The good, the bad and the ugly of local politics this week.

Paul Barlow aka Paul the Other One joined me on Kelli from the Tron this week, for our monthly political korero – and what a month it was! We discussed the importance of researching candidates before voting; how to fire an elected member (spoiler alert you have to wait until election time) and if the role of councillor is a full time job. #WhatDoTheyEvenDo?

Listen to the Free FM89.0 podcast here. With thanks to our sponsor
Hamilton Taxis! for their ongoing support of Free FM. (Hamilton Taxi’s views are not necessarily the same as those shared on this show… obviously).

The first week of April started with what can only be described as a “sh*t storm” with national media interest in the actions and views of two of our city councillors James Casson and Siggi Henry.

If you missed it – Two Hamilton city councillors spark outrage

During the past month Paula Southgate (current east ward Councillor) announced her intention to run for mayoralty. She joined me on the show last week. It was at the same time as a National remembrance service in Christchurch so we decided not to focus on politics, but on inclusive and supported communities. Have a listen to that interview here.

Meleane Burgess announced her intention to run for an East ward seat. As a new candidate (though ran in the by-election last year) I encourage you to follow her Facebook page for updates so you can make an informed vote this October. Read more: Founder of Waikato Pacific Business Network to stand for Hamilton City Council.

Because two councillors managed to make the whole city look bad, I invited elected members to send in a few words about things we can be proud of this week. Because believe me, there is more good than bad – it just doesn’t get the media coverage.

Ryan Hamilton Great to connect with the Rototuna residents last week as multiple parts of council came together to hear from the community and to show parts of the organisation that don’t often get much visibility and to set a new and refreshing standard and means of engaging better with our people in the grassroots of their community (and of course being replicated for Peacockes at the Glenview Wananga today).

Dave Mac Over the last few days I’ve posted several critical thoughts on social media comments by Councillor James Casson regarding the Christchurch terrorist massacre and issues flowing from that.
While I can’t take back what I’ve said – and nor can James – we’ve met face to face today at my initiative, and talked through most of the issues. 
I can see that James is trying to make amends for hurt that he’s caused, and I want us both to be able to move forwards, as we both have plenty of work to do as city councillors. At my own initiative, I’ve therefore deleted my posts relating to James’ comments, to avoid making things worse for him and the Council, who have copped a lot of criticism as well.
I look forward to all of us learning from the conditions and circumstances that led to the Christchurch massacre, and all of us doing our bit to make sure something like that never happens again.

Siggi Henry  I just got some great news yesterday after pushing for two years to have recycling bins installed at Claudelands Event Centre. It’s happening.

Mark Bunting Something we can be proud of is the great work our staff have put into our ‘Play Strategy’. It is a clear vision of how we become a more playful city, how we can enjoy living in Hamilton more and make transport, the arts, our parks, our sports grounds and even our waste and waters more enjoyable for Hamiltonians. It is extremely cool, and I’d love to show it to you. I also think this week’s speed management plan is fantastic, but I have it on good authority that some media commentators might find that ‘boring’! Lol! 

Martin Gallagher. “Wednesday night’s Peacocke and Southeast Hamilton Open Day was an outstanding example of the way our Council and our community can come together and learn from each other.

I was delighted to be there with close to 1000 Hamiltonians, all keen to find out more about what the Council is doing to enable a new neighbourhood in Peacocke. We’ve talked about growth in Peacocke for decades, but now it’s happening. We had 50 staff and partner agency representatives involved at Te Waananga o Aotearoa in Glenview and I have to say they did a wonderful job. They answered hundreds and hundreds of questions about everything from the new bridge over the Waikato River to bus services, roundabouts and what we’re doing to look after our critically endangered long-tail bats”.

Paula Southgate. “I’m happy to be talking about biodiversity in cities at the Waikato Show tomorrow. I’m also pleased about a successful vote to keep the iSite open …even if it has to move”.

Angela O’Leary “The Meteor celebrating their 5th birthday soon, our new approach to engagement with our Peacocke and Rototuna Open Days, the new Play Strategy, Western Town Belt plan, the next stage of Ham Gardens development, our new sustainability strategy, the new fenced dog park”.

SEE!! It’s not all bad! Let me know if you think THAT should be a regular segment of the show.

One last thing… Electioneering Women Wanted.
Women interested in putting their hand up to run in the local elections this year, are welcome to attend a free workshop on campaigning / networking opportunity. Email me politicsinthetron@gmail.com if you have questions about the event or want to RSVP. We’re also interested in women who want to come along to support new candidates. Join the event on facebook for updates.

Ma te wa e hoa maa. Kelli from the Tron airs at 10am every Friday on Free FM89.0.

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Waikato wāhine: Hilda Ross

Telling Stories: Waikato Wāhine is an exploration into the lives of trailblazing Waikato women. Over five weeks I will tell the stories of a politician, businesswomen, artist, activist and Te Ao Maori leader.

This week: Dame Hilda Ross was Hamilton’s first politician – a National Party MP known for lecturing parents, I looked into her story to find why she was so influential, well liked and what we can learn from her story.

Telling Stories: Waikato Wāhine debuts today on Free FM 89.0 at 5pm
📲 live streamed via the Access Internet Radio NZ app, via TuneIn or from freefm.org.nz

or listen to the podcast right now via this link
http://bit.do/WaikatoWahine-DameHildaRoss

This Free FM series is supported by the Ministry for Women, New Zealand Suffrage 125 community fund and Browsers Bookshop in Hamilton.

