Hamilton East election 2019

Organise Aotearoa has surveyed everyone standing in the 2019 Hamilton City Council and Waikato Regional Council elections.

We have ranked 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.

The responses from candidates standing in Hamilton East are below,  with the highest-rated candidates at the top. If you live on the east-side of the river you can vote for six of these candidates. 

Peter Humphreys

Read Peter Humphreys' responses


When was the last time you used public transport? 

Peter-Humphreys-2-400x220I have a high need disabled daughter who can’t travel on public transport and I live within 1.5 ks walking distance to Centre Place. I also bike around Hamilton. So, the last time I would have used public transport would have been about a month ago when I went to Ngaruawahia.

What would make public transport an attractive option for you? 

  •         Free buses for all those with a Community Service Card
  •         Getting a train from Hamilton to Auckland
  •         My preference would be to have safer cycling lanes

Do you support water fluoridation in Hamilton?

Yes, but if you had asked me a few years ago I would have possible sat on the fence. The reason being was that I had not investigated it until recently. I have read the science and it has proven to be effective.

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

 I always have and in the 2013 I assisted in putting up signs for STV during the local elections

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?

Having a daughter with a disability I found the action of those pushing vaccines causing autism, bloody idiotic and offensive.

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?

 I wrote this in 2018

The 2013 census reports that more than half of homeless adults were working, studying, or both. The reason for this with regards to those working is that their wages were not enough to provide them with a home. The living wage is the hourly rate which advocates claim a worker needs to participate as an active citizen in the community. Wellington City Council is adopting the living wage policy. Porirua City Council has taken its first step to becoming a living wage council. Auckland Mayor MP Phil Goff has also announced his commitment to introducing a living wage for Auckland Council staff. Phil Goff “this ought to be a priority ahead of salary increases for senior staff earning higher incomes”. It is now time for Hamilton City Council to make moves towards paying their staff the living wage. “In just over three years from January 2013 to April 2016, 523 people left the Council’s payroll”. “During the period in question, 54 staff were paid out a total of about $1.3 million in severance pay”. The current pay structure is not working and I would guestimate that the cost of implementing the Living wage would actually be a lot more cost effective than the current turn over. If we want our city to run well we need to look after our staff.

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 will answer this with some words I penned last time I stood in 2016 and the answer will be in each verse

 I was asked the other day if it has been a long election race for me 

The election started for me when……. 

I was born into a redundant Welsh mining town that was coated by the mist of alcohol 

They removed me from my birth mother 

I was placed in a English speaking town and lost my Welsh language

I could not be with my sisters

When I realised I did not wear the right school tie

 

The election started for me when ………

We participated in a street party to celebrate the English man who became the Prince of Wales

I watched my school teacher throw eggs at an English prince who declared Wales his own 

I read about the last true Prince of Wales Owen Glyndwr

I watched the unscrupulous defeat of the miners

Witnessing a man go on hunger strike to gain a Welsh TV channel

 

The election started for me when ……..

I heard a man wearing specs from Liverpool sing Imagine

The man wearing specs from Liverpool was shot

I listened to an American sing “Blowin’ in the Wind”

Listening to a song about a boxer called the Hurricane

I heard a man from Memphis tell me about another child born in the ghetto

 

The election started for me when ………

I listened to a black man talk about a dream he had

Discovering there was a great man jailed on Robin Island

I witnessed a Polish man start a movement called Solidarity

I heard of a little lady in a habit who had made a habit of feeding the poor

Saw the wife of a president cry as he was shot in the back of a car

 

The election started for me when ……..

We were gifted an angel and she could not speak 

I had to battle for our angel to be educated

We fought for her and others to be treated equally 

I pleaded for families and whanau to be able to have a rest

It took Litigation for families to be resourced

When 27 years later I still have to change her nappies on the side of the road

 

The election started for me when ………..

I read about a treaty and I became tangata treaty

Witnessing a council keeping a hapu’s land for a golf course

I saw a picture of an elderly Maori lady walk HER land in the hand of her mokopuna

I watched the whare of a man with a Tā moko being raided.

I listened to a politician laugh at my whakapapa and he suddenly realised I was serious

Been informed of the Taonga at Turangawaewae that could not be shown

 

The election started for me when……….. 

I learnt about social work at an institution on a hill

Witnessed the out of reach pot of gold at the end of the neoliberal rainbow

Experienced a leader who was more wedded to a rugby team than those in need

Started working with those who had nothing

I learnt of the strength it takes to live with nothing

I became solution focused

 

The election started for me when ………

Beginning my mahi at a shelter for those in need 

I realised the majority of my guests were Tangata whenua

Finding out many were not well

Learning many had been institutionalized and not supported

I realised that the people I was working with were just the tip of the homeless iceburg.

