaldwinJaffas

It looks like the have different jaffas these days. I wouldn’t know, I eat them as often as i walk up Baldwin Street (but I remember them from a long time ago and they were rolled and bounced when we went to the ‘pictures’).

But Baldwin is getting some exposure on social media for other reasons too.

NZH: Bizarre photos from Dunedin’s Baldwin Street leave internet users scratching their heads

A suburban street in New Zealand has become an unlikely tourist attraction, after people shared photos on social media of a bizarre optical illusion.

That’s typical JAFA ignorance, Baldwin has been a tourist attraction for quite a while already so it’s not unlikely.

Photos posted on Instagram have been getting some attention.

Baldwin Street holds the proud title of being the steepest street in the world. Photo / @plscallmesam Instagram

Photo / @plscallmesam Instagram

Just looking at things on Baldwin Street from a bit of a different angle.

This Instagram user posted a photo of this house on Dunedin Street with the caption: 'How to mess with people's minds - anchor your letterbox so that it's on the same incline as the street. Voila! Your house is now sinking!'. Photo / @jemimakate Instagram

‘How to mess with people’s minds – anchor your letterbox so that it’s on the same incline as the street. Voila! Your house is now sinking!’. Photo / @jemimakate Instagram

Baldwin Street has become an unlikely tourist attraction, after people have shared photos on social media of a bizarre optical illusion. Photo / @kasparschiesser Instagram

Photo / @kasparschiesser Instagram

The Herald sourced that from the Daily Mail overseas (UK). Here’s it’s link:

Bizarre photos from a New Zealand street where all the houses stand at an angle leave internet users scratching their heads – so can you figure out the optical illusion?

  • Baldwin Street in Dunedin, on New Zealand’s South Island, holds the title for the steepest street in the world 
  • When photos of houses are taken on an angle, it creates a bizarre optical illusion
  • By tilting the camera to one side, tourists are creating the illusion that the houses are sinking into the ground 
  • The stretch of road is a short straight street that is a little under 350 metres long

They have some more pics and videos that show how steep it is, including this one that includes some more traditional jaffas.

The street is renowened for the Cadbury Jaffa Race where thousands of red chocolates are released at the top of the hill to raise money for charity

 

Defamation: councillor v mayor

The acrimonious relationship between Dunedin City councillor Lee Vandervis and mayor Dave Cull continues with Cull being served legal papers on a Dunedin Street yesterday in  defamation proceedings.

This is a further sign of the degree of dysfunction in the Dunedin council.

ODT: $500,000 claim against Cull

Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull is vowing to defend a $500,000 defamation claim, after being served with legal papers while walking down the street yesterday.

Mr Cull was handed the documents by private investigator Wayne Idour near the corner of Bath and lower Stuart Sts yesterday morning.

The documents related to a defamation claim filed against him in the High Court at Dunedin by Cr Lee Vandervis earlier this month.

Mr Cull and Cr Vandervis were both reluctant to comment in detail when contacted, but both expressed regret the step had been taken.

But one or the other must have not been reluctant to go to the media over the serving of papers, unless a reporter just happened to have witnessed it. It’s likely that someone went public deliberately.

Mr Idour said when contacted he had planned to serve the papers on Mr Cull in the council’s Civic Centre building, but had seen the mayor passing by while sitting in Sugar Cafe.

“I was in there, having a coffee and talking, where I go most mornings, and he was walking rather fast down Stuart St. I saw him and shot out.

“I just took the time to explain what they were and handed them discreetly to him. He looked a wee bit shocked.”

Mr Idour said he was acting as “process server”, under a barrister’s instructions, and not working for Cr Vandervis.

Just a chance serving is possible but seems a bit unlikely. Serving the papers in public and then the media finding out seems a bit suspicious to me.

The serving of legal papers was followed last night by Cr Vandervis’ decision to release a copy of his statement of claim to media.

The document confirmed Cr Vandervis was seeking $250,000 in “general damages” and another $250,000 in “exemplary damages”, plus costs.

The claim followed a heated exchange during a Dunedin City Council meeting last year, when Cr Vandervis claimed to have paid a backhander to secure a council contract in the 1980s.

He was labelled “a liar” by Mr Cull and ejected from the meeting after suggesting he had given Mr Cull “personal evidence” to back his claim.

In May, both men claimed a report by internal auditor Crowe Horwath, examining the backhander claims, backed their positions.

Cr Vandervis then threatened to “double the damages” after Mr Cull stood by calling him a liar in the wake of the report.

And this is where it has ended up, serving papers in public.

