Better Democracy NZ is a non-partisan, non-profit organisation.

Our mission is to foster the improvement of New Zealand's democratic system and encourage the use of direct democracy through the

Veto, Citizens' Initiated and Recall referendum.


Sunday, 28 March 2010

Referendum advocate for Auckland Mayor

Long time referendum advocate and supporter of Better Democracy NZ, Bill Daly, has decided to put his name forward for Mayor of Auckland. While Bill might not have the notoriety of others standing, and will probably struggle to have any effect on the main rivals, he is to be admired for standing up for the rights of citizens. All power to you Bill.


26 March 2010

From Bill Daly, 42a Woodglen Rd, Glen Eden. 09-818 4293 / 0274 20 99 86

Third Candidate for Auckland Mayoralty

“I am completely opposed to the creation of the so-called ‘super city’. It is being done by riding roughshod over the people of Auckland and the surrounding districts, and New Zealanders in general. The politicians doing it have acted arrogantly and without any mandate from the people.

“Its designers have not built into it any effective checks and balances. There are no sanctions for voters to ensure their politicians do what they want.

“It has the potential to become a super mess, leaving ratepayers and taxpayers with huge debts, poor future infrastructure and administration, and ever increasing rates alongside deteriorating services.

“The way it is structured leaves it too open to being dictatorial. Ideally, I’d prefer to see the whole plan scrapped and instead some appropriate checks and balances added to the management of the existing councils.

“We had forced amalgamations of our older smaller councils in the late 1980s. Public feeling was ignored then and it is being ignored again, and most of the promised benefits have not occurred.

“There may be a case for some type of regional or provincial government to handle those affairs that are common to the larger area. But it would need to be completely democratic and only established after much real public discussion and input.

“But a regional government is not a local government. There are numerous reasons why smallish local bodies came about and have existed for so long. A city is not built from the top down. It is built up from people and families and suburbs. People relate more intimately to their own locality before they relate to the wider district or city in which they live. If we are to enjoy healthy communities then people must have reasonable independence or sovereignty to decide on the affairs of their area.

“The people in the surrounding rural areas are being treated appallingly. If they do not want their local affairs to be governed by city politicians then so be it. The decision should be theirs and theirs alone.

“Central government politicians and bureaucrats can all too easily fall into the trap of thinking that big is always best, and that central planning and control is necessary as part of their nationwide plans and schemes. But they are wrong. The belief that bigger is always better has never achieved a better country for anyone. If there was any truth in the idea then Nazi Germany, Communist Russia and Fascist Italy should have become long-standing success stories.

“I do not have lots of money to campaign and I will not be running any expensive fund-raising campaigns. I am contemptuous of those who want to set up governmental structures that are isolated from the people and require lots of money by candidates wanting to stand for public office. This goes against all the traditions of government in New Zealand. It is a slap in the face to most New Zealanders. I will have to think of campaigning methods that are low cost. I will be establishing a website with facilities for people to contact me, and through which I can run polls on whatever issues people are interested in or concerned about.

“I have campaigned for over 20 years for the adoption of binding public referendums to be part of the constitutional arrangements for all levels of government in New Zealand. I absolutely hold that politicians are morally, and should also be legally, obliged to properly represent what the people of their constituency or city want. Politicians or councilors have no right under any circumstances to ignore the public. When they do that they are being little dictators.

“Politicians sometimes like to deliberately complicate things and imply that government affairs are beyond the understanding of lesser mortals. But this is only arrogance and a screen for hiding personal ambitions behind.

“The other mayoral candidates have made promises that they will be firm in holding the CCO’s to account. Good on them, but that is only one part of what is be needed. How will voters hold their mayor and councilors to account?

“Whether I am elected mayor or not is something I will leave to voters and will accept their decision. I am applying for a particular job and the employers, the voters, have the right to accept or reject me. But I will be encouraging voters to only give their vote to candidates for the mayoralty and council who will commit to real democratic principles, and who will give written assurances they will undertake at all times to abide by the majority public feeling on any issue. Modern technology makes it relatively easy and cheap for well-run polls or referendums to be held so that elected public servants have no excuse to not know what their people think or want.

“The Wanganui Council use referendums and the people there seem pretty happy about that. Binding referendums have operated in Switzerland with great success for over 130 years. Some critics make all sorts of false accusations against binding referendums but the Swiss have during this time gone from one of Europe’s poorer countries, to having a higher standard of living than most of their neighbours. It is the only European country where the people express reasonable satisfaction with their governments. And I believe it played a big part in keeping them out of two World Wars.

