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Posts Tagged ‘Celia Wade Brown’

Endorsing Celia for Mayor

30 September 2013 1 comment

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Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown election billboard

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Website

I am proud to endorse Celia Wade Brown for mayor of Wellington.

In the 1990s, when we were both members of the Alliance, Celia worked hard on issues such as Save Capital Power – trying to prevent the privatisation of Wellington’s Council-owned power company.

She has Wellington’s best interests at heart, and it’s a privilege to support her candidacy.

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How to make a Right Winger spit the dummy…

27 March 2012 1 comment

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… in one easy step,

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Full Story

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The response was vitriolic, on the Comment Board at the conclusion of the story. There appeared to be a definite right-wing flavour to the virulent comments critical of Ms Wade-Brown’s trip. I re-post a few here,

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Phil   #1   08:40 am Mar 27 2012

Why does she not just pick up the phone and call them? Save ratepayers some money maybe? Chinese businesses like to have face to face meetings but I reckon if they want to do business internationally they have to get over it, people cant afford to fly across the world just for them, money is tight right now. In effect, business interests are being subsidized by the ratepayer.

wajoh   #5   09:09 am Mar 27 2012

I wonder if someone could give us the facts & figures of the success or otherwise of this junkets?

anne   #7   09:37 am Mar 27 2012

In times of austerity these sort of trips are a ‘personal want’ than a need,costing the rate payers dearly,there is no need when modern technology exsists. The govt and local govt continue to slap voters with the bills for their wasteful spending on needless endless trips away and social get-togethers.STOP IT NOW.

Shirley   #10   10:34 am Mar 27 2012

What a waste of money perhaps she can spend that money on more nessessary things for NZ – don’t tell me she is going to waste money on flying maybe she could cycle there instead !!!!

Paul   #15   12:58 pm Mar 27 2012

$645 of my money going towards potential business ties? Never. She should stay here and educate people on the new road rules.

missy   #16   01:37 pm Mar 27 2012

What a complete waste of money and time. This is what is wrong with local politics – a trip to China is not one of the CORE RESPONSIBILITIES of Council. And, what about climate change, surely the air miles are also worth noting (seeing as she is a Greenie).

Other comments were simply derogatory ad hominem insults.

But a few, who actually bothered to take the time to read the article in it’s entirety, noticed this aspect of  the impending mayoral trip,

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It is unfortunate that some are so blinded by their politics of enmity, that they can utterly mis-read a media report.

None of Ms Wade-Brown’s trenchant critics referred to the fact that the former mayor, Kerry Prendergast, had led a visit to China only thirteen months prior to the current mayor’s election. But then, Ms Prendergast was closely aligned to the National Party.

Unfortunately, even  the National-leaning (?)  Wellington Employers’ Chamber of Commerce president, Richard Stone,  was half-hearted in his support of mayoral-led delegation, with the caveat that he’d support Ms Wade-Brown’s trip    “if there was demand from businesses“,

Business delegations to China need high ranking political figures to lead them to be succesful.”

So far twenty  businesses have  expressed interest in the trip. So Mr Stone can sleep easy at night.  So can right wing critics.

The city’s $645 will be well spent.

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Sean Plunkett’s parking tickets…

23 July 2011 1 comment

That is hardly surprising given that Edwards and Callingham have a rather last-century view of the media interview as a battle of egos rather than a forum for the extraction and dissemination of information important to the public. Their approach seems to be that it doesn’t matter if you answer the questions as long as you win the interview.

If you are happy for your rates to pay for our mayor to take that approach then the four grand has been well spent. I am not, but am even more disturbed that our mayor burned precious fossil fuel flying to another city for the training when any number of media trainers here could have done the job as well if not better.

Still, the non-rates dollar from parking fines might have paid for the trip if this correspondence between a friend and CitiOperations manager Stavros Michael is anything to go by:

“Dear Stavros, I would be grateful for your advice. I parked outside Parliament today to go to a good friend’s funeral at Old St Paul’s. The funeral was packed and overran as there was 12 speeches. On returning to the car I see two parking tickets. These are still joined together, are for apparently the same offence as per the writing on the ticket. Printed 2mins apart. How can this be? Kind regards

“Ticket One: time 13.49; Offence: Displaying a pay and display receipt ticket indicating time expired for more than 1 hour but less than 2 hrs

“Ticket Two: time 13.51; Parking in excess of the maximum meter time indicated on the meter for more than 1 hour but not more than 2 hours.”

A reasonable and respectful letter I thought. It wasn’t long before my friend got a reply from the champion of Wellington’s parking wardens, Mr Michael.

“Thanks for your inquiry. The parking regulations of the city specify parking time limits (ie P30 or P60 or P120) in order to engineer an appropriate turnover of vehicles per parking space which in turn aids the various economic and accessibility objectives of our Parking Policy. In addition the parking regulations specify the value of the car parking space through a set of fees per hour etc. Revenue from this area offsets the level of funding required to maintain a transport network and lessens the burden on ratepayers.
“So in effect your tickets were for:

“Breaching the time limits (ie denied other potential users the space) and,

“Breaching your obligation to pay for the space occupation.