The ODT understands the council had insurance to protect ratepayers from the cost of claims against elected representatives in their council duties, although it was not yet clear if a claim resulting from Mr Cull’s comments would be covered.

Ratepayers could still be left to pick up the bill for associated costs, including legal bills, should Mr Cull lose, the ODT understands.

Ratepayers pay in two ways – picking up some of the bill for this spat, and continuing to have a dysfunctional and acrimonious council.

Both Cull and Vandervis have indicated they will be standing for mayor and for council again this year.

But this reflects very poorly on both of them and on the Dunedin City Council.

I think that this obvious and ongoing inability to work together raises serious doubts about the suitability of either for serving the public on council in either capacity.

It’s time voters looked for elected representatives who don’t allow personal animosities to dominate their work for council and for Dunedin.

Disillusioned with city council

One term Dunedin City councillor Hilary Calvert is disillusioned with what she claims are undemocratic agenda driven practices in Dunedin City and won’t be standing again. She also took a shot at mayor Dave Cull.

Calvert was an ACT MP for about a year, taking over from David Garrett when he resigned in 2010.  She stood for Dunedin mayor and council in 2013 and was elected a councillor.

ODT: Disillusioned with council

Dunedin city councillor Hilary Calvert announced yesterday she will not stand in this year’s elections, but not before taking parting shots at some of her colleagues and Mayor Dave Cull.

She said she was unable to make a difference in a council dominated by councillors “whose focus is on carrying out activities for the benefit of the planet and on advising central government on how they may go about their business, not ours”.

I think that one of the best ways to make a difference is as an elected councillor, and standing for mayor again would give her the opportunity to highlight the problems as she saw them, but she has chosen not to do that. She also chose not to stand again for Parliament in 2011.

“This preoccupation has been at the expense of the proper and transparent governance of the city.”

She took aim at what she said were “covert meetings” of councillors and staff before councillors went through “the role play of consulting ratepayers, only to ignore their views”.

“The council meetings held in public are therefore largely irrelevant.”

Cr Calvert (61) said the big issues for ratepayers – cycleways, fraud, what council-owned companies were doing, and maintenance of mud-tanks – were “never on the agenda of council meetings until a rearguard action happens after the problems are identified by others”.

“Unfortunately, I cannot foresee this changing. For me enduring council as some kind of disingenuous spectator sport is unsustainable.”

Unfortunately if no one stands up to undemocratic processes then they are likely to continue.

If Calvert had stood again she would have had a very good chance of being re-elected as councillor. She was the highest polling candidate for council and came second to Cull in the mayoralty.

There is a danger that the Green influence in council in Dunedin will be strengthened this year if strong candidates with alternate views don’t stand, and an existing public profile is almost a necessity.

On her allegations of covert meetings, Cr Calvert said the sharing of thoughts and understanding of issues often happened at workshops and briefings that were not public.

For example, the second generation district plan process went to workshops, and if councillors had concerns they would tell staff. If something was going “where some councillors would not like it to go” that discussion was not public.

Councillors with other views did not have the opportunity to discuss them in public.

Once a public council meeting took place, such policies were “fairly much in completed form” or could not be challenged.

“By that stage it’s almost a done deal.”

If that is true – and from what I’ve observed there may well be some basis to her claims – then claims by the mayor and some elected councillors of adequate consultation in the last campaign ring hollow.

I have seen a number of examples of jacked up apparent public support for things that the council does.

Asked if having green-leaning councillors was the will of voters, Cr Calvert said green concerns were the focus at the expense of local concerns “which we are not short of”.

Voters chose the current mayor and council, but it can be debated whether the council put the will of voters ahead of their own agendas.

The issue of parking space losses because of cycleways was one example, where residents took a petition to the council “but we didn’t take a blind bit of notice of them”.

“I don’t think when people voted the current council in that’s what they were anticipating.

There has been a lot of angst about the preference given to more cycleways and less car parks, especially when existing cycleways are not well utilised.

For example car parks were converted into cycle ways on both sides on Anzac Avenue. I travel there frequently, and cyclists don’t. It is unusual to spot a cyclist.

It will be interesting to see how much of an issue this is this election.

Calvert also had words for Mayor Cull.

Cr Calvert also took aim at Mr Cull, saying it was “quite clearly not a good position to be disagreeing with him”.

“You could find yourself discouraged from continuing, either quite actively or passively, to ask questions”.

Disagreements between Cull and another councillor, Lee Vandervis, have raged throughout this term to the extent that disciplinary action has been taken against Vandervis (whose city heart is in the right place but can be a bit hot headed at times).

Cull stood for the mayoralty last election and won easily (Calvert came second, Vandervis came third) and intends to stand again both for the mayoralty and for council this year.

