Activist Takes on ‘Last Gasp’ C&R Queen
Catfight Out East As Hands-on Activist Takes on ‘Last Gasp’ C&R Queen
Media Advisory from Better
19th August 2019
There’s a catfight brewing out East in this year’s Auckland Council elections as former lawyer and hands-on activist, Carmel Claridge takes on the self-appointed Queen of Orakei, Desley Simpson.
Bed tax apologist, Simpson had her nose put of joint by Claridge’s push in her first week on the Orakei local board to axe sausage rolls and other nibbles from the Local Board budget, saving rate payers around $36,000. Simpson has since tried to take credit for the cost cutting. Claridge was also the only local board member to vote against subsidising private tree pruning. In response Simpson pushed for Claridge to be dropped from the C&R ticket.
Taking it all in her stride, Claridge has teamed up with Eastern suburbs political veteran Mike Padfield and launched Better Auckland, a new ticket aimed at securing 10 per cent of the new Auckland Council votes and bringing practical action back to local politics. Claridge is standing for Maungakiekie Tamaki, while Padfield takes aim at the Orakei seat that Simpson inherited from former PR man, Cameron Brewer.
Claridge points out: `C&R has rightly been criticised as inflexible, change averse, and out of touch with voters. C&R councillors have served for many years and there is a perception that they are lacking in fresh ideas. Public discontent over issues like Metrowater, waste removal and the heavy handedness of Auckland Transport has seen sustained criticism of Auckland's political management under the likes of Desley Simpson.
‘We need a better balance between innovation for housing, transport and conservation, while taking better care of what makes Tāmaki Makaurau special. Better Auckland will preserve and protect what is important - providing sound governance of our much loved city so that we can help make a Better Auckland for future generations.’
Carmel is Chair of environmental groups Friends of Pourewa Valley and Tāmaki Estuary Environment Forum. She is a recognised ‘hands on’ environmentalist and effective leader in ensuring better guardianship of our natural environment.
The Better Auckland candidates are not affiliated with any political party and are campaiging on a programme of policies for progress rather than political manoevering.
Better Auckland’s Key Priorities Are
1) Protect our parks and reserves from Council sales, and freedom camping
2) Protect our beaches from sewerage overflows - let’s stop the flooding on Tāmaki Drive
3) Protect our community from the effects of inappropriate housing developments
4) Protect and establish safe travel routes, including those for alternative transport modes, and preserve necessary parking around our community
5) Force Council to return more of our rates to our area