Politics

WCC Week One: SNAFU, Council all over the place, cranks, retreats, recounts, and sniping

A week of suppressing fire

My partner and I have been farm sitting our friends’ property in Ahiaruhe for the last week. For both of us, farming is something we’re familiar with, and it’s nice to be doing something real for a few days. 0530 starts and beers at 1500. It’s good to get back to our roots.

Meanwhile; I see that back home over the windy hill the WCC has had a turbulent week, their first together, with the threat of that recount still hanging over everyone’s heads. The residents are restless, and several ill-thought-out, ignorant, stupid attacks from the left and right popped on Twitter like gaseous bubbles on a scum-filled pond.

The “independent” commissioners granted resource consent for Shelly Bay and not a Councillor was too be found to talk about that and what it meant.

The $500 million development on the western edge of the Miramar peninsula was on Thursday granted resource consent by independent commissioners under special housing legislation,  which allows for more-intensive housing than Wellington’s district plan.

Wellington’s $500m Shelly Bay development granted resource consent

Frankly, it’s about time the WCC got on with auditing themselves over the entire messy process, something which they voted down before the elections, because, you know, poacher turned gamekeeper and all that.

So, no clear resolution there, but we note that Mau Whenua is not going to be lying down and are mobilising, which we will see more of in the next few weeks. More power to them I say, no one else is displaying a blind bit of leadership, and it’s their taonga after all. Still, it would be nice to see some of our Councillors fall in behind and support them, certainly after making some election mileage out of the issue.

Georgina Campbell at the NZ Herald is still hunting the tunnel issue, which we are all quite tired of it, to be honest. She’s been great at keeping this particular fire burning, but perhaps not targeting the person who appears to hold the decision-making power on Wellington’s LGWM package, Julie Anne Genter.

Julie Anne is still not releasing that letter, which says a lot for the Greens and their hypocrisy. Campaigning last general election on transparency, it appears to be “do as I say and not as I do” once in power, and the entire LGWM plan stinks to high heaven.

Frankly, the WCC has pretty much zero say in LGWM, and I think we should move on to things that they do have some control over, which might be exactly what the Council are planning when you read below.

When the Associate Minister for Transport knows more than all the experts, all the people who were consulted, all the public servants that engineered this plan, and pretty much everyone else, well, why bother?

The Associate Minister was concerned about inducing traffic and the resulting increased congestion, greenhouse gas emissions and undermining of demand for public transport. The Associate Minister was also concerned to ensure there was sufficient funding available for public transport.

Julie Anne Genter issues statement over secret letter

Strangely, not concerned enough to get involved when the entire bus public transport system failed a year ago. Have to say, not a great performance by the Associate Minister in my opinion.

Outrage on Twitter this week as the left wound up and took a big smack at Andy Foster after a stupid article in the Dominion Post all but headline suggesting that the newly minted mayor was a Hobson’s Pledge supporter. I know that Stuff is dying, but man, can we lay off the clickbait for a bit and go back to the good reporting you were doing during the election?

Of course, every left-leaning, and some right-leaning, persons who spoke out about this get put on the list of “read headline, become outraged, seek political advantage, vomit misinformed summary.” Gotta say I’m not looking forward to next year’s general election when we see this kind of crap this early on, not to mention that completely amateurish “political memes” that both major parties are pumping out already. Seriously, talk to your millennial, your embarrassing yourselves.

If we are going to believe everything that comes out of Don Brash’s mouth, then we are truly stupid. I think you start with the stance of not believing it until proven true. Which in this case it wasn’t, but by then all the commentator’s bushy tails had subsided, and they’d slunk off to the next target of the week.

“I am again deeply disappointed Dr Brash made the leap that he did with the answers given to these simple questions, suggesting I support his campaign. I don’t.

“I will consign those comments to the rubbish bin because that’s about all they’re worth.” 

Andy Foster

How hard is that to understand?

The new City Council disappeared off to Stokes Valley on a retreat, from the pictures it looks like this spot, and as a result of that time away we heard … absolutely nothing.

Here’s hoping that the Councillors have figured out that they need to work with residents on what is best for the city, inviting them in to give expert advice. It turns out that the advice they were receiving looks rather like avoiding the LGWM shambles in general and doing their own thing with the resources at their disposal. Look carefully at the slide in the image.

