Hamilton mayoral election 2019 answers

Organise Aotearoa is surveying everyone standing in the 2019 Hamilton City Council and Waikato Regional Council elections.

We are ranking all candidates on their commitment to social justice, eliminating poverty, Tiriti o Waitangi, climate change action, public transport, reducing police harassment, good science, and social housing.

We have ranked the Hamilton mayoral candidates with the best candidates at the top:

Mike West is also standing for mayor but we have been unable to contact them so far.

Arguably your votes for councillors are more important than the mayoral vote. We will be announcing the full results of our survey of all council candidates in early September. Please sign up to our Waikato supporters email list to be notified when the results and analysis are released.

The verbatim answers from mayoral candidates are below, with questions and comments from Organise Aotearoa in italics.

 
 
 
 

Louise Hutt

Read Louise Hutt's responses

Louise Hutt

Do you support water fluoridation in Hamilton?

Yes. I support the World Health Organisation position that water fluoridation is a public good and support its use in Hamilton. 

Do you support Hamilton City Council elections changing to a single transferable vote (STV) system?

Yes. I support Hamilton City Council elections changing to Single Transferable Vote (STV), in order to use a fairer system for understanding our votes and creating a better democracy.

This year a Hamilton City Councillor caused great offence to the autistic community and severely damaged public health efforts by promoting a widely discredited theory about vaccines causing autism. 

Do you think vaccines cause autism?

No. I support the scientific consensus that vaccines do not cause autism, and would like to acknowledge the hurt that this misinformation causes our autistic community.

The official 2019 New Zealand Living Wage is $21.15. Do you support the Living Wage being implemented for all those employed by Hamilton City Council? Do you support the Hamilton City Council procurement policies being changed to ensure that all contracted workers who are delivering a regular and ongoing service, such as bus drivers and cleaners, are paid a living wage?

Yes. I support the Living Wage being implemented for all employed by Hamilton City Council, and yes, I support Hamilton City Council procurement policies being changed to ensure all contracted workers are paid a living wage.

There have been calls to rename three Hamilton streets because of the people they have been named after – Grey Street, Bryce Street, Von Tempsky Street. What are your views on the call to change these street names? Would you invite mana whenua to propose new names for these three Hamilton streets? 

Yes. I believe it is Hamilton City Council’s responsibility to rename Hamilton streets named after violent colonisers, and I would invite mana whenua to propose new names for those streets. 

What are Hamilton City Council’s obligations under Tiriti o Waitangi? Do you believe those obligations are being met?

New Zealand legislation should be created and implemented with guidance from Te Tiriti o Waitangi. As stated, it should ensure that we encourage the protection, participation and partnership of Māori. When we are living with violent colonisers as street names and not prioritising Māori wellbeing, we are not meeting our Tiriti obligations. Council has an obligation to progress and strengthen the representation of mana whenua at the table.

Do you support Hamilton City Council having Maaori ward(s)?

Yes. I support Hamilton City Council having Māori wards.

The Hamilton City Prostitution Bylaw 2009 is currently being reviewed. The “Soliciting of Commercial Sexual Services” section of this bylaw bans sex workers from working in all public spaces of Hamilton. Will you vote to overturn the Soliciting of Commercial Sexual Services section of the bylaw?

Yes. I support overturning the Soliciting of Commercial Sexual Services section of the bylaw.

Climate change will bring large numbers of new residents to Hamilton and require the city to substantially reduce reliance on fossil fuels. It’s clear that Hamilton’s current public transport system isn’t up to the task. When was the last time you used public transport? 

I last used public transport yesterday (caught the Western Nightrider from the CBD to my home in Frankton), and also the week before (to get from the University of Waikato campus to my work in Frankton).

What would make public transport an attractive option for you? 

Public transport is already an attractive option for me as I genuinely care about my part in climate action and on a pragmatic level because I don’t own a car. For others, making it a more reliable, affordable and easy to use would encourage more people to use it and we also need to ensure that we are working with unions to transition to a sustainable and future-focused public transport infrastructure and service delivery.

Do you have a plan to transform our transport system and move Hamilton residents away from car ownership?

Yes. I have a plan to transform our transport system and move Hamilton residents away from car ownership. We need to promote alternative modes of transport, other than cars, which would help reduce our road fatalities, actively reduce our carbon emissions and increases our wellbeing. We can do this by improving our cycling infrastructure (putting in barriers to make on-road cycleways safer, ensuring separated cycleways are put in when building new roads or bridges, and reviewing our most highly-used intersections and traffic paths to make sure key routes around the city have safe options for cyclists and other users) – which in turn makes both cycling and e-scootering safer, and makes it safer for footpath users. We also need to make sure that our bus system is reliable, affordable, and easy to use – so people can feel confident that they can get to where they need to, when they need to, without relying on cars. 

School Strike 4 Climate New Zealand have been making the following demands:
– Declare a climate emergency.
– Make a legally enforceable plan to get to zero carbon by 2040.
– Invest in building a renewable and regenerative economy now.
Where do you stand on these demands?

I support the demands the School Strike 4 Climate demands. We need to listen to our youth and show them that we accept the urgency of climate change and that we take their future (our future) seriously.

What other strategies and plans do you have for the city to combat climate change?

I have three strategies ready for climate action. 

The first step would be to sign the Local Government New Zealand climate action declaration which holds us accountable for taking climate action and shows our ongoing intentions to act. 

The second is to create a climate action plan with input from climate experts, environmental planners and mana whenua covering two specific areas – transitioning to a zero-carbon city (reducing the current emissions from Hamilton City Council as an organisation and supporting the wider city to do so too) and then future-proofing our existing infrastructure (to withstand the changes which are already occurring due to climate change and reviewing the criteria for all future infrastructure we build). 

