HCC Harbour Ward


Simon Monrad:

Question 1)
Yes, and it must commence immediately.

Question 2)

Question 3)
Yes. If this is the final question on a living wage I would add that my policy goes further — all businesses within city limits must pay a living wage to employees. We will work with the unions to undertake any action which will enforce this (see answer to question 6).

Question 4)

Yes, absolutely.

Question 5)
This is a great initial step, with a view to public infrastructure projects being entirely public. That is, having no private profit from necessary public projects, which in essence amounts to corporate welfare, and having a municipalised public infrastructure department employing workers directly with a democratic, syndicalist structure.

Question 6)
Yes. Further, my platform policy is to leverage both legislative and direct action means to enforce automatic union membership for any person employed in the city across public and private sectors — as far as possible, 100% union membership.

Question 7)
A climate emergency has been declared and I support it wholeheartedly. However, I would like know what council means by it. If it means greenwashed status quo, that is intolerable and the road to destruction. We have to radically restructure the economy to plan efficiently in the distribution of resources, end private accumulation of capital, and replace the profit motive with a cooperative needs-based model where once surplus is met for all people, work is not necessary, so the end of wage slavery. A democratic economy, or in other words, it is necessary to transition away from capitalism. Council can facilitate legislatively where it can, but much of the work must be done, as always in history, by mass movements. The role of council is to give space to these endeavours, provide resources where possible, and create the material conditions for the serious action needed to be undertaken.

Question 8)
In a financial portfolio tied to fossil fuels, council must divest. As to the sale of assets generally, the answer is no. Public goods must not come under private hands.

Question 9)
No, and I fully support the imminent municipalisation of vast swathes of services. If it is a human necessity — for example electricity, transport, food, housing, medical care — it is a human right and cannot be subject to market forces or profit motive. Public transport must be municipalised (if not nationalised), fully-funded, comprehensive, and free at point of use. Municipal social housing must be increased for a housing-first approach to ending homelessness and then the conditions which lead to homelessness. We can create a public option for food, including community food-growing and free council-run markets. Electricity must be fully public, from generation to point of use, along with municipal high-speed internet so there is no wealth gap for internet access.

Question 10)
In a first world, post-scarcity country, homelessness is a scandal. And more than that, it is artificially-created. We can end current homelessness with a housing-first approach, building and requisitioning to obtain social housing, including providing ancillary support networks once people are in homes. Then we have to end the conditions which lead to homelessness, and that means the end of a housing market, since market forces incentivise scarcity to increase prices, are easily distorted by powerful players, and cannot meet human needs.
Question 13)
I come from a working class family. I haven’t left it. Currently I live in a Housing New Zealand home, and that’s the only reason I’m not on the street. I’m not sure how many councillors rely on the programmes they put forward, or use the public transport they run, but I do. This is my community, Petone East: one of the poorest, most vulnerable, and hardest-hit by leaving jobs. I cannot commit to progressive politics because progressivism arose in the United States as a way of placating the labour movement with a temporarily kinder capitalism. I am a socialist. Transitioning from capitalism to a democratic, cooperative, communal society is morally important, but because of climate change, it is now a necessity for human survival. To quote Kropotkin, “Well-being for all is not a dream. It is possible, realisable, owing to all that our ancestors have done to increase our powers of production. [They] must become common property, so the collective interests of people may gain from it the greatest good of all. ..This cannot be solved by means of legislation. No one imagines that. We feel the necessity of social revolution.” It’s time we started on that.

Question 14)
I want to work with the labour movement as closely as we can to undertake these changes. Solidarity and the power of the unions will be necessary. For example, to pressure central government to nationalise public transport and remove private interest entirely could be done through direct tactics — for example a sit-down strike by the railways union with the demand that the system is nationalised. To the extent that tactics work, we can replicate them across different sectors. To that end, please keep in touch beyond this survey. To get elected, I’m going to need boots on the ground in the Harbour Ward community from workplaces to volunteers helping out the campaign. Please let your unions know that I’m looking for volunteers to aid in this. We can achieve these things, but we have to fight for them.

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