For the hard of sight it reads on the left “But not all city-shaping requires big capital on transport projects : as the NYC local initiative shows here.” The picture shows a carpark having been turned into a park. I’ll leave you with your thoughts on that.

Still no portfolios have been handed out, no outcomes were released as part of the retreat, no other information, just some happy social media family snaps leading me to think that the PR Machine is still in high gear at the WCC. Stand by for usual propaganda to resume perhaps.

Despite the entire city being consulted on LGWM stuff around the Golden Mile, and us electing a whole majority of Councillors that were explicit about what they supported including cars free zones and lower speed limits, and there being general support for all of the above, LGWM put them out for consultation again.

What the AF is wrong with LGWM?

Let’s Get Wellington Moving (LGWM) is seeking feedback from the community on two projects – lower speed limits in the central city, and what’s needed to create a more people-friendly Golden Mile. Both projects are seeking community input from today.

Repeating the questions: consultation on making Golden Mile more “people friendly”

Is this stupidity in action, a stalling tactic, absolute paranoia, or an agency that is so pissed off with meddling in the entire plan they’ve just got their fangs out and are going to worry it to pieces like a happy Labrador.

You decide.

It clearly takes a crank to spot a crank and this week Greenpeace, who have little credibility these days in my opinion, fired a broadside at Sean Rush, an Eastern Ward Councillor newly elected. In a stupid article, Stuff dug up some old Sean Rush history (why they didn’t do this during the election is another question someone should ask) and then invoked the wrath of some unknown Greenpeace beard.

Greenpeace campaigner Steve Abel slammed the new councillor as a “conspiracy theorist climate denialist crank” with beliefs “straight out of the 1990s”.

“It’s frankly disturbing that he has public office.”

Rush responded;

Rush, who would only respond to text messages, was this week asked if his views on humankind’s impacts on climate change had altered since July and, if so, what the catalyst for change was.

“I handed in an assignment two weeks ago on water vapour which taught me that the leading sceptics and mainstream scientists agree on the physics which reinforces to me the consensus of the impact that humans are having,” he said.

“I have been endeavouring to understand it in all its complexity. Hence my studies.

Wellington councillor’s climate change beliefs ‘straight out of the 1990s’

If we were all judged on our previous beliefs, then the world would be a strange place. What Rush is doing, is what every intelligent person should be doing, educating themselves on the situation, studying it, and absorbing new information to reach new beliefs.

That characteristic we could do with right across all Councillors frankly.

Andy has had a crack at stopping the recount this week, which promises to drag on to kingdom come at this rate, challenging the recount. While as I write, news comes in that Justin’s hopes of winning, should he get a recount, are not that certain regardless.

Hundreds of invalid votes Wellington’s ousted mayor was banking on to return him to office will in fact go to incumbent Andy Foster.

Clarification over the nature of the 385 invalid votes has revealed many of them would actually go to Foster if they were included in a possible recount, rather than to former mayor Justin Lester as first thought.

Lester applied for a vote recount two weeks ago after being led to believe he would likely win if the invalid, or “partially informal”, votes were considered.

But it turns out that of the 193 votes he believed would have fallen his way in a recount – overturning his 62-vote deficit – 145 of them would in fact go to Foster.

Ousted Wellington mayor Justin Lester’s vote recount hopes take a hit

It’s not been a great first week for the new WCC.

The hundred-day plan of Foster’s is now only a few days in and shows little sign of movement. The Council is looking disorganised and at odds. The threat of a recount and the constant sniping by political players is keeping the Councillors under fire suppression. Some runs on the board and wins must be at the top of their list over this month.

The thing that farming teaches you is that everything is one gigantic eco-system. When parts of that system do not work well with each other then other parts will ultimately suffer. Just like a city. Right now, the city is a patchwork Frankenstein when we need a well-practiced athlete.

2 replies »

  1. As candidates it’s pretty obvious that when an activist group gets you to fill out a survey it’s doing so to see where you stand. As someone who received the Hobsons Pledge survey, I can say it was transparent, and Andy answered the 4 questions in a way Don Brash approved of. The fact Andy doesn’t see it that way is not much in the way of evidence.
    Stuff also reported how Andy filled out the Shelly Bay survey, was that also a stupid article?

    Like

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