Questions from Finn Stallmann about where my opinions fit in line with his 29th September 2019
—- Firstly, I think it is important that we take steps to mitigate and adapt to climate change. It is a given that every candidate will do something about this, so please tell me what makes you different from the others?
I believes goals need to be set and rules when it comes to construction to be set, like no new building built below 6m from sea level as a example. I would love to also make all our Wellington Buses to be electric, and I am disappointed that the previous council had the audacity to pull down the perfectly working trolley bus network in the name of the technology is obsolete even tho it is to today the most reliable form of electric public transport in the world. I also believe we need to do a long term plan on sea level rise and what areas are we prepared to save and what areas are we going to leave to nature because we can not save everything. I also have the policy to have 4400 home and 100 farm to be converted into onsite renewable energy generation through a targeted rate scheme ever year for 10 years, to combat our carbon emissions, reduce household power bills and give the national grid more capacity for generation as we at the moment would not have the ability to adjust to electric cars like we put instant coffee into water at this present point.
—- Secondly, I think it is important that councils spend their money on ‘the essentials’, not vanity projects like convention centers, film museums, and arenas; and certainly not frivolities like rainbow pedestrian crossings or Kate Sheppard pedestrian lights. I think that if private businesses want something (like an airport runway extension), they should pay for it themselves.
I do believe councils need to stick to basics, but we also need to diversify our revenue, as some who thinks the rates system is broken when it comes to revenue generation for council. One capital asset I would be keen to buy back, is Wellington electricity. With the talks of Kate Sheppard traffic light casings, I am not sure but I believe the cost isn’t any difference to have Kate Sheppard to be in the frame instead of the green man, since maintenance of traffic lights are part of the council main operating budget of a service from the council and if the cost of the lenses are the same with normal ones, then its really just a different pattern for the same thing, and tourist like taking pictures of them, since they are unique to Wellington. I do agree convention centers are vanity project but another thing worth considering is since we ratepayers own the stadium, is to look at the cost of making it a covered stadium or one with a retractable roof, it has worked with Dunedin and with our great public transport system (well access to the stadium is accessible) we should at least look into it
—- Thirdly, I wholeheartedly agree with the need to ‘get Wellington moving’, both the buses and the cars. I am not sure what the best way to get it moving is, but I think the congestion on the ‘Golden Mile’ and on State Highway One is horrendous. I think it is most unfortunate that the Basin Reserve flyover was stymied by NIMBYism.
Agree with getting Wellington moving, I would support making the golden mile fully pedestrian and public transport only during daylight hours and would say on Friday and Saturday to do the same along Courtenay Place on Friday and Saturday Nights. I also have a policy of free weekend public transport between zone 1 and zone 3 to encourage users to ditch the car for the bus on weekends as that is where I see a lot of traffic congestion just sits at a standstill compared to the week where at least road users prepare for lanes, and the bus lanes are open. I also want to with with WCC to have more bus lanes and time they operate like Adelaide Road, needs to be more than 2 hours a day, and for a new bus lane along Rongotai Road, to make the bus quicker than the car. When it comes to a second MT Vic Tunnel, I have the opinion of I am not against it but I don’t think to the gold plated solution some people think it is and I believe that 4 laning from Wellington Road to the Basin will result in 2 additional sets of traffic lights which will be the first thing to reduce any time saving and it could have a increase risk of nose to tails accidents if the next section is not done right, this would be the basin. As a person who believes in solutions base approach, I would want to work all community groups to make sure we get the right solution, personally i believe a cut and cover style will be the option, will be the solution for traffic but this has to be a community solution not a force through at all costs to the supreme court approach.
—- Fourthly, on that point, I am most unhappy about the ‘bustrastrophe’. You all (or almost all) say you will do something to fix it, but what makes you different? My daily trip from Hataitai to the railway station was severely affected by it. I have grown thoroughly sick of seeing full buses drive past the overflowing bus stop. Although things have certainly improved since this began, they are still far from perfect. If the express bus drivers did not have the decency to stop in Hataitai, things would be a lot worse. As for the real-time information network, it was never accurate in the first place; it would be nice if it were. Of course, I recognise that that is primarily the responsibility of the Regional Council, but I would like the candidates for both councils to address this point. After all, the two Councils need to work together.