The third is to ensure that climate action is adequately budgeted for, and investigate how we can offset any costs which might fall to our most vulnerable, with other forms of council income.

A few years ago the council discussed not being able to continue to provide its current stock of social housing citing they’re being unfit for use and a lack of funds to upgrade them. Three blocks were then sold with the funds received intended to provide for continuing ownership of the remaining stock. In 2014 legislation changes made the councils ineligible for the Income Related Rent Subsidy for social housing. Hamilton City Council took this as an impetus to vote to sell their remaining 366 units, despite most councils across Aotearoa findings ways to continue to provide some social housing. In 2014 the cost for land and construction of 366 units in Hamilton was estimated at around $60million, but HCC sold the 366 homes for $19.5 million. The low level of social housing in Hamilton has contributed to our high rate of homelessness, food insecurity, and poverty-related illnesses.

Would you vote to fund more social housing, even if it meant raising rates?

Yes. We have a responsibility to improve the wellbeing of everyone in Hamilton and to invest in our city by building an asset base that is best practice for sustainable development. Social housing means people can have long-term tenancies and ensures high-quality housing. It would also kickstart development in higher density, residential parts of the city – we’re going to grow by 20,000 people in the next ten years, so our need for housing isn’t going away anytime soon. 

Social housing also fulfils our responsibilities to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (which we’re trying to achieve by 2030!). Goal 11 states ensuring access for all to adequate, safe and affordable housing as a priority (and New Zealand signed up to these goals in 2015). 

We need to make sure we’re being efficient and effective with what we do about it and make sure whatever we do, we can still provide our other services and infrastructure. I would prefer to not raise rates further than what is agreed in our 10 Year Plan, as that can also hurt our most vulnerable, but I strongly believe this is something we should be investigating and actively finding solutions for – so that we can be confident we’re working on such a significant issue for our city.

The Council’s “Your Help may Harm” campaign stigmatises people by conflating homelessness, begging and drug addiction. The campaign is not based on solid research, and it promotes the myth that people begging in Hamilton don’t buy food. Vague wording in the Safety in Public Places Bylaw leaves vulnerable people open to being arrested and fined $20,000 for sleeping in public or asking people for money. City Safe has just received $230,000 in funding, which will lead to the police being called on the city’s most vulnerable people more often.

What will you do to reduce the stigmatisation of the poorest members of our community? What will you do to help end poverty and homelessness in Hamilton?

I support the removal of the “your harm may help” messaging from any future Hamilton City Council initiatives, a review of the Safety in Public Places Bylaw, and support Hamilton City Council to focus on addressing the root causes of “anti-social” behaviour and homelessness – poverty, housing insecurity, mental illness (and addiction), isolation, and colonisation – and work with organisations who can empower and support the dignity of our homeless, rather than doing the opposite.

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Paula Southgate

Read Paula Southgate's responses
Paula SouthgateDo you support water fluoridation in Hamilton?

Fluoridation of water is an issue for the Ministry of Health and ERMA (Environmental Risk Agency). It is costly and divisive for the issue to be decided every few years at a local level. I am happy that my teeth and my children’s are excellent and we did have fluoride, but I think there should be a bit more opportunity for those who choose not to access fluoride free water.

Do you support Hamilton City Council elections changing to a single transferable vote (STV) system?

Yes

This year a Hamilton City Councillor caused great offence to the autistic community, and severely damaged public health efforts by promoting a widely discredited theory about vaccines causing autism. 

Do you think vaccines cause autism?

I have seen no evidence of  vaccines causing this. And again this should be determined by experts at a National Level. Having said that I am thankful for opportunity to be vaccinated against significant illnesses and did have a flu jab this Winter.

Do you support the Living Wage being implemented for all those employed by Hamilton City Council? Do you support the Hamilton City Council procurement policies being changed to ensure that all contracted workers who are delivering a regular and ongoing service, such as bus drivers and cleaners, are paid a living wage?

Yes we should be moving to a living wage for both staff and contractors.

There have been calls to rename three Hamilton streets because of the people they have been named after:

Grey Street. Grey talked peace with Maaori while secretly preparing for war. He led the invasions against the Waikato, Taranaki, and Tauranga people and is directly responsible for the confiscation of 3 million acres of Maaori land in the North Island. He acquired over 30 million acres of Te Waipounamu claiming this whenua as ‘waste lands.’ Dr Ranginui Walker described Grey as the ‘Hitman of Colonisation’. 

Bryce Street. Maaori called him Bryce Kohuru (murderer) for his role in leading an attack against Maaori children, killing two and wounding many others. In 1879 he passed legislation enabling the imprisonment of Maaori without trial. In 1881 he led the invasion of Parihaka and imprisoned Te Whiti, Tohu, and other Maaori men for two years without trial. Bryce was the public face of racist policy towards Maaori. 

Von Tempsky Street. At Rangiaowhia Von Tempsky set fire to a house containing elderly, women, and children. Von Tempsky recalled that as fire engulfed the whare one elderly man came out with his hands raised in a gesture of surrender. Despite calls to spare him the man was immediately shot and killed. None of the other occupants of the hut dared come out following this incident. All, including a young boy, were incinerated.

What are you views on the call to change these street names? Would you invite mana whenua to propose new names for these three Hamilton streets? 

I support investigation into the changing of highly offensive place names, and the design of an appropriate process to address this.. I also consider that ALL place names going forward should be culturally sensitive.

What are Hamilton City Council’s obligations under Tiriti o Waitangi? 

Do you believe those obligations are being met?

