The election buzz is definitely in full swing now and at the time of writing it seems that we already have a plethora of candidates to choose from. I have already been asked by some “who should I vote for?”

It’s very difficult to make that decision if all you have to work with is the candidate handbook – so to that end I have some hints and tips about how to make an informed decision.

The internet is definitely your friend – Googling the name of a candidate is often a way to see what salacious media headlines appear – Has your favoured candidate been labelled a racist, sexist, or even crazy? Why is that? Does your candidate have a webpage or presence online where you can see what they believe in – do they have policies or are they “one trick ponies” (a one trick pony is the candidate that makes up an issue to pursue when no such issue exists – easily identified if they’re the only candidate that’s banging on about it). 

A candidate event is a great way to get a handle on the people standing, there are a few events taking place in the city… Some events are targeted towards certain groups – but there are some open to the public and all candidates alike. Check out this page for those… https://www.yourcityelections.co.nz/events

Have a look at the behaviour of your candidates throughout the campaign… Those candidates bickering with each other over non consequential matters are unlikely to be able to work together in the council meetings effectively. Keep a close eye on how they treat each other – that can be a sign of what kind of people they really are!

The current councillors and mayor also deserve an extra level of attention as they’ve been the ones holding the reins to the city… Are they promising to fix something that’s been broken for the last three terms? Why haven’t they fixed it before now? Are they being critical about some past council decision that they were part of? Are they simply past their best before date?

Lastly… Promises…

Candidates love making promises – take these with a grain of salt… Are they promising to reduce your rates? What services are they going to cut to do that? If they say none then they’re either going to borrow – or they’re lying to you. Likewise… That fancy new something they’re going to give you? How’s that paid for – they’re again either going to cut something else, increase your rates, borrow or… again they’re telling porkies… Beware!