GWRC Porirua-Tawa

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Phillip Marshall
Occupation: Union Organiser
Candidate for: Greater Wellington Regional Council Porirua-Tawa Constituency.
Are you a union member/staff member? I am currently employed as a Union Organiser. I am a member of both the PSA and E tū.

Have you previously been a union member? If so, when and where? I have previously been a Regional Convenor of delegates and Public Sector Committee member for the PSA. Previously to this I was on the Executive Committee of The Warehouse People Union. I have been a senior union delegate prior to becoming a Union Organiser for around 12 years.

Question 1)

Do you support a living wage for all staff directly employed by the council?

Yes definitely. No one should be paid below the living wage.

Question 2)
Do you support a living wage for all contractors employed by the council?

Yes definitely. No one should be paid below the living wage.

Question 3)
Do you support a living wage for all staff employed by the council controlled organisations?

Yes definitely. No one should be paid below the living wage. A lot of the issues with retention and recruitment of bus drivers stem from the poor work conditions (like split shifts, unpaid overtime and the like) and the fact that the current provider deliberately drove down wages in order to secure the contract. They are now paying for this by not being able to recruit bus drivers. As such it is a win win for employers and employees to mandate the living wage in all council controlled organisations and contractors employed by the council.

Question 4)

Do you support equal pay claims for relevant council staff (such as library assistants) and would you support working with Unions to advance these claims?

Yes, very much so. Female dominated occupations have long been paid less than what they deserve for the work that they do. We need to make this right.

Question 5)
Would you support adapting council procurement policies to positively view contractors with union agreements?
Yes. Any agreement with contractors needs to take into account the workers that will be impacted. What happened to the bus drivers who were all abruptly laid off and replaced by bus drivers with poor training and lower wages brought in from out of town must never be allowed to happen again.

Question 6)
Would you support adapting council employment policies to ensure all directly employed, contractors and staff of CCO’s have access to with union membership?

Yes. Being able to organise collectively is a fundamental human right and is one of the few ways to counterbalance in a small way the large amount of power employers exert over staff.

Question 7)
Do you support declaring a climate emergency? What role do you think Council can play in preventing climate change and mitigating its effects?

Climate change is the greatest threat humanity has ever faced and must be dealt with accordingly. The current Regional Council scrapped trolley buses in favour of diesel buses as these would be cheaper short term. This was a backwards step. I will ensure that all public transport is electric and emits no greenhouse gases. Additionally, I will try to ensure that the Wellington region as a whole moves quickly towards a carbon neutral economy.

 

Question 8)

Under what circumstances would you support the sale of any council owned assets or organisations (or part thereof)?

Over my dead body.

Question 9)
Do you support the privatization of council services? Would you support bringing currently privatized services back under direct council control?

Yes most definitely. When a company is profit driven it costs more to run as shareholders and the like expect a return on their investment. When things are efficiently run by government this done cheaper and is focused on things like what is good for the people, not just what is good for a shareholders returns or a CEO’s bonus.

 

Question 10)
What role do you think council plays in making sure that decent and affordable housing is available for all residents?

Decent and affordable housing is a human right. All government agencies and levels should be focusing on ensuring this is available to all New Zealanders.

Question 11) (GWRC Candidates only)
Do you support the establishment of a working group with relevant transport unions to regularly consult on aspects of the delivery of regional public transport services?

Yes. I have already proposed one that I will deliver if elected, between the bus company, the union representing the staff and the GWRC to discuss health and safety matters like the ending of split shifts, unpaid overtime and low wages. I believe the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 is an untapped tool that can be used to improve worker engagement and conditions. However, I am keen on establishing other forums also to ensure that we have a holistic approach to union engagement.

 

Question 12) (GWRC Candidates only)
Would you use your position on regional council to seek the repeal of the Public Transport Operating Model (PTOM)?

Yes. As the only Labour endorsed candidate in the Porirua-Tawa Constituency of the GWRC I am uniquely placed to be able to lobby for the repeal of a model that is neo-liberal at its core. The model prioritises and encourages employers to drive down costs in things like wages. This model is directly responsible for the ability of the bus company to recruit and retain bus drivers due to this approach and their willingness to adopt it.