To do this justice would take  way more than a few lines. I understand the Treaty and have undertaken Treaty training a number of times during my time at the Regional Council. I also studied Te Reo and Tikanga at the University of Waikato. Many Councils across the country could do much better in both understanding and giving effect to the Treaty. At HCC we should work with our Maangai Maori and through our relationships with iwi and maata waka to determine how this can be improved. If I am successfully elected Mayor I’d ensure all councillors received appropriate cultural training and that tikanga and Te Reo are used more widely in our processes and documents. I worked with CE Vaughan Payne to achieve that at the Waikato Regional Council. I invite voters to consider my experience in treaty negotiations, co-governance for water (Healthy Rivers; Wai Ora) and my use of Tikanga and Te Reo over my 18 years of Local Government in deciding if I could be effective in leading change in this area.

Do you support Hamilton City Council having Maaori ward(s)?

I played a key role in the establishing of Maori Wards at Regional Council. However, each Council will have different needs and solutions. The need for wards would be a matter for discussion and negotiation with Iwi. And as a strong believer for proper consultation and public participation  a full process would be required, that reaches all appropriate stakeholders. 

Will you vote to overturn the Soliciting of Commercial Sexual Services section of the bylaw?

The sex industry can be very exploitive and harmful, but I consider that all  people need to be protected from harm. I am not yet sure what serves the best interest of prostitutes and also the wider public and would need more evidence and discussion.

When was the last time you used public transport? What would make public transport an attractive option for you? Do you have a plan to transform our transport system and move Hamilton residents away from car ownership?

I last used buses around a month ago, and I recently used an Intercity Bus to go to Auckland. In the summer I trialed an electric bike, but at this stage I do not have enough money to buy one. On the weekends and whenever I can, I walk to where I am going. I support the walking and  cycling initiatives in the Access Hamilton Plan. Prior to this term I sat on the public transport committee for 9 years. Yes, we must move to less reliance on the private vehicle, through sound urban design that limits the need for car journeys, and a reliable and frequent bus service. I consider making cycling a safer way to commute will also help. For me, making multi-modal journeys easier (park/ride/walk or bus/cycle) would be attractive. I’d cycle more if I had the spare money for a ebike, I’d get one and use it.

School Strike 4 Climate New Zealand have been making the following demands:

– Declare a climate emergency.

– Make a legally enforceable plan to get to zero carbon by 2040.

– Invest in building a renewable and regenerative economy now.

Where do you stand on these demands?

What other strategies and plans do you have for the city to combat climate change?

The demand for a climate emergency is a plea for urgency in tackling climate issues. I consider that the focus of HCC should be  doing all it can within the scope of its business to mitigate the effects of climate. I have written a blog on this matter on my website  https://www.paulasouthgate.co.nz/blog/post/41006/Addressing-the-Climate-Challenge/  and I invite readers to consider my ideas for progress. I also have sat on the Policy Advisory Group of Local Government New Zealand and have contributed to the LGNZ discussion documents and project  https://www.lgnz.co.nz/climate-change-project/ Our public are concerned and we need to listen and respond. 

Would you vote to fund more social housing, even if it meant raising rates?

Council has a role to ensure that the needs of the community for housing of all types can be provided. We can do this through appropriate planning incentives. We need to work alongside developers and social housing providers to implement plans. Council cannot achieve outcomes on its own. I was not on Council when social housing was sold and do not know the full details, but would have voted against this. I do consider the well-being of Hamilton relies on having affordable accommodation for all people. That is why I supported the investigation into social housing models on leasehold land (that Council may own). I support high density developments  in the right areas of the city. There maybe other ways of incentivising low cost homes through remissions on development. the YMCA is to build another hostel and such developments should be fast tracked and assisted in anyway possible. My concern is that at present most new homes built will not address affordability without further incentives. I don’t support further rates increases at this time, but more a review of spending priorities.

What will you do to reduce the stigmatisation of the poorest members of our community? 

What will you do to help end poverty and homelessness in Hamilton? 

Poverty is a complex problem. Council must play a part in addressing that but cannot on its own fix the issue. We must keep rates under control because rates increases are hard on those with a lower income or fixed income. We must make more progress with affordable housing as I suggested in the above question. We must support social services to provide key services that assist our most vulnerable people. This includes the People’s Project. Council is not a social services agency not a mental health agency but we can, and must, lend  support to good community projects that empower and support people to rise up out of poverty. That is why I was pleased to successfully achieve $100,000 extra pa for community grants. I support the foodbanks, Kaivolution, The Serve, Kaute Pacifica and many other organisations that help feed families and assist them with work or education.

Thank you for the questions and taking an interest in city affairs. I appreciate it. I would like to have supplied more information/detail but I have no further time in the busy period. 

One final note: Council is there to represent and consider the views of our wide range of stakeholder and the public in general. I have at times been frustrated with the lack of robust debate at Council “workshops” which are termed updates. I have been disappointed at times with the way community representatives have been treated during their presentations. If we are to make progress in any of the complex areas above we need to engage with, and partner with the community better, we need more time to digest and discuss key issues. That is the type on inclusive and respectful Council I would like to create.

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Andrew King

Read Andrew King's responses
Andrew KingDo you support water fluoridation in Hamilton? 

Yes

Do you support Hamilton City Council elections changing to a single transferable vote (STV) system? 

No

This year a Hamilton City Councillor caused great offence to the autistic community, and severely damaged public health efforts by promoting a widely discredited theory about vaccines causing autism. 

Do you think vaccines cause autism?

No

The official 2019 New Zealand Living Wage is $21.15.

Do you support the Living Wage being implemented for all those employed by Hamilton City Council? 

