Nominations have (finally) opened for people wanting to represent our communities in local government. In this episode we are joined by Dan Armstrong, who announced his election campaign for a Waipa-King country seat at the Waikato Regional Council. We talk about his motivations, what he sees the opportunities (and challenges) for the region are, and what he has to offer. Have a listen – and follow his page for updates on his campaign. (Note: if you are a Hamilton resident, you can’t vote for him -but you can support him by sharing his page with people you know in that region). You’ll hear more from him in the upcoming Seed Waikato “Let’s give a shit about local politics” event.
As well as a chat with Dan, we are joined by Mukuka – a local singer songwriter who released a new single on Friday! “Time + Space” is the first single from her EP Autumn. We chat about what she’s been up to since “Just Fine” which as it happens was one of the songs I shared on the first episode of Kelli from the Tron! Mukuka uses her music to celebrate and explore her heritage. As well as sharing Mukuka’s new track, we’ve got the new one from Date Month Year – “Haunted” and it really is. Check out the video for that track.
On the first Friday of every month Paul (the other one) Barlow joins me on Free FM to recap the month in city politics. We talk about the players, the game and the issues. In this podcast (from 17min) we round-up the candidates who have announced their intention to campaign in the upcoming election. Candidates for Hamilton East have been coming through thick and fast (and I’m excited by them all!) – West and Regional Council a bit slower – but hey, its over a month until nominations actually open (July 12th).
If you’re specifically interested in finding out more about the women campaigning – and want to support them – Political Women Waikato.
In terms of our city’s low voter turnout and lack of diversity, its been exciting to see new and diverse faces announce. Which took us to talking about diversity, and what “f##k the status quo” actually means.
In this podcast I wrap up the week in local political news (Hamilton NZ). Have a listen or check out the summary below…..
grey wall of shame is about to get a make-over (at long last). The $100,000 price-tag will be fundraised by
Beyond Tomorrow Trust – who we don’t know much about except that Councillor
Ryan Hamilton is a trustee. According to
the Charities register the purpose of the trust was religion and education… regardless,
I look forward to the design being one that recognises the cultural significance
of that site for Maaori.
Go Eco presented their ‘State of the Environment’ report which included a presentation by a Hillcrest High Student – who is a first time voter this year – asking for urgency in response to the climate crisis. He’s involved in the School strikes for climate movement who you can find out more about here.
However, it was the attempt
by Mayor Andrew to censor a couple of paragraphs of the report that attracted
nationwide media coverage. You can watch
the live streamed video
of the meeting here. In my opinion,
councillors who were uncomfortable over words like ‘colonisation’, ‘privilege’,
‘pakeha’ or ‘oppression’ need to start reading history books, getting out into
the community they claim to represent and need to reflect rather than get
defensive and upset about facts presented.
We’ve got to acknowledge the problem before we can find workable
Friday the 17th
was the last day to send in a submission to the Gambling Commission to oppose Sky
City swapping three blackjack tables for 63 pokie machines.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?