Labour coup fails

Stuff reports:

Five Labour-aligned politicians have withdrawn plans to oust a community board chairwoman following a strong public backlash.

The actions of the five People’s Choice members of the Waikura/Linwood-Central-Heathcote board – city councillors Jake McLellan​ and Yani Johanson, Michelle Lomax, Sunita Gautam and Jackie Simons​ – to unseat Alexandra Davids have been widely criticised.

Community leaders accused them of playing “bad politics” and caring only about “power and control”. Their behaviour was described as “despicable” and on Wednesday they were warned of the consequences their actions would have at the next election.

It is good they have backed down, but the episode has exposed that what motivates them is not community service, but indeed power and control. There has been no question of the competence of Ms Davids. Her only crime was not to be a paid up member of the Labour Party. The moment they got a majority through a by-election, they moved to take control.

It is a good reminder of why local body politicians who pledge loyalty to party ahead of council should be avoided.

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