We aren’t necessarily signed up members of the NZ Herald fan club, but they are due some real credit for the recent coverage of the Supercity election race, and in particular their series on each of the Wards. They have done voters a real service by focusing in on the local issues and the local candidates in each area.
Today the article is about the Waitemata Ward. The Ward covers the inner city suburbs of Auckland from Westmere in the west to Parnell in the east, and down to Grey Lynn and Grafton in the South. Notably the ward also includes the CBD and the Gulf Islands.
The race is shaping up as a really interesting one. The right wing has made a pigs ear out of their selection process. Bernard Orsman describes C&R as “making a real hash of the elections”. They played Tenby Powell and Alex Swney off against one another, with the result that both are now running, and neither as an official C&R candidate.
The problem with Swney and a number of the other candidates running is that they have all worked so hard on the “look” of their campaigns that they have devoted very little time to establishing clear policies and positions on the issues that matter. It’s all about clever slogans, gimmicks, and slightly painful attempts to appear “fresh”.
Mike Lee on the other hand is all about a strong record and clear policies. In campaigns you have to be very careful to not exaggerate your record (because you will invariably get caught out). However we have no hesitation in saying that there is not a single candidate running anywhere in Auckland who has done more to get public transport moving in our city than Mike Lee. As Chair of the Regional Council he has led double tracking, station upgrades, new rail ines, and the hugely important shift towards electrification. Bus patronage has also sky-rocketed under his leadership. The others have good slogans about public transport, but Mike actually has a record.
Mike is also the only candidate in Waitemata who has any serious public ownership credentials. The others don’t really have anything to say about this issue, whereas Mike has a record stretching back to saving the Ports of Auckland of standing up for public ownership of our assets.
Forget the spin, Mike Lee is the candidate of substance in Waitemata. We have no hesitation in endorsing him