Question 13)
Can you demonstrate a commitment to working people and progressive politics? (please elaborate upto 200 words)

I have been a union delegate or organiser for my entire career. I care deeply about the people of our country and want to see all of them do well. I am standing because I want to make a material difference to people’s lives. I want to make people have a happy, healthy life by having a government that is based around caring for people, and not about allowing rich donors to profit off people.

Question 14)
Is there any further information that we should take into account?

Vaughn Liley
Occupation: Public servant (temp)
Candidate for: Porirua–Tawa
Are you a union member/staff member? No‎
Have you previously been a union member? If so, when and where? No
(for business owners only) Are there union agreements at your business/s?
Question 1)
Do you support a living wage for all staff directly employed by the council?
Yes
Question 2)
Do you support a living wage for all contractors employed by the council?
Yes
Question 3)
Do you support a living wage for all staff employed by the council controlled organisations?
Yes
Question 4)
Do you support equal pay claims for relevant council staff (such as library assistants) and would you support working with Unions to advance these claims?

Yes

Question 5)
Would you support adapting council procurement policies to positively view contractors with union agreements?

Yes. It is necessary to ensure that staff who have earnt bonuses from seniority don’t lose them when beginning employment with new operators, otherwise, what is there to incentivise them to remain in those jobs?
Question 6)
Would you support adapting council employment policies to ensure all directly employed, contractors and staff of CCO’s have access to with union membership?
Yes; anyone who works for the Council in any way should have the opportunity to join a union and should not be penalised in any way for choosing so.
Question 7)
Do you support declaring a climate emergency? What role do you think Council can play in preventing climate change and mitigating its effects?
Yes, but only if the councils declaring such actually understand that cannot continue to make the same planning decisions they have made over the last sixty or so years, especially regarding land use and transport. These are fields that our territorial local authorities and regional councils excercise significant control over. Councils can implement policies to reduce vehicle distance travelled by abolishing minimum parking requirements, allowing more development on land that is well served by public transport, promoting mixed-use developments and increasing the frequency and operating hours of public transport, in order to promote modes of travel other than private vehicles.
Question 8)
Under what circumstances would you support the sale of any council owned assets or organisations (or part thereof)?
If there is a need for significant investment in a commercial council-owned asset and there is limited scope to fund it through rates or debt, then it may be appropriate to sell a minority shareholding in that asset, as has happened recently with the Port of Napier.
Question 9) ‎
Do you support the privatization of council services? Would you support bringing currently privatized services back under direct council control?
Generally I do not support the privatisation of council-owned services, especially utilities. I believe it was a mistake for the Wellington City Council to sell what is now Wellington Electricity.
Question 10)
What role do you think council plays in making sure that decent and affordable housing is available for all residents?
City and district councils‎ set the rules in their areas for new housing. They are responsible for granting consents for development, setting restrictions on what can be built, and deciding where new housing is built. To reduce the price of housing, councils need to abolish minimum parking requirements, increase the density of housing near high frequency and high capacity public transport routes, minimise greenfield development (which comes with high transport, environmental, and rates costs), and consistently enforce height to boundary rules so higher density houses have actual gardens, not imaginary ones.
Question 11) (GWRC Candidates only)
Do you support the establishment of a working group with relevant transport unions to regularly consult on aspects of the delivery of regional public transport services?
Yes, the council is too focused on peak-hour service which results in short shifts and split shifts. Schedules need to be set for realistic working conditions, as well as permitting for a work-life balance so working in delivering public transport services is a desirable job. Moving away from split shifts would also allow improvement of off-peak frequencies, which would increase patronage.
Question 12) (GWRC Candidates only)
Would you use your position on regional council to seek the repeal of the Public Transport Operating Model (PTOM)?
Yes. The current regime ties the Council’s hands when it comes to workers’ conditions, especially their shifts. We need a contracting model that prioritises reliability, service quality, and driver wellbeing.

