It’s early days yet, but so far there are only two candidates for the soon to be new position as Mayor of the soon to new Aukilani / Auckland Super City: John Banks and Len Brown.
John Banks is the candidate for the right. Len Brown is the candidate for the left. Despite this they are both running as independants. Currently Banks is Mayor of the Auckland City Council, while Brown is the Mayor of the southern city, Manukau City Council.
I like Len Brown. He is a lawyer who has practiced in Aukilani Saute for many years. He has been an advocate for workers rights. He is a staunch supporter of Maori rights (including in this current campaign, demanding Maori guaranteed seats in the council). But he is also approachable and human. There’s a youtube clip of him dancing at Life Church in Manurewa not long ago. He’s not ashamed to bust a move infront of a church youth group.
He is more a unifying candidate than Banks.
But I don’t want to keep my hopes up until all hands are played. Coz I have a niggly feeling some other leftie is going to put their hand up and split the vote. I hope my feelings are wrong. The last thing we need is a divided voting bloc.
Conservatives by nature are mostly a homogeneous group, giving Banks a much more solidified and reliable voting base. On the other hand, the left is diverse and complicated, ranging from indigenous rights groups, feminists, trade unionist, minority rights groups, migrant groups, working class groups, environmentalists, to civil libertarians.
But Brown is on the winning side. Well, the side that will eventually win. This isn’t a one-eyed biased observation, but demographics show the fastest growing groups in Niu Sila, especially in Aukilani, are young non-Palagi’s. Aukilani has a growing diversity. With this diversity there is a need for unity. I hope Brown is that person.
After watching that youtube clip, Len Brown might not be Samoan ‘brown’ but his dance moves certainly show’s a different shade of brown!
On an unrelated topic, other than name, there was a recent billboard in affluent (Palagi dominated) Parnell which stated “At least our brownie won’t eat your dog”. It was an advertisement for controversial pizza company, Hells Pizza’s new gluten free brownies. The message was referring to the recent news of the Tongan man in Mangere who killed his dog and was about to eat it fresh out of the umu behind his house before the SPCA intervened.
Now Hell’s Pizza thrives on publicity and have played some pretty bad media stunts to get that publicity, even if it’s bad publicity.
I’ve already posted by humorous take on the ‘almost’ dog meal, so I wasn’t really offended with that aspect of the billboard. In fact at first I thought it was quite witty, but as always there’s a historical context to language. “Our brownies” has so many racial connotations that the fact it was posted in a white area, you’ve got to question at the least the impression such an advert could have let alone any pre-conceived discriminatory idea’s the marketers may have harboured.
But at the end of the day, that’s all I want to say, coz the more we harp on about it, the more free ‘bad’ publicity the Pizza company gets.