WCC gets more divided

The Post reports:

Green councillor Nīkau Wi Neera and Labour councillors Nureddin Abdurahman and Ben McNulty will no longer commit to voting with the mayor’s policies.

The vote to sell the airport shares, spearheaded by Whanau in the Wellington City Council’s long-term plan meeting two weeks ago, was the final straw.

We’re not going to be co-operating unconditionally in the same way that we were, until we receive some guarantees that the progressive agenda that the mayor’s office is supposed to be pursuing is the agenda that is actually going to be pursued,” Wi Neera said.

Doesn’t this speak volumes. An admission that the Councillors on the left have been co-operatunbg unconditionally with the Mayor, rather than actually forming their own views. They are not there to represent ratepayers, but their parties.

For the first half of the term, the progressive transport and housing decisions made with the council have been made possible by the eight votes of the Labour and Green councillors, including Whanau’s casting vote as mayor.

No longer. Without the votes of Wi Neera, Abdurahman and McNulty, Whanau will have to make compromises with independent councillors to maintain the eight votes needed to pass her core policies.

This is not a bad thing.

The three councillors will instead vote issue-by-issue. They will not re-enter the voting bloc unless the mayor agrees to set some boundaries or “red lines” around what might be on the table for the rest of the council term.

There we have it – they do not vote issue-by-issue. They simply vote as a bloc. This is why political party Councillors should not be on Councils.

“The mayor is not leading, the bureaucracy is governing us

The Mayor hasn’t spoken to some Cos for over a year.

“Council’s officers say: ‘Jump,’ and the response of the mayor’s office is to say ‘How high?’” McNulty said.

And the response of the Labour/Green Crs has been to say “Can we go higher”

McNulty said the three were standing up for what they believed in. He had stopped attending the Labour-Green caucus meetings because it was “not a healthy environment to have an opinion different from the majority”.

This is how our Council is governed.

“It’s not up to individual councillors what we can and can’t make decisions on,” said Labour councillor Teri O’Neill.

We are the Borg. Resistance is futile!

There were a lot of Labour-Green councillors who didn’t want to be in the same room as each other at the moment, Wi Neera said. “It is a really difficult time, and a lot of people have got hurt, and there’s healing that needs to happen.”

Oh because they voted differently on an issue, they now need time out, and it sounds like an abusive relationship where people have got hurt and need healing!

Whanau said she remained committed to leading Pōneke “with a progressive vision”.

The Reading Cinemas deal and the Town Hall had both been voted through with a progressive majority, she pointed out.

Good to know a progressive vision is to blow out a renovation from $43 million to almost $350 million and to hand out corporate welfare to a US multinational cinema company. I’d call that regressive.

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