Question 13)
Can you demonstrate a commitment to working people and progressive politics? (please elaborate upto 200 words)
Being a councillor is about making yourself available to your constituents. Outside work, I volunteer for Friends of Tawa Bush Reserves, where I help to regenerate native bush in our reserves, which I have been a part of for five years.‎ I am committed to protecting our environment from the harmful effects of urban sprawl. We need to make public transport affordable and convenient to use throughout the day and on weekends, not just for 9-to-5 commuters. I will also advocate for making our network accessible for those with mobility issues, something I see lacking in a lot of station renovations that have taken place over the last three years.
Roger Watkin

Occupation: Cafe Owner
Candidate for: Greater Wellington – Porirua/Tawa Ward

Are you a union member/staff member? No – Self employed
Have you previously been a union member? If so, when and where?
(for business owners only) No employees

Question 1)
Do you support a living wage for all staff directly employed by the council?
Yes. I understand Greater Wellington is a Living Wage council. I am of the view that all Councils, regional and local should be Living Wage employers.
Question 2)
Do you support a living wage for all contractors employed by the council?
Yes I do support a living wage for all contractors employed by the council although I do know this is a bit more complicated than for those directly employed by Greater Wellington.
Question 3)
Do you support a living wage for all staff employed by the council controlled organisations?
Again, yes I do. $21.15 as a Living Wage level should be the minimum paid.

Question 4)
Do you support equal pay claims for relevant council staff (such as library assistants) and would you support working with Unions to advance these claims?
Yes, equal pay for equal work completely makes sense. It is not possible to have practical and reasonable working conditions without constructive dialogue with Union representatives.

Question 5)
Would you support adapting council procurement policies to positively view contractors with union agreements?
Yes I would. Back when the Living Wage was adopted Greater Wellington instructed its officers to consider how the Living Wage could be factored into its procurement process. The council saw it as one of a set of criteria to be applied to its purchasing decisions alongside other important criteria such as good environmental practice. The council also voted to encourage council controlled organisations to become Living Wage employers, when GWRC and other living wage councils make up 51 percent of the shareholding. The council asked for advice on applying the living wage to CentrePort Ltd, which is 76.9 percent owned by GWRC. It seems reasonable to assume Contractors who have Union agreements will be better placed to fit with Council’s procurement.

Question 6)
Would you support adapting council employment policies to ensure all directly employed, contractors and staff of CCO’s have access to with union membership?
Yes, I would support this.

Question 7)
Do you support declaring a climate emergency? What role do you think Council can play in preventing climate change and mitigating its effects?
Yes I do. It’s frequently stated that action on climate change will come at the expense of economic growth and I take the opportunity here to reject that statement. In fact the opposite could and should be true. Clean technologies are the future, and our region has a significant number of innovators who are providing alternatives to fossil fuel use. We need to facilitate and assist them.
We need to do a lot better in terms of Waste Minimisation and a region-wide approach is essential to facilitate this as well as comprehensive recycling. A great way to minimise waste is to produce o lot less of it in the first place – and example being bottled water. Water bottling plants don’t produce water, they produce plastic bottles. In many respects our communities are way ahead of our councils on Climate Change.
Greater Wellington’s role in Public Transport is pivotal. We need to make it affordable and efficient. Electrification throughout the region needs to be a goal. I strongly favour extending the Super Gold Card hours to incentivise greater use of public transport.
The provision of walkways and cycleways and safe alternatives to private transport will become increasingly important to maintain connected, liveable communities.
Question 8)
Under what circumstances would you support the sale of any council owned assets or organisations (or part thereof)?
I don’t think the sale of Council (public) owned assets is every particularly desirable. For the most part these assets are held in trust for the community and are generally income bearing – again for the benefit of the public. It has been common for Councils and indeed central governments to sell of public assets for short term cash flow, and in some cases as a philosophical stance, but this has seldom been for the public benefit but invariably for private gain.

Question 9)
Do you support the privatization of council services? Would you support bringing currently privatized services back under direct council control?
No I don’t support the privatisation of council services. When this has been done it generally means the service standards drop over time and the public end up paying even more. A good example of this is on the Kapiti Coast where there is a fully privatised rubbish collection service and the public did not want it and now pay way above the previous in house costs. Yes I do support bring privatised public services back under direct council control in the best interests of the public.

Question 10)
What role do you think council plays in making sure that decent and affordable housing is available for all residents?
I’m not sure the Regional Council plays much of a direct role as it is not a landlord. However GW was heavily involved in the Warm Wellington scheme which was very successful in making available insulation. Of course central government is now making moves in this direction, albeit very slowly.