Yes it has been a long election race and in some ways it is just the beginning. Because the election will continue for me every day that I drive by past empty state houses, when I witness social housing being sold for a pittance in the middle of a crisis, as long as the Treaty is broken and most of all the election will continue for me when I witness the most vulnerable being punished for not wearing the right school tie.

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

 As above, yes

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?

I would not be voting for this bylaw and it would be a step backwards

A few years ago the council discussed not being able to continue to provide its current stock of social housing citing their 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?

 When they sold the housing, this is what I wrote and yes I would vote to fund social housing. If the 19. Million that was returned from the sale this March been invested in social housing we would not have to raise rates.  

 A 60 year investment

Local authorities are not eligible for Central Government social housing funding so there is a challenge for our local councils to fund any form of social housing and some don’t see social housing as their core business. Some, like Christchurch City Council who are really keen to support social housing and keen to expand their current stock, have been a little creative in the way that they will access the social housing funding. $50 million worth of Christchurch City Council-owned social housing assets have been transferred to The Otautahi Community Housing Trust. By doing this the social housing is protected and the Otautahi Community Housing Trust will now be able to apply for central government funding. The tenants will now be able to apply for income related rents as this was not an option when Christchurch City Council owned the properties.

What is the Wellington City Council doing about social housing? Wellington City Council own around 2200 units at over 40 locations across Wellington city with a market valuation of $353 million (2012). These units are a mix of large apartment complexes, smaller blocks of flats and stand alone houses. Wellington City Council also manages 26 units for Porirua City Council. The Mayor Justin Lester has recently announced that “Wellington City Council will seek to partner with developers and community housing providers to redevelop inner-city buildings into new social and affordable apartments “.

Hamilton City Council in 2015 agreed to sell the city’s remaining pensioner housing stock for $23.5 million to social housing provider Accessible Properties. Current deputy Mayor Martin Gallagher at the time said “Today is all about the final, I think, nail in the coffin of 60 years or so of proud history, of great mayors. None of these councils had on their agenda at all to sell pensioner housing, so today is quite historic,” Councillor Dave Macpherson added “I predict a future council, if we sell everything in the pensioner housing area, will be getting back in that game and it will cost us a lot more to do that than to maintain and improve our current stock. 

We have sold this last batch of properties and there have been some positives. Firstly the housing did not go to a private developer like some of the first units that were sold, the new tenants that go into the tenancies of Accessible Properties will be able to obtain income related rents and the most important point of all for me we still have the much needed social housing that the city needs. In March 2019 Accessible Properties will be paying the balance of the sale price ($18.8m plus GST) to the Hamilton City Council. This money could go into the coffers or it could also be an investment into the much needed social housing that Hamilton needs. The Council  may not have to get back “into the game” the Council could very easily allow Accessible Properties to keep the money with the understanding that they invest the money in more social housing. There is also the option of giving the money to an organisation like Habitat for Humanity which gives people a hand up to fill their basic needs for housing.

We can all see the current detrimental effect that homelessness is having on individuals and families; we can see the current effect homelessness is having on our children. What we really have yet to see is the detrimental effect that homelessness is going to have on the city of Hamilton in the long term. We have an opportunity to do something about social housing here in Hamilton with the dividends of the 60 year investment that Hamilton did put into social housing. 

 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? 

Managing the shelters for 11 years and co-chairing the New Zealand Coalition to End Homlesness has been all about assisting the poorest members of our community.

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

I will take a lived  experienced voice to council table that will remind those sitting at the table that we have an oppressed group of Hamiltonians that also need to be consulted and included in our city.

“Your Help may Harm”

After working for 11 years running the nightshelter my experience is that most of the people asking for money on the streets did not spend it on food they actually spent it on substances and alcohol so for me this was not a myth. What it did mean for me was that I was continually turning people away from the shelter. When I turn people away drunk or drugged then it can at times be a decision that can send people into unsafe situations. I wrote this below but never informed anybody off what happened to this guest. He actually fell in the river when stoned on sinnies. He was continually topping up his addiction from money given to him on the streets.

