Why bother with an election?

Sunday 4 August 2013, 9:25PM
By Malcolm Aitken


Labours' candidates for the upcoming Wellington City Council election are asking the Chief Executive, Dr Kevin Lavery, why the need for an election in light of his pre-election report released on Friday.

“This document reads like a party political manifesto.  It’s the elected representatives who lead on policy and strategy; the council officers are there to implement it. You wouldn’t believe it reading this report,” Lambton Ward candidate, Mark Peck, says.

“We won't be led by unelected officials. We'll be led by the people because that's how a proper functioning democracy works," says Mr Peck.

"The council’s own figures show that only 31 per cent of residents agree that decisions are made in the best interests of the city, 50 per cent  of residents feel that council services are value for money, and only 26 per cent of residents understand how council makes its decisions,"  Onslow-Western Ward candidate, Malcolm Aitken, says.

“We’re talking to lots of seriously dissatisfied Wellingtonians.  A number have told me they’re unhappy with the role council officers are playing in the decision-making process   ̶   the level of influence they have. 

“People are sick and tired of parking rules being exploited to maximise revenue for contracting companies. They are sick of the threat of libraries being closed. They are sick of businesses being disadvantaged by poor, ad-hoc street work and ‘upgrades’. In short they are sick and tired of being ignored,” Mr Aitken says.

“Wellingtonians want jobs and economic growth; and they want social infrastructure and services. They want something done about anti-social behaviour and graffiti stamped out and they want better thought out policies to assist people really struggling and to help people begging on the streets get the support they need,” Mr Peck says.

The Labour candidates say council elections are the one occasion every three years when a number of ideas can be presented to voters by candidates so that people can make an informed choice about  the direction they want for their city.

“The Mayor and council on behalf of the people determine the priorities and work programme. Then it is up to Dr Lavery and the officers to carry this out – not the other way around," Mr Aitken says.


You can view the pre-election report below:

Mark Peck – mobile 027 446 1650
Malcolm Aitken – mobile 027 625 2835