The Smart Way To Go

These are not my words, but I would like to pass on received wisdom:

Even if the Local Board has the right to make this decision to give Faye Storer the Chairmanship, it doesn’t make it the right decision.
The Local Government Act (s14-16) is very explicit on the obligations of councils and boards to take on board the community’s views.
Due to the recent general local body election (with a 65% participation rate – one of the highest in the country)  the community’s view couldn’t be more clear.
Denise to lead – with a more conservative group of board members as a check and balance.

More Results Analysis

Here are some more interesting figures extracted from the polling results. Warning I am not a statistician.

No One Won

Total Population 5979
Number who Voted 3857
percent voting 64.5%

64.5% of the population voting is commonly regarded as a success. The overall figure for Auckland 3 years ago was 37.3%, this time it is 50.54%. So while Auckland massively increased its turnout, Waiheke which always turns out well didn’t increase much. That remaining 35% of voters just don’t want to turn out. Great Barrier managed 74.2%

Take a look at the table of results more closely – let me add in the people who didn’t vote for anyone – who effectively voted for no-one

Candidate votes percent of vote percent of pop
Denise Roche 2200 57% 37%
No One 2122 55% 35%
Faye Storer 1816 47% 30%
Jo Holmes 1623 42% 27%
Don McKenzie 1357 35% 23%
Jim Hannan 1348 35% 23%
Andy Spence 1330 34% 22%
Herb Romaniuk 1214 31% 20%
Paul Waldon 1122 29% 19%
Marijke Ransom 1090 28% 18%
Dorte Wray 949 25% 16%
Colin Beardon 769 20% 13%
Ewen Sutherland 471 12% 8%
Allen Davies 411 11% 7%
Graham Hooper 331 9% 6%
Charissa Snijders 315 8% 5%
Millie Watkins 306 8% 5%
Victor Martick 163 4% 3%

As you can see ‘no one’ effectively came second. Only Denise has more votes than ‘no one’ Only Denise can claim to represent a majority of islanders. For everyone else sadly there are more people who would rather not vote for anyone than vote for you. A sobering thought – please get in touch with me if you want to be part of doing something about that.

Left or Right – Progressive or Business as Usual ?

Does the Local Board represent the island?    One way to look at is would be to compare the number of votes gained by the winners (8344) compared with those gained by the losers (8471).  A near even split but probably not significant as you would expect a fairly smooth log curve distribution across the population.

I don’t hold with the concept of left or right. I think it is outmoded and diminishes peoples choices. One can be socially inclusive while being fiscally responsible for example.   However during the campaign much was said about sustainability and community resilience and we might take a look at the results from that point of view.

The Business as Usual point of view says that the last few decades have been immensely successful with growth in many industries and increasing globalisation.  The way to plan for the future of Waiheke is to expect more of the same type of pressures. That might mean

  • More tourists and growing wine, olive industry
  • More traffic
  • Increasing population on the island
  • More suburban pressures

The Progressive or ‘times they are a changing’ point of view says that the next few decades will be completely unlike the last decades. Growing debt and financial crises, growing energy costs and oil depletion, climate change all could result in a dramatically different future.  These changes have been discussed extensively elsewhere but for Waiheke they might mean

  • Reduction in international tourism
  • Greatly increased fuel costs – more expensive car and ferry transport
  • Loss of credit for investment
  • Falling house and land values
  • Business failures and rising unemployment
  • Falling population as people can not afford to live on the island
  • More extreme weather events: storms, droughts etc.

So the question is what is the view of the island on these issues and is it reflected by the local board?

Candidate votes Progressive Business as usual Progressive
Denise Roche 2200 1 0 2200
Faye Storer 1816 0 1816 0
Jo Holmes 1623 0 1623 0
Don McKenzie 1357 1 0 1357
Jim Hannan 1348 0 1348 0
Andy Spence 1330 1 0 1330
Herb Romaniuk 1214 0 1214 0
Paul Waldon 1122 1 0 1122
Marijke Ransom 1090 1 0 1090
Dorte Wray 949 1 0 949
Colin Beardon 769 1 0 769
Ewen Sutherland 471 1 0 471
Allen Davies 411 0 411 0
Graham Hooper 331 1 0 331
Charissa Snijders 315 1 0 315
Millie Watkins 306 1 0 306
Victor Martick 163 0 163 0
Total Island 6575 10240
Total Board 4787 3557

The totals come out showing that the progressives got 10240 votes compared to the baus 6575 an approximate 60:40 split across the whole voting public.  However on the Local Board the buas have a majority.

Note I’ve graded the candidates according to my own interpretation of what they said in the campaign.  I’m happy to be corrected on this.

With 20:20 hindsight we can all come up with reasons why this might have come about. Nevertheless I would hope the new board bear these figures in mind when they consider their mandate.

And the results are…

A little late – as I’ve been away. So you probably already know, but anyway for completeness and shamelessly pulled from the excellent website.  The members of the new LB are: Denise, Faye, Jo, Don, and Jim.

Commiserations to Andy who came within 18 votes of making the board.

I wish to congratulate the winners and almost everyone else on a very engaged and open process.  Hat tip to the Gulf News for an interesting and revealing hustings where the groups sat down to work on some real world problems. Two Thumbs up to Waiheke Radio for all the coverage including the candidate interviews, website questions and best of all the opinionated islanders dream and scream teams – I’m looking forward to their Post Mortem next month

One thing we learn from the results is that for all its much vaunted engagement still 2 in every 5 people on the island didn’t bother to vote.  They really don’t care who is on the board.  Of those that did vote it seems that a well known name or face goes a long way.

Total Population 5979
Number who Voted 3857
percent voting 64.5%

Sadly no board members under 47. A Youth Council is called for I think.

Interesting that in between the preliminary results and the final count – i.e those voters who left things until the last day. Denise picked up an extra 200 votes while Faye picked up nearly 300, Everyone gained somewhat but it didn’t change the final result.

And in other news…

Len Brown wins the Mayorality – to few peoples surprise.

And Mike Lee takes the Waitemata Ward as our Councillor.

As you can see from the graphs Mike had the biggest margin of anyone and Alex should have known better than to propose reticulation for Waiheke.  In fact I note that he backpeddled on that in a letter to the Marketplace in the last week – but I doubt anyone believed him.

Thumbs down to the Marketplace newspaper for proclaiming ‘independence’ while burying 5 of the candidate profiles in the middle of the property pages.

Thumbs down to Herb for suggesting he should have the chance to review letters to the paper before they were published, for not answering any questions online, not turning up at hustings and saying ‘its tough’ to anyone who didn’t like his way of working on the board.

Here is hoping that the board will work well together and for the interests of ALL islanders not just the interest groups that supported them.  Here is hoping that Jim will not find he has a conflict of interest between representing the island and working for Fullers – especially as they raise prices excessively again.

What they promised:

Based on notes I took in meetings and published statements here are some of the things the winners promised.  Check back here next year to see how they delivered.

Denise Roche

  • I want to see more of that local talent harvested and used in  local decision making. I want much more local scrutiny of the spending of our rates and to build a local authority admired for its wise stewardship of ratepayer resources.
  • I will seek a review of policy so we are sure the guiding principles and rules of our planning reflect what we want and do. For example I do not want to see local businesses unable to erect a modest sign while the city plasters the island with motorway style signs.
  • I will get the skate park finished while skating is still popular with our youth!
  • I want to see more public space opened up for public enjoyment so that our reserves and green spaces become even more of an attraction for visitors who contribute to our local economy.
  • I want our reserves to officially join the private land at Te Matuku and the Forest and Bird reserves on the island that have been included in the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park.
  • I want Waiheke to become accepted as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
  • I want Waiheke to successfully bid for National Cycleway funding.

Faye Storer

  • We need to ensure that the rates remain reasonable and affordable.
  • The Waiheke Walkway Network is now well established and needs on-going maintenance and expansion in the long term.
  • I’m a strong advocate for the environment and a sustainable future.
  • much land still needs weed control and re-afforesting
  • more jobs on the island.
  • clean water

Jo Holmes

  • As much local governance and delegated power and control of our own affairs as possible
  • Any measures that threaten to make it harder for commuters, tourists, islanders or businesses to have access to the city via the Matiatia transport hub should be vigorously opposed
  • I will support measures that make it easier for businesses to grow and create employment opportunities
  • improve local amenities, particularly for the young and old.
  • foster sustainable practices that protect our unique environment.

Don McKensie

  • The new Board will need to caucus, unite and to put money into systems and processes that connect all strands of the community to the Board and its delegated powers.
  • The strength of the waiheke lobby will rest with informed bottom-up planning and priority setting.
  • we need local alliances and fresh constructive thinking.
  • we need to grow employment and business opportunities, consistent with the Island’s environment and culture
  • preserve the unique character of the island

Jim Hannen

  • Jobs, Jobs, Jobs and Jobs
  • Will work to get whole Waiheke represented – engage the silent majority.
  • And a swimming pool and squash courts