|I confess for being political|
Unfortunately, we cannot broadcast today’s Wheeler’s Corner. As it consists in its entirety of comments which disparage current mayoral candidates, this puts the programme in breach of the Electoral Act, which states: “Third parties cannot broadcast at any time a programme that appears to encourage or persuade voters to vote, or not to vote, for a party or candidate.”
Your personal opinion of the various candidates is entirely acceptable to express as such on your blog, but when it is broadcast, it becomes subject to broadcast law. If you want to make claims about candidates on your radio programme, there needs to be a clear and accessible right of reply to those claims. Ideally, such commentary would come in the form of interviews with the various candidates where they could make their replies immediately and directly.
Unless you have an alternative plan you would like me to follow, today’s Wheeler’s Corner will be a repeat of the last episode broadcast. If you would like me to do something else, please let me know as soon as possible so that I can take the appropriate action before 11:45am.”
Now I received that message via email on the day my Wheelers Corner programme was due to be broadcast [Thursday 22nd Jan 2014]. I can understand why the message was sent, and I believe it was sent in good faith. If you are a reader of Wheelers Corner you will have received a copy of the issue and will have already read my comments on various candidates, some positive and some negative and yes I did suggest how I thought you might like to vote…but I did point out that it was your choice…and I even stated that you didn’t need to accept my opinion but that you did need to vote.I plead guilty and hope I will be forgiven and not sent to the block...you don't need to torture me, I confess [and I hate pain]
Anyway you are no doubt aware that an by-election is being held to replace Jono Naylor as the Mayor of Palmerston North. The voting papers have already being sent out and voting has actually started.
The last day for voting will be on Tuesday the 10th of February 2015. Now the rules [law] as defined by the reference above http://www.elections.org.nz/media-handbook-publishers-and-broadcasters/part-2-election-broadcasting) commands that third parties [that means me and you if you broadcast] cannot suggest whom or whom not to vote for. Even if you are fully aware that what some candidates are pushing is simply not true or has had spin applied so as to give the words a sense of correctness or truth or factualness.
I accept that what I recorded to have broadcast was based on my Wheelers Corner published via email on the [21st Jan 2015] and that the station was compliant with the Broadcast rules… I truly believe that the rules are simply a means to stifle debate about the behaviour [well known and otherwise] of those standing for public office. Since I am on the board of Access Manawatu and was its chair for some years, I will naturally support the action taken by the Station management appointees.
Here is a copy of my Wheelers Corner published on the 21st Jan 2015:I have removed the pictures to save space:
“Connecting Citizens Who Care“. Every Thursday at 11.45am on Access Manawatu 999AM” Join Peter’s blog http://wheelerscornernz.blogspot.com/
04 22nd January 2015
This week: 1. “Helping you decide or sorting out the wheat from the chaff and a neat visit to Ashhurst, where Dennison makes a public confession”.
One of the big problems with any election is the way in which some candidates portray themselves for public consumption. It is easy to say one thing while knowing full well that it’s stretching the truth to suggest that the so-called facts actually have, or will have anything to do with later council or mayoral behavior.
This is best demonstrated by an example used by one candidate who said: ‘My Father was a social worker…therefor I must have inherited his behavioral concepts? Yeah right.
First term mayoral candidate Cr. Grant Smith claims that because his father was a social worker, that this means that he was taught or had demonstrated what the word ‘Community’ means…I have no comment to make about Mr. Smith senior…no doubt he is a very nice chap, at least I would hope so…but being a social worker in itself means almost nothing in regard to doing right by the ‘community’.
I mean local evidence is obvious, ex-Mayor Jono Naylor was a social worker, he even had a degree so I’m told, but he used his position as a social worker and PN Councillor to cancel a community grant of a thousand dollars to an organisation named ‘PANIC’ whose role was to question the behavior of the then Social Welfare Department in taking control away from family members, Social Welfare was the outfit [SWD] that used to employ Jono Naylor. In fact at the time it appeared that Jono was being really rather hypocritical… because the argument was actually about ‘so-called Christian beliefs vs a more humanistic approach.
I have found that much conservative evangelistic fundamentalist practice is in itself a very restrictive and autocratic style of social behavior practice and was even damaging to young people, because it is and was extremely judgmental which in turn has little connection to, modern day social work practice, Other candidates are equally guilty of the same hypocritical behavior.