My views are that everyone needs a decent wage. I support $20 at least per hour. I haven’t supported the living wage as it has become heavily politicised and no one has provided me with clarity on how it is calculated.

[Comment from OA: There is a report on how the living wage is calculated here .]

Do you support the Hamilton City Council procurement policies being changed to ensure that all contracted workers who are delivering a regular and ongoing service, such as bus drivers and cleaners, are paid a living wage? 

I did move the motion which was passed to increase all our external cleaners to a minimum of $20 an hour when we recently approved a new cleaning contract.

What are you views on the call to change these street names? 

I have asked for a report through a resolution of Council to come back on offensive names in Hamilton connected with HCC controlled property ie: parks, street names, statues etc. I understand this work is being overseen by Waikato Tainui.

Would you invite mana whenua to propose new names for these three Hamilton streets? 

I will consider the report when it comes back but I have led this initiative to date.

What are Hamilton City Council’s obligations under Tiriti o Waitangi? 

Partnership

Do you believe those obligations are being met? 

I have led the initiative to have iwi sitting on all our committees with debate and voting rights. Central Govt legislation prohibits non elected members from sitting on full council.

Do you support Hamilton City Council having Maaori ward(s)? 

No selection of iwi voices at the table is more powerful than elected as they are bringing the true perspective of the Tribe to the table not their own agendas.

The Hamilton City Prostitution Bylaw 2009 is currently being reviewed. The “Soliciting of Commercial Sexual Services” section of this bylaw bans sex workers from working in all public spaces of Hamilton. This section of the bylaw:

– makes independent sex workers less safe, as it creates a situation where workers are less likely to report violence to police, as the workers can be prosecuted and fined $20,000.

 forces sex workers to rely on brothel owners and pimps.

 contradicts the Prostitution Reform Act, and in doing so exposes the city to expensive legal battles.

 stigmatises sex workers.

Will you vote to overturn the Soliciting of Commercial Sexual Services section of the bylaw?

Unlikely. I will have an open mind in debate when this comes before council. We have bylaws that prohibit people selling in public places. This is also a business where a service is being sold.

Climate change will bring large numbers of new residents to Hamilton and require the city to substantially reduce reliance on fossil fuels. It’s clear that Hamilton’s current public transport system isn’t up to the task. 

When was the last time you used public transport?

Last week, I caught a bus from the Wellington airport into the CBD when on council business.

What would make public transport an attractive option for you? 

Free buses

Do you have a plan to transform our transport system and move Hamilton residents away from car ownership? 

Yes I am actively working towards free buses for all in Hamilton having started this month with free buses for all those with disabilities and for 18 and under on the weekend and on public holidays.

School Strike 4 Climate New Zealand have been making the following demands:

 Declare a climate emergency.

 Make a legally enforceable plan to get to zero carbon by 2040.

 Invest in building a renewable and regenerative economy now.

Where do you stand on these demands?

I’m about action not words and this council is actively working towards better environmental outcomes. That includes free buses to get cars off the road, introduces a new rubbish service by this time next year which separates all food waste from general rubbish for making into compost. This is the main cause of methane gas in our land fills. Promoting e-bikes, e-scooters, doubling our footpath repair an budget, a cat de-sexing fund as cats kill our native wildlife, introducing LED street lights which reduce our power usage by 80%, embracing Kaitiakitanga.

What other strategies and plans do you have for the city to combat climate change? 

I would like a carbon report on where Hamilton stands to put a line in the sand to use in future decision making.

Would you vote to fund more social housing, even if it meant raising rates? 

Yes I have led with Cr MacPherson, setting up a Lands Trust that will lease land for housing at a nominal rate so working families can break the cycle of renting and own their own home.

The Council’s “Your Help may Harm” campaign stigmatises people by conflating homelessness, begging and drug addiction. The campaign is not based on solid research, and it promotes the myth that people begging in Hamilton don’t buy food.

Vague wording in the Safety in Public Places Bylaw leaves vulnerable people open to being arrested and fined $20,000 for sleeping in public or asking people for money.

City Safe have just received $230,000 in funding, which will lead to the police being called on the city’s most vulnerable people more often.

What will you do to reduce the stigmatisation of the poorest members of our community? 

I support the Wise’s Group who work with our homeless and vulnerable and have seen great results coming from this.

What will you do to help end poverty and homelessness in Hamilton? 

I believe it starts with housing our vulnerable and that every member of society should have a place they call Home. From here social agencies can pick up and use wrap around services to support and increase their well being. But it all starts with them having a home.

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Angela O’Leary

Read Angela O'Leary's responses
Angela O'LearyDo you support water fluoridation in Hamilton?

Yes, and I support the outcome of the HCC public referendum.
[Note from OA: O’Leary was one of the councillors who voted to remove fluoride from Hamilton’s water in 2013.]

 Do you support Hamilton City Council elections changing to a single transferable vote (STV) system?

 Yes, this is my personal view.  I believe STV will deliver a more diverse and truer representative Council than it’s alternative – First Past the Post. 

 I’ve looked at Councils around New Zealand who use this system, and with the exception of Palmerston North, all Councils on STV have increased their voter turnout over the past three elections. 

 On the other hand, Hamilton’s voter turnout has been steadily declining for a decade and over our past three years, we’ve lost almost 5% of voters.  This will be one of the decisions the new Council will start looking at in 2020. 

  This year a Hamilton City Councillor caused great offence to the autistic community, and severely damaged public health efforts by promoting a widely discredited theory about vaccines causing autism. 

Do you think vaccines cause autism?

 I do not.  I am not a medical expert; this is my personal view.

