Auckland will be awash with shades of blue during these local body elections. Crone is backed by the National Party, Thomas is a member of the National Party, only Palino is offering an independent alternative. If Palino chooses red as his colour he might pick up Labour votes from those unable to distinguish names but understand that red means Labour. All the candidates are promising they stand for fiscal conservatism and an end to the massive rates rises that have been the hallmark of the disastrous Brown (Labour) mayoralty. They have to if they want to get elected.
Goff is regarded as being more financially conservative than his Labour colleagues and it is with this reputation that he hopes to convince middle of the road voters that he won’t be a repeat of the irresponsible Brown.
Don’t be fooled: his promises amount to billions more additional spending. It can’t be financed by debt because Council’s debt limit has already been reached. He doesn’t want to sell assets, (asset sales are so un-Labour) and he doesn’t want to raise rates so high it means, like Brown, he becomes unelectable.
What he plans to do instead is raise money indirectly through tolls, levies, bonds, user-pays, sloughing more responsibility (but not more money) for basic services onto local boards and any other fair means or foul that he can dream up to raise capital. It will be a repeat of the Helen Clark modus operandi of central government.
My blood turns ice cold blue just to think of a Goff mayoralty and so should yours.. Perhaps he chose the right colour after all.