Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Who to vote for in Palmerston North

My local body voting papers arrived yesterday, meaning that I need to decide who I'm voting for. So, here's my triennial acidic take on Palmerston North local body politics. This time, my decision has been helped by a number of policy scorecards, primarily climate related, including:

While many of my friends have used policy local, I haven't looked at it.


This year we have a real mayoral race, with six candidates, of whom four are "serious" (meaning: not convicted paedophiles or clinicly insane). Of the four, I'll be giving my first preference to the Greens' Teanau Tuiono. After that, its a coin-toss between Hussein Kikhounga-N'got and "independent Labour" Andy Asquith, which means vote for the non-white dude. Incumbent Grant Smith hasn't been a terrible mayor, but since he's a rugby meathead and I'm still holding a grudge over his position on stadiums vs social housing, he won't be getting a preference. Neither will either of the two candidates with serious criminal convictions and obvious mental health issues.

City Council

There are 27 candidates chasing 15 spots, but fortunately there's an easy way to cull the field: don't vote for dead white males (especially those called "John"); don't vote for real estate agents or property developers; don't vote for anyone who promises to "keep rates low" or who talks publicly about their imaginary friends; don't vote for climate change deniers or foot-draggers. And that leaves about eight candidates worth considering. Of those, my top votes go to the Green candidates (with Rene Dingwell first on age and gender grounds, and also because she's a gamer. Sorry Brent), followed by the (not Labour, honest) Aleisha Rutherford. After that, Kikhounga-N'got and the Labour candidates (yes, I'm voting for them. Climate change is trumping the desire to punish the party for its general chickenshittedness on everything). Bottom preferences to Atif Rahim and Tangi Utikere as not being dead white men, real estate agents, or various sorts of disturbing.


Seven candidates, but very few worth voting for. Chris Teo-Sherrell is good, and Wiremu Kingi Te Awe Awe is a good advocate for the river. Fiona Gordon scores well, so might be worth a vote, but is running a joint campaign with anti-fluoride activist Rachel Keedwell, so I'm suspicious (Keedwell is great on everything else, but being anti-fluoride means she will not get my vote). Of the rest, Dowds is a climate change procrastinator, Naylor corrupt and a former national MP, and Cleland scores poorly on climate change scorecards. as a side-note, Horizons should really be using STV, rather than an unfair voting system which allows a plurality to dominate everything.


Is just a blame-sink for central government, so a waste of my time. If anyone has a list of anti-vaxxers, anti-abortionists and anti-fluoride nutters to avoid, I'll link to it, but I'm likely to give this whole section a miss.