Red Alert

A good day for the left

Posted by on October 13th, 2013

What to make of the local government election results?  On the face of it you’d have to say that with centre left mayors in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin the vibe is good for the left heading into 2014.

Dave Cull and Celia Wade-Brown fended off challengers in Dunedin and Wellington. Lianne Dalziel romped in without a serious opponent in Christchurch. Life is about to get more interesting for Gerry Brownlee who now has to contend with a more sophisticated political operator in the mayor’s chair. Lianne will be a formidable counter-balance to National’s strange mixture of top-down and hands-off approach to the rebuild.

In Auckland Len Brown has a thumping mandate. Turn out is down but as Mike Williams argues in the Herald on Sunday, that is largely because Len never had a serious challenger on the Right. Mr Palino garnered 50,000 100,000 votes, scooping up the conservative votes on the North Shore and the Eastern Suburbs who were never going to vote for Len after their rates went up under the rating unification scheme legislated by National.  But the Auckland Right never got behind him in a serious way.

They put their resources into a couple of strategic Council contests, namely Denise Krum v Richard Northey in the Maungakiekie ward, and Linda Cooper v Christine Rose in Waitakere, hoping to tip the balance of power on Council. However the National Party picking up both those seats is neatly offset by Labour’s Ross Clow winning the Whau ward from Noeline Raffils, and left leaning John Watson joining his ticket-mate Wayne Walker in Albany. The balance of power on Council is unlikely to change much at all as a result.

The big story in Auckland is Len Brown’s long term mortgage on the Town Hall. The fact that the Right couldn’t find a credible challenger says it all. Len’s been the alternative government for the last three years on litmus test issues like transport and housing. He even rolled Gerry Brownlee and Steven Joyce on the City Rail Link.  If he can get the City Rail Link tunnelling underway before the next election (possible with a Labour win in 2014) then you’ll have to crowbar him out of the Town Hall.

And more good news for the left in Auckland: Labour and progressive allies scored some notable successes in the local boards. Out west where I am, Labour tickets won a majority in the Whau,  got three elected in Henderson-Massey, and the Labour-Green-Independent Future West won a clean sweep in Waitakere Ranges.  City Vision maintained its majorities in Waitemata and Eden-Albert. Labour wrested Otara-Papatoetoe from the centre right. Kaipatiki on the Shore shifted in a more progressive direction, and the progressive Roskill Community Voice team won a majority on the Puketepapa board.

6 Responses to “A good day for the left”

  1. Frank Gaze says:

    Lucky old Auckland! New Plymouth has not been so fortunate, with voters confused about responsibility for decisions and behaviour they didn’t like. I will be interested to see how inexperienced mayor and councillors will cope!

  2. si says:

    Very lucky Auckland, I look forward to our continuing journey towards bankruptcy and becoming the Detroit of the South Pacific. I’m guessing that @FRank Gaze doesn’t suffer the rate rises we have here.

  3. Jack Ramaka says:

    Too many professional bludgers in Council’s around the country.

  4. bbfloyd says:

    And, as usual, the herald continues to white ant Browns mayoralty…

    They are currently on a mission to deliberately misinterpreting the low voter turnout in local body elections….

    So who is paying for uncle ruperts poodles to push for compulsory voting as a “sensible” response??

    Surely it isn’t the same people that ensured a low turnout by forcing an inefficient, and confusing mail voting system upon us…?

    The same people that ordered the herald, and “tv journalists”(an oxymoron if there ever was one) to report only positive feedback on their yankee carpetbagger, and to restrict any coverage of Browns campaign to attempts to whip up “bermgate” hysteria…

    So are we to believe that Auckland is one big mushroom patch? Every time I pass the stack of heralds in the local dairy, I get a whiff of manure….

    The truth is that Len brown has done an awesome job of keeping the raiders out of our pockets, and away from our infrastructure… If he had lost, then the asset stripping would have proceeded forthwith, as was planned with the introduction of Wodneys “how to kill off the powerhouse of the economy” bill….

    The man is a genuine, modern day hero…Long may he survive as our shield against the “business lobby” (codeword for insanely greedy, self interested traitors)….

  5. Mafrty says:

    After their failure at the polls, the right are now very angry and the Len Brown affair story is like all their birthdays have come at once. As usual, their spin doctors The NZ Herald and the whale blubber man are leading the charge. Most ludicrous was the comment by another candidate that the second highest polling candidate, the right’s own John Palino was “now the rightful mayor” (although to his credit it was not Palino himself who claimed this). What absolute drivel! I guess it is alright for Don Brash to admit an affair but when you’re considered a rep of the left (and I am not sure if Len Brown really is) then it is a no-no. Double standards here! but that is what the right is all about of course. Len Brown’s affair will cost him personally much more than it will Auckland City

  6. bbfloyd says:

    “it is alright for Don Brash to admit an affair but when you’re considered a rep of the left (and I am not sure if Len Brown really is) then it is a no-no”…

    As with any group, or race of people who have suffered through the bigotry, ignorance, and unreasoning hatred of the mainstream, those who would challenge the status quo have always had to be (provably) morally superior to their opponents in order to force them to focus on issues, …

    One of the tories favorite tool is transference….That old line that all politicians, no matter what their ilk, are as corrupt, and self serving as they are…Which, of course, makes their greed, and dishonesty ok….

    The thing about that that really makes me despair is the sheer number of people I come across nowadays that consider this to be political “wisdom”…