The good, the bad
Izzy Ford is the big mover in our latest survey of Porirua City councillors. The first-term Eastern ward councillor achieved an impressive 79.7 per cent approval rating from a panel put together by Kapi-Mana News. That put her second only to the runaway favourite, Porirua mayor Nick Leggett.
The eight-person panel comprised people from education, business, sport and residents associations who have had extensive contact with the council over the past 18 months.
Ford scored highly in accessibility, work ethic and having Porirua’s interests at heart. Her strong contacts in the community, visibility in social media and at public events caught our panelists’ attention.
‘‘She seems genuinely prepared to put in the time as a councillor,’’ one panelist said.
Ford described the result as a pleasant shock. ‘‘You never know whether you’re doing enough,’’ she said. ‘‘I always feel I should be doing more.
‘‘It’s pretty humbling. I’m still learning and finding my voice, but I’m well supported. I’m going to keep trying to pull my weight.’’
Long-time councillor Litea Ah Hoi, however, did not fare well. She, John Burke and Tim Sheppard were at the bottom of the rankings, all recording under 63 per cent per cent approval ratings.
Ah Hoi’s work ethic was criticised and she was assessed as being not as visible as previously.
She said while people were entitled to their opinions, the panel did not know her, see the work she did behind the scenes, or listen to her contribute at council meetings.
‘‘I believe I’m visible in the sector I need to be in Porirua,’’ she said. ‘‘I don’t know how they can measure my effectiveness.
‘‘This [panel] process is flawed. What will be will be and I’m not really bothered – I’m not on council to make friends, but I will represent my community.’’
Ah Hoi said she had her face buried in a laptop, writing up district licensing committee decisions, many nights a week and answered countless knocks on her door in her role as a JP.
She was working with police to establish Pacific wardens in Porirua, she said.
For Leggett, a constant top performer in these surveys, his 86.5 approval rating was a surprise.
The panel said he was the face of Porirua’s council and of the city outside its borders, and had a high work ethic.
Leggett said as a mayor he had to make tough decisions that sometimes annoyed people, but he also had the advantage of being out front all the time, making him more accessible to the panelists.
He said the survey was healthy because it put the spotlight on local government and offered important feedback. ‘‘It will spark debate and that’s healthy for democracy.’’
Great start: First-termer Izzy Ford was lauded for her visibility.
On top: Nick Leggett heads the list... again.
Bottom: Litea Ah Hoi was voted the worst performer.
Struggling: Veteran John Burke failed to impress.