Voting papers have now started going out for local body elections. While the Mayoral contest understandably gets the most coverage, there is considerably less the further down the chain the position is and so the harder it becomes. In some cases at a Councillor level but almost certainly by the time you get to the local board level you’re likely to be voting on people you’ve never seen or even heard of before based on nothing more than a picture and a vague blurb – and it’s amazing how crappy they can be. And candidates for DHB and if you have one, a licencing trust take this to another level.
To try and help inform the public, our friends at Generation Zero have put in a huge effort to interview and score candidates for mayor, council and local board. Here’s what they say:
We asked every council candidate the same 14 questions on Transport, Housing and the Environment. We gave them points based on how well they answered and how well they matched Generation Zero’s vision for a liveable low-carbon Auckland.
One thing I really like is how much detail they’ve provided this time. They’ve explicitly list the questions they’ve asked and their marking criteria so that it’s clear everyone is marked by looking through the same lens. The 14 questions are grouped into the three categories mentioned above – with over half focused on transport – a fourth category is scores a candidate’s competency and is based on a number of different factors.
At a glance readers are able to see the overall score and the score for each category. By drilling down on a candidate you can to see how many points were scored for each question along with the markers thoughts on the candidate.
As an example, here are the five highest scores for mayor. John Palino scored the lowest of probably any candidate with a E overall.
Given Goff is the front runner in all polls so far I’ve used his result to show the synopsis and break down in his scores for the transport section.
What is interesting about looking through the various council wards is some have lots of candidates that have scored well to pick from – such as in Manukau
While in other areas people will to choose from candidates who have scored fairly low, one such ward is Maungakiekie-Tāmaki where the best score was incumbent Denise Krum with a C+.
As well as getting an A+ score, Manukau candidate Efeso Collins is also probably the first Auckland candidate in to have his own song. Perhaps it should become a requirement of candidates from now on?
Unfortunately, not all mayoral or council candidates have a ranking as it relied on Generation Zero being able to contact them and them being willing to be interviewed for this. Overall it’s a fantastic resource so thank you to Generation Zero for putting so much effort in for it.
In addition to the work above, if you’re looking for more information candidates the council’s official website has information too. And lastly, Vote Local has a quiz you can do which then compares your answers to mayoral candidates.