New candidate keen on moneyless future
St Arnaud farmer Richard Osmaston is pushing his crusade for a moneyless economy by standing for mayor of Nelson.
He is the fourth person to confirm a bid for the top office at Civic House. He will stand against incumbent Aldo Miccio, councillor Rachel Reese and police officer Inspector Brian McGurk.
Mr Osmaston said during his submission to the Nelson City Council annual plan hearings, which started yesterday, that he would stand on the single issue of promoting a "resource-based economy".
He said he believed in the need for a revolution from a monetary-based economy to a resource-based one, where everything was free and all work was voluntary, because humanity was looking at social breakdown like never before.
"I'm standing for mayor because I think I can make a difference for our future wellbeing.
"We are heading over a cliff - socially, financially, every way you can think of. So far, all anyone has done is address the symptoms, and there are so many now that everyone's exhausted fighting them."
The English-born and raised former aircraft engineer and commercial airline pilot told the Nelson Mail in an interview last year that the fact societies did not need money could be the most important problem the world solved.
Mr Osmaston said society was merely managing a decline, with problems arriving "faster than you can manage".
"We are just managing the symptoms and not looking at the real cause. You guys are doing a great job, but it's not working," he told councillors yesterday.
He proposed that the council set up a body or group to focus on future problem-solving.
He said the council's Framing the Future strategy [Nelson 2060] was a great idea but he could not see it working.
In answer to a question from councillor Mike Ward about whether the strategy might be a way towards formulating answers, Mr Osmaston said he felt the vision needed to be broader.
Mr Osmaston, who grew up in a politically aware family, said he knew little about local government but was serious about getting elected.
He rejected the suggestion that he was using the mayoral platform to attract attention to the alternative economy concept, touted by the Zeitgeist Movement as a panacea for the world's problems. Mr Osmaston belongs to the movement but is not an official or chapter leader.
"There's no right platform so I'll take any I can get."
He said he trusted the people currently running the council but they were, "trying to walk with concrete boots".
"We are on a rising tide of disillusionment. This is about offering an alternative, because in my lifetime I've seen none. It's just more of the same - or, as Aldo says, ‘business as usual'."
Mr Osmaston said the first thing he would do if elected would be educating people on the council about the potential to operate the economy without money.
He would also move to the city, and to prove that he was genuine about a moneyless economy, he would turn down the $116,000 mayoral salary.
Mr Osmaston said he chose not to stand in Tasman district because the dialogue was more intense in Nelson city and things happened much faster there.
"It's a more invigorated environment where diverse views are accommodated.
"The most important thing is belief in your material."
The Nelson Mail