One symptom of a political junkie is when a sizeable chunk of one's social network is standing in the local government elections. The ones who aren't MPs, anyway. And good on them. Better the devil you know.
Even so, I am finding it extraordinarily difficult to give a fat rat's crack about filling in those pumpkin-coloured electoral papers. This may be because I live in a three-horse town (they sometimes gait past my gate).
It's not Auckland or Otautahi, where things actually matter. Nor is it Wellington, with a choice between a disappointment of a mayor with her base deserted, or a has-been 70's cricketer who can't stop bodylining his audience. Giant Douche or Turd Sandwich indeed.
Sure, there are issues facing Kapiti. The debt per resident in the previous year was $2642, compared to Wellington City's $1843, but that can largely get resolved by moving the rates base away from an anomalous land only rating (the only council in the province with a rating system that excludes capital improvements), and introducing a business differential (at present, rates in Kapiti are the same for business and residential. No other council in the region has this policy either).
Jenny Rowan gets my tick as mayor of Pram, mainly on the basis of actually having met her once in person (Call it the Peter Dunne Effect). Gru Gurunathan was number two, because of his visibility in the local rag. I have never read his columns (or at least, none were memorable) but at least he's visible.
The rest of the list was ranked based on the meaningless blurbs submitted in the accompanying 68 page electoral instruction and candidate information booklet (WARNING: MAY CAUSE NARCOLEPSY), and the only article I could find on local candidate meetings:
David Scott 3, Ivan Sage 4, Jackie Elliott 5, Ross Church 6, Gavin Welsh 7. Yeah, I know I didn't have to rank Jar Jar Binks, but he's still preferable to Darth Nutter.
I have yet to decide on electing 5 At Large District Councillors. I wouldn't recognise any of the 15 candidates if they were lying in the gutter pissing lager. I don't like this At Large vote, anyway. Stuff what Local Government NZ thinks. I may just leave this blank out of plain, unadulterated apathy.
There is only one candidate for the sole ward seat, so no democracy needed there. Janet Holborow, elected unopposed.
Seven candidates vying for four seats on the community board. Two of them are also running for councillors jobs. David Scott is running for mayor as well, so screw his triple-dipping arse. In fact, none of them matter. Do not care. Will probably ending up ranking them out of drunken spite.
Flipped a coin for the sole Regional Councillor. Nigel Wilson 1, Chris Turver 2.
23 candidates for 7 District Health Board positions. Not even bothering to try to sort that snout trough out. If DHB elections disappeared from the ballot, no-one would notice. I'll probably leave that blank too. Ta for the useless formalities, Labour!