Radich launches Team Dunedin local body election bid

A Team Dunedin group existed in the 1990s and has been revived by Dunedin city councillor Jules...
A Team Dunedin group existed in the 1990s and has been revived by Dunedin city councillor Jules Radich, who will stand for the mayoralty. PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON
Party politics is out, but Cr Jules Radich is all in on a team ticket set to shake up next year’s Dunedin City Council election.

The first-term councillor has put out the call for people to join him on a Team Dunedin ticket — also featuring Crs Carmen Houlahan and Andrew Whiley — that will push for a reset of council priorities.

Cr Radich, riled by the council backing a one-way main street, said what was best for the city had sometimes been lost while the needs of particular interest groups held sway.

The group he was co-ordinating would not be controlled by a political party and it wanted "genuine consultation and active listening".

His move comes a year out from the next local body elections.

Crs Radich, Houlahan and Lee Vandervis confirmed they would stand for the mayoralty, laying down the challenge to incumbent Mayor Aaron Hawkins.

Cr Whiley said he did not intend to stand for the mayoralty and high-profile businessman Sir Ian Taylor said he was too busy to pursue either the mayoralty or a place on the council.

Cr Radich said there was considerable disquiet about Dunedin’s direction.

He wanted a diverse mix of people to put themselves forward to represent the city.

"The composition of the team is yet to be decided.

"It will be a range of councillors and newcomers."

Cr Whiley said he would support Cr Radich’s tilt for the mayoralty.

"We need a united front for change," he said.

"I don’t think this council is working in the best interests of Dunedin."

Cr Houlahan said she joined the group on the proviso she could stand for mayor, too.

People who had engaged with the council felt they had not been listened to, she said.

Mr Hawkins said it was always positive to see people taking an interest in local body elections and encouraging others to consider putting their hands up.

"Any election is a contest of values and ideas, and of the contrasting ideologies of the candidates standing in it."

Cr Vandervis, who has always stood as an independent, indicated some support for Team Dunedin objectives.

"We do need new blood on the council," he said.

He said party politics had damaged Dunedin for decades.

Cr Vandervis was a close second to Mr Hawkins in the 2019 mayoralty contest.

Mr Hawkins was backed by the Green Party at the last election.



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Anything will be better than the Hawkins Geary duet.

There is no councillor named 'Geary'. It behooves reflexively anti Council commenters to get names right.

Great news! As a VDV supporter I urge him to throw his support behind Radich and seek some committee leadership roles. Time to vote Hawkins out.

If VdV runs for mayor too the risk is diluting the vote and our city has to endure a second term of party politics and wokester gibberish.

VdV's recent promotion of Trumpish ivomectin instead of the available covid vaccine may have altered many people's perception of his commonsense. It's a pity, because he is by far the strongest contender against Hawkins, having had far more high-preference votes in the last election, only missing out when the votes down the end of the papers were added.
"Cr Houlahan said she joined the group on the proviso she could stand for mayor, too." She has a low profile. Not saying she's incompetent, but people vote on the basis of what they know, which is why the highest profile candidates get the tick from the politically uninvolved. Joining the group to get an advantage for her personal ambition isn't the same as joining to make the best change for Dunedin. The group needs to decide on one strong contender, and this will require some people sacrifice their own ambitions if they really care about the future of our city.

He's got my vote, the clowns must go they are destroying the city.

The group he was co-ordinating would not be controlled by a political party and it wanted "genuine consultation and active listening".

No, it doesn't. It wants decisions made to please that same group ... and to hell with what others in the city might want. With its one-way street and 'flexible' options, you couldn't get a 'better' attempt to please everyone. Even if ultimately it pleases no one. I'm not generally a big fan of Mr Hawkins (in fact, I'm not a fan at all), but good on him for at least trying to include groups other than the retailers.

So the 70% who voted in the ODT survey are all retailers? I think not, the majority of people in Dunedin have made their voice clear and do not support the DCC decision.

You cannot know what the Majority want, from Waikouaiti to, what, Middlemarch?

Correct.If it ain't broke don't fix it.

Do you really think that an informal survey in the local newspaper fairly represents all the voices across the community?

Of course it doesn't. No more than a petition where local shopkeepers ask their customers to sign to 'prevent the sky from falling in' does.

The only group the present decision pleases is the anti-car, anti-business, anti-easy access, anti-anyone who lives out of town group. The ones who bury their head in the sand and think personal road transport will disappear when everyone uses self-crashing cars. They have been watching too much of the Jetsons.

Sorry to disappoint you, David, but it probably doesn't even please them. That's what compromise is all about.

They will not get my vote.. the city is stale and bereft of public friendly spaces. The current council has a vision and the drive (no pun intended) to make inclusive change... not just amble along and see town fizzle under current old thinking. Radich and his cohorts have vested interest and business links to the retailers...so of course they will travel that path. (Another pun??)

IMO it is not old thinking it is practicable solutions not diving Dunedin in to more debit. Sure, advance the town (not city) - all for looking after the environment - but it is a balancing act not taking away what people have to further progress your own wants like Hawkins is doing to climb his ladder. If he was seriously looking after Dunedin, where is the plan for light rail to get people in and out of Dunedin? Why has there been narrowing of roads with plastic bollards? Look at the parklets: they were a vision - yeah, right. What about the Octagon pallet furniture - classy as aye. The waste on flowers, stars all for the name of art - no doubt Hawkins' path had crossed at one point with the artists. Purchase of Sammy's by a committee led by none other than Hawkins, the bridge to nowhere ( North Korea) has one at the DMZ. The hospital build - who builds a major hospital, fire station and major police station within blocks of each other in today's climate? Hawkins want to turn the CBD into apartment living - who has interests in those buildings?

"what was best for the city had sometimes been lost while the needs of particular interest groups held sway"

Of course Radich does not have his own particular "interests" - does he? e.g. unnecessary, damaging and expensive groynes and sea walls at St Clair.

"unnecessary" "damaging" "expensive", how so?. Damaging to south Dunedin when the sea breaches the dunes due to lack of sand, will see the groynes were necessary then and were not too expensive when South Dunedin has to be abandoned.

I have met Jules Radich before and he did appear to be the sort of person who would be suitable for a mayoral role. He speaks well and would sell the city. I am sure Aaron Hawkins cares about Dunedin but he doesn't look a comfortable fit in the job.

Your spot on ribsy..

Let's be honest here: having no mayor would be better for Dunedin and more beneficial than Hawkins as a Mayor. Totally Awesome Cr Houlahan, Cr Vandervis, Cr Radich are all good choices IMHO.

Oh great, 3 mayoral candidates to split the vote so we end up with Hawkins again. Three so far, wait and see how many people join this group, it could end up with 10 mayoral hopefuls which means more years of Hawkins. Please sort out among yourselves ONE candidate, for the good of Dunedin.

The last thing this city needs are Crs Radich, Houlahan and Vandervis. God help us all! Two are children and hardly know their way around, and the one who does is out of control. It would be a disaster. Listen to the people, not the businesses.

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