Tamaki candidates face up to critics
The fight is on for local board candidates to be heard above the very vocal housing lobbyists in Tamaki.
It all came to a head at the rowdiest candidate meeting yet on Tuesday night at the Glen Innes Library.
Eight candidates are vying for the four Tamaki positions on the local board and there are two candidates, Denise Krum and Richard Northey, running for Maungakiekie-Tamaki ward councillor.
The community was out in force at the meeting, heckling candidates about the Tamaki Redevelopment Company, the Auckland Housing Accord and the Northern Glen Innes Redevelopment Project.
Housing lobbyists say the Labour local board candidates are "sell outs" but one of the incumbents, Labour candidate Josephine Bartley defends her team by saying the last term has been a hard fight.
She has found that her ability to take action is hampered by council bureaucracy.
"What I've seen is our community being done-to and being neglected.
"It's my family, too. That was my uncle that had a heart attack when they sent out those letters telling people to move. The power is with you guys, you've got no rules on you."
Candidate Yvonne Dainty makes a statement by arriving at the meeting with layers of T-shirts emblazoned with housing slogans like "Stolen from us".
She peels off the layers while giving a passionate speech: "It's our fight. It's our state housing. Where are your jobs, people? Where is your voice, people?"
Other candidates keen to fight the housing situation in Glen Innes are Patrick O'Meara and Makelesi Ngata.
Ms Ngata says Tamaki is "not a pretty sight" at the moment. "I grew up in this hood. These are our streets.
"When it comes to the crunch, when the rubber hits the road, it's our people that are affected."
Councillor Richard Northey says he supports the Auckland Housing Accord because it is going to provide affordable housing.
"I have opposed the removal of houses when I can to keep existing residents here. But at the end of the day houses here need to be improved."
Denise Krum was not at the meeting because of school board commitments but sent her apologies.
She says it is up to the community to make the change they want to see. "What we have now shouldn't be as good as it gets."
Panmure resident Bernie Hall says everybody is concerned but arguments are not the answer.
"What I care about is the people in the area. They're not getting a good deal.
"Let's not fight and nitpick. Let's get on with it. Listen and take the messages on board before we give anyone a tick."
The eight candidates for the four Tamaki subdivision seats on the Maungakiekie-Tamaki Local Board are Josephine Bartley, Jocelyn Calvert, Yvonne Dainty, Chris Makoare, Makelesi Ngata, Patrick O'Meara, Obed Unasa and Alan Verrall.
The three candidates for the Maungakiekie subdivision will be re-elected as no-one is standing against them.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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