Posted on September 7, 2016
Auckland mayoral candidate Mark Thomas thinks a low election turnout seems inevitable with only ten days until voting begins.
Thomas says the low regard that Aucklanders hold council in is a key factor.
“Auckland Council’s $1.2M “Show Your Love” campaign now seems bitterly ironic. The council’s ‘Love Bus”, a Kombi van which is part of the campaign to boost turnout, has been left high and dry by disinterested suitors.”
A council survey in June said only 15% said they were satisfied with Auckland Council and only 17% trusted it to make good decisions.”
“If a business had these results, its customers would have deserted it long ago.”
“Although Auckland Council’s customers are physically ‘trapped’, they checked out with their hearts and minds some time ago.”
After 30 mayoral debates, Mark Thomas said attendance had been only modest at most – despite the hard work of organisers. Only a handful of residents association and Grey Power meetings had been crowded.
“Hoardings vandalism also seems at a record low, a traditional sign that even political activists are disinterested.”
“Auckland’s worsening transport problems and housing crisis should represent ‘burning’ election issues. However, Aucklanders have been ‘burnt off’ by a lack of faith and trust in council.”
Thomas said a low turnout would also likely benefit existing councillors. He expected at least 15 of the 17 councillors standing for re-election to be returned.
Thomas hoped the extra media attention over the remaining ten days would engage more Aucklanders.