I stood for both council and mayor in 2013 to see how things worked and yeah, I have some major concerns, but the reality is that without an existing public profile or a political party to promote you,  it’s difficult to attract media attention or votes amongst a crowd of candidates.

Most voters know little about the council or candidates.

It will be interesting to see whether there’s a backlash against ‘green-leaning’ voters or whether they strengthen their grip on Dunedin.

Fireball from Dunedin

Something like a bigger and slower than normal shooting star/meteorite was seen from Dunedin tonight.

Ian Griffin (astonomer) is referring to it as a bright meteor. It travelled approximately southwest to northwest.

Mt John Observatory astronomer Natasha Gardiner: “We have been up here on Mt John for years and we have never seen one this big.” She guessed it was the size of a fist.

ODT: Light over Dunedin ‘rarer’ than a meteor (+ video)

Former resident superintendent of Canterbury University’s Mt John Observatory, astronomer Alan Gilmore, said the fireball was rarer than a meteor.

“It’s not a meteor, I’m certain of that.

“It took too long to go across the sky.”

Mr Gilmore said the flash had all the characteristics of a re-entry of debris from a space craft, or piece of equipment which had been orbiting earth.

Mr Gilmore said the only other such case in Southern skies he knew of happened about 10 years ago.

1468913391797

Mt John Observatory astronomer Natasha Gardiner: “We have been up here on Mt John for years and we have never seen one this big.”

Nathan Jaquiery I have just seen what looked like a meteor or something else go down over Dunedin city, although it was quite high in the sky hard to say if it landed or not… Anyway quite freaky and dramatic,,.. anyone else see it?

Shani Roberts Seen it heading back out to Brighton it was amazing!! Was so close put here just got bigger as it got closer was bloody amazing tried pulling over to capture footage but the cloud covered our view after we pulled over and we lost sight of it. Hope someone got some footage had to be a meteor?

Mark Kane You legend! My partner spotted it and we watched it from one side to the other. Was really a sight and I’m so glad someone got it on camera! I was thinking to myself “last thing Dinosaurs saw…

Stacey French Abbotsford but it was massive and looked like a huge flaming comet

Tetae Parata Out of it . My partner noticed somethng explode then we watched it spiral downwards

Petra Colwell I saw that too. North East over the harbour. It looked like a big ball of flame.

Tania Mitchell Metaor I think. Watched it from over towards mosgiel over the hill over our house in Brockville had a small fizz up over pine hill then towards port chalmers it just kept going and going must have been large. Also been told it was seen breaking up north of Palmerston!

Anita Maria Ireland Was seen over Blenheim about 22 minutes ago

Stuff/Press: Meteor spotted flying over South Island

A large meteor has exploded over the South Island, sparking a flurry of phone calls to police.

It was spotted up and down the island when it hit earth’s atmosphere and exploded about 6.30pm. 

Mt John Observatory astronomer Natasha Gardiner said it was the biggest meteor she had seen. 

It exploded into four pieces after hitting earth’s atmosphere. It was not a comet, she said. 

“We have been up here on Mt John for years and we have never seen one this big.”

A similar meteorite in Russia several years ago caused shock waves that smashed windows, she said. 

“We were a bit a little bit concerned initially to be honest.”

Gardiner said it was unlikely the meteor hit the ground. 

“We saw it soaring across the sky and then it exploded and went in four different directions.”

Gardiner guessed it was about the size of a fist. 

“Normally they are about the size of a grain of sand.”

“Dunedin is in the throes of growth, spark, confidence and regeneration”

Dunedin was a leading city in the 1800s, benefiting from gold recovered from throughout the province.

Through the 1900s the city gradually declined as businesses and people headed north. This drift was exacerbated by the gutting of Government services in the 80s and 90s.

While Dunedin is still the second largest city in the South Island there are five larger metropolitan areas in the North Island.

‘But things are apparently looking up for Dunedin. Today’s ODT editorial:

Dunedin’s growing contentment

It is time to consign Dunedin’s habitual discontent to history.

For a time our weather, isolation, strong links to the supposedly dour Scots and misery at our falling fortunes served as excuses.

But the predisposition to self-flagellation is running out of legs on which to stand.

A bit of a grim opening. I’ll edit in the positives from there.

But times have changed. A recent ODT Insight report revealed a growing surge of interest in Dunedin from families around New Zealand looking for a healthy, prosperous lifestyle; families bringing money, skills and energy.

Meanwhile, the city’s technology and tourism sectors are thriving, its sports teams continue to succeed and its presence in the national and international conscience continues to grow.