 Sometimes there is great sadness at the nightshelter and during this last month we have gone through one of these times. One of our young guests was taken from us through an accident and this was upsetting enough for those who knew him and those who had been in his company over the last few months. To compound our loss he lay in the morgue for two weeks before we could find family to come and collect his body. We had tried to do everything that we could to establish who his family was and eventually through the diligence of Sargent Paton (Hamilton Police) and Facebook we established and made contact with family.

So on a Friday morning three days after we made contact with his family and two weeks and three days after our guest had passed away I was invited to his funeral in Auckland. I and three guests made the trip and attended. The chapel was half full and I listened to the service and listened to the story of our guest’s life.  People spoke about his love and protectiveness towards his sisters and brother, people spoke about how well he had done during his school years. His friends spoke about his rugby and his sporting achievements. His mother spoke about the “cheeky” little boy who used to get his grandfather who was a taxi driver to pick him up in his taxi to take him to kindergarten that was only next door.  Most of all everybody spoke about a life that was so different to the life that he had eventually ended living as an adult. To me it was as if they were talking about a different person. Towards the end they showed some slides of him from when he was a baby and the pictures went all the way up to adulthood, these pictures were just like any that you would find in mine or your family albums. It slowly became clear that it was the same person and it just reminded me of how we sometimes forget that the guests who stay with us may come along with addictions, mental health issues and other challenges and are judged on these and that in reality anybody’s life may be a challenge to have a story book ending.

We are going to miss our “cheeky” guest and for me his funeral has reminded me that the next person walking through the nightshelter doors will be somebody’s son, brother, father or uncle. It has reminded me that it does not take much to be in need of assistance from others or estranged from those who love us or those who have been the closest to us.

 What do we do about the begging?

 I wrote this submission to the Safety in Public Places ByLaw.

Kesh Naidoo-Rauf

Read Kesh Naidoo-Rauf's responses


When was the last time you used public transport? 

kesh-glasses-jpeg-300x242I take my 4 year old on the odd bus ride, but I used to travel by bus to work everyday for a few years when I didn’t have a car – this would be about 5 years ago. But once I had a child, it was easier and more convenient for me to travel by car.

What would make public transport an attractive option for you? 

Improved frequency/timing of services. Public transport will appeal to more people and be a viable option for working professionals if it were a more frequent service during peak times.


Do you support water fluoridation in Hamilton?

Yes. I am a health professional and believe in the science and benefits of fluoridation.

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

Yes – I think it is a fairer system

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 am a vaccinator pharmacist. I providing vaccinations and educate the wider public about the benefits of vaccinations.

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 Living Wage being implemented. It does need to fit within budget constraints. By controlling other costs we can adjust our wage budget to include a living wage for HCC employees.

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?

Paying a Living wage should be a priority for all employers.


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?

I think that this is a discussion to be had with local iwi in collaboration with Council. I would be supportive of this conversation and form views based on facts, and in line with our country’s cultural heritage.

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

It’s a public decision, and yes, I would listen to everyone including mana whenua.

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

I think that a Maaori perspective on Council is important for fair representation of our city residents. Maangai Maaori is a step in the right direction. I would like to know from all communities, especially our Maaori community, how they would like to be represented, then work to support them.

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?

I would seek feedback from residents and experts in the field before making any decision. Safety is a priority for all residents – people who use public spaces, communities and sex workers.

A few years ago the council discussed not being able to continue to provide its current stock of social housing citing their 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?

Our city needs social housing. Local government can contribute to this within budget constraints. More importantly we need to strongly advocate for improved social housing at central government level. We need to be careful with our local spending to ensure that we are living within our means. Raising rates affects everyone including the people who already struggle with food insecurity and poverty-related illness. We need to look for ways to help our most vulnerable by supporting social housing and community food programmes.

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? 

As a city, we are only as strong as our most vulnerable. Many Hamiltonians know this and already work hard to improve the lives and well-being of our poorest. We can learn from the successes of other cities, and find new and innovative ways to help the poorest in our city. Through my pharmacy businesses I already lead a socially conscious team and provide opportunities for our community to help the poor through blanket and beanie donations. These are small initiatives, but every small bit helps.

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

I can’t promise to change the world, but I promise to listen, ask questions and work hard for all the people in our city including the most vulnerable. I live in Enderley and witness homelessness and hunger on a daily basis. It is heart breaking, especially when I see hungry children. Poverty and homelessness is an issue that everyone needs to own and work together to eradicate. It needs a multi-pronged approach to address all the contributing factors – high rent, high cost of living, unemployment, poor health literacy, social housing needs, etc. We must link with community groups and central government, to collaborate and work towards common goals.

Tim Young

Read Tim Young's responses


When was the last time you used public transport? 