Question 11) (GWRC Candidates only)
Do you support the establishment of a working group with relevant transport unions to regularly consult on aspects of the delivery of regional public transport services?
Absolutely, yes. The current system is an excellent example of how things go wrong when all of the relevant parties are not involved. The Unions represent a substantial number of the workforce and should therefore be present to represent their views. Besides which, actual transport workers are at the coalface and are in an excellent position to provide input into what works and what doesn’t and doing this via the Unions makes sense.

Question 12) (GWRC Candidates only)
Would you use your position on regional council to seek the repeal of the Public Transport Operating Model (PTOM)?
I am a first time candidate for Regional Council and as such I do not have an indepth knowledge of PTOM. I do know that there has not been an effective delivery of public transport services in Greater Wellington and the last three years have seen many spectacular failures. If PTOM is not the right mechanism then repealing it makes sense. More homework is required on my part to be more definitive about this.

Question 13)
Can you demonstrate a commitment to working people and progressive politics? (please elaborate up to 200 words)
The commitment any/and all organisations should give to working people is to provide a safe and secure workplace and payment of a living wage. I do not believe in the exploitation of workers for profit and if that qualifies as progressive politics, it just makes sense.
Question 14)
Is there any further information that we should take into account?
I believe Greater Wellington – and all councils – would operate more successfully if the relationships with worker organisations are genuine and strong. I believe much of the recently witnessed debacle of public transport is due to a breakdown of these relationships and for my part I will attempt to ensure all parties are represented.
Thank for the opportunity to respond to your questions.

Natalia Repia

Occupation: Consultant/Student/Mother

Candidate for: Greater Wellington Regional Council-Porirua/Tawa constituency

Are you a union member/staff member? No 

Have you previously been a union member? If so, when and where? Cant remember if I joined or went to a meeting about joining in 2001.

(for business owners only) Are there union agreements at your business/s? Yes once I build up my business and I am ready to take on staff.
Question 1)

Do you support a living wage for all staff directly employed by the council? YES
Question 2)

Do you support a living wage for all contractors employed by the council?  YES
Question 3) 

Do you support a living wage for all staff employed by the council controlled organisations? YES
Question 4) 

Do you support equal pay claims for relevant council staff (such as library assistants) and would you support working with Unions to advance these claims? YES
Question 5) 

Would you support adapting council procurement policies to positively view contractors with union agreements? YES
Question 6) 

Would you support adapting council employment policies to ensure all directly employed, contractors and staff of CCO’s have access to with union membership?   YES
Question 7) 

Do you support declaring a climate emergency? What role do you think Council can play in preventing climate change and mitigating its effects? YES. Small changes are already happening within local Councils and with more support from Central Government, Aotearoa needs to pay more attention to this space.
Question 8) 

Under what circumstances would you support the sale of any council owned assets or organizations (or part thereof)? None.
Question 9) 

Do you support the privatization of council services? Would you support bringing currently privatized services back under direct council control? I am undecided on this.
Question 10) 

What role do you think council plays in making sure that decent and affordable housing is available for all residents?  Councils have the ability to lobby for support and make submissions to appropriate Central Government departments in support of decent and affordable housing as well as independent partnerships with Iwi and Community led organizations that they can consult and work with.
Question 11) (GWRC Candidates only)

Do you support the establishment of a working group with relevant transport unions to regularly consult on aspects of the delivery of regional public transport services? YES, Unions play a pivotal role in voicing concerns and keeping workers in our community safe.
Question 12) (GWRC Candidates only)

Would you use your position on regional council to seek the repeal of the Public Transport Operating Model (PTOM)? YES, Public Transport should be about quality as much as it is about keeping costs down for the public.
Question 13)

Can you demonstrate a commitment to working people and progressive politics? (please elaborate upto 200 words) I am new to politics so my work from this point onwards will reflect my commitment.
Question 14)

Is there any further information that we should take into account? I care deeply about my community and environment and I do not back down when problems surface, I find solutions and stand my ground, and I welcome criticism as a way of reflecting and moving forward to seek the solution that benefits everyone. I volunteer my time to facilitate a women’s empowerment group called Titahi Bay Legacy and acts as an Iwi representative to interface with council as a way of uniting both Iwi and Council to work on solutions not only for Iwi but also the wider community. I am a mother of 4 children so I have a vested interest in our community. I hope to make a significant difference for all members of our community if elected however, I will continue to serve my community regardless. Nga mihi!