“I know that Wellington is doing everything it can to setup this so-called “super city” in a way that is designed to circumvent the people and even the elected councilors and mayor if they disagree with the Government over something. And they want to do it elsewhere around New Zealand, without local consultation anywhere. But people can still be a potent force. If central Government was determined to over-rule something that the public clearly showed they wanted, or didn’t want, via a referendum, I’m sure there can be found, always within the law and decent behaviour, ways to make life a little difficult for those trying to implement that.

“I am very uneasy about the way the CCO’s are to be constituted. But if their management is competent, is not wasting money, and act within the bounds of what Aucklanders want, it would have my full support. If any aren’t doing that then its management should have the public and elected councilors campaigning against it, until it gets back to whatever it should be doing.

“I am establishing a web site to make it easier for people to communicate with me and for me to post articles of interest and to run polls so people can tell me how they fell on particular issues.

A few personal views:

* I think political correctness is a disease caused by lack of courage.

* We need some national standards for politicians and political parties.

* Public assets held by governments are the property of citizens. No politician has the right to advocate selling them unless the public have clearly requested that.

* No government should be allowed to raise a loan without the approval of the public.

* Rates should not be subject to GST. That is an unfair tax upon a tax. Nor should any other council revenues be taxable.

* Central Government should own up to it being the primary cause of the leaky homes problem. This is a tragedy for thousands of people. If thousands of homes were damaged or destroyed in an earthquake the money would be made available for reconstruction. It is contemptible that the Government might actually earn a lot of money from expensive leaky home fixes

* City water infrastructure is expensive. If new dams are built the costs will be massive. Wouldn’t it make better sense to heavily encourage greater use of rain water tanks? Widely used these would considerably increase overall water storage. Waitakere Council is to be congratulated for having given some encouragement for this.

* Good quality public transport, especially trains, should have been built decades ago in Auckland. Fortunately something is now being done. It should be extended to the airport. Various ideas have been put forward, including some very innovative suggestions, for improving Auckland’s public transport, and fair consideration must be given to these, and other ideas encouraged and given a fair hearing.

* I detest the dominance of the political party system. It undermines the relationship between voters and their political representatives. Some politicians advocate government departments be more structured along business lines. Well, let them include Parliament in that. It’s impossible even to imagine any company letting its board of directors be split into two or more warring factions.

* The Public Works Act should be only used in the most extreme situations. There needs to always be careful government respect for private property rights.

* I strongly favour retaining New Zealand’s existing flag. It is very symbolic of our nation’s main line of history, culture and heritage. It has proudly draped the coffins of our soldiers who died in battle.

* I believe New Zealand should have an effective and strong military defence. We should closely cooperate with traditional allies and other friendly nations but always retain our independence. Part of a good defence policy should be having the best possible relationship with all other countries, but never ignoring bad behaviour or mistreatment by another government of its people. Helen Clark was right to keep us out of the Iraq war. Our military should always work closely with Civil Defence during natural disasters. There should be adequate opportunities for physically fit New Zealanders, especially young people, if so inclined, to experience some military training.

* I believe in the apprenticeship system. There should be good incentives and support for firms who take on apprentices.

* We should never have allowed our industries to be decimated by unequal overseas competition. There should be better financial and regulatory structures that encourage home based industries.

* New Zealand should be more energy self sufficient. Tax laws should encourage research into cleaner alternatives, including reducing city pollution. Some of the overseas and New Zealand research into improved electric vehicles, fuel from crops and algae and hydrogen is exciting. In the meantime New Zealand could consider building a coal to liquid fuel plant. Even if it wasn’t used but keep in a state of readiness, in case of a disruption to world oil supplies. I don’t know what state the Motunui synthetic petrol is in and if in an emergency it could be quickly recommissioned.

* I think achieving home ownership should be much easier and it be a nationwide policy to facilitate this. Home ownership can increase peoples’ sense of belonging and commitment. Encouraging speculation of houses makes it harder for many to attain ownership and leaves many others unnecessarily indebted for much of their lives.

* I think we should adopt a 4-day working week. Plenty of evidence suggests that productivity levels vary little whether people work 4 or 5 days. It would be a recognition of the increased use of labour-saving technology in the modern world, would improve people’s well-being and probably reduce illness and sickness.

* Government policies and propaganda about future pension uncertainties caused the housing bubble. People who could borrow were encouraged to invest in another house or two, so they may hopefully be a little better off in their retirement.