 The official 2019 New Zealand Living Wage is $21.15.

Do you support the Living Wage being implemented for all those employed by Hamilton City Council?

 I support the Council Minimum Wage that was implemented in 2018. 

 At the time, the minimum wage set by the Government was $20.00.  [Note from OA: The minimum wage was 16.50 in 2018.] The Council Minimum Wage is to move the minimum wage of Hamilton City Council employees to $20.00 over a four year period by 2021. 

 I think this will need some adjustment at the next 10 Year Plan to keep it in line with the cost of living and inflation. 

[Note from OA: The living wage is adjusted every year to align the cost of living. Adjusting it every ten years will push council workers below the poverty line.]

  Do you support the Hamilton City Council procurement policies being changed to ensure that all contracted workers who are delivering a regular and ongoing service, such as bus drivers and cleaners, are paid a living wage?

 While Council recently supported a move to do this with external cleaners contracted to Council, and I supported that, we haven’t yet had the wider discussion on the financial impacts of attributing this to all contracted workers. 

[Note from OA: Two weeks after answering this question, O’Leary voted against paying council security guards a living wage.]

 It’s important to support Council staff first, but I am keen to have a look at this in the future. 

 What are you views on the call to change these street names?

 This is an interesting issue.  It’s not only names like what is listed above that have caused offence to parts of our community, but also the generalisation and use of Maaori names for streets when there is no connection to either people or land.  That’s of interest to me. 

 It’s important to acknowledge all of our city’s history.  I myself am still reading and learning with books like the Waikato Wars, as even when I was growing up there was little in my education system.  We shouldn’t be afraid to tell all our stories. 

 This issue has just come to Council’s attention and we await a report.  I am interested in the detail so I can make a more informed view when the time comes. It will be a difficult conversation to have but it’s an important one.

 Would you invite mana whenua to propose new names for these three Hamilton streets? 

 All residents should have the opportunity to talk about this, including mana whenua.

[Note from OA: Our reading of this answer is that non-resident mana whenua would be excluded.]

  What are Hamilton City Council’s obligations under Tiriti o Waitangi? Do you believe those obligations are being met?

 Council must have processes that provide opportunities for Maaori to participate and contribute to its decision making processes and I support that.

 I was surprised when I first started on Council that while there was and continues to be co-governance arrangements with Maaori, that Council had no Maaori Advisor on staff.  I thought this was a mistake and made my view clear on that. 

 Today Council has Maangai Maaori representatives sit on four Council committees.  It’s still early days but seems to be working well. I think there is room for improvement though with the particular system we have chosen and as Mayor I am keen to sit down with all stakeholders.

  Do you support Hamilton City Council having Maaori ward(s)?

 When Council worked with Maaori during our recent Representation Review the advice back was that we should look at a different option, and the appointments to committees was the preferred option by all parties. 

 During the review Maaori told us they didn’t want a Ward system at this time.

 The Hamilton City Prostitution Bylaw 2009 is currently being reviewed. The “Soliciting of Commercial Sexual Services” section of this bylaw bans sex workers from working in all public spaces of Hamilton. This section of the bylaw:

– makes independent sex workers less safe, as it creates a situation where workers are less likely to report violence to police, as the workers can be prosecuted and fined $20,000.

– forces sex workers to rely on brothel owners and pimps.

– contradicts the Prostitution Reform Act, and in doing so exposes the city to expensive legal battles.

– stigmatises sex workers.

Will you vote to overturn the Soliciting of Commercial Sexual Services section of the bylaw?

 Bylaws are reviewed every three years and I am supportive of the current Bylaw and would not look to overturn it.

[Note from OA: Bylaws are reviewed after the first five years, and then every ten years.]

 Climate change will bring large numbers of new residents to Hamilton and require the city to substantially reduce reliance on fossil fuels. It’s clear that Hamilton’s current public transport system isn’t up to the task. 

When was the last time you used public transport? 

 Other than a park and ride to a local event I’ve not used public transport in Hamilton. 

 I grew up in Wellington, so it was part of my everyday life, but PT is vastly different in that city.

 Due to my job as an elected member it makes it difficult.  Like many people I need the convenience of a private car. In any one day I can be travelling to 5 different meetings and appointments across town.  I’m not saying it couldn’t be done with public transport, but it would lower what I could achieve in any one day significantly.

  What would make public transport an attractive option for you? 

 When I reflect on how I used PT when living in Wellington and my current role, there isn’t anything immediate I could think of to make it an attractive option for me. 

 In saying that I will use the new commuter Hamilton to Auckland rail service due to start soon.  That for me is a no-brainer. 

 Locally it would be a lot more challenging for a service to become attractive enough for me use.

Do you have a plan to transform our transport system and move Hamilton residents away from car ownership?

 I believe that the future will be one where there is no car ownership, that we will all just ‘dial a car’ when we need one. 

 This will come with houses being built without the need for garages and city planning will need to change to plan for this.  We need to start having these conversations now and planning for them now. 

 I support the continued programme of safe cycling and pedestrian infrastructure. 

 School Strike 4 Climate New Zealand have been making the following demands:

– Declare a climate emergency.

– Make a legally enforceable plan to get to zero carbon by 2040.

– Invest in building a renewable and regenerative economy now.

Where do you stand on these demands?

What other strategies and plans do you have for the city to combat climate change?

 Isn’t it wonderful that young people are so passionate about an issue and getting involved in their democracy. 

 Council has never had a policy to address climate change, and that needs to change. 

 My position on climate change is that I absolutely accept that Council must play an important role in leading change in this space.  As Mayor I will help legislate and lead that change. One of my first actions as Mayor will be to establish a Youth Climate Change Advisory Board. 

