Red Alert

Young Labour Find Hamilton Roots

Posted by on January 21st, 2013

Yesterday Young Labour was in Hamilton West for the second leg of their Clarion Tour.

The Clarion tour is named after the famed Clarion Cycling Club, which consisted of a group of dedicated British political activists who rode around the English countryside in the 1890s talking about their vision for a better and fairer society.

Young Labour are following this tradition: travelling around New Zealand living out Labour values.

In Hamilton Young Labour and I went to the Waiwhakareke Natural Heritage Park. We got out there and did what we call the “Pukeko stomp” where we release the newly planted native plants from the faster growing grass and weeds. It is an essential park of the community vision to provide both a home for Tui and a great location of community education and recreation.

Waiwhakareke Natural Heritage Park is the first step in the much needed restoration of native bush in the Waikato. From the 1820s European settlers began arriving in the area paving the way for the famous land clearances of the 1860s. It was clearing and draining of the land that gave the region much of the open pasture land we are renowned for today.

But it also destroyed all but 1% of the wetland once widespread in the region and meant native New Zealand birds were all but banished from Hamilton.

As with any story what struck Young Labour and I was how great community initiatives like Waiwhakareke are determined by abstract decisions about priorities. The Hamilton City Council lost millions of ratepayer’s money when it made the ill-fated decision 48 to bring the V8s to Hamilton. I fear it will be great initiatives like Waiwhakareke that may bear the brunt of Council attempts to recover that money. Pensioner housing units have already been sold off in a short-sighted attempt to reduce the city’s debt.

You can check out the other great community projects Young Labour are undertaking from West Auckland to Christchurch at

13 Responses to “Young Labour Find Hamilton Roots”

  1. The Al1en says:

    Sue, what’s your position on Stan Heather Park in Deanwell?

  2. Grant Hay says:

    Is there any point in commenting at Red Alert, when by and large MP’s don’t engage in debate or discussion? Occasionally the odd return comment might get dropped in if an MP is passing by and happens to be in the mood, but there certainly doesn’t seem to be a culture of engaging with potential supporters who are motivated enough to be interested in a conversation about policy. Silly me. I thought that’s what political blogs were for. Obviously they are only intended for one way communication.

    PS. This comment is not aimed specifically at you Sue. I’m just using this post as a location to make an observation about the way Red Alert operates (or doesn’t).

  3. K1W1 says:

    Grant I could not agree with you more. Furthermore, Labour party supporters call everyone who critiques anything a tory troll. Debate the issues, dont play the man – political affiliation doesnt matter.

    Sometimes its a bit like the joke that occurs during question (aka kindergarten) time in the House!

    Sue, if you care to respond – just wondering, did you support the investment in the V8’s and Caludelands Events Centre – occured during Labour’s term. And what is your position on the veladrome (regional council)?

  4. Sue Moroney says:

    Apologies – I was out of coverage the day after I posted this . Looks like Nikki Kaye is going to fix this!!!
    @Al1ien: What’s happening with Stan Heather Park? Not aware of any issue there, so keen to hear what the problem is?
    @Grant Hay – I do comment on issues raised by my posts (when internet access allows!) but I try not to dominate the discussion.
    @K1W1: Didnt support V8s investment nor the velodrome which I am on public record on several occasions in opposition.
    Do support the Claudeland’s Events Centre, as I believe a centrally-located, 4th largest city like Hamilton should be capable of hosting large conferences, which do bring spending money into our city. In each instance I have been critical of the shabbiness of the so-called “business plans” that have been prepared for council for these ventures, as they have been wildly optimistic and therefore not realistic.

  5. Sue Moroney says:

    @Al1ien: Up to speed now with Stan Heather Park which hadnt come up on my radar as it was privately owned by Hamilton Rugby Union. It is their right to sell it to a property developer, as it wasnt owned by the public anyway. On the upside, the developer is required to set aside land for a public park in the area now that will be available for all.
    What do you think?

