The good, the bad and the strug­glers

Kapi-Mana News - - CONVERSATIONS -

The re­port cards, as­sess­ing the work of Porirua City coun­cil­lors, are in. As usual, some coun­cil­lors are smil­ing, oth­ers are frown­ing.

The re­sults put Litea Ah Hoi and John Burke at the bot­tom, while Bron­wyn Kropp and Euon Mur­rell get a view from the top.

This is not a pop­u­lar­ity con­test – the pan­elists do not judge on whose name ap­pears most in print, on ra­dio and TV, or in so­cial me­dia.

They judge on the coun­cil­lors’ and mayor’s turnout to pub­lic meet­ings and events, whether they are will­ing to take calls on is­sues like foot­paths and streetlights and what value they can bring to their com­mu­nity or neigh­bour­hood.

Kropp and Mur­rell were judged favourably on their lead­er­ship, in­tel­li­gence and vis­i­bil­ity in their ward and in Porirua.

Burke and Ah Hoi were judged to be not pro­vid­ing suf­fi­cient value to their wards or around the coun­cil ta­ble. Burke’s pres­ence mys­ti­fied some pan­elists and Ah Hoi was seen as some­one who had once been a star, but has faded.

Mayor Nick Leggett had a tum­ble down the rank­ings, but an 82 per cent rat­ing was still com­mend­able. Anita Baker and Izzy Ford did well, while Denys Latham and the de­part­ing pair of Tim Shep­pard and Ken Dou­glas were in the pack.

Some peo­ple do not like the re­port cards. But they of­fer a sort of com­bined, col­lec­tive wis­dom. There is no at­tempt to har­poon any­one ma­li­ciously.

In the past, coun­cil­lors who have fared badly have said we have made it im­pos­si­ble for them to seek re-elec­tion.

Our view is that if you worked hard, around the coun­cil ta­ble and in the com­mu­nity, the panel will re­flect that ef­fort made.

Our panel was made up of peo­ple from busi­ness, me­dia and res­i­dents as­so­ci­a­tions – folks who are aware of the coun­cil­lors’ and mayor’s work in the com­mu­nity.

Over the years, no mat­ter who we put on the panel, the re­sults re­main sur­pris­ingly con­sis­tent. The best per­form­ers fin­ish at or near the top. If cer­tain coun­cil­lors are con­stantly polling near the bot­tom of the field, there is a les­son in there for them.

The pan­elists were frank – one was an­noyed that not a sin­gle coun­cil­lor had put any mea­sure for­ward to stop the rates climb. Over­all, we were im­pressed by our pan­elists ef­forts to be fair and im­par­tial.

We hope the ex­er­cise gives a shot in the arm to lo­cal body pol­i­tics, which not enough res­i­dents care about.

Voter turnout is be­low 40 per cent, so any­thing that en­cour­ages peo­ple to think, and de­bate, about who sits on their lo­cal coun­cil is surely valu­able.

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