 Local Government is in a unique position to be most beneficial.  It can be the vehicle to reach the most people and to have the most impact, and as Mayor I am excited by the opportunities ahead.

In terms of legislation, as Mayor I will ensure Council plays its part and also lobbys Government to support change to excessive carbon emitting industries. 

 In leading change, as Mayor I will ensure that Council’s transport, vehicles and services are moved away from fossil fuel to clean energy options where practical and when costs become beneficial to ratepayers. 

 Council must also enable smarter greener technologies and practices in all areas of service.  

 There are many initiatives to make significant improvements in this area and for our city to do its part that I will be talking about further into my election.

Would you vote to fund more social housing, even if it meant raising rates?

 No I would not.  Many ratepayers are struggling under the weight of a recent significant rates increase already and my rates policy is to keep rates low and affordable by aligning them to the cost of living.

 The sale of Council housing didn’t reduce the stock of social housing in the city. 

 It lowered the rent for all new residents from $127.00 a week to $57.00 per week, something Council was unable to do. 

 The sale also meant that the homes were made available to all vulnerable people in our community, not just older persons. 

 I would prefer that Council build a programme of incentives for experts in social housing to enable them to build more houses.   We could do this easily by provided financial incentives and making it easier and quick for them to build.

 Ultimately, I believe the problem sits with the Government stopping a continued building of state housing options over the years.

 The Council’s “Your Help may Harm” campaign stigmatises people by conflating homelessness, begging and drug addiction. The campaign is not based on solid research, and it promotes the myth that people begging in Hamilton don’t buy food.

Vague wording in the Safety in Public Places Bylaw leaves vulnerable people open to being arrested and fined $20,000 for sleeping in public or asking people for money.

City Safe have just received $230,000 in funding, which will lead to the police being called on the city’s most vulnerable people more often.

 The Your Help May Harm campaign was never meant to be on large billboards splashed across our city.  It was a campaign to quietly and respectfully talk about the issue of begging and the harm that can be caused by it.  It was about what everyone can do and what is being done, to help those most in need.

 Through my work with Council’s Safety plans over the years I am aware that research from overseas tells us that not all people who beg are homeless, and not all homeless people beg. 

 I care about vulnerable people in our community and about public safety.  It’s important for Council to continue to provide support and funding to organisations who are better placed to look after vulnerable people.

 The $230,000 budget is to expand the already successful City Safe service to Hamilton suburbs, no one has ever been fined $20,000 for sleeping in a public place or asking for money in Hamilton. 

 One of the roles of City Safe are there to connect these vulnerable people to the services and help they need. 

 What will you do to reduce the stigmatisation of the poorest members of our community? 

What will you do to help end poverty and homelessness in Hamilton? 

I will continue to support the many wonderful organisations in the city that run outreach programmes and are better placed to provide the services that vulnerable people need. 

Just because someone isn’t dressed like you, or look like you, doesn’t mean they don’t belong.  Everyone has the right to feel safe in our city and this includes people who are vulnerable. 

I will continue to improve public safety for everyone, especially our most vulnerable. 

 
 
 

Lisa Lewis

Read Lisa Lewis's responses
 

Lisa Lewis

[Note from OA: For copyright reasons we have needed to remove some parts of answers which had been copied from other websites. In these cases we have provided links to the copied text.]

1 Q:  Do you support water fluoridation in Hamilton?

1 A:  I need more infomation to make an informed decision.  

2 Q:  Do you support Hamilton City Council elections changing to a single transferable vote (STV) system?

2 A:  [ includes text from this page. ] 

Considering Hamilton is New Zealand’s fourth-largest city, and NZ has eight councils using STV, and Hamilton is not one – it’s about time we catch up to the rest of New Zealand.

3 Q:  This year a Hamilton City Councillor caused great offence to the autistic community, and severely damaged public health efforts by promoting a widely discredited theory about vaccines causing autism. Do you think vaccines cause autism?

3 A: [ includes text from this page.] .  I am not a medical practitioner so I am not in a position to answer this. 

I believe every parent and child’s doctor should decide whether or not a child is vaccinated from their medical history.  After my 10 month old baby had a stroke, paediatricians at Waikato Hospital advised my baby not have the next two vaccinations whilst on aspirin medication for a stroke.  Like I said, – I am not a Doctor so I am not in a position to answer this question.  

I believe every parent and child’s doctor (combined), should make a decision based on that individual child’s medical history and decide whether or not a child is vaccinated.  Not a politician.

4 Q:  The official 2019 New Zealand Living Wage is $21.15.  Do you support the Living Wage being implemented for all those employed by Hamilton City Council?

4 A:  If the 2016 to 2019 Mayor and Council already increase all employed staff to the $21.15 Living Wage, – nothing can be done about it.  We can’t decrease their wage if it’s already concrete and in place.

Everyone is entitled to earn a wage to cover living costs, so long as they prove they are worthy of the wage.  However everyone must complete and pass an assessment for any wage increase including the CEO. Wage increases are done annually and increase is assessed by previous years performance.  This is already done with performance assessments. If you exceeded performance – you got a pay rise, and if you didn’t meet performance – you didn’t get pay rise. So I am not sure how the CEO got a 15% pay rise and bonuses…

5 Q:  Do you support the Hamilton City Council procurement policies being changed to ensure that all contracted workers who are delivering a regular and ongoing service, such as bus drivers and cleaners, are paid a living wage?

