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I’m starting to quite like labour MP Paul Eagle as a result of the spat he’s just had with the Wellington City Council.
Paul eagle is the MP taking leave from parliament to run for mayor.
He’s stuck a bunch of ‘VOTE EAGLE’ digital billboards up around the city ahead of the election in October
But the social media warriors have got angry. They reckon the billboards shouldn’t be up this early because they’re only allowed up six weeks before the election
So, they complained to the Wellington City Council. The council contacted Paul and told him to take them down. He refused. And he told the media he was refusing. He was unequivocal.
Turns out, He’s right. The council is wrong.
Either they don’t’ know their own rules or they do but they tried to get one over him.
Because that six-week rule only applies to the plastic hoardings you see on the side of the road and not billboards.
And there’s more, this has been done before. Nick Legget ran for mayor back in 2016. He had his face on buildings and busses as early as May.
So, the council should’ve known.
But they said there were so many complaints they felt compelled to act.
The rules are either that he’s allowed the billboards or not. The council doesn’t get to make up new rules simply because they’ve had a few cry-babies complaining to them.
And this is why I’m warming to Paul: because he stood up to the council.
Councils are notoriously stupid and often behave like they’re unaccountable because so few ratepayers care enough to watch what’s going on and often, they push mayors around rather than mayors controlling them.
Its’ nice to see a mayoral candidate prepared to square up to them.
Yes, this is trivial - it's about billboards -but if this is his attitude towards those b-graders in council now, then I’ve got hopes he’ll push them around a bit if he wins the mayoralty.
It might pay for mayoral candidates around the country to take a leaf out of his book.
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