A different shade of Brown

Len Brown

It’s early days yet, but so far there are only two candidates for the soon to be new position as Mayor of the soon to new Aukilani / Auckland Super City: John Banks and Len Brown.

John Banks is the candidate for the right. Len Brown is the candidate for the left. Despite this they are both running as independants. Currently Banks is Mayor of the Auckland City Council, while Brown is the Mayor of the southern city, Manukau City Council.

I like Len Brown. He is a lawyer who has practiced in Aukilani Saute for many years. He has been an advocate for workers rights. He is a staunch supporter of Maori rights (including in this current campaign, demanding Maori guaranteed seats in the council). But he is also approachable and human. There’s a youtube clip of him dancing at Life Church in Manurewa not long ago. He’s not ashamed to bust a move infront of a church youth group.

He is more a unifying candidate than Banks.

But I don’t want to keep my hopes up until all hands are played. Coz I have a niggly feeling some other leftie is going to put their hand up and split the vote. I hope my feelings are wrong. The last thing we need is a divided voting bloc.

Conservatives by nature are mostly a homogeneous group, giving Banks a much more solidified and reliable voting base. On the other hand, the left is diverse and complicated, ranging from indigenous rights groups, feminists, trade unionist, minority rights groups, migrant groups, working class groups, environmentalists, to civil libertarians.

But Brown is on the winning side. Well, the side that will eventually win. This isn’t a one-eyed biased observation, but demographics show the fastest growing groups in Niu Sila, especially in Aukilani, are young non-Palagi’s. Aukilani has a growing diversity. With this diversity there is a need for unity. I hope Brown is that person.


March to democracy

I have to admit I had to sneak out for a quick lunch break to witness this great Hikoi. And I’m glad I did. As I saw the multitudes walk past I felt a great pride, an honour to be a witness to, and testify about the actions of those protesters that day. As the chant’s went up and the flags waved, the goosebumps and spine chilling set in. History was being made.

In my University days I would’ve jumped at the opportunity to be standing side by side next to those protesters. But there’s an uncomfortable feeling of having to be stand-offish now that I’m no longer waving around the University-rebellion-against-the-machine flag anymore. This corporate suit has almost created a barrier between the sensibilities that now have to be taken into account, compared to the desire to voice one’s opinion along side others on Queen Street.

…from NiuZila