5 A:  The average pay for a Bus Driver is NZ$19.87 per hour.  The average salary for a Cleaner is $19.43 per hour in New Zealand.  The $21.15 Living Wage is only $1.28 more per hour for a bus driver and $1.72 per hour more for a cleaner so I don’t have a problem with contracted workers being paid the living wage if it’s already in place. If it’s not already in place, like any business sometimes you have to cut costs.  When employing a contractor, – you get quotes from different contracting companies and make a decision on the professionalism of the company, the work ethic and service they deliver and their cost.  

I note current council have a “preferred list” of suppliers and contractors.  Every 3 years, the council elected members must agree to change to give underdog contractors the opportunity to provide a competitive price and provide service so long as they meet all requirements.  

Hamilton should be an opportunity for all businesses.

6 Q:  There have been calls to rename three Hamilton streets because of the people they have been named after. What are you views on the call to change these street names?

6 A:  I believe if the current street names are accurate history from what has been been shared above, and council have the ability to change the road names – then my answer is yes these names need to change immediately out of respect for iwi and Whānau.  The street name changes can be made after consultation with associated parties affected. The name changes may have to go through the respected transport authorities.

7 Q:  Would you invite mana whenua to propose new names for these three Hamilton streets? 

7 A:   Yes along with the victim of the families of the road name.  Karakia Māori incantations and prayers to invoke spiritual guidance and protection to ritually cleanse past deceased.

8 Q:  What are Hamilton City Council’s obligations under Tiriti o Waitangi? 

8 A:  Council Partnership with Maori

[ includes text from this page. ]

9 Q: Do you believe those obligations are being met by Hamilton City Council?

[ includes text from this page. ]

More can be done in Hamilton.  Look at Tourism. It is important we showcase and promote Hamilton for it’s Māori Culture.

10 Q:  Do you support Hamilton City Council having Maaori ward(s)?

I have always been a believer in proportional representation where possible.   I’d be interested to explore this issue further if I became Mayor of Hamilton.

The Hamilton City Prostitution Bylaw 2009 is currently being reviewed. The “Soliciting of Commercial Sexual Services” section of this bylaw bans sex workers from working in all public spaces of Hamilton. This section of the bylaw:

– makes independent sex workers less safe, as it creates a situation where workers are less likely to report violence to police, as the workers can be prosecuted and fined $20,000.

– forces sex workers to rely on brothel owners and pimps.

– contradicts the Prostitution Reform Act, and in doing so exposes the city to expensive legal battles.

– stigmatises sex workers.

:  Will you vote to overturn the Soliciting of Commercial Sexual Services section of the bylaw?

Yes I will vote to overturn the Soliciting of Commercial Sexual Services section of the bylaw.  The Bylaw is incredibly damaging and harmful to legal SEX workers. No other profession is discriminated and restricted as much as this profession and I believe in treating all people as equal.

I am committed to listening, making fair, resourceful and affordable decisions for our city and people regardless of skin colour, age, religion, culture, belief, gender, profession, income and/or life choice.

Climate change will bring large numbers of new residents to Hamilton and require the city to substantially reduce reliance on fossil fuels. It’s clear that Hamilton’s current public transport system isn’t up to the task. 

When was the last time you used public transport?   

The last Public transport I used was between cities by airline Wellington to Hamilton.  I don’t use buses currently due to anxiety about being on one.  

:  What would make public transport an attractive option for you? 

Bus Frequency:  When looking at ways to improve public transport, first and foremost, riders want frequency. If they are waiting downtown in the rain, or on some suburban backstreet, riders want to know that a bus will arrive soon, preferably in less than 15 minutes.   

Passenger Comfort:  Riders want comfortable buses that can seat as many people as possible.  

:  Do you have a plan to transform our transport system and move Hamilton residents away from car ownership?

[ includes text from this page. ]

I think 8am to 5:30pm a $2 per fee daily could be introduced.  $10 per week and $40 per month. These costs could be put towards an elderly free bus trip in heavy time zones reducing vehicles off the road and respect to our elderly.  This would also remove some vehicles off the road.

School Strike 4 Climate New Zealand have been making the following demands:

– Declare a climate emergency.

– Make a legally enforceable plan to get to zero carbon by 2040.

– Invest in building a renewable and regenerative economy now.

Where do you stand on these demands?

We recognise that we must respond to both the actual and potential physical impacts of climate change.  We have a responsibility to help our communities prepare for and to adapt to the physical effects of climate change.

[ includes text from this page.]

I also heard students talk first hand about their climate change thoughts in a council meeting this year.  I was deeply moved by their findings and agree action needs to happen now. More can be done to protect our beautiful land and life.  

Local governments can play a critical role in achieving a nation-wide climate emergency response. Our ultimate aim is a national declaration of Climate Emergency with its ability to unlock all the required policy changes and funds for a rapid climate emergency mobilisation, but local councils can start the ball rolling by demonstrating successful climate emergency initiatives at the local level.

What other strategies and plans do you have for the city to combat climate change?

Promote Meatless Monday in Hamilton.  Work with restaurants in the city to also plug this.

Eat less meat:  [ includes text from this page. ]

Actions you can take:  Cut down on meat. Eat more fruit and vegetables instead – this has many health benefits, such as reducing the risk of heart disease.

Try having a meatless day each week. The Meatless Monday website has great recipes to get you started.

Plant trees: [ includes text from this page. ]

Would you vote to fund more social housing, even if it meant raising rates?

I believe we can find more social housing without raising rates.  Why do we have art when people are homeless. I would rather gather the people of hamilton dip their hands in paint and hand handprints on a wall for our local art.  Art money is constituted in the millions. Some of that can put a roof over peoples heads.

The Council’s “Your Help may Harm” campaign stigmatises people by conflating homelessness, begging and drug addiction. The campaign is not based on solid research, and it promotes the myth that people begging in Hamilton don’t buy food.