Barbara Donaldson
Occupation: Greater Wellington Regional Councillor
Candidate for: Porirua-Tawa constituency, Greater Wellington Regional Council
Are you a union member/staff member? No
Have you previously been a union member? If so, when and where?

Yes, 1980s, Parliamentary Labour Party Research Unit and Assistant National Secretary, Harbour Workers Union
(for business owners only) Are there union agreements at your business/s? 

Question 1)

Do you support a living wage for all staff directly employed by the council?
Yes
Question 2)
Do you support a living wage for all contractors employed by the council?  
Yes
Question 3) 
Do you support a living wage for all staff employed by the council controlled organisations?
Yes
Question 4) 

Do you support equal pay claims for relevant council staff (such as library assistants) and would you support working with Unions to advance these claims?
Yes
Question 5) 
Would you support adapting council procurement policies to positively view contractors with union agreements? 
Yes, if the agreements treat all workers fairly rather than favouring those with seniority and are responsive to changing circumstances
Question 6) 
Would you support adapting council employment policies to ensure all directly employed, contractors and staff of CCO’s have access to with union membership?   
Yes
Question 7) 
Do you support declaring a climate emergency? What role do you think Council can play in preventing climate change and mitigating its effects?

Yes – Greater Wellington has.  Our Council can reduce emissions by electrifying all bus and train fleets, as well as its own fleet where possible, reducing grazing on regional parks and increasing planting.  We already consider climate mitigation and adaptation in all Council papers for recommendation but reducing emissions can be given more priority in decision making. All our flood protection work is designed to reduce the effects of climate change on communities.

Question 8) 

Under what circumstances would you support the sale of any council owned assets or organisations (or part thereof)? 
Partial sale would be justified for things such as building infrastructure to protect communities and provide economic or environmental resilience and to pay for electric transport fleets
Question 9) 
Do you support the privatization of council services? Would you support bringing currently  privatized services back under direct council control? 

Partial privatisation may be justified as above, but I would oppose any privatisation of water supply and services – they must be publicly owned

Question 10) 
What role do you think council plays in making sure that decent and affordable housing is available for all residents?   
Councils have many roles such as providing community housing, setting standards for rental and other housing, reducing planning and consent costs and providing more coordinated services, providing loans for warming houses, providing safe houses, etc

 

Question 11) (GWRC Candidates only)
Do you support the establishment of a working group with relevant transport unions to regularly consult on aspects of the delivery of regional public transport services?

Yes, with operators as well

Question 12) (GWRC Candidates only)
Would you use your position on regional council to seek the repeal of the Public Transport Operating Model (PTOM)?
Yes, either repeal or considerable modification
Question 13)
Can you demonstrate a commitment to working people and progressive politics? (please elaborate up to 200 words)
My whole working life has been dedicated to supporting people and trying to improve their lives and their environment, whether they are working, in prison, sick or elderly.  I have worked in prisons, hospitals, elder care, parliament, unions and on the Regional Council. I have worked internationally improving healthcare in many developing and transitional countries.  As well as being a union official I have been a progressive manager and Chief Executive, always in the public, voluntary and social sectors. My politics have always been progressive. I am a Life Member of the Labour Party which recognises the huge amount of work I’ve done over the years.
Question 14)
Is there any further information that we should take into account?

No

Jenny Brash

1. Yes and we do at Greater Wellington Regional Council.
2. Yes but at present we can’t legally as I understand.
3. Yes but again as for (2) there is a legal question as to whether we can.
4. Yes and this is included in our CEs performance agreement.
5. Yes.
6. Yes if we can do it legally.
7. Yes and we have done – as well as adopting a climate emergency action plan.
8. Only if it made  sense from a business point of view where funding was needed for another priority service or asset resulting in unaffordable and unsustainable rate rises  and only after consulting with ratepayers/public.
9. I have been through the exercise many times in my local government career where we looked at all our council services in terms of private versus public good and in my experience have never privatised any core council services or assets other than to employ consultants Ie legal and other technical/professional services where it would be  too costly and inefficient to retain them in house. I can’t think of any currently privatised services that I would support being brought back under direct council control.
I have been a union member in the past when I was nursing and the PSA when I was a public servant. Yes – there are union agreements at GWRC -PSA.

Chris Kirk-Burnnand
Chris elected to send us a strange rant accusing us of having a narrow focus and not prioritizing low income earners…. cool.

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