Vote for Better Communities and Better Working Lives
In 2019 the PSA has come up with four key priorities to help focus your mind on what’s important when you’re deciding who to vote for in local body elections:
We’re calling on all local government candidates to throw their weight behind improving the pay and conditions of council employees. Many of our members in local government are on unacceptably low wages, and we want candidates to support our equal pay claim for library assistants at the six large urban councils; and the Living Wage as a minimum for all workers. Our local government members deliver essential public services – transport, libraries, water and waste water management, recreation, arts and culture – and deserve wages that recognise the value of these to our communities.
Thriving, productive and inclusive communities depend on people having access to affordable, safe and secure housing. Councils have a central role to play in the housing sector, including the maintenance and expansion of social housing. The PSA supports public investment in housing – from both central and local government – that helps build and support healthy communities. The housing shortage is a major concern for PSA members, and we’re calling on all council candidates to commit to policies and investment that will help fix it.
Public infrastructure in many of our towns and cities is in need of significant investment to make up for historical neglect, and ensure it can meet the challenges of climate breakdown and growing populations. The best way to ensure public infrastructure and services are sufficiently funded is to keep them in public ownership. We need to learn from past mistakes and resist privatising public resources we have all built up over decades. These are taonga that must be protected for the good of all, not handed over to private interests outside democratic control. We want all candidates to commit to public ownership and control of our public assets.
Encouraging the expansion of public transport to help combat climate change is another priority for local government. We welcome investment in infrastructure such as Auckland’s City Rail Link, and the train connection between Hamilton and the City of Sails. We also favour developing environmentally-friendly transport modes such as cycleways, over the construction of more motorways.
Christchurch delegate Paul Cottam prefers cycleways to motorways