Vague wording in the Safety in Public Places Bylaw leaves vulnerable people open to being arrested and fined $20,000 for sleeping in public or asking people for money.

City Safe have just received $230,000 in funding, which will lead to the police being called on the city’s most vulnerable people more often.

What will you do to reduce the stigmatisation of the poorest members of our community? 

I am disturbed by the billboards the current mayor put up.  The money spent by rate payers on some of those billboards tallying up to $50,000 minimum for those billboards  whereas that money could have built a shelter.

What will you do to help end poverty and homelessness in Hamilton?

Supporting our homeless by providing shelters to accomodate the homeless in Hamilton to get them off the street; housing is a basic human right.

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Jack Gielan

Read Jack Gielan's responses
 

 

Jack GielenDo i supprt fluoridation? No i do not support it as were one of the few countries where it is put into our water, I think we should have alternative natural water supplies. At the sametime some of our water supplies are infected with toxic colie which need to be removed. Looking at all the evidence pro and against should give us a clearer understanding.

 I do support STV as gives recognition to peoples second and third selections, which seems to be a lot fairer.

This year a Hamilton City Councillor caused great offence to the autistic community, and severely damaged public health efforts by promoting a widely discredited theory about vaccines causing autism. 

Do you think vaccines cause autism?

. No the evidence shows the nesessity to immunise people against various infectious diseases. Those who oppose current medical thought leave themselves open to attack.

Do you support the Living Wage being implemented for all those employed by Hamilton City Council?

Do you support the Hamilton City Council procurement policies being changed to ensure that all contracted workers who are delivering a regular and ongoing service, such as bus drivers and cleaners, are paid a living wage?

 Yes i do support the living wage for employees as we need to raise the standard of living wage right around the country.

. Yes i am in favour of changing the name of Grey Street as it is an affront to the maori people who hjad their land taken and suffer from colonial oppression.

The Bryce street name should be changed as the man was a murderer and racist, we could replace it with peoples names whove been honoured for helping society.

,I would invite manathenua to propose new names. The Catholic church wants to canonize sister Aubere who took care of orphans in the 1860s  Ruwiri was a maori guide who accompanied her. These are people with Mana and honour.

The Treaty stands for Partnership. Protection and Participation. The council needs to counsult maori to see where they can apply culturally relevant ideas like a cultural poets corner in Garden Place where anyone can express themselves.

. I do accept maori wards provided the leaders are answerable to the people. Hamilton seems to be controlled by corporates who bottleneck the finances at a top level.

. Prostitution is the oldest profession in the world and seems to be a necessary evil, as a christian i would like to think all relationships could be holy with sexuality expressed within the context of true marriage. I think we could restrict solicitation to a certain area where it can be policed.

When was the last time you used public transport? 

What would make public transport an attractive option for you? 

Do you have a plan to transform our transport system and move Hamilton residents away from car ownership?

.I took my son on the bus today showing him around Hamilton, I am in favour of free transport around the city, i think we should adopt car pooling ideas lessoning the traffic at peak times. I think there is to much congestion in certain parts of Hamilton which could be alleviated by opening up different routes. I am also in favour of cycling and walking which helps people to communicate with others enjoying the open spaces.

Yes we need to declare a climate emmergency. We need cival defence training, evacuation plans knowing what to do in an earthquake or a major storm.Our reticulation systems need to have the capacity for handling stormwater. We need to arrive at zero carbon emmisions by 2040 which means we all have to play our part growing our own food sorting out nonbiodegradable items with our rubbish. We need to ensure farmers and factory owners play their part. Using limescooters changing to electic cars using carbon free transport like cycling.

.Desperate times demand desperate measures.We need accessible housing, the old transit camps were a good idea. Boarding houses are also a good idea’ we could cut out the council red tape and get property developers to take less in their profits for new homes. There is also the shared equity idea for new homes. Mega4 homes can be brought for 60000 a home why cant we put 40 homes on an acre of land.

The help may harm campaign stigmatizes the homeless begging and drug addiction.We need greater accountability separating the poor and needy from the poor and greedy.Working in with WINZ we could regulate where poor beneficiary benefits go so they have enough for necessities. We need to take care of the little man by upskilling the poor teaching them bartering skills. We can help them to become better citizens by teaching them rights and resposibilities. We could help them become more useful by getting them involved in community support projects, doing gardening, cleaning up rubbish helping people out. I have attempted to answer these questions thanks for your cooperation and support Yours Truely Jack Gielen Mayoral Candidate.

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James Casson

Read James Casson's responses
 

James Casson  

James Casson never answered our email, but that’s okay because we already know what he stands for. After what appears to have been forced resignations from both the NZ Police and the Immigration department, full-time racist James Casson is trying for a new full-time job as Hamilton’s mayor. 

In his short time as a councillor he :

– called for “retribution” against Muslims following a terrorist attack on the other side of the world.

– urged New Zealanders to not mourn those killed in the Christchurch shooting.

– tried to stoke local fears of a crimewave, despite there being no increase in reported crimes.

– referring to refugees he called for “extreme violence to rid Europe of these scum”.

– voted against paying security guards enough money to live on.

– voted against paying cleaners $20 an hour, which is still less than the living wage.

– was described by the mayor as having “a track record for not supporting council’s initiatives on working with ethnic communities.”

– was criticised by one of New Zealand’s leading scientists for saying he didn’t believe in man made climate change.

He shouldn’t have a place on council and shouldn’t have a place in public life. Make sure you are enrolled to vote at your current address to ensure Casson and his racist buddies don’t make it back in to council.

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