Paul Goldsmith, the man who wrote the biography of Donald T Brash, is now a National Party member of the Auckland City Council.
I was as gobsmacked and outraged as any other ordinary person would be to hear his reported comments from the City's Community Services Committee, desiring to see homeless people re-located out of the City, presumably so that Goldsmith's gold-plated chums don't have to suffer the inconvenience of being reminded that not everyone has life so easy as they do.
Most homeless people have some combination of mental health, ordinary health problems and are suffering massive social exclusion.
The response is not to bundle people away. It is to deal honestly and openly with the problems that they face, and to turn the City's attention to how it can help, not how it can harm, people in such a position.
I also note that the Greens and the Labour Party have condemned the comments. I await with interest the response of National candidate Nikki Kaye, who is portraying herself as a young bright thing who actually cares about people. Where is her condemnation of Goldsmith's disgraceful comments?
Kaye should put her cards on the table. She should either confirm she shares the values of most Aucklanders, who rightly condemn this sort of attack (and you know it's the majority, because even Banks backpedalled on this furiously this morning), or she should confirm her own allegiance to the right wing fringe of the National Party - people like Goldsmith, Bhatnagar, etc.
I suspect we'll all be waiting a long time. Anyway, one candidate is honest about her views, Judith Tizard's media release follows below.
Council plays politics with cruel attack on most vulnerable
Auckland Central MP Judith Tizard is appalled by reports that Auckland City
Council's Community Services Committee wants to 'deal' with the city's
homeless by shipping them out of the city.
"Auckland City is simply playing politics at the expense of very vulnerable
people," said Judith Tizard.
"These actions are an insult to the many volunteers, community workers and
dedicated professionals in the Police and mental health services, who
devote so much time and effort to helping Auckland's homeless people.
"Where does the Council intend on moving the homeless? Remuera or St
Heliers perhaps, or further out of town, maybe to Takapuna?
"Auckland's CBD has, according to recent survey, 80 or more people sleeping
"These people need community services from their council's ironically named
Community Services Committee, not to be the targets of politically
"The Anglican City Mission has done wonderful work with engaging with and
supporting homeless people.
"We have seen that in many cases they can once again participate fully in
the community, and in some cases get jobs or undertake study.
"Let's help them, not hide them or hide from the problems," said Judith