“The level of fines is defined through national legislation and our parking enforcement policy works within those penalty grades.

“I am sure that the overstay on the car park was caused by the funeral process. However, a parking warden would have no way of knowing that and they must apply the remedies required by the regulations consistently and within the rules of the policy. I trust that this clarifies the matter for you.”

I don’t think my friend was overly impressed by this, which is why he sent the correspondence to me. Perhaps the council needs a new bylaw to specify how long a funeral should be or, heaven forbid, make consideration for mourners who travel by car by designating more parking near to churches and other venues where such events are held.

I wonder how Brian Edwards would spin that one.

What – another Dom Post piece having a go at Celia Wade-Brown?! Say it ain’t so…!

So basically, Mr Plunket, what you’re telling us is that for the FIRST TIME EVER, a politician has recieved media training?!

And it’s never, ever happened in the past?!

Because if that is true, then everything we’ve heard about MPs and other elected representatives receiving media training must, ipso facto, be false?!

That, in itself, would be a nationwide story!!

Or, the simpler explanation is that this is yet another Dominion Post beat-up on Ms Wade-Brown?

And an even simpler explanation? That Mr Plunkett is pissed off with his parking fines, and has decided to exploit column-space in the Dom Post to vent his spleen.

Bad form, Sean.

To be honest, Plunkett’s piece is not all that well written. It comes across as a bit of a whinge that he’s been ticketed by the Council. He’s made passing reference to Ms Wade-Brown receiving media training – *yawn* – which in itself is pretty pointless. Every other politician since Satan said “vote for me and you’ll ALL get an apple!” has used media training at one time or another. It’s not much different to managers receiving management training; retail staff receiving retail training; waiting and bar staff receiving hospitality training; etc, etc.

Plunkett’s column in this instance is fairly amateurish stuff.

The only reason that the Post published this, I suspect, is because it targets Celia Wade-Brown.

Just remember, Dominion Post,  that this is the age of the internet. This little campaign-thing that you folks have going will become obvious for what it is – a vendetta.

And Sean – just pay your bloody tickets, mate. It’s not the Mayor’s fault where you parked your car.
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Update:

Brian Edwards responds.

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Curioser and curioser? More Dom Post BS?

16 July 2011 3 comments

Full Article

The Dominion Post (hereinafter referred to as Dip), seems to have taken an exception to recently-elected Mayor, Celia Wade-Brown, taking a trip to China and Japan.

Now, aside from the rightness or wrongness of our elected representatives going overseas (though in some cases, would it be unreasonable for some never to return?) – it seems curious that the DiP has made this a media story in terms of suggesting;

“…but what does Wellington and its ratepayers really have to gain?

Or,

“…But is it all worth it? It is costing ratepayers $19,000 for Ms Wade-Brown and economic portfolio leader Jo Coughlan to take part in a trip whose benefits to Wellington may not be immediately apparent.

Further down in the somewhat-lengthy article, it becomes quite apparent that the trip is far from a “pleasure junket”, along the lines of Rodney Hide taking his girlfriend to Britain, Canada and the United States (cost to taxpayer: $52,000); or Roger Douglas taking his wife to London to see their son and grandchildren (cost to taxpayer: $44,411).

Instead, this will involve visiting six cities in nine days (including Wellington’s sister cities Beijing, Xiamen and Sakai). Ms Prendergast described it as hard work,

“At these meetings in China the leader of the delegation is always expected to open and close the event with appropriate speeches. You are on duty all of the time . . . some days I would speak [up to] 10 times.”

Not exactly a laid-back junket, but the sounds of it.

Kerry Prendergast commented,

I was hosted by the mayor of Beijing to a dinner. Beijing has 22 million people and he hosted a private dinner for me and the senior members of our business delegation and matched them . . . with really senior people in the Chinese business community.

City property developer Ian Cassels stated that he,

“…probably had the same view as most uninformed people that this was a complete waste of time. You don’t get anything out of China unless you keep going back. If you see them once, they think you aren’t that interested. But once you’ve been there a few times, the respect and appreciation you get is enormous and there are big business opportunities for most of the people that go on the trade delegation.

And the cost to ratepayers: $19,000.

As a tax/ratepayer, I think I can tolerate $19,000 on what is essentially a business trip to “sell” (metaphorically) Wellington – as opposed to ACT MPs taking the mickey and spending nearly $100,000 on holidays, at our expense.

It is unfortunate that – whilst the article eventually presented an explanation as to why Ms Wade-Brown was going to China and Japan, that it started off with a suspicious view that she was somehow rorting the system.

For as long as I’ve known Ms Wade-Brown, I think it’s fairly safe to say that she’s one of the most honest politicians that we’ve had. Sad to say, we New Zealanders tend to elect some fairly dodgy characters to Parliament and Councils. Ms Wade-Brown is not one of them.

Would it be too much to ask the DiP to cut her some slack?

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