Al Mansell answers our questions

by Joanna on September 1, 2010

Thanks to mayoral candidate Al Mansell for taking the time to answer our questions too.

1. You have 30 seconds to convince someone to come to Wellington. What’s your pitch?

If they don’t know how grouse Wellington, is, maybe they’re not the sort of people we want. Pay more attention.

2. How do you think traffic flow to the hospital and airport could be improved?

Make the buses and trains free. Extend the Johnsonville line through Newtown to the Airport.

3. Where do you stand on the issue of opening up government data?

Government communication, and legislation, needs to be in plain english. That’s the biggest obstacle to openness.

4. What plans have do you have to improve recycling/composting facilities?

Introduce composting scheme for inner-city businesses. Promote communal resources, to reduce resource use.

5. What is your policy on street alcoholics?

Support a wet house in the city. We don’t need liquor bans; police already have powers to arrest people if they are being offensive/violent.

6. Do you support pedestrianisation of the Golden Mile? Why/Why not?

Yes. Move the buses to Jervois Quay. Use human/electric three-wheelers to link to the bus routes and to car parks.

7. What’s the last local market you went to? What did you buy?

Willis st market- peanut brittle. It’s my one weakness. Well, that, and methamphetamine.

8. Describe your bicycle, or your favourite bus route?

A red giant. Stolen from Wakefield st while I was dangling off the supreme court. I will find it, and I will have my revenge.

9. When did you last use the library, a community centre, or a council-run sports facility?

The library, today. It is the most important thing we own. With the possible exception of water reticulation.

10. Would you welcome a central government driven “super-city” amalgamation of local authorities? If not, why not?

No. Anyone who trusts Rodney Hide needs to learn to be more discerning.

11. Do you think the council has a role in fostering community websites? If so, how?

Yes. Most importantly, by advertising their existence. The council’s imprimature can give a website the critical mass it needs to be successful.

12. Where do you stand on water privitisation, and why?

Against. The arguments in favour of it don’t add up. And bring water services back in-house. Abolish capacity.

13. What city overseas inspires your vision for Wellington? How?

Havana. In a city of about two million, half the fresh food is grown in the city.

14. Is the concept of democratic representation important to you? How so?

Yes. If we don’t use political power, our enemies sure will. (I consider our enemies to be banks, and corporations. And Rodney Hide).

15. What do you think about commuunity gardens on public land?

They are really important, way too scarce, and will become invaluable as the global economy atrophies.

Phil October 12, 2010 at 9:51 am

I had the pleasure of seeing Al ‘in action’ during a candidate debate for Wellington Central prior to the general election. He talked about his previous life dealing and using, and how he’d cleaned himself up. Good stuff, I thought.

Then he pulled a Taser out of his jacket pocket.

Al explained that he’d used the Taser as protection from unruly associates in the drug trade, but that was behind him now, and it was time to move on. To show his commitment to the electorate and the new life he was building, he said he would now destroy the Taser.

Then he pulled a mallet out of his jacket pocket.

Al put the Taser on the ground. He raised the mallet high above his head and took a mighty swing. The blow was only glancing, but connected in such a way that the Taser turned itself on and shot across the floor in my direction. It bounced off the leg of a chair and came to rest a few centimetres from my foot. One of the girls I was with jumped and screamed, the assembled crowd of voters freaked out.

Al rushed across to me, turned the Taser off, took the batteries out, and then bashed the taser again with the mallet. This time getting a clean shot and mashing it into little pieces.

I’ve not since been to a candidate debate quite as memorable.

Joanna October 13, 2010 at 10:17 am

That is such a rad story, thank you for sharing it with us. If only there was video!

Anna October 13, 2010 at 5:21 pm

I haven’t been able to stop laughing since I read this taser report. Classic.

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