Episode 115 – political korero

This week we had confirmation via the Waikato Times that Mayor Andrew King was going for a second term – the only real surprise being that he will not be putting himself forward for his west ward seat as well. All eggs in one basket so to speak. His claim that the government is giving $250 million for development was refuted as “porkies” by Rob Pascoe. You can read more here. It’s all semantics really. Needless to say it’s going to be an interesting year.

To talk about how the current council have performed and what might unfold this year I invited Paul Barlow or Paul the Other One to have a chat on this weeks show. You can listen to the podcast here.

In other local political news…

A decision on whether to go ahead with the demolition of the Municipal pools at a cost of $1 million will happen within six months. I will let you know on the show when you can given feedback to the council on this issue. To follow advocacy to save the pools you need to follow Sink or Swim.

No so much news, more of an observation. In November 2018 the New Zealand Tax Payers Union thought it would be a good use of ratepayer paid time to request the cost of the hold music when calling the Hamilton City council. I wish I was kidding. However it serves as a reminder that we are all able to request information from the Council, and can expect it back in 20 days. You can check out all OIA’s made in 2018 here.

A farmer was fined over $8000 for burning tyres on his property. He know that tyres are an environmental problem – but what do we do about end of life tyres in Hamilton? I’ll find out and get back to you.

It looks like 2019 will be another year of strikes. Junior doctors are next. There are 450 within the Waikato district health board. The strike, impacting nearly 1500 patient appointments, will occur between Tuesday the 15th of January and Thursday the 17th.

All of this and more on this week’s show. You can listen to the podcast here.

That’s a wrap for 2018

The end of a year is a great time for reflection. I’ve had over 70 guests on Kelli from the Tron in 2018 ranging from politicians, environmental and social advocates / activists, event organisers and bands. For the last two weeks of the year, I’ll recap some of the bigger stories and themes covered in the show and share tracks from 10 of the bands I’ve been lucky enough to interview.

Listen to Part one. http://bit.do/2018-part-1-

I recap the by-election, some great shows, environmental themes and Future City Festival. I share tracks from Nation, Cheshire Grimm, The Situations, Strangely Arousing and Otium.

Listen to Part two http://bit.do/2018-part-2-

I recap the 10 year plan, representation review and women’s issues. I share tracks from Coral, The Recently Deceived, Macaila, Funk Therapy and Glass Shards.

Have yourself an as ethical as possible Christmas

Published first in Hamilton News 7 December 2018

Have you seen that cartoon with Santa taking his sleigh of gifts straight to landfill called ‘Cutting out the middle man’?. Sadly this is reality and it’s not good for Papatūānuku or our wallet.

santa-landfill

I don’t want to sound like the Christmas Grinch but, I do worry about the pressure Christmas puts on us to buy gifts that we can’t really afford and then have them end up in landfill in the next spring clean.  Where is the sense in that?

Most of us don’t have dedicated funds to call upon at this time of the year and clock up credit card debt, skip bills or do without to get through.  Yet we do it, every year – because we want our loved ones to know we care…  It’s human nature and it’s habit.  But, I’m calling on Hamiltonians to make some small changes this year for an ‘as ethical as possible Christmas’.

Consider buying secondhand or “vintage”, diverting quality, unique items from landfill, supporting charity and saving you loads of money.  You’ll be amazed at what you can find at the Dump shop, or Sallies.  Spit, polish and wrap.

A little bit crafty? Make something useful like a reusable bag or produce bags from an old t-shirt or fabric lying around.  Youtube has numerous DIY videos to help you out.  Your friends and whanau will appreciate it immensely in less than 6 months when the plastic ban kicks in. Yipee on that.

Our tamariki will remember that time they went to the zoo, movie or theatre more than they will another expensive plastic toy.  Make memories not waste.  I know that 90% of the fun is unwrapping, so make a game of it. But remember that foil wrapping paper isn’t recyclable so stick to the paper stuff (which is cheaper anyway).

I also think it’s time we called ‘time’ on the dreaded workplace Secret-Santa. It’s always novelty crap that has no function.  Why not change your workplace tradition to be $5 or $10 towards a charity, you agree on. Win Win.

Christmas doesn’t have to be about debt, gifts destined to landfill and stress. But, it will take some changes.  What will you do differently this year?

 

Episode #109 – Hamilton Fringe Festival

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Podcast http://bit.do/hamiltonfringe

9:50m NEW music “Death you brought to me” Loudhailer

13m Hamilton Fringe Festival NZ committee members Macaila and Chris join me to talk about the festival opening. We then heard from Ben whose exhibition ‘Coloured Sound’ runs alongside Chris’ ‘Sensory explorations into Quantum Imaginary Spacetime’ at the Beggs Wiseman building. <Warning, big words>


25:31m “Don’t blink” Cartoon Villain


27:50m Joseph and Luke talk about their Skinroom exhibition What To Carry.
38:44m ” Indigenous” The Nukes


42:13m Dave from The Nukes joins us to talk about their band, workshop and show at The Meteor.

This Free FM show is brought to you with support from Hamilton Taxi’s – who can get you home safe from a night out – so call them! 0800 477 477

Podcast http://bit.do/hamiltonfringe