The good, the bad

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - By KRIS DANDO

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.

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