* I believe serious questions need to be raised about aspects of the economic model and theories that presently dominate the world. It leaves people and communities, farms and businesses loaded with financial debt no matter how hard people work. Every year financial debt increases everywhere, and sometimes even more so during boom times. It creates shortages of money for improved social infrastructures, yet money can always be found for wars, or created to bail out mis-managed banks. It encourages the mass manufacture of wasteful throw-a-way products instead of quality long-lasting items, thus adding to pollution and waste. The free enterprise system is the best the world has ever come up with and the only one that actually works well, but there seems to be something wrong with the management or financial accounting of things.

* I think there should be a trial period for all immigrants, of at least five to ten years. Immigrants must be treated with absolute fairness, equality and decency, but they also have a responsibility to show respect and honour to New Zealand’s existing ways. If any serious crime is committed during the trial period citizenship should be denied and the right to residency withdrawn, along with the right to ever enter New Zealand again.

* I do not believe in a chosen people or race, whether it be the stupid Nazi beliefs, or that of extreme Zionism or any other such claims. Every human being is important and unique. Every single human being naturally shares in a common humanity. I do believe there are racial, cultural and other differing traits between individuals and groups and these should be respected and honoured. But I question the political intentions of some people who go over board in promoting multi-culturalism, which can sometimes lead to unnecessary suffering, as well as various extra social and financial costs. We can all learn from others of different backgrounds. Associating with people of different backgrounds can help to dispel ignorance and increase the width of our life experience. Some peoples of different backgrounds mix more easily than others, but throughout the western world we see the creation of ghettos. These sometimes add to crime statistics and are costly in extra policing and social services. I am proud of my British-European heritage and the political, social and religious influences associated with it. I strongly suspect the motives of some of those who are overly critical of it or want to sever New Zealand’s social and cultural links to our past.

Brief Biography:

- Born in Temuka, 1959.

- Attended Catholic schools in Temuka and Timaru.

- Raised on a family farm in South Canterbury.

- After farm sold moved to Auckland in 1980.

- Was involved for many years with New Zealand League of Rights organization as its National Director, and editor of its publication On Target from 1983 until about 5 years ago.

- Supported keeping the older style smaller councils that existed before 1988.

- Opposed the Muldoon National Government’s Think Big energy plan as wasteful of our natural gas reserves and unnecessarily expensive. Believed we would have been better to use natural gas directly in vehicles and there should have been some development of farm produced motor fuels. Believed then and now that this country should have a policy of achieving energy independence.

- For over 20 years have supported the adoption of binding public referendums for local and central government.

- Operated a printing business at Onehunga from 1988 to 1996, and worked part time in it for a period after that.

- Looked after a small farm near Pukekohe from 1988 to 2000. Spent parts of 2000 and 2001 working for a grain cocky on a large farm in north-east Texas, near the town of Paris.

- Since then have worked, mainly self-employed, doing building/renovation work in West Auckland

- Hobbies include tramping and flying. Have a pilots license and did a little part time flying instructing a few years ago

- Support a more organic approach to farming and have an organic vege garden. Am opposed to genetic engineering of food and most of the claims made by its advocates have proven incorrect. I hate the practice of battery farming.

- Enjoy reading and good quality movies. Favourite movie is the 1938 Adventures of Robin Hood with Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland. Favourite recent movies are The Lemon Tree and Molokai: the Story of Father Damien.

- Opposed to compulsory mass medication (fluoridation) via drinking water.

- Believe there should be wider cooperation between conventional and complimentary medicine.

- I regard myself as a Christian but seldom attend church. It seems to me the churches have abstracted themselves from some of the realities of life.

Some of the people I quite like or admire, not in any particular order

Mother Theresa

Alexander Solzhenitsyn


Prince Charles

Sir James Goldsmith

Robyn Hood & William Tell

C.S. Lewis

St Francis of Assisi

John A. Lee



Rusty Kane said...

I agree with most of what Bill is saying and standing for and good on him. Except for a few things, I believe we should be a republic with a new national flag (Not a Moari Flag)and I am not completely opposed to the creation of a Auckland super city for infrastructure planing purposes. Roads, Water, Sewage etc. But not anything else. Like Bill I would be concerned for the lack of any real local community
representation. I admire Bill for making a stand for the people and communities of Auckland to be represented over that of big business and government. It is after all the people of Aucklands, city. therefore their say and opinions must be represented and upheld..
I suggest also..
When voting in our chosen representatives on to local councils. More often than not, once they are in office their pre-election promises and pledges are conveniently forgotten. Councillors actions in office are so different to what they say in their campaign promises. That it is near impossible to choose a genuine candidate on their promises alone. The only true way to know a candidate is to go meet them and get to know them yourself. For most voters this is impractical.
It would be really helpful for city papers to give honest free independent reviews on each candidate before the election. So the voters get to know the candidates, their views charter work and actions within the community. This would better help give the voters a more informed judgement on each candidates.
Then the opinions and views of lesser known candidates like Bill will be heard. Gaining more recognition and votes i'm sure.