  6. bbfloyd says:

    @kiwi… you conveniently ovelook the type of comment the “tory trolls” indulge themselves in…

    The reason they get pilloried is because they make no effort to engage on a “grownup” level, and are mainly grouped in the “self interested reactionary timewaster” catagory…

    If you have any real anecdotal evidence that proves this comment wrong, then you have space her to show it..Just be aware that there are people here who can spot a tory sloganeer from ten k’s… so make sure you keep it real…

    On a more serious note… it pains me to see what an utter dogs breakfast that hamilton is turning into… Obviously the “leaders” of that city have learnt nothing from the obvious blunders made in decades/centuries past…Money is still king in the Waikato…

    Knowing the area like I do, I’m not totally surprised…

    While there are a great many right minded people living in the area, the real power still resides in the descendants of the same tories who stole so much from the original owners..

    The tide may be turning on the old order, but they still have the power to make many, many more short sighted, self serving decisions yet…

    All power to the youngsters prepared to resist that, and offer an alternative to the exploitation that characterises our political/economic history in the Waikato…. and elsewhere…

  7. The Al1en says:

    “What do you think?”

    I think pressure should be put on council to reject the rezoning from community facility to residential.
    Council has no responsibility to make the HRU and the as yet unnamed developer richer, so no need to rubber stamp the change and hi res devolopment, especially if an alternate proposal were put forward that maintained the community facility in it’s truest sense.

    True, HRU do own the land and quite clearly is their’s to sell, yet it’s next to worthless without council’s collaboration. With this in mind, I’m quite prepared to negotiate a deal with them should the elected west ward councillors do the right thing (in election year) and vote against rezoning and the shoddy secret tender voided.

    A non profit market garden, with free food to anyone who needs it, when ever they need it.
    Or swell the bank balances of those who already have more than enough.

    As a West ward resident, Sue, what would future would you rather see for Stan Heather Park?

  8. Red Guard (Te Kauwhata) says:

    I enjoyed your article Sue, Young Labour certainly are testimony to a fine tradition of political and environmental activism.
    It was a pleasure to meet many of them on Sunday night.
    As a recent ‘kiwi immigrant’ to the Waikato and as a former local govenrment Councillor; the incompetancy displayed by the Hamilton City Council just beggars belief. What is unfolding is a right wing lead sell off of the people’s assets to cover the elected and appointed civic leaderships combined ineptitude.
    Like ‘Shon-Key’s government, light on vision and heavy on drudgery…. Same old, same old, didn’t it work in the 90s?

  9. the pigman says:


    The problem is really what lawful form exerting that “pressure” would take. A council is not Parliament, and if it decides to adopt a double standard to limit the development, you can get the developers would be running off to the Environment Court to challenge the decisions of the council.

    Not a perfect system, and soon to be a damn sight less perfect (“let’s cut some bureaucratic pc red tape, everybody!”), I am sure..

    K1W1, nice try at undermining the labour grass roots. Most of us have been commenting on red alert for long enough (in my case, since it was launched) to know exactly what you are.

  10. The Al1en says:

    If the six west ward councillors vote to make a secret developer richer by rezoning a community facility for no good reason at all, and at the same time vote against a plan to feed those in poverty with an ongoing supply of fresh food, their infamy will live on in Hamilton and they’d be unelectable.
    Good luck in the elections, sitting councillors.
    Plenty pressure for politicians, even I suspect, pretend local ones.

    If they vote as I suspect they will and pass the plan, I’ll stand six councillors in the west ward, and maybe run myself or nominate a mayoral candidate.

    So still interested in Sue’s answer,’cause you never know what happens in 2013 could quite easily repeat in 2014.
    I guess it all depends on who agitates and motivates the best.
    I’m fancying my chances.

  11. K1W1 says:

    Thank you Sue for the clarification on your views. The outcomes from local body election this year will be interesting – albeit no-one really participates.

    Pig what am I exactly – please be explicit and show your true colours and prejudice. Thanks.

  12. Blarney Stone says:

    So Aliens, you want affordable housing but you are opposed to any developers building new houses? How do you think the housing supply can ever be increased if new land isn’t released for development?

  13. The Al1en says:

    “So Aliens, you want affordable housing but you are opposed to any developers building new houses?”

    I’ve not said either of those things.
    Quote me or gtfo with putting words in my mouth.