This was sent to us by a former Labour Party member who quit last year over its apartheid policies. You need to update your list, Rob

Dear Labour Party members and Supporters

I guess you have noticed that I’m standing for Mayor of Kāpiti in the upcoming elections. Some of you might be wondering why I’m not standing under the Labour banner – I want to explain directly to you all why I made that decision.

Back in April, the Otaki LEC granted me the right to stand as a Councillor as an official Labour candidate for the second time. That was a great privilege. Since then, I’ve decided to run for Mayor – and that makes a real difference. I decided not to seek Labour support (even as a Labour-endorsed candidate). 

Most of you will know that I’ve been privileged to be your Otaki electorate candidate for two elections, your LEC chair for two years, and the chair of the Paraparaumu branch for many years, before standing down and taking smaller roles such as vice chair and branch secretary (which I have just stood down from to run this campaign).

In my three years on KCDC I’ve been able to make progress on significant issues by building consensus and converting people through the power of ideas. Working in teams round the Council table helps the organisation to act effectively, and for me it’s about reaching out and working with your fellow Councillors regardless of their ideology to get things done. That’s why I decided not to seek Labour Party support, because as Mayor I want to be able to represent everyone.

While I chose not to ask for Labour Party endorsement, it was not because my values have changed. The work I have driven to change our Council’s stance on housing is evidence of that commitment to ensuring we look after everyone in our community. 

My experiences from working in Parliament, the public service and the private sector, two national elections and most recently running the White Ribbon anti-violence organisation, have taught me how to listen, build consensus and get things done.

I want to create real change within our Council because our community deserves a Council that listens and responds to the needs of the people. I hope you’ll support me as you have done for many election cycles, not because you are Labour members and supporters, but because you want the same kind of community that my family and I have always fought for.

We’ve had a soft spot for Rob since he stood up to Penny Gaylor’s bullying in 2016 and copped serious retaliation from her for that.  We’ve also shared his enthusiasm for dealing with the housing crisis in Kapiti with modest homes that working young couples — and elderly folk — being squeezed between fixed incomes and rising costs can afford.

But his voting record has been disappointing, siding with the management most of the time.