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“Hope for the best and plan for the worst”

This week Mornings host Gary McIlroy and The Town Prier, Big Bill Demeter, engaged in a wide-ranging discussion, with Bill sounding for all the world like he’s still channelling Karloff the Uncanny.

With councillors presently rowing mostly in the same direction and no new alarming developments in City Hall, this week’s show delved into several topics that have been generating heated debate at home and internationally as well as some with a very local flavour. Continue reading

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“What a cheerful bunch”

There have been many changes in the city since the last time the Town Prier, Bill Demeter, and Mornings host Gary McIlroy last spoke before the run-up to the October local government elections, including Bill’s voice.

This week Gary welcomes back the meaner sounding Town Prier but Bill tells listeners he’s  a reformed man and that his rougher voice simultaneously is a gift of good fortune and a temporary effect of a recent minor stroke.

After passing out a bouquet of roses to Dunedin Hospital staff, Bill shares his thoughts on what Gary describes as a “fairy tale new start for the Council”. Continue reading

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Q&A with It’s Our City co-founder Bill Demeter

It’s Our City (IOCI) was launched as a citizens movement seven years ago in response to regressive actions in Christchurch’s city hall that resulted in the erosion of three key democratic principles: transparency, responsibility and participation.

From the start, one of the movement’s aims was to lobby vigorously for citizens to use their vote to rid the city of politicians who did not endorse these principles.

As IOCI co-founder Bill Demeter explains, after seven long, frustrating and vexing years the 2013 Local Government Elections produced high calibre candidates who not only were able to end the reign of Sideshow Bob Parker but who also culled his royalists back to a single survivor.

In this Q&A Bill shares his thoughts about the election and the new Council with Michael Herman. Continue reading

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Royalists sent packing by voters seeking a brighter future for Christchurch

Bill arrived at the studio radiating an infectious frisson of post-election excitement on Monday 14 October for the pre-record of this week’s Local Government Elections 2013 wrap show.

Recalling some of the highs and lows of the 2013 campaign in Christchurch, Bill said It’s Our City’s elections panel had scored almost full marks this time around, having correctly picked in their recommendations earlier this month all but two of the eventual winners around the Council table.

Of the 13 Councillors who have joined Christchurch’s new Mayor, Lianne Dalziel, nine are new to the table with only four from the previous council having survived the 2013 City Hall spring clean after voters apparently vexed by the poor governance and management that characterised the Parker reign sent all but one Royalist packing.

Among those who will not be returning to the Council chamber this term is Christchurch’s own Big Dipper aka Aaron Keown who was anything but gracious about the exit vote his campaign was greeted with by the good people of Shirley-Papanui, opining bitterly that he was surprised to not get re-elected and saying: “The council has been elected on negativity. You will reap what you sow. It is a shame for the city.”

To hear this and much, much more, click on the streaming audio icon below or download the podcast to listen to later.

The ‘It’s Our City’ show on Plains FM reverts to its regular alternate weekly schedule from Tuesday 22 October, with Bill as The Town Prier once again appearing on Gary McIlroy’s Mornings show every Wednesday. 

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The Get-Out-Your-Vote Show

In this Get-Out-Your-Vote pre-election show broadcast on 8 October 2013 Bill Demeter and Michael Herman discuss the Christchurch City Council candidates and explore the recommendations prepared by It’s Our City’s Elections Panel. Afterwards they consider some of the situations and key problems the new council will face and how it will prioritise what needs to be done to ensure a successful rebuild.

“You know, they say if you don’t vote, you get the government you deserve.”
– E.A. Bucchianeri, Brushstrokes of a Gadfly

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Raf Manji with Bill

Manji: “Recovery is about the people… it is not about the buildings”

Fendalton-Waimairi Ward independent candidate Raf Manji has a background in finance, community and enterprise, and a passion for public service.

In the first segment of this week’s show (broadcast date 1 October 2013) Raf tells Bill he’d like to see more participatory democracy in the running of the city and “an absolute freeze on (council) pay rises; anyone earning over $100,000 – forget it.”

Then former journalist and long-time ‘It’s Our City’ listener Michael Herman once again joins Bill for the ‘Town Prier’ segment. This week, as the wick of the Parker-Marryatt approaches its end, they consider Nelson Mandela’s observation that “a good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination” and ponder whether the current mayor and the former CEO were between them possessed of either.

‘It’s Our City’ and the ‘Town Prier’ segment from Plains FM Mornings have combined in an all-new Local Government Election Season format, with an extended version of ‘It’s Our City’ now broadcast weekly on Tuesdays 11:00 to 11:55 until 12 October 2013 and rebroadcast on Wednesdays at 21:30.

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Elections-1

Our recommendations for City Council members

IOCI has made local Christchurch election recommendations for each of the last three elections.

We examine the voting records of incumbents and make judgements on their ward presence, knowledge of issues, attendance and independent thinking. We also interview voters via phone or in person . IOCI then makes this information available to a diverse panel to select whom we should recommend as city councillors and mayor.

In some cases, the panel may not make recommendations or recommend only one person in a ward where two are to be selected. If that is the case the voter can pick from a choice of acceptable candidates.

For the first time, we are making note of incumbents we think should not be considered based on their voting records and public comments made while in office.

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Ali Jones (IOCI - 24 September 2013)

“The biggest thing I can bring is a positive, energetic, intelligent approach to moving forward”

Shirley-Papanui Ward independent candidate and St Albans resident Ali Jones had not planned to run for council again but was inspired by Lianne Dalziel’s launch speech and the opportunity for a fresh start created by Tony Marryatt’s resignation and Bob Parker’s decision not to stand for re-election.

In the first segment of this week’s show (broadcast date 24 September 2013) Bill asks Ali what she believes will be the three main issues facing the new council after the 12 October 2013 vote.

Then former journalist and long-time ‘It’s Our City’ listener Michael Herman once again joins Bill for the ‘Town Prier’ segment. This week they contemplate Sir Bob Jones’s Laws of Economics, whether Fortuna will drop Labour leader David Cunliffe into the prime minister’s seat, and reflect on what’s happening out on the Christchurch hustings in the run-up to the city’s most important election in 50 years.

‘It’s Our City’ and the ‘Town Prier’ segment from the ‘Morning Show’ have combined in an all-new Local Government Election Season format, with an extended version of ‘It’s Our City’ now broadcast weekly on Tuesdays 11:00 to 11:55 until 12 October 2013 and rebroadcast on Wednesdays at 21:30.

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Leanne Dalziel & Bill Demeter 001

Is the city taking on too much debt?

A lot has happened in the city and at city hall since mayoral candidate Lianne Dalziel last appeared on ‘It’s Our City’ in early June. In the first segment of this week’s show (broadcast date 17 September 2013) Bill asks Lianne what are the key issues facing residents and the city, and what she will do if elected.

Former journalist and long-time ‘It’s Our City’ listener Michael Herman once again joins Bill for the ‘Town Prier’ segment. This week they contemplate the Labour leader contest, Local Government Judgement Day 2013, and don’t mince words about disappointing mainstream media coverage of the city’s most important election in 50 years and farcical campaign promises.

‘It’s Our City’ and the ‘Town Prier’ segment from the ‘Morning Show’ have combined in an all-new Local Government Election Season format, with an extended version of ‘It’s Our City’ now broadcast weekly on Tuesdays 11:00 to 11:55 until 12 October 2013.

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