Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Local Government Candidates, Part I

Well, the list of candidates for the local government bodies has been finalized. I'll just take the time to cast my cynical eye over the names and vent my spleen.

Banks Peninsula District Council

Bob Parker, the incumberant mayor, seems a shoo-in with the only other person standing against him, an obscure Jo Rolley which means that his predecessor, Noeline Allen, has apparently given up local body politics for good. The last election was unusual in that Noeline was aware of huge discontent with her leadersip and so enlisted the aid of her partner, Jim Hopkins, to run against her. Since very few people knew that Jim was her partner, she hoped to retain the mayoralty by splitting the anti-Noeline vote. The gambit failed and a furious Jim refused to write for the Press ever again and now sells himself to the NZ Herald.

Christchurch City Council

The usual names come forth: Blair Anderson for the pot smokers, Kyle Chapman for the skinheads who don't call themselves Nazis because they can't spell, Martin Hansen for economic euthenics (whatever that is) and Paul Telfer, another harmless crank. Annalucia Vermunt the communist will probably be condemning our imperialistic presence in Iraq and Afghanistan just as she condemned our imperialistic presence in Bosnia and East Timor in the last election. Aaron Keown is also returning but I find it difficult to describe him - he's hardly a nut or a crank but he's also hasn't got a hope in hell of winning the mayoralty.

More notable are the absence of any big names from the Citizens and fellow travellers. Derek Anderson, Gordon Freeman, George Balani or even Robin Booth. So it's a dead cert that Garry Moore will get back in (barring Acts of God and all that). I was ambivalent about his performance at the last election which made me vote for George Balani. He seemed sane when he took on Environment Canterbury but he also did strange things, such as denounce his brother-in-law for making a complaint about Helen Clark in Paintergate and the Live Tall stupidity.

But then again I voted for Morgan Fahey at the election before that (although I posted my vote before the scandal broke) so I'm hardly a good judge of mayoral candidates.

For the wider council, the whole thing is a dog-eat-dog race with half the council facing oblivion because the Local Government Commission slashed the council seats from 24 to 12. The abrasive Dennis O'Rouke, who barely got in last time, will surely be wailing and gnashing his teeth after this election.

The candidates for local ward (Fendalton-Waimairi) are: Sally Buck (sitting), Faimeh Burke, Michael Couch, Pat Harrow (sitting), Mark Kunnen, Mike Wall and Gina Williamson. Both Sally and Pat are useless but I can't decide who vote for. Faimeh is Kerry Burke's wife but beyond that I know nothing. Mark Kunnen, I know all too well having been at school with him but can't bring myself to vote for him. The others are non-entities to me. I'm surprised to note the absence of Yiyi Ki and wonder what happened.