The last time I used public transport was in Honolulu for our honeymoon. The bus’s, Tim-Young-East-Ward-Landscape-footpaths and curbs were all very accessible, and the bus drivers were well trained, but when I travelled 30 mins from the hotel my catheter blocked. Since there were no fully accessible toilets in the city, it meant we had to cancel our whale watching tour and rush back to the hotel, while my blood pressure was dangerously high due to a full bladder.

 The last time I used public transport in Hamilton was before my accident. As a result of toileting difficulties and the risk of my catheter blocking, it’s very risky and dangerous for me to travel by public transport.

What would make public transport an attractive option for you? 

Having fully accessible bathrooms (Changing Places toilets) at main shopping malls/transport hubs such as Te Awa, Chartwell Square, the CBD, the University, and the Hospital. Other accessibility issues pointed out to me by regular bus users that need improving include more Kirsty Kerbs, more training for bus drivers (if/when they’re earning a living wage), bus ramps that are less steep and less slippery, and footpaths in better condition.

Do you support water fluoridation in Hamilton?

Yes. The concentration of any element or compound in water is more important than if it is present, as even water itself can be dangerous at certain levels (4L+/day), and even cyanide can be safe at low levels (0.05mg/L).

I support levels of Fluoridation as recommended by many different health organisations (0.7 – 1.0 mg/L). This level will lead to savings of $1.4 billion in NZ over a 20-year time frame (https://www.health.govt.nz/system/files/documents/publications/review-benefits-costs-water-fluoridation-new-zealand-apr16.pdf)

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

Yes. It is the best method to represent the preferences of the largest segment of the population when. First pass the post (FPP) regularly allows candidates to be elected with less support than STV provides. Since STV allows you to rank a number of candidates in order from best to worst, it means that if a candidate you voted for is already going to be elected, your second or third preference can be counted. It can be hard to imagine and can seem complicated so it’s best to watch some YouTube videos about the difference between FPP and STV.

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 myth that vaccines can cause autism was started by a single person, Andrew Wakefield, who was a doctor before he was struck off the medical register for unethical and dishonest behaviour after writing a fraudulent paper on the subject. Other scientists were unable to replicate his findings. The only causes that have identified and verified include heritability through multiple genetic markers and air pollution.

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?

Yes. This should be the minimum wage at a national level, but in the meantime all businesses and Councils should step up and show leadership to pay full-time workers enough to live on.

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. It seems crazy to me that people would vote against this.

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?

I knew nothing about that history! I think educating others about their history is really important and is a good place to start. Once the majority of Hamiltonians are aware of their history and are appropriately shocked and saddened, then we can decide as a city whether or not we should change the street names. While I would probably support the name change, but it doesn’t affect me as much as people who live or own property on the streets, or as much as those who are from families affected by the crimes committed by the three men.

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

If the public wanted change, yes, that sounds appropriate.

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

Yes, to meet obligations of Te Tiriti o Waitangi, The Treaty of Waitangi we need a partnership between the Crown and Maaori. I think having Maaori wards who represent local iwi help ensure that partnership continues.

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?

I would need to look into it further, but I would always vote to reduce harm and stigmatisation of sex workers. So, yes, I would probably overturn or at least significantly improve that section of the bylaw.

A few years ago, the council discussed not being able to continue to provide its current stock of social housing citing their 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?

I would want to see where that 19.5 million was used, and if it was used most effectively to house those in need. This is my first and only ‘maybe’ or ‘depends’ answer. Providing social housing is much cheaper (and more humane) than dealing with people in the criminal system, heath system, and mental health system, but those departments are run and paid for by central government. So, my first step would be to lobby central government to fund more social housing, and Housing First homes for the homeless. Also, central government is better able to target high-income earners, as raising rates increases costs for low-income earners who are most vulnerable to food insecurity, poverty-related illnesses, and homelessness.

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? 

As a low income earner and disabled person, I realise that without a strong safety net I could well be homeless, so I’m well aware of the fragility of wealth, well-being and the privileged position I’m in having the support of ACC. By being on Council I would hope to provide a positive image of disabled people, and I would use the platform to explain how negative feedback loops and a scarcity mindset can self-perpetuate poverty.

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

To start, I would work with central governments’ Housing First project, and I would take the lead from experts such as Dr. Bex Graham on best practise. I’m very aware that providing housing before dealing with drug addiction, mental health, and financial literacy is the more effective and cost-effective solution compared to dealing with homelessness and poverty at the bottom of the cliff (prison or hospital).

