Central city mayhem

Why aren’t more questions being asked about the full cost of the ‘central city park’?

In the 10YrPlan consultation document it gives the cost as $12.8 million … but that’s not the full cost.  It was approved in December at $30 million, and on Facebook Rob Pascoe has floated $75 million!  Which is it?  There has been no community mandate for the project, and no financial plan – just a “heads up” from the Chief Executive to developer mates over what could be considered a boyhood dream of the Mayor!  For those of us wanting “a great river city”, we need to stick to the ‘River Plan’, not an ill thought out pet project.  The River Plan had community involvement, is costed and invests in river-side projects, not a concrete block we can eat our lunch at 30 meters above river level.  Councillors have a week of verbal submissions before deliberations – join me by asking via telephone, email or social media what the full cost of the project is and then ask them to vote against it, to get the River Plan back on track.


Kelli from the Tron Episode 80

On this week’s podcast we’re joined by Ryan Hamilton, newly elected Hamilton City Councillor.  We began by talking about his background, the journey to be elected into the Hamilton City Council and what it’s like stepping into the vacancy left by the late Philip Yeung. I was really pleased to hear him being cognisant of the importance of connecting with the community and his attempts to do so.

During the campaign I found it hard to figure out “what he stood for”; and how he would vote on issues – but humbly, I appreciated his response; which was that as an elected member, they are there to listen with an open mind to what their constituents tell him. You can’t do that if you’ve already stated your intention. So, I’m genuinely looking forward to his contribution during the 10 Year Plan.

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Then, we have Ashley, one half of the duo False Heights on the phone to tell us about their music, and an upcoming gig at Nivara Lounge on the 21st.

Last but not least we have Phil Grey, from the Hum106.7 in the studio to tell us about an upcoming gig with Graeme Jefferies, Matthew Bannister and Elephant Face.


Listen to the podcast here.

Kelli from the Tron – Episode 79

On today’s show I talk to Anna Casey-Cox from Go Eco about “Keep Kirikiriroa Hamilton beautiful”; a petition calling for the Hamilton City Council to make the environment a priority in the 10 Year Plan.  You can sign it here.

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I was then joined by Mark Bunting, a Hamilton East City Councillor (and fellow FreeFm Breakfast show host) to hear his views on some of the issues we need to give feedback to Council about.  We discuss growth – including how we can get more housing and services without the sprawl and price tag; central city parking, rates and more.  You can make your submission here.

Music from Half Eaten Pie, Snake Oil Peddlers, Cheshire Grimm and System Corporation.


Kelli from the Tron – Episode 78

To kick off the show, I share the brand NEW Skinny Hobos track “Jacked like the Ripper”. They’re in town next Friday with I am Giant, tickets for the Altitude gig available now.

I also share music from The Recently Deceived and The Changing Same.


With the Hamilton City Council 10 Year Plan consultation open to the public, I ask Angela O’Leary – Hamilton West Councillor on to the show.  We talk finances, VOTR extension, the Peacocke development and conduct of Councillors.  (It’s at 9.52m if you don’t have time to listen to the whole show)


I was stoked to have Simon Hirst, local musician on the show to talk about his new album “Feet of God”.  He performed Arohanui, the first song off the album, which is officially released at Nivara Lounge on Saturday the 7th.  If you get to the FreeFM page you can get yourself in the draw for a copy of it!  This interview starts at about 37min.


So listen in to some real local content! 

Minimum wage not enough

*** Living Wage Aotearoa New Zealand have just announced the reviewed Living Wage Rate for 2018 is $20.55 an hour. ***


It all comes down to whether you think someone who works should be able to afford to live a decent life. Living includes not only shelter and food but the ability to participate in their community.



In the Mayor’s 10 Year Plan proposal he sought to bring in a minimum wage for council staff of $20 per hour, effective April 2018. This was thrown out in favour of a staged implentation of $1 an hour for the next four years to keep up with the government intention for the minimum wage to be $20 in 2021.

If you want to see who voted against bringing the minimum wage increase forward, check out http://dorringtonwright.co.nz/index.php/10yearplan-25/ (it might surprise you).

As of April 1st, the Minimum wage in New Zealand is $16.50. From April 4th, the 2018 Living wage rate is $20.55. The Living wage is the rate you need to earn to be able to live. A minimum wage is a random figure.

I’d love you to join me in telling the Mayor and Councillors that Hamilton City Council staff (and in fact EVERY employee) deserve to be able to pay their bills and therefore need to be on a Living wage. I recommend the Hamilton City Council might make savings by reigning in excessive executive pays to afford to do so. Currently 81 staff earn over $100,000 a year – I think they should be sharing a piece of the pie.


Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch City Councils have already shown leadership in movement to a living wage for employees and Hamilton should follow suit. The current proposal for a staged implementation of a minimum wage increase is not enough. The rates will be irrelevant in 4 years time as costs of living continue to increase. The hope is that leadership in the public sector will continue to encourage other employers to follow suit.

The Waikato Living Wage Aotearoa New Zealand are fantastic (volunteer) local advocates so lend them some support as they help you, and our friends be able to live better lives.


Podcast – David Bennett, Future City Festival and Date Month Year

Tune in to Free Fm 89.0 to hear a new episode of Kelli from the Tron at 10am every Friday.  The latest podcasts can be streamed here (click the blue link).  

Episode 74. 2 March 2018.  I talk to Hamilton East National MP David Bennett about the proposed Waikato Medical School  -which appears to be a “no-go” under Labour.  I catch up with Rob from Hamilton Underground Press about Future City Festival – finally I chat to Trevor from Date Month Year, one of the bands at the festival.

Music is from Date Month Year, The Beths, System Corporation, Cheshire Grimm, Rubita and Loudhailer,

Mythbusting with Shayne Wihongi – NZ First

How do we decide which political party to vote for?  Do we take an objective look every three years to assess their policies, bottom lines and core values?  How much of what we “know” about a party is actually true?  NZ First’s leader, Winston Peter’s found himself in the position of kingmaker in the 2017 elections, despite having only 7% of New Zealand voter’s support.  So what do that 7% of us see in NZ First that the rest of us don’t?  Isn’t it a party for old people? racists? and those spouting other populist lines?

Shayne Wihongi, clarifying some facts at #giveashit
Shayne Wihongi, clarifying some facts at #giveashit – Meet the candidates event (Sep 2017)

“No”, according to Shayne Wihongi – Chairperson of the Hamilton West electorate, and recent candidate.  I invited him on to the show to talk about his experience on the campaign trail, where I’d been impressed by his social media campaign and pragmatic approach to myth busting.  While I don’t see myself waka jumping any time soon, I think a sound democracy isn’t just about voter turnout but about being informed and engaged 365 days of the year.  Have a listen to this week’s podcast, and if you’re available (and want to) head to their event on Tuesday night.

Also, on this show I start featuring Future City Festival bands and artists.  This week, I shared music from The Scones, Cheshire Grimm, The Beths, System Corporation and The Datsuns.  You can get your tickets for the festival at http://www.undertheradar.co.nz.