A sh*t sandwich for the Mayor

Have you heard of a sh*t sandwich?  It’s a tool for giving feedback which protects the recipient’s feelings slightly while also allowing you to tell them how unhappy you are with their performance.

Mayor Andrew
Mayor Andrew King has been a regular guest on Free FM. (Pictured alongside fellow Free Breakfast host Mike Williams).

Most work-places have regular performance reviews – in the case of the elected Hamilton City Council it’s every three years when we vote  – except there are so many flaws in the democratic process that residents vote on name recognition – or don’t hold Councillors to account for the crappy decisions they may have made during the term … or just don’t vote.  So, I thought that given we’re “celebrating signing off the 10 Year plan” (cough) – that I’d offer a performance review of Mayor Andrew King – mid-term … Although, I think even he knows he’s a one-term Mayor.

It would be unfair to review performance without first acknowledging some things he has done which he needs credit for.  He and the Chief Executive Richard Briggs proposed an increase of the minimum wage for Council staff to $20 to take effective on 1 July 2018.  It wasn’t quite the living wage – but an increase that would have helped all the Council staff trying to pay rent and bills in a city they spend their working week maintaining!  Great resource from Dorrington Wright to show you how Councillors voted on this back in December.  While it didn’t go ahead we acknowledge that he tried.  Council Minimum Wage.

We can also credit him (though some may disagree with me here) for generating discussion on the Hamilton vs Kirikiriroa debate …  While he was only proposing a change to Kirikiriroa for the Council – it sparked a city-wide korero on our name and our history which I think should always be welcomed.  Though I did wonder if he’d approached the issue more strategically or if someone else had proposed it, if it would have gone down differently with the public.  Read more: Hamilton Mayor proposes name change to Kirikiriroa City Council.

This is a sh*t sandwich, so it’s time for the bit you came for.

The Mayor sat on an Audit NZ report, seemingly for so long that it couldn’t be released before the Councillors were forced to sign off on something that the report was concerning.  WTF? Now, I know – Councillors who voted for the $7 million being set aside – have justified their decision to back it because “we wouldn’t want a fast food business there” or “we need skin in the game” or “no-one is saying which buildings the money is for” …  but at the end of the day – actions and decisions like this  impact on residents trust of local government – the whole idea of “Councillors doing what they want anyway” prevail.  I’m appalled that this has happened.  Audit NZ report into council process over park expansion delayed

Another thing: on the central city park idea – Who the heck’s idea was that?  Oh yeah … The Mayor’s.  I know, because I asked him in a Free FM interview last year.  Well guess what buttercup, that is not a community mandate.  The 10 year plan should be made up of conversations, briefings and tried and tested ideas with the community – not vanity projects, sprung on other Councillors last minute.

Anyway … I’m going to say something nice again because that’s  how a sh*t sandwich works.  I’ve found myself defending him on lots of occasions, because despite him being rather awkward (I relate to this) you can tell he is genuinely nice and wants what is best for us all, not just the rich – proof of this is the proposal to increase developer contributions significantly.  So next time you think he’s doing deals for mates – you might remember that he was about to charge them tens of thousands of dollars more for developments.  That took leadership.  Read more  If increased charges are in, we’re out: Hamilton Developer.

A sh*t sandwich pats someone on the back for a good job while also telling them to pull their socks up.  What would you tell the Mayor if you had to give good and bad feedback?

 

 

 

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Waikato 125 – the women who shine

Podcast available for Episode 89 (22 June 2018).

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Angela O’Leary (Hamilton West City Councillor) joins us in this episode to talk about an exciting project she’s driving called Waikato 125.  The project is calling for nominations of great Waikato women (past or present) who embody strength, vision and honour.  They will then be commemorated at a Suffrage 125 event in September.   We also discuss the lack of  Women in Politics – and what we can do to tip the balance for the 2019 elections.

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Later in the episode I go on a bit of a plastic bag rant – after discovering plastic bags replacing plastic bags at Countdown…  sigh.

Continuing on with the wahine theme… Music on this show is from Auckland emo-pop band Openside; Coral (who is off to represent the Waikato in Hollywood next week!) and Tami Neilson and The Miltones (in town on August 1st).

 

 

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.

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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.

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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)

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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.

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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. ***

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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.

 

#letsgetpolitical

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.

http://www.hamilton.govt.nz/our-council/about-council/human-resources/Pages/default.aspx

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.

https://www.livingwage.org.nz/