Maxine van Oosten

Read Maxine van Oosten's responses


When was the last time you used public transport? 

Maxine-Van-Oosten-East-Ward-LandscapeI traveled overseas in May to visit family in Holland  and while I was there used their public transport. Buses, trains and trams. 

What would make public transport an attractive option for you? 

Public transport would be more attractive to use is if access and information about the service was more easily available.  Access like being able to pay for your trips through a travel card, a card can be used on any of the travel options and one that can easily be topped up.  Online information apps (like Tripit) that gives schedule times and route options to travelers/passengers.

Do you support water fluoridation in Hamilton?  

Yes I do, I am guided in this by the Waikato DHB and the Ministry of Health. 

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

Yes I believe it is a fairer electoral system and I think that it delivers better outcomes for more diversity .

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 vaccines do not cause autism, the science is very clear on this.

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?

Not only do I support a Living Wage for all but I will champion it’s implementation and campaign for the Hamilton City Council to become a Living Wage employer.

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, Hamilton City Council should be a leader in our community   They have a social responsibility to address inequality, and the payment of a Living Wage is a tangible action the Council can take.

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?

I have only a limited knowledge of the history of the men the streets are named for.  I think this is probably typical of many others in Hamilton. I would support public education and debate of the matter.

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

If after a suitable consultation process the names were to be changed it would be only fitting to consult mana whenua.

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

I am concerned about the makeup of our Council.  Mangai Maori is an imperative. I support a voice for all in decision making.   We can do better however and I would vote in favour of extending representation for Maori in the future.  Our City will benefit from more diversity.

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?

I would want to talk with the parties impacted by the change to better understand the issues and potential solutions before making a decision.  I support safe and healthy working conditions for all workers

A few years ago the council discussed not being able to continue to provide its current stock of social housing citing their 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?

This is such a blot on our past Council record, they neglected our Pensioner Housing stock then sold them in a fire sale, well below their real value!  It is difficult to wind back the clock. Council can use it’s processes and strength to support better policies, partnerships and business opportunities to develop a plan for future  support of our City’s seniors.

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? 

All our residents deserve to be treated with dignity.  I do not support a ‘City Safe’ funded squad having ratepayer money that in my opinion could be better spent on finding ways to support these people and them get access to services.

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

Council have the chance to be leaders in social policy and action.  Pay a living wage, ensuring Government social services are available and that individuals know where to go and what they are entitled to,  working along side community groups.

Meleane​ Burgess

Read Meleane Burgess's responses

When was the last time you used public transport? Meleane-Burgess-East-Ward-Landscape-1

As a one vehicle family and with my practice situated in central Hamilton, I use public transport often. 

What would make public transport an attractive option for you? 

From my own experience it will need to be continue to be a regular service that runs on-time, especially during peak times.

Do you support water fluoridation in Hamilton? 

Yes.

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?

No.  I am fully vaccinated and my children are all fully vaccinated and consider the above theory to be unproven and unsubstantiated.

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? 

Yes

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

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

Based on these historical statements, I would support a call to change these street names as they are cruel reminder of these terrible acts and the people involved.  Ultimately, a proper consultation process should be conducted with mana whenua to mitigate a way forward.

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

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

I strongly believe that Hamilton City Council should represent the diversity of the people that live in Hamilton whereby having a Maaori voice is very important to achieve an appropriate level of diversity.  Currently, Hamilton City Council has introduced the Maangai Maaori representatives but I believe that there needs to be more done to have a Maaori voice on Council such as continued dialogue and discussion with local iwi and hapuu on the best way council can achieve this.

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? 

One of my campaign principles is keeping Hamilton safe for its residents.  If any bylaw is proven to create an unsafe working or living environment for Hamilton residents then I would strongly recommend a thorough review of this bylaw.

A few years ago the council discussed not being able to continue to provide its current stock of social housing citing their 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?  

The effects of the low level of social housing in Hamilton should be addressed seriously and remain a priority for council to work in partnership with central government to address this issue.  It is also crucial for Hamilton City Council to work collaboratively with local organisations and institutions that have been tackling this issues for a best way forward that our most vulnerable are being looked after.

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? Education is key to raising awareness and helping to understand homelessness, substance abuse and addiction,

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

It is important to identify the main contributing factors leading to poverty and homelessness in our City.  Once these underlying factors are identified then all affected parties (including communities, businesses and council) need to work together to develop a strategy that will make positive change to the current situation of poverty and homelessness in Hamilton.  