Take for example the weird mayoral candidate Ross Barber who calls his team…Team God!; I say weird in a humorous way, because he believes that all the present councilors are in fact crooks…or is it Devils? Why because they allow fluorination of our water… and according to Mr. Barber’s biblical way of thinking that’s murder, but wait for it, he still wants to represent them by being their boss and public leader…If that’s not hypocritical I don’t know what is. Surely he’d want to see them all in jail, or caged as possibly his pigs are [he is a pig farmer and to be honest I don’t know if it’s open range or caged or boxed/crated…I can only hope it’s open range…for the pigs sake, I’m sure that if the pigs had the vote they would vote for Ross. Ross had a earlier run in with the legal system: go to http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/9857092/Mayoral-candidate-guilty-of-assault to read more and decide if you’d like him looking after your youngsters.
The last negative example among the present bunch of candidates who is are standing for mayor is without doubt Cr. Vaughan Dennison, [according to some] a good born-again evangelistic fundamentalist Christian, one who has completely changed his views in the last few weeks since Naylor’s flight down to Wellington, firstly he was against improvements to what is now known as Te Manawa, he voted against changes to the Art Gallery, the Museum, and especially the Globe Theatre improvements. Now of course he absolutely adores them…yeah right. Dennison’s attendance record and negative actions on protecting or supporting social based organisations like the Community Service Council was and is shocking. He voted to cancel grants to groups he didn’t like [PANIC etc.] his bias has been shocking and very disheartening for the more progressive community groups..
Naylor forcibly made him [Dennison] chairperson of the much weakened  Community Development Committee when the majority of councilors preferred Cr. Lew Findlay for the role…Seriously folks Dennison couldn’t even get his residential address correct…simply because it proved that he lived out of the PN City Council area. If you would like to read more about Dennison’s strange behavior and about how Naylor saved his bacon go to: http://www.stuff.co.nz/manawatu-standard/news/9394066/Dennison-address-furore-a-beat-up and you decide if it was a beat up…or someone being caught out telling porkies.
In the latest voting papers he says his address is in the PN City area…but I can’t find out what address he now resides at? Is he still telling porkies? Maybe the media can tell us.
So I believe those are three candidates you should not vote for when you receive the voting papers.
Now it’s true that every candidate suggests that you should make them number one…so I see nothing wrong we me suggesting how you could vote: You can ignore the suggestions or consider them. That is naturally over to you, but please, whatever you do VOTE,
Who should you vote for! Here are my suggestions…
I would suggest that you give Number One or two to: Lew Findlay or Tangi Utikere.
I will number Abi Symes and Sue Pugmire three or four respectively.
I will not be numbering any other candidates for to do so would or could harm the chances of my first two options being successful.
Ashhurst speaks: The Candidates meeting held last night [Tuesday 20th Jan] outside on a beautiful, but later chilly night on the Ashhurst Library grounds was sponsored by ‘The Friends of the Library’ and chaired by Harvey Jones, a past Ashhurst Ward Committee Chairperson…this beautiful spot amongst trees and a community garden showed clearly the energy and collectiveness of the village known as Ashhurst.
The aspiring want-to-be mayors all had their say and as at all the meetings thus far my rating of their performance was much the same. Lew Findlay and Tangi Utikere topped my list, with Abi Symes and Sue Pugmire displaying a clear and profound empathy for the residents of this wonderful village as did both Lew and Tangi.
But a bit of startling news did become public after a question asked of all the candidates by myself: “Do you think that a mayor of PN should live in PN?”…One by one the candidates answered the question with the answer YES. But Dennison went further; he made a public statement and said…After the last election there was a bit of a non-event about where I lived. I lived about one and a half K outside of the city. So as to make sure that I was actually living in the City, last August  I moved back into the city… so at last we finally got a confession that his residential statement [made two years ago] was incorrect. At the last local government elections, and since this oath made in 2013 would have appeared to have been knowingly false, Dennison’s position on council surely must be in doubt. Another point is, how he knew there could be a by-election for mayor coming up so as to put his property outside the city on the market and move into the city…had Jono suggested such behavior…I get the feeling that Dennison is making it up as he goes along, and this would be very unbecoming of someone wishing to be mayor…
Peter J Wheeler