This time the stories are all positive.

And why wouldn’t they be?

Dunedin’s natural beauty is an asset scores of tourists continually remind us of.

DunedinAerial

The city and it’s surrounds are beautiful, with great beaches (if you don’t expect tropical swimming conditions), bush and mountains in close proximity.

The proximity of Central Otago, the Queenstown Lakes and the Southern Alps is the most decadent of cherries on top.

There are more cherries than that. You can drive to Queenstown, Wanaka and the Southern Lakes and ski fields within 3 hours. But also handy:

  • Catlins on the south coast is an hour or two away
  • Fiordland – Te Anau and Manapouri are a few hours away with Milford Sound a bit further
  • The Mackenzie Country is also an easy half day trip
  • Mt Cook and Tekapo are about 300 km
  • Haast and the West Coast is 400 km of every changing scenery, a great trip from Dunedin

There’s a huge variety of options within easy reach of Dunedin.  But back to the city.

The city boasts extraordinary infrastructure and public facilities for its size.

No other city in the country has anything to rival Forsyth Barr Stadium and, while that exercise came with a big price tag, the city’s rates are still comparatively low.

Dunedin’s libraries and art galleries are well stocked and presented, its roads flow freely and the city centre functions like a vibrant centre should.

Out-of-town families must look at Dunedin’s education options with disbelief.

Our high schools offer diversity in concept yet uniformity in quality and are easy to access.

Our primary and pre-school facilities are as good as anywhere in the country.

The university and polytechnic provide jobs, students and infrastructure but also churn out world-class research and graduates.

Improving internet infrastructure is bringing the world to our keyboards and touchscreens.

I can and do work around the world from an office in Dunedin that is 15 minutes drive (in ‘rush hour’) from rural living.

Southern winters are becoming less of an issue as housing improves, with new homes virtually unaffected by the cold and older homes benefitting from the retrofitting of insulation, double glazing and draft stopping.

Heat pumps have made a big difference too.

But even the bitter winters of the past seem to have lost their bite. We are in mid July and have had a few cool southerlies this is been perhaps the most mild of a run of mild winters over recent years. (Mild is relative in the south).

And I love the changing seasons. Spring buds are already starting to appear.

The current upsurge for Dunedin may not be a boom of mythical proportion with gold ingots springing from the soil.

But Dunedin is in the throes of growth, spark, confidence and regeneration.

There are certainly many positives here. And while it is nice to share it would be kinda nice to not grow too much.

Dunedin is a bonny wee city.

Councillor critical of bureaucracy and politicisation

A long serving councillor has announced that he won’t stand again this year, but has blasted growing council bureaucracy, and the politicisation of councils.

His criticisms apply across the country.

ODT: Council role loses lustre for some

Long-serving Dunedin city councillor John Bezett has fired parting shots at the growing bureaucracy and politicisation of the council, yesterday announcing his intention to stand down at the coming election.

Cr Bezett, who in ending a 30-year involvement in local body politics, said the role was no longer “fun”.

He bemoaned the increasingly-obvious political ideologies of some councillors, the intensified bureaucracy of local government and the workload of councillors.

“It’s got quite political. It’s something that I just don’t like at all. If you are a Dunedin city councillor, I think you should be looking after the city and not have an allegiance to a political party.”

Labour considered becoming openly involved in local Dunedin politics but backed off. The Greens are promoting a mayoral candidate – see Green candidate proposes local currency – along with  very Green sounding policies. The council is already quite green leaning, with cycleways and anti-oil priorities.

He also took aim at the expectations of central government which had increased the workload of councillors.

“There seems to be an endless commitment to submit on the select committee work they are doing in central government.

“There’s endless consultation and I find for someone to be an effective councillor they have to be totally involved in that and I can’t because I haven’t got the time. Not only that, but I don’t want to be totally involved … the role has changed and there’s no fun in it anymore.

“I have had a really good run and I have thoroughly enjoyed it but the fun has gone out of it for me and I’m going to go do other things,” he said.

He advised anyone considering standing for council to be prepared to treat it as a full-time job.

“Today, to be an effective councillor, I think you have to be a full-time councillor and I have never wanted to be a full-time councillor.”

So there’s a need for professional councillors but not for career politicians.

And ‘the people’ are becoming increasingly fed up with bureaucracy. It is justifiably blamed for being a significant factor in the current housing problems.

The NIMBYs have become adept at manipulating bureaucracy to stifle development.

And the career politicians have become adept at misusing democracy to push their party policies, claiming they have majority support through manipulation of consulting processes.

The best way of combating bureaucracy and politicisation  is for strong independent candidates to stand, but council is not a very attractive option for successful people.