Mark Bunting

Read Mark Bunting's responses


When was the last time you used public transport?

This weekend just gone

What would make public transport an attractive option for you? 

Greater frequency and less complicated routes. As chair of Access Hamilton this is what I’ve been pushing for (as well as cycleways, of course!)

Do you support water fluoridation in Hamilton?

Yes

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?

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?

Yes 

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 don’t know sorry.

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?

While those names don’t offend me personally, It’s not my place to have a view. We’ve commissioned a report from iwi and I’ll respond to their views and to those of the wider community. As long as everyone can air their views and respect their opinions we’ll have a great outcome.

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

Not yet

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

Sorry to sound wishy washy but again that’s up to the community. I was VERY supportive of the new Mangai Maaori but not supportive of it being put through without a proper community discussion. When we’re adjusting the democratic makeup, the community is entitled to a dialogue, to be listened to and to own the outcome. Personally, I believe the public would’ve been supportive anyway but they weren’t asked. However, it’s legislated that Tangatawhenua must be considered in our decision-making,(fortunately)  and even though the way it was put through was roughshod, it’s working very well and I’m supportive.

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?

I don’t agree with your premise, sorry. 

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

I would like to look at every possible avenue other than just buying or building houses. 

Councils are elected every three years, and as a result have flip-flopped all over the place and proven to be very poor property owners. I support more enduring partnerships with others in the sector, land trusts, seed funding etc. 

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? 

Firstly I (and I will continue to) look them in the eye, engage in conversation and listen to them. I am also very keen on a community job scheme where we employ the more vulnerable.

Secondly, the ‘Your help may harm’ campaign, while it looks harsh needs to be made bigger, more educative and to actually involve the general community in playing an active role. 

I spend some time with the hungry at Serve, and while I was hanging out with them on the street afterwards was blown away by how we were looked at and avoided by the general public. However I don’t think their reaction was one of stigmatisation, rather one of fear – and that fear was borne out of ignorance – so the ‘your help may harm’ campaign has a tremendous opportunity to involve the general population in an active and positive way.

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

Keep supporting the trusts and organisations who know best in this area.

Anna Smart

Read Anna Smart's responses

When was the last time you used public transport? 

Anna-Smart-NEW-1-200x300I rode with my daughter to school on the bus to show her how to get to school. My children are regular users in the winter. My current job is a car-based salesperson with irregular hours so public transport isn’t a viable option for me for day to day running around. All other amenities are within walking distance to our house, one of my favourite things about Hamilton!

What would make public transport an attractive option for you? 

For me it would have to be a change of employment with regular hours in a single location. I’d love to see the Waikato River and water transport made available for city commuting.

 Do you support water fluoridation in Hamilton?

Yes. 

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

Yes, I think this is a fairer way of voting. In regions where this method has been adopted it has increased the diversity of representation, which is a positive.

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?

Yes, I think the government and local government should lead the way as employers.

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?

This is a tough one, while I support the living wage it would be hard to monitor in an on-going capacity and drive up the costs of these core service contracts. I would be interested in looking into this further with a cost/benefit analysis and how it may impact on the city and ratepayers.

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

I can see by the short history provided above that those are some horrific historical acts and how having these names honoured as street names could be upsetting.

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

Yes.

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

I’m very supportive of the Maangai Maaori seats. I think it’s most important to ask the question what do the mana whenua support as fair representation? 

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?

I’ll need to do some more research into this one as I’m unsure of the question. All employees deserve to work in safe conditions no matter what industry they work in.

A few years ago the council discussed not being able to continue to provide its current stock of social housing citing their 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?

I have some questions here too.. where did the money from the sale go to and why wasn’t it spent back on housing supply? There is already money being put aside into the Community Land Trust for social housing, and Council needs to explore some key partnerships to increase the supply of social housing. Some options may include the YWCA or even the under filled Waikato University accommodation. Other things Council can do to help above and beyond what’s mentioned is by enabling the building of and removing the red tape around construction of new dwellings. I certainly acknowledge that this is an area of great need.

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 was really disappointed in the Your Help May Harm campaign. Poverty is a complex issue and so the best place to start would be to consult with the experts. The People’s Place was an excellent initiative that I believe saw positive results. There has been some success with the City Safe programme but I would like to see it as part of a wrap around programme to address the causes of poverty and homelessness – ie. mental health/addiction services.

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

As above, instate an expert panel to advise on the best course of action.. and act on it.

Lisa Lewis

Read Lisa Lewis's responses

[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.

