Salient interviews the mayoral candidates

Salient have interviewed the mayoral contenders ahead of the VUWSA, Generation Zero and Living Wage co-hosted candidates forum tomorrow.

It’s always interesting to see candidates answer questions from different demographics (like students). For example I’m sure a lot of the “undecided” regional councillors are actually already committed “no” votes on fair fares for students on public transport, they’re just too scared to say so in the middle of the election.

If you’re are pop along for the meeting, it’s bound to be interesting given recent events. Read the interviews:

While they may-or may not get your vote, Wellington’s mayoral hopefuls will be trying their hardest to impress you at a forum this week. Ahead of the forum, Salient asked the four mayoral front-runners for their views on the issues affecting you. You’ll be able to ask your own questions of the mayoral candidates at the forum, in the Hub at 1 pm this Wednesday.

——

Nicola Young

Do you think tertiary students should have subsidised fares on public transport?

I’m looking at this issue closely, and working with VUWSA President, Rory McCourt, and the public-transport providers. Watch this space!

VUWSA has announced a local Bill in partnership with the WCC to introduce a minimum standard of rental housing in Wellington. Would you support the Bill as Mayor?

In principle, yes. Property owners need to invest in their properties; it’s just like ensuring rental cars have a Warrant of Fitness. It’s clear some rental housing is below an acceptable standard—including the WCC’S own units in Newlands which have mould on the outside walls. Most landlords are responsible, but minimum standards would force all to comply. The devil lies in the detail, so that would need to be looked at carefully.

Proposed changes to the local alcohol policy would limit the opening hours of bars, pubs and clubs, and force off-licences to stop selling alcohol earlier. Are you in favour of the proposed changes?

I am against additional restrictions on the hours of sale for alcohol; bars etc generally act responsibly in this area.

What does the Wellington City Council need to be doing better for students? 

The walkways leading from VUW down to The Terrace need better lighting; that’s an issue of student safety. The Snapper card needs to work for Cable Car tickets; after all, the Cable Car is owned by the WCC.

What’s your favourite memory from your own time as a student?

Participating in rowdy debates in the Student Union!

——

Celia Wade-Brown

Do you think tertiary students should have subsidised fares on public transport?

Yes. Public transport must be a more affordable choice. I’ve initiated discussion with tertiary leaders on their role in subsidising student fares as Massey does in Palmerston North. Catching the bus or train as a student sets up a public-transport habit for life and reduces congestion and emissions.

VUWSA has announced a local Bill in partnership with the WCC to introduce a minimum standard of rental housing in Wellington. Would you support the Bill as Mayor?

Yes. My housing policy takes a comprehensive approach to making affordable, warm, dry housing a top priority as a fundamental right for Wellington residents of all ages. Launching our Wellington rental WOF together signals zero tolerance of damp cold flats.

Proposed changes to the local alcohol policy would limit the opening hours of bars, pubs and clubs, and force off-licences to stop selling alcohol earlier. Are you in favour of the proposed changes?

Central government will impose national default hours for several months from mid-December, not recognising Wellington’s myriad of late-night music venues and quirky bars. I support our provisional Local Alcohol Policy—allowing well-run central city bars to open to a maximum of 5 am, and off-licences to 11 pm. Individual applications will be assessed for risk and good management. Our strategy includes better lighting, food carts, late-night transport, and clear messages that excessive drinking is unacceptable and outdated.

What does the Wellington City Council need to be doing better for students?

Students have a huge stake in Wellington’s future. I welcome students to get involved in decision-making, disaster preparedness and voting in the local elections.

We can share better information on sports and arts facilities, low-cost events and transport choices. Better lighting and signposting paths between Kelburn campus and city. Better safe cycling routes. Let’s have a regular forum with VUWSA and other student associations to hear and respond to your issues.

What’s your favourite memory from your own time as a student?

Post-exam parties at the student flat I shared with three other redheads.

——

Jack Yan

Do you think tertiary students should have subsidised fares on public transport?

Yes: specifically, our campaign team has been looking at doing off-peak fares for students, and if elected, I’ll work with Regional Council to deliver them. Our priority was to make sure the subsidies were fair for all students.

VUWSA has announced a local Bill in partnership with the WCC to introduce a minimum standard of rental housing in Wellington. Would you support the Bill as Mayor?

Yes, because this codifies some of the acceptable standards in one piece of legislation. I understand it would fill the gaps in the acts governing rental now (Building Act, Health Act, and Residential Tenancies Act).

Proposed changes to the local alcohol policy would limit the opening hours of bars, pubs and clubs, and force off-licences to stop selling alcohol earlier. Are you in favour of the proposed changes?

I’ve a feeling I was the only non-incumbent to send a submission. Council had discretion to restrict hours for irresponsible bars, but the proposals saw all bars punished. Secondly, off-licence purchase times would have had little effect: those who pre-load would buy earlier. A lot of problems are tied to socioeconomic realities and inequalities. It’s why I’ve talked about apprenticeship programmes, and ensuring we involve young people in our institutions and the direction of our city.

What does the Wellington City Council need to be doing better for students?

Engagement. You should be able to reach your elected officials in social media as well as in real life.

We must understand where students’ interests lie, and actively bridge them with organisations.

We need to have a proper relationship with Vic. I know how much work goes into study: I know how peer review works, since I still contribute to journals. That sort of effort shouldn’t be ignored: it contributes to Wellington’s health and intellectual capability.

What’s your favourite memory from your own time as a student?

Call me a geek, but probably when the full version of LexisNexis was installed on campus in 1995. That year, we could tap into the whole database of legal journals as well as Reuter Textline (not Reuters Textline) for news articles. Bear in mind that prior to that, the only similar tool was a single terminal inside the library linked to Reuter Textline, and you had to book ahead for half-hour slots.

——

John Morrison

Despite the Morrison campaign receiving Salient’s questions eight days before the deadline, and repeated contact with the Morrison campaign throughout this time, Salient did not receive John Morrison’s answers at the time the magazine went to print. While this may seem odd, given John Morrison employs a PR firm to presumably manage this sort of thing, Salient suspects Morrison is reluctant to contribute to student magazines given his recent efforts to stop students being able to vote on campus. That, or he is too busy denying he made a sexist joke at an awards ceremony three weeks ago. Of course, it could be that he is too busy apologising for the joke he denied he made. Maybe it’s all just a big misunderstanding.

:(

——

Salient asked candidates standing for the Greater Wellington Regional Council whether they supported subsidised fares on public transport for tertiary students. Here’s what they said:

Yes:
David Ogden, Nigel Wilson, Sue Kedgley, John Terris, Sandra Greig, Paul Bruce, Judith Aitken, Chris Laidlaw, Mike Fleming, Jenny Brash, Daran Ponter

Undecided:
Gary McPhee, John Dalziell, Paul Swain, Fran Wilde

Did not respond to Salient’s question:
Ariana Paretutanganui-Tamati, Andrew Stewart, Ken Laban, Prue Lamason, Barbara Donaldson, Chris Turver

No: None

Picture 8

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One response to “Salient interviews the mayoral candidates

  1. Pingback: Fisking the #Wgtn2013 Candidates – The Mayoralty | WCC Watch·

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