Aaron Hawkins Greens mayoral candidate

Aaron Hawkins
Aaron Hawkins
Student radio broadcaster Aaron Hawkins took aim at the Dunedin City Council as he was confirmed as the Green Party's candidate for the Dunedin mayoralty last night.

Mr Hawkins was named by party co-leader Metiria Turei as the party's mayoral and council candidate at a function at the Queens Cafe and Bar in Dunedin.

He told supporters the council seemed to treat some people as ''an annoyance'', and needed to realise democracy did not only occur every three years.

Mr Hawkins, an unsuccessful council and mayoral candidate in 2010, hoped to capture some of the electoral support enjoyed by the party, particularly in North Dunedin.

If elected, he would push for sustainable jobs, warm and healthy homes, and more efficient and affordable public transport in the city.

''Green jobs and green homes and green transport to get us between the two - that's a Green Dunedin,'' he said.

However, he would not elaborate when asked by a member of the crowd how he would improve public transport when the system was run by the Otago Regional Council.

And, speaking afterwards, he told the Otago Daily Times it was too soon to say how many other Green candidates could also seek election in Dunedin.

Mr Hawkins' mayoral campaign would pit him against Mayor Dave Cull and Cr Lee Vandervis, and possibly former Act New Zealand party list MP Hilary Calvert.

Sir Eion Edgar had also suggested reconstituting a Citizens Association to back candidates for the council and mayoralty.

- Cr Andrew Noone, the only incumbent Dunedin city councillor yet to be contacted about their election plans, also confirmed yesterday he would stand for council again in October's election.

- chris.morris@odt.co.nz

Green candidate for ORC?

The Otago Regional Council administers sewage and discharges from land to water (coastal or freshwater). It also has a role in looking after biodiversity, according to the RMA. ORC also makes the rules around pollution discharges to air and set limits for intensive farming such as dairy farming and its effects on water. With this as the ORC's core responsibility it baffles me why the Green Party would not be putting forward a candidate for the ORC. This is a call for anybody green-minded to stand for the ORC which is currently made up of mainly farmers and big businessmen.

New Boy

Having heard Mr Hawkins speak many times it is clear he thinks deeply and speaks intelligently on the real issues that affect people. It is obvious he does he his research and speaks from an informed view. With the backing and support of the Green party I think he will make a fine candidate for Mayor. I agree the issues he will need to tackle will not be easy, but they would not be easy for any candidate. 

Will also be a good thing to shake up the Dunedin 'old boys' network. [abridged]

Green wash

The Green platform was announced as "Green jobs' Green transport, and Green homes".
These are all important issues, that have had many different social sector agencies and community groups contributing to the advancement of these objectives for sometime, including all the hard yards from individual people within our community.

Understanding public transport issues

Trev, Cr Teresa Stevenson has championed the cause of improved public transport for at least a decade that I know about. I will email her and ask her if she will respond to your question.

I know there has been a joint committee on 'transport' with membrs of DCC and ORC on same commitee, chaired by DCC Cr Syd Brown. This committee may have been more focussed on cars etc than public transport.

Also that ORC Councillor Michael Deaker has been a long-term champion of public transport.

But when you find everyone is in favour of something happening but it never seems to happen, that suggests to me there is something wrong with the system - is actually working against its intended purpose (not uncommon!).

Public transport legislation problems

No agency has overall responsibility for a Dunedin city bus service. For example, neither DCC nor ORC can plan and build a city transport exchange.
IMO the legislation assumes that a good bus service will appear if more and more different routes keep getting added when the need appears.
However, that is not how systems work. For example, weather is a complex system. A small change can have a very large and unexpected effect.

Dunedin's present bus service has already reached a systems dysfunction stage, where many routes cover the same travel paths along George St. This causes congestion so buses don't have room to stop at every stop and then people don't know where to catch them.
The whole system needs to be considered and integrated. It's not that difficult but the whole concept of integration is opposed to what underlies present legislation.

I have discussed these problems with Dr Jane Turnbull, Transport Planner at ORC. She's very helpful and knowledgeable.
I think the law needs to be changed so that only one agency, preferably the Dunedin City Council has all the responsibility for public transport within the city limits at least. Then they also need to get wide flexibility as to how they carry out that duty- as in the Auckland newly-amalgamated city which has has wide discretionary powers as to how they provide public transport plus trasport infrastructure - along with the sole responsibility to do it.

I have a blog on this huge, complex and vitally important topic: <chirpbird.wordpress.com> Dunedin Bus Blog

Public Transport Legislation?

chirpbird: Specifically which legislation is preventing moving Dunedin Public Transport accountability from the ORC to the DCC (where it should have remained )? Or is it just people resistant to change?

Why page 8?

This story was placed on page 8 while the other day Eion Edgar's exploration of a possible 'Citizens' ticket was given higher prominence. To boot, the Olivier Lequeux story was longer . . . for other reasons no doubt.

Attended council meetings?

It would be good to know how many council meetings this candidate has attended over the last year.

Also how much he knows about various current local and central goverment projects for increasing insulation in homes and whether that primarily benefits landlords rather than tenants. And whether the current insulation schemes are the most cost-efective.

And how much he knows about the DCC's current Econmic Development Strategy, whether he thinks it is a good one and whether he think this should be a local governement responsibility at alll, but more properly economic wellbeing as a central government responsibility.

And then there is the problem of the Otago Regional Council being responsible for public transport and that talks about tansfer of powers between DCC and ORC have been ongoing for about twelve years without progress, possibly due to the nature of the legislation .

Also of course where will the extra money for improved public transport come from as Land Transport NZ is cuttng back on funding. Surely not from a greater local rate burden?

Very game to be willing to take on all these very difficult projects.

Sad trombone sound

Womp womp waaaaaaaaah

Can I vote for "No Confidence in these Candidates" ?


Great news

The City needs some competition and a fresh approach.

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