[Note from OA: Lewis has extra questions than other candidates as she is also standing for mayor. Her ranking on this list is based only on the questions sent to all candidates standing in the East ward.]

Jack Gielen

Read Jack Gielen's responses

Do 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.

[Note from OA: Geilen has extra questions than other candidates as he is also standing for mayor. Hisranking on this list is based only on the questions sent to all candidates standing in the East ward.]

Brad Hills

Read Brad Hills's responses

When was the last time you used public transport? 

I have not used public transport for a very long time. I either walk or drive.

What would make public transport an attractive option for you? 

While studying and working, usually going straight from work to uni or vice versa, public transport was just not a viable option for me. When I get into fulltime work, either in Council or as a teacher, I will most certainly be looking at public transport as an option. 

Do you support water fluoridation in Hamilton?

The question I ask is “why are we fluoridating our water in the first place?” and that is where I’ll find my answer. Statistics having shown that New Zealand’s tooth decay problems are getting worse, particularly in low-socio economic areas, even with fluoride in the drinking water. Many scientists and dentists have said that a certain amount of fluoride can help reduce tooth decay rates. So, this suggests that people, especially children, are either not drinking water or they are drinking water, but their high sugar prevents the benefits that fluoride can have. That says to me that the reason why we put fluoride in our water, to prevent tooth decay, is not working so we should stop it. Healthy dental practices come from education of both parents and children from as early as possible and we should be looking into those areas instead. 

[Comment from OA : This is not a view shared by dentists and public health experts. For an opposing view on this answer please see comments from Te Ao Marama, the Ministry of Health, and the Waikato District Health Board.]

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

I want the best and fairest voting process available. If it is STV then we should use it. 

Do you think vaccines cause autism?

I have heard a lot of stories about the correlation between the rise in vaccine use and the rise of autism, but I am not a medical or vaccine expert, so, I don’t know. 

[Note from OA: Vaccines don’t cause autism.]

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

Yes. HCC needs to start leading by example.

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

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

As a person who has lived in Hamilton for over 30 years I have only really just been made aware of this issue. I think it is concerning and something that must be brought up in conversation between the council and Hamiltonians as to whether we continue keeping those street names. Personally, I would like to see those names changed. I don’t want any of our streets named after any murderer or criminal for that matter, regardless of their race or ethnicity. 

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

I would invite everybody, not just one group, to propose new names. I stand for inclusion of everybody in this city. I think if the issue of changing these street names involves all Hamiltonians, then so should the renaming. We as a city need to find as many ways possible for us as a community to come together and I think this would be an excellent way to do so. 

[Note from OA: Some mana whenua aren’t resident here.]


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

Yes I do. Maaori and Paakehaa are partners of Te Tiriti o Waitangi, which by law means that Maaori are entitled to have representation in all forms of government. It is vital that the council uphold and honour Te Tiriti o Waitangi and having Maaori ward(s) would guarantee Maaori representation in council.    
In addition to this, a problem Hamilton is facing is a lack of diversity in it’s council. A large percent of Hamiltonians don’t vote, almost 70%, and I think this has a lot to do with a lack of representation. So, a goal of mine is to create more awareness and engagement around politics in Hamilton, and this will, in my mind, get more people running for council, in turn creating more diversity within council. 

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

I don’t want to see people stigmatised. I want everyone to be treated fairly but I do not know enough about this topic to give an educated answer. 

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

I am totally against raising rates. But social housing is an important part of helping our homeless reconnect to and transition back into society, and I know council can create social housing without raising rates.  

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

I want to see an initiative put in place, if it is possible, where all supermarkets give a big percentage of their reduced to clear foods to organisations that help support homeless and people in poverty, and not throw the food away. It is an insult to humanity that supermarkets can just throw away millions of dollars of food each year all while knowing there are people out there starving.  

I would like to see more funding given to organisations like the People’s Project that help transition homeless people back into housing. 

I would allocate more funding to social housing and the development of affordable homes. 

I want to create more awareness around homelessness and poverty and encourage people to have more empathy towards the homeless and people in poverty. No one wants to be homeless, in poverty or struggling, and the homeless and people in poverty aren’t all there for the same reason. Until we have walked in those people’s shoes we should not judge, we should at the very least, try to understand that lots of people go through hard times, and some recover better than others. I like to think of the people of Hamilton as one big team. For example, in a sports team, it a member of your team isn’t fit enough or too slow, don’t say to them hurry and get fit, if they are really struggling, you go back and show them how you got fit. Judgement only creates isolation. 

