Two groups are canvassing candidates in the local elections.
The Campaign for Better Transport, based in Auckland is campaigning vigorously for a passenger rail service from Hamilton to Auