As one of the largest Auckland and Wellington ratepayers (over $5m annually in Auckland and $6m in Wellington) common-sense says it would save everyone a lot of trouble if instead of bothering the public, I chose the mayor and councillors. But far from that, as a Lower Hutt resident I can’t vote in either city, thus causing massive inconvenience to everyone having to choose these office-holders instead of me.
However, out of interest, let us assume a more enlightened system in which I called the shots.
First the capital. The stand-out mayoral candidate is Ray Chung. But if over to me I confess I’d be sorely tempted to instead opt for Donald Newton McDonald and really put the city on the map.
Suitably long bearded, Donald’s platform includes “banning rude noises in cinemas,” “getting right with Jesus,” “anti-longevity for humans” and “zeta counter-series” and “super-nova collapses” which whether for or against whatever these are, Donald wasn’t quite clear, but either way would certainly liven life up in the capital promoting them.
But alas, it’s not over to me so in our staid public servant capital sadly Donald will be rejected. However, he can crack it in 3 years time by shifting to Invercargill where history says he’d be a shoo-in, for as we know they love this sort of stuff there from their mayor.
As for the Queen city there are two reasons to back Wayne Brown. First, because he’s a freak local government candidate in actually having accomplishments under his belt. His principal opponent on the other hand, is the classic Labour office-seeker, namely a non-descript non-achiever for which the democratic process offers a risk-free attention-obtaining satisfaction via public office.
An ancillary benefit in making Brown the mayor would be to thoroughly upset another risk-adverse non-achiever, namely Simon Wilson, a line-dancer if ever I saw one.
Simon’s hackles rise at the existence of anyone not subscribing to leftist mush. He recently made a screaming goose of himself slamming the Taxpayers Union after they endorsed Brown when he condemned the Union for failing to attack Brown over something which occurred in 2012. This wasn’t surprising given the Taxpayers Union didn’t exist then, but no matter to Simon.
Brown’s modest proposal to have Simon’s portrait affixed to urinals induced wrath from the Herald’s boss Shayne Currie. Plainly Shayne was angered by Wayne’s disappointing sexism, doubtless feeling the portraits would be more appropriately placed in the bottom of toilet bowls so Auckland’s ladies could also participate in peeing on Simon’s image.
Mentioning Shayne occurs to me what an outstanding mayor he would make. Years in the NZ Herald’s editor’s saddle before taking over running the company are about as ideal credentials as one could imagine to know one’s city.
Add to that his sporting prowess record, he being a hop, step and jump champion in his younger days. Even more impressive are his intellectual qualifications. Typical is his 800 page tome on Platonic Metaphysical Influences in early Marxist Theory, now widely accepted as a classic of the genre. On the artistic front I’m informed his published 3 volumes of sonnets are well-regarded in poetry circles.
A Currie mayoralty could introduce some much needed panache in creating a sort of royal court around the office. Shane could find an active Court role for Simon Wilson rather than his life-long sideline critic cop-out. Obviously Court Jester is out as like all lefties, humour and laughter are not part of his make-out. I’d suggest bang Simon in a ball-gown as a lady-in-waiting for mayoress Mrs Currie.
Finally, in multi-racial Auckland Shayne’s fascinating ethnic back-ground would go down a treat, including as it does, some Zulu, Nepalese and Montenegan ancestry.
There’s no doubt. A future Currie mayoralty would usher in a golden age for Auckland. A catchy campaign slogan could be MAKE AUCKLAND GREAT AGAIN, or MAGA for short.
Two things grabbed my attention here:
1. I would assume the value of your Auckland Holdings will be much greater than Wellington? yet your rate bill in Auckland is lower.
2. As a property owner in Wellington and Auckland you can vote in both and more.
Bob, I live in porirua but vote in both porirua and wellington local body elections due to having property in newlands.
I’m certain you could too…
Simon Wilson stickers (urine and vomit resistant) would be a good little earner and there are huge opportunities to extend the range. The mad trans Shaneel Lal comes to mind and helps with the diversity.
While I can’t claim to speak for Currie, I have no doubt he will be appalled by your characterisation of him here. Montenegrin, for sooth! His Herzégovine antecedents would roll in their graves in the same way a Kiwi being called Australian.
Sir Robert, are you really paying the rates if they’re the tenant’s responsibility?
From what I’ve been told down in Wellington landlords generally pay the rates, as tenants usually baulk at net leases, however here in Auckland they don’t seem to mind net leases (or at least landlords don’t let them sign gross leases). So I think it likely Sir Robert, being as sharp as you are in these matters, you would be covering little of the Auckland rates, being able to immediately bill them on at cost as per the lease agreement.
In Wellington, the gross lease rent seems it is set with these costs in mind, as the net yields are similar between Auckland and Wellington, so in real terms the tenants end up paying the OPEX there too. No doubt Robt. Jones Holdings will be very efficient in managing their own body corporates which gives them an additional edge and income in both markets. I wish I had this advantage. Having comparatively tiny amounts of capital I am stuck with the prospect of Unit Titles and with third party body corporates for the time being.
As for Mayor, we’ve had to adopt a strategy here in Auckland of voting for someone we don’t really believe in, in order to be against someone else. The lesser of two evils strategy, which philosophically is repugnant, but in practical terms is a necessity…
Thanks for endorsing Ray Chung. I’ve known Ray since 2019, and I agree Bob, he’s a great candidate. He’s doing really well this year, ranking fourth in mayoral polls (13% in one, 17% in another) despite a lot of his campaigning focused on the Onslow-Western Ward where he is also running for City Councillor. Ray works hard on his campaign. He has been doing a lot of door knocking and is a natural at talking to people. Good public speaker, very intelligent, and has some ethical values too, which not all candidates necessarily have.
It would be interesting to have your views on the Hutt City Mayoral hopefuls, as who you would put in here and why?