For bus routes during non peak time would be go to my wesbite http://www.samsomers4gwrc.co.nz/busplan.html to check out the routes go and solutions used to spread the bus loads rather than funneling them into overloaded high frequency routes. For having collaboration between the 2 councils, I want to set up a joint committee and transferring the control of the bus routes in WCC boundaries to this committee so we have Wellingtonions making the decision about routes and bus lanes, not 8 councilors not represented by wellington vetoing the will of the Wellington People. I would also result a return to a similar number 5 service for the 35 for morning and evening peak to help add local capacity to the route to take the load of the 2
—- Fifthly, I would like to see the Central Library strengthened and reopened as soon as possible (and definitely not abandoned). I recognize that this is a matter for the City Council.
I do support it but am standing for GW so no control over the library
—- Sixthly, I think there is a need for greater transparency in local government, especially when it comes to the Regional Council. Every councillor’s vote should be a matter of public record.
I support for voting records to be published and for all council meetings including committee to be live stream to the public similar to parliament tv so you can see how councilors have formed their decisions and what sort of debate did they have
—- Seventhly, I am opposed to Maori having special representation on councils, especially if it is unelected and with voting rights. I would therefore like to know whether or not you would support such representation.
I am not opposed to Maori representation on the council but I would rather they have to get a seat like every other candidate through voting from the general population. If we did look at a Maori Seat, I would support it to be a district wide seat called the maori seat and have it elected by every voter not just those on the maori roll. This will ensure that thoses who aren’t on the Maori Roll can vote for them and for those on the Maori Roll can vote for their local ward councilors aswell. I believe this would be the fairest method to keep all sides happy
—- Eighthly, I am a fan of direct democracy. I think people would take a greater interest in local politics if they knew they actually had some decision-making power (other than a vote every three years).
I agree with you here and would support yearly referendums. My concern here is like with Brexit, a lot of misinformation could end up out there, like a good example, the anti-light rail people would regularly refer to light rail being $500 million per km, (which is the cost of building light rail tunnels system) as an above ground structure level road system, when in fact that cost is much closer to $10 million per km. These are the sort of problems that can arise from asking the public to tick off everything but I believe if we have an informed democracy fact will rise over fiction.
—- Ninthly, trying to reach a rational decision about what order in which to rank the candidates (given the sheer number of candidates, the wide variety of issues, and the lack of information and reporting) is no easy task. An acquaintance of mine just filled in the numbers randomly and left it to fate. How would you improve engagement with local elections?
Attend the many meet the candidates meetings, that I have already attended at this election. One thing I would like to see is to have QR codes for candidates websites so you can go to their website as you are going through your candidates brochures this is one key thing to improving things. I am not sure what other methods as their are heaps to inform users, like the spin off information tool https://policylocal.thespinoff.co.nz/ which is the best one out there for this election.
—- Tenthly, I am concerned about the rapidly rising cost of housing.
I am concerned aswell, and i believe the rates system as it is, is part of the problem, I believe the easiest way, if for central government to increase the number of income related rentals, this will immediately take the heat of the market as it will remove those on the bottom tear being topped up by WINZ in supplement from applying bringing the whole price downwards rather than on the constant increase.
—- Eleventhly, I would be strongly opposed to any draconian proposal (à la Gareth Morgan) to restrict ‘ownership’ of cats. I know that none of you are proposing to do this, but I would be interested in what position you would take if this became an issue again.
I am neutral on this as I believe having pets should be a right but also the numbers should be looked at and you should have to prove you are competent in looking after them
—- In light of those priorities, why do you think I should give my first preference to you instead of your opponents?
I am a candidate who is will to learn and listen to people to learn more information about the key issues, but I am not going to let Sir Humphry Appleby take me for a ride, in giving me steered advice in a certain direction. I will ask questions to people and for every objection I would be prepared to challenge those people on what would they consider an alternative solution for the problem. Something that drives me the wrong way is where the person goes I don’t like it, but its your job to guess a new solution, this isn’t helpful to the problem, nor is showing that the objector is will to engage on a better solution to suite everyones needs.
—- Please feel free to add any other reason why you think I should vote for you. I would be particularly interested in hearing about why I should think you will be competent (that is, actually to put your policies into place).
I am a candidate who has had both experience as a employee and being the boss, who has experience in accounts so I can read financial statements, and think first, can my policies be implemented without asking for an external source (central government) being asked to stump up the cash. My renewal energy policy is based on self funding, not asking the government to help in the policy framework but I am open to them coming to the party if elected. I am also about long term planning and its about getting on with it rather than rehashing things every 3 years. I also want to work on solution finding/problem solving rather than constant talk about the problems and not showing progress to a solution, when it comes to council matters.