ANALYSING THE WAITEMATA & GULF WARD ELECTION RESULTS 2016
Auckland’s Inner-City Ward is a highly contested political stomping ground. You don’t have to go much further than the efforts of National’s Nikki Kaye vs Labour’s Jacinda Ardern to understand the effort, commitment and resources that are spent to firstly support the community and secondly contest the electoral seat.
Despite the confusing political alliances that are formed in #Auckland #LocalGovernment, such as Team Waitemata, C&R, City Vision, Auckland Future, Affordable Auckland and the independent candidates; this is a highly represented and contest local community.
Here are the trends as I saw them in the 2016 elections:
-Waitemata & Gulf Ward Councillor-
In the Councillor seat Bill Ralston was almost 1,000 votes earshot of MikeLee, the closest result in three terms of the Super City. While being an independent is a major challenge my voter base grew by almost 1,500 this election and has almost doubled in two terms. With Mike Lee’s 30+ year political life and my fledgling 6.. it’s just a matter of time and change is the wind.
-Waitemata Local Board-
The Waitemata Local Board has had a refresh with just four incumbents remaining. Members Pippa Coom and VoteRobThomas were the clear front runners with over 8,000 votes each while Shale Chambers received over 7,000 votes. City Vision new comers Adriana Avendaño Christie and Richard Northey along with Auckland Future candidates #MarkDavey, and former #WaitemataLocalBoard member Vernon Tava making the cut. There were just 10 votes separating Jonathan Good and Vernon, followed by four other candidates within 500 votes. Former Auckland City Councillor and Local Board member Greg Moyle polled in twelfth place. With former Local Board Members Christopher Dempsey and Deborah Yates deciding not to stand for re-election.
The centre left once had a commanding lead in #Waitemata but the margin has now narrowed by over 10% of the overall vote and this is a clear shift towards a great balance of decision making across the political spectrum. Fresh faces provide both an opportunity for new thinking but also a challenge of continuity. New members Adriana and Mark are business #entrepreneurs and should bring a greater depth to the decision making process.
The next chairperson will need to be collaborative and act fairly to bring members together. In my view the workloads across each portfolio, business association and committee delegation can no longer be held by one group but will need to be shared to get the best outcomes for our community.
-Waiheke Island Local Board-
It was a great result for independents on #Waiheke Island with newly elected #BobUpchurch leading the charge, independent new comer Cath Handley, independent incumbents Shirin Brown and John Meeuwsen and former chairperson Paul Walden.
-Great Barrier Island Local Board-
With such a small population, the voting is always close on Great Barrier Island with just 276 votes separating first and last place. #IzzyFordhammaintained her commanding lead followed by new comer Luke Coles for local board, Sue Daly is back on along with #JeffCleave and ecologist #ShirleyJohnson.
Overall there was a feeling of change and this was reflected in the number of new faces and a string of independents successfully elected across the ward.
*election figures taken from elections.org.nz, Auckland Council, and Wikipedia.