Rob Pascoe

Read Rob Pascoe's responses

When was the last time you used public transport? 

3 months ago

What would make public transport an attractive option for you? 

It already is an attractive option, behaviours to use buses, etc need to change

Do 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?

I support the present levels paid to council staff

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 support the present levels paid to contractors being included in contract sums

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?

If we change the street names mentioned above we should also change the names of streets that honour chiefs who slaughtered local Maori in the pre European Wars and more recently those politicians who subsequently left unacceptable behaviours on the country’ social history. 

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

Much work has  already been done in this area. There was a council report produced in 2002 which has been largely ignored by this council. This was done in consultative with mana whenua. The link is  

https://www.hamilton.govt.nz/our-city/parks/parksandgardens/Documents/Maori%20Landmarks%20on%20Riverside%20Reserves%20-%20Nga%20Tapuwae%20O%20Hotumauea%20-%20Reserves%20Act%20Management%20Plan%20-%20Operative%20-%20April%202003.pdf

[Comment from OA: This report doesn’t mention street names.]

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

No

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?

NO

A few years ago the council discussed not being able to continue to provide its current stock of social housing citing their 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?

The Council’s role is to assist  the social housing sector to deliver suitable housing to those vulnerable people living in the city. Council is doing this with funding from ratepayers of $2million in this LTP. At present its being earmarked for a Land Trust.

The pensioner houses you refer to above were sold to well established operators in the Social Housing Sector. Conditions were placed on the sale and this resulted in a discount because of these conditions. At the time of sale of the pensioner houses were valued around $24million and were sold for the figure you state above. They were never worth $60million and doubt this to be the case now.  

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? 

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

The campaign you refer to belongs to the Central Business Association, and supported by social agencies, the Police, and the council. It’s been effective. Rather than giving money at the roadside,  the help and support to those needing assistance is properly made in a professional and understanding way.

[Comment from OA: Hamilton City Council’s webpage on this campaign doesn’t mention the business association. ]

Mike West

Read Mike West's responses

Do you support water fluoridation in Hamilton? 

Not a function of council.

[Note from OA: This is incorrect. Currently this decision is made by local authorities.]

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

The current voting system is flawed.  STV could be considered among other options also.

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? 

Not a council function.

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? 

Council should develop employment relationships with staff that support it’s objectives to provide efficient and effective services to the people of Hamilton.

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? 

The private sector will develop employment relationships that support their own objectives without interference from HCC.

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?  

I wouldn’t make any decisions without hearing submissions from any or all affected parties.

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

If it was determined that the names would be changed then mana whenua should be one of the groups to offer proposals. 

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

As specified in sections 4, 14(d) and 81 of the local government act.

Do you believe those obligations are being met? 

They seem to be.

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

Shouldn’t be necessary if the above obligations are being met.

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? 

I’m not familiar with it.  Prostitution is a legal occupation so shouldn’t be discriminated against if it is operating lawfully.

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? 

Can’t remember the last time I used it in Hamilton.

What would make public transport an attractive option for you? 

Haven’t given it any thought.   

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

No.

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? 

Exercise great caution.  

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

In depth cost benefit analysis needs to be applied to all council functions and can include consideration of activities and outcomes which might have an impact on climate and environmental matters. 

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

No.

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 don’t believe this is council business and the responsibility should be deferred to the government agencies that are in place specifically to deal with these issues. 

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

As above.

[Note from OA: West has extra questions than other candidates as he is also standing for mayor. His ranking on this list is based only on the questions sent to all candidates standing in the  East ward.]

Ryan Hamilton

Read Ryan Hamilton's responses

Incumbent Ryan Hamilton didn’t respond to our emails. He voted against raising cleaners pay to $20 per hour, an amount that is still below the living wage.

Garry Mallett

Read Garry Mallett's responses

Incumbent Garry Mallett didn’t respond to our emails. 

Mallett has been accused of bullying council staff and he frequently uses the slurs “fags” and “homos” while on council business. For example when a council worker presented him with an agenda printed on pink paper he said “What’s with the homo colour in our agenda?”

At a candidates meeting he made a vomiting gesture when the subject of homosexuality came up. He said “My personal view on homosexuality, the act of sodomy turns my gut.”

He doesn’t believe the scientific consensus on climate change and has voted against council resolutions to deal with the problem.

Mallett voted against raising cleaners pay to $20 per hour, an amount which is still below the living wage. More recently he voted against security guards being paid a living wage.

James Casson

Read James Casson's responses


Incumbent James Casson never answered our email. 

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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