Green candidate proposes local currency

Stuff reported on Saturday that Dunedin was on the comeback trail.

Dunedin: The return of New Zealand’s first city

Dunedin was New Zealand’s first city, but has since been overtaken in size by six other cities. But something is stirring in the Edinburgh of the South, and Dunedin is on the comeback trail.

This morning the ODT reports on the major planks of  Green candidate’s mayoral campaign – a ‘living wage’ city and a Dunedin currency. This is supported by Green co-leader Metiria Turei.

Living wage, Dunedin dollar his platform

Dunedin mayoral candidate Aaron Hawkins has announced his intentions to transform Dunedin into New Zealand’s first living wage city and establish a local currency if elected mayor.

Speaking at the Green Party’s Dunedin local body elections launch, the first-term councillor said he wanted to push for every resident to earn a living wage and to establish a local currency, the Dunedin dollar, modelled on the Bristol Pound.

My dream for Dunedin is to become New Zealand’s first living wage city. That is a city where every worker, regardless of where they work, makes a living wage.”

Dreams are free, but forcing up wages could be expensive for businesses, and could well cost jobs.

The creation of the Dunedin dollar would complement the city’s push for wider economic equity, he said.

“The Dunedin dollar sits alongside our existing currency, rather than trying to replace it,” he said.

“A living wage and a Dunedin dollar are both commitments to doing economics differently.

Commitments to setting up a Green experiment in Dunedin.

Some of the Green promoted cycleway experiment was botched and had to be redesigned, and some had to be scrapped because costs were going to be double what was estimated.

“They both work from the bottom up rather than waiting for the trickle down.”

The objective was to encourage people to spend their money with local, independent businesses in the city.

Based on the local multiplier effect, the currency was aimed at keeping more money within the local economy.

“If I were elected mayor, I would happily take 25% of my income for that elected position in the Dunedin dollar,” Mr Hawkins said.

Would wages be topped up to ‘living wage’ level with the Dunedin dollar?

The council would spend the next term designing “something that fits our local situation” to be launched by 2019, he said.

Only if the council – not just the mayor – supported the Green dream.

Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei described the proposals as “fantastic concepts for the city”.

“We need to be supporting the living wage and challenging council and challenging our business community leaders to step up,” she said.

“And the Dunedin dollar is all about supporting each other.”

So it sounds like Hawkins’ dream is a part of the Green local body strategy.

Hawkins is very much a Green formula campaigner, sticking to strategy and script.

A current contentious issue in Dunedin is the redesign of the main one way streets to include cycle lanes and remove hundreds of car parks.

This was already controversial in the last mayoral campaign, but is now closer to reality – and the opposition to it is also stronger, there’s a lot of people getting very annoyed at streets that are dominated by underutilised cycleways.

So Hawkins and the Greens will have a challenge selling their ‘living wage city’ and Dunedin dollar on top of this.

But there is quite a large Green vote in Dunedin. The city could become a green nirvana.

However current mayor Dave Cull is fairly Green leaning so Hawkins and Cull will compete and may split the Green vote.

However there is also likely to be a strategy to stack the council with Green votes even more.

Another day in John Key’s neo-liberal nightmare

Paul has been kicking off the day lately at The Standard’s Open Mike with a string of posts that suggests he is not a John key fan. They all begin:

Another day in John Key’s neo-liberal nightmare.
We have become a cruel, greedy, uncaring and selfish nation under his wretched leadership.

So far today:

Selfish, greedy.
Max Key.

David Slack: ‘Greed, and hair gel, is good’

And:

Greedy.
New Zealand property investors.

‘Housing ‘mess’ has spread from Auckland to Tauranga

And:

Greedy.
New Zealand property investors.

‘Market tough for renters

And:

Greedy, selfish, uncaring.
New Zealand’s private landlords

One of the worst years for housing problems, says union.

But there’s hope:

Yet there are people who still care and who are unselfish.
Marie Retimana represents the best of New Zealand.
A government that does not ensure its citizens are not paid enough to feed themselves represents the worst of New Zealand.

Helping the needy through social media

Paul is helping the needy at The Standard – they desperately want to believe that New Zealand is a cruel, greedy, uncaring and selfish neo-liberal nightmare under Key’s wretched leadership.

He has added:

Yet there are people who still care and who are unselfish.
Park Up represents the best of New Zealand.
A government that does not house its citizens adequately represents the worst of New Zealand.

‘Park Up For Homes camp out on Beehive backdoor.

Continually promoting over-wrought negatives is not presenting a more positive alternative.

CharismaAndrew

 

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