GWRC Upper Hutt

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Ros Connelly
Occupation: Current Upper Hutt City Councillor and Public Servant
Candidate for: Greater Wellington Regional Council (Upper Hutt/ Te Awakairangi te Uta Ward)
Are you a union member/staff member? Yes (psa member)
Have you previously been a union member? If so, when and where?
(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 (GWRC already introduced living wage for Council Staff)

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? Absolutely. And this isn’t just about equal pay (men and women get equal pay for identical work.) It is also about pay equity (equal pay for work of equal value). It is about exploring and challenging issues around vertical segregation (men are more likely to hold senior, better-paid positions than women) and occupational segregation (female-dominated occupations, such as nursing, healthcare, retail tend to be paid less than male-dominated occupations, such as technology, engineering, and construction).

Question 5) 
Would you support adapting council procurement policies to positively view contractors with union agreements? Yes – especially as they are likely to have better performance in critical areas like workplace safety.

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 – GWRC has already declared a climate emergency. Regional Councils control public transport policy and delivery which is a critical lever to delivering a lower carbon future. They also have a fundamental role in land planning – but at the moment they are not allowed to consider climate change factors when making RMA decisions. Hopefully this will change through the Government’s current RMA review. Councils also need to lead in terms of their own activities.

Question 8) 

Under what circumstances would you support the sale of any council owned assets or organisations (or part thereof)? I generally don’t support the sale of council owned assets – but sometimes there are instances where community groups or iwi will provide better asset stewardship.  

Question 9) 
Do you support the privatization of council services? Would you support bringing currently privatized services back under direct council control? I do worry when the Council gets involved in profit making ventures particularly when it is competing with existing businesses. In those instances (for example running a café or a gym) the Council needs to be really clear why it is operating in that space (for example it could be offering work to people who have been out of work for a long time). I think it is important for the Council not to crowd out or undercut small businesses, where the public good cannot be justified. Where the public good is quantified or when the market is not delivering, I support bringing back services that have been privatised.        

Question 10) 
What role do you think council plays in making sure that decent and affordable housing is available for all residents?   I think City/District Councils have an important role in providing social housing – definitely having social housing assets, but I also support the Councils directly managing the tenancies rather than contracting the management out.

 
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.

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. We need to adopt more of a social procurement policy, which looks at the ethics and the history of some of the operators.

Question 13)
Can you demonstrate a commitment to working people and progressive politics? (please elaborate upto 200 words) I am a Labour party member (but not standing on a Labour ticket) and have been involved in progressive movements since University. At University I was the student’s association women’s rights officer, before being elected as Student President. In 2003 Fleur Fitzsimons and I were co-Presidents of the New Zealand Union of Students Associations. Since then, I have worked for not-for-profits (the citizens advice bureaux) and the public sector. I have two kids so I have focused my attention on being involved in community led childcare and being on the board of trustees. But since they’re now a bit older, I’m keen to get more involved.     

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

There once was a girl from the Valley
Who thought politics was right up her alley,
But local bodies were tired,
Not the radicals she desired,
So she went to a Team Labour rally

 

Stephen Pattinson
This response was received after the deadline. 
Occupation: Self-employed architect
Candidate for: Greater Wellington
Are you a union member/staff member?  No
Have you previously been a union member? If so, when and where? As a student, working on construction sites as a labourer
(for business owners only) Are there union agreements at your business/s? (no 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? Unsure (it would depend on what the union agreements are)

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
Question 8) 
Under what circumstances would you support the sale of any council owned assets or organisations (or part thereof)? Only if they weren’t serving the best interests of the public and the public could be served in a better way

Question 9) 
Do you support the privatization of council services?  Generally no 

Would you support bringing currently privatized services back under direct council control?  In some circumstances yes – for example, I think the Wellington Flyer should not be contracted out to NZ Bus as a commercial operation because NZ Bus have removed this service from Upper Hutt (I was talking with an elderly woman in Upper Hutt who misses visiting her sister in Miramar – the Flyer use to connect her conveniently to near where her sister lives); the new retirement village on the corner of Ward Street and Fergusson Drive seems to have little car parking and its residents will need a good bus service, but when the Flyer was serving Upper Hutt it charged exorbitant fares as a commercial operation.
Question 10) 
What role do you think council plays in making sure that decent and affordable housing is available for all residents?   An essential role – we must develop policy for the region that looks holistically at solutions to transport, urban form and development, housing, water and open space; we need to provide better information to support the community to make wise choices that move us toward a smaller environmental footprint and carbon neutrality, eg mixed-use higher-density “walkable urbanism” near public transport nodes such as electric rail stations. Council hold the big tools for addressing homelessness and could provide long-term low interest funding to incentivise developers to build rental stock, and enable CHPs to provide emergency housing and alternatives forms of housing (eg more 1 and 2 bedroom dwellings for smaller households) while also supporting another trend towards larger households.

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?  Definitely

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

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

Question 14)
Is there any further information that we should take into account?  We have to find a better model for local government that puts people back at the centre of all that Council does, to better serve the social, environmental, economic and cultural well-being of communities, and enable better democratic decision-making and action by our communities – including internally within the Council.

Mark Crofskey did not response.
Bill Hammond responded to say he did not intend to participate.
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