Kevthefarmer said...

I think I must have my brain cloned from the same source as Bill Daly's. I absolutely agree with everything here, He's even born the same year as me!! If I was in Auckland I would be volounteering for his campaign team.
As far as Rusty Kanes comments re. a republic. I cannot think of anything more loathesome than a politician to have as head of state, which is what we would get. For now, leave it the way it is- especially with Charles coming up, for I believe he is a man of the people

The best argument against a republic I have seen
( from / comments)
Keith #4 8:22am

Anyone who thinks that becoming a republic is just a matter of having a debate and then signing the legislation off has not bothered to read history. Most republics in history have been born out of war, revolution or constitutional crisis - not debate. And even most nations that became republics in the post-WW2 era have collapsed into some form of military or political dictatorship at some stage of their existence. Republicanism guarantees nothing in terms of democracy, even in countries with a European-based culture. France, Germany, Italy, Russia and Spain all suffered dictatorships in their early republican history and names such as Napoleon, Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini and Franco have become by-words for everything that can go horribly wrong in supposedly civilised nations. Even the United States could not avoid a brutal civil war early in its history. South Africa and Rhodesia both declared themselves republics in the belief that breaking their ties with Britain would solve all their racial problems. Instead, it just made things worse. Rhodesia - now Zimbabwe - is an absolute basket-case of a republic ruled by a racist megalomaniac. The republic of Fiji has spent most of its time under military rule. The republic of Turkey has just arrested most of its top military officers on charges of plotting a coup. The Spanish restored their monarchy after the death of the dictator, Franco, because they understood its unifying value in a politically-divided nation. Contrast these events with the relative political stability enjoyed by constitutional monarchies such as Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands and you can see what we have to lose. Yes, New Zealand may become a republic sometime in the future but there is no justifiable political reason to do it now.

Rusty Kane said...

You are scaremongering Kevthefarmer... there are examples of political stability or instability in both republics and monarchies throughout the world. The political stability of a country is not dependent on whether it is a republic or monarchy. Social and economic conditions, and the depth of commitment to democracy are much more important in maintaining political stability. I believe New Zealanders not foreigners should be our head of state. They should be elected democratically and be accountable to all New Zealanders. These ideas are the heart of republicanism, where power comes from the people. The people need to bring our head of state home to New Zealand. To show our independence and maturity to the world. Emphasising that power should come from the people; clarifying the role and powers of our head of state here in NZ and erasing the archaic succession rules of the English monarchy.
A republic is a democratic, accountable constitutional safeguard.
The head of state should be an effective constitutional safeguard. The Sovereign and Governor-General are not effective constitutional safeguards. The Governor-General is unable to resolve constitutional crises because the Prime Minister holds the power to dismiss and replace them at any time, and the monarch will never get involved in New Zealand politics, choosing to remain "above politics".
A republic would bring a head of state that could act in times of constitutional crises. A head of state that is better able to act in times of crises works as a much better restraint on the power of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.
With a republic the role of the head of state will be clearer. It would add certainty to gray areas in our constitution. Monarchy represents the belief that the authority of government devolves from a single individual (the Sovereign). Republicanism is based on the principle that the authority of government is gained through the consent of the people. Democracy of the people of New Zealand not that of a foreign Sovereignty.

Kevthefarmer said...

"Social and economic conditions, and the depth of commitment to democracy are much more important in maintaining political stability."- so where does that leave us when we are socially and economically disfunctional and the public at large care more about car/bach/boat/rugby than democracy?
The Cargo Cult of "if only we could become a Republic then all good things would follow" becomes less and less plausible as the Executive siezes more and more power to itself. The abolition of recourse to the Privy Council must surely fit with Mr. Kanes definition of "showing independence and maturity", however the establishment of the (politically appointed) Supreme Court as the ultimate recourse to the Law has further increased executive power. Larry Baldock and Bill Daly have a far more pragmatic handle on these issues than Rusty Kane.