Andrew Dickens: The elections start now

Andrew Dickens,
Publish Date
Monday, 28 January 2019, 12:15p.m.

A new year and new aspirations.

It seems as though this week has been the week that players announce they’re in the game for local and national electoral responsibilities.

Local body elections are in October of this year and the national elections are in November of next year and now people are putting their hands up.

John Tamihere, the past Labour Minister, talkback host and rabble-rouser has put his name forward for Auckland Mayor, along with an unlikely running mate, Christine Fletcher.

I spent some time wondering why Christine, from the genteel East, would go for a backyard brawler from the West and it appears it’s because a backyard brawler is exactly the person she thinks Auckland needs.

Certainly, a number of commentators have said that Phil Goff is too much of a politician to be a great mayor. He’s the sort of guy that wants everyone to like him. JT doesn’t give a jot if you like him or not. He just wants to get stuff done.

There’s at least one thing that he’s got right and that’s reigning in the bureaucrats. Rodney Hide’s creation of what is known as Council Controlled Organisations was one of the strangest mind melts ever. Simply because it’s so hard for the Council to control or direct the organisations. Leaving unelected and unaccountable invisible men and women to determine the direction of our biggest city.

Meanwhile, on a National level, there are movements afoot.

One is a blue-green party possibly headed by Vernon Tava, a political commentator who has been with the Greens and flirted with National. The idea behind a blue-green party is to appeal to the people who aren’t socialists but are concerned about the environment. The thought is that it would provide a coalition partner for National.

I’m not sure it would work though. The party would struggle to get to the 5 per cent threshold and the voters it might attract are more likely to come from National. After all, there are already two green parties in New Zealand, the Greens and Labour, and green voters haven’t been crying out for a drier economic policy.

The other is a new conservative party and the former rugby and league chief, Davis Moffett is involved. David is one of those old fashioned conservatives. The ones who think that socialism, identity politics and feminism is dragging us into an abyss.

A party like that could weaken New Zealand First and so I think it has more of a chance than the blue greens.

I’ve always thought a conservative party is a goer but too many have hitched themselves to a religious horse. And one thing that conservatives have always struggled with is, knowing what they stand for. By that I mean they vociferously know what they don’t like and who they don’t like.

They’re a little too defined by their enemies which means they get a little lost when asked for leadership.

But we will see

What I do like is that Vernon, and JT and David are standing up and getting involved and that’s a good thing.

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