Yesterday nominations closed and were disclosed for the hundreds of elected local body positions all over Aotearoa NZ. While there's been immense media focus on the race for just one of those spots, that of the new Auckland Super Mayor, there's a lot more to it than that, including community boards, licensing trusts, health boards, councils, and many more mayoralties besides.
Running my eye over the Auckland-related nominations*, cos that's where I live and have the most interest, there does seem to be the usual dominance of male candidates. Based solely on names they also look to mainly be Pakeha. As more information comes out about candidates I guess we shall see if the candidate pool looks more diverse than in years gone by. If I get a chance I might run some numbers on it later in the week. If anyone has links to candidate nomination lists in their area do feel free to share them in comments too.
What do the nominations look like in your neck of the woods? Are there any candidates you are particularly excited about, or someone who's success you dread?
It's been surprising to see up here a few people come out of the woodwork like Sir Barry Curtis seeking one of two Council seats for Manurewa-Papakura. As previous Mayor Forever of Manukau he'd have to be a certainty.
There's a profusion of confusing (to me) new tickets with names that don't really say much about their politics or affiliation (I particularly love it when people say they are on a ticket that uses Independent in the name - I saw one called Proudly Independent on the list somewhere this time!). As things unfold where these tickets sit will become clearer I hope, although that will rely heavily on local media doing that work and communicating it effectively to voters. Everything in Auckland seems to be contested, with the possible exception of a few of the licensing trust spots.
There's going to be an enormous number of people participating in the democratic process around the country over the next six weeks; as voters, as candidates, as supporters of tickets and individuals, as local community people highlighting their local issues, as media, and as a combination of several of these things at once! Please show some patience and compassion for those out there seeking your votes for themselves or others - you might think they are wrong but clearly they don't, and putting your name and time and at least a little money on the line should get them a bit of respect for their efforts (for the first 30 seconds anyway ;-).
*And yes, my name is listed as standing for the Local Board in my area. I won't be campaigning on this blog, that's not what this space is for. I have no idea what my chances are, but I imagine reasonably low given I haven't run before and a number of other factors at play locally and personally. I'd love to serve my community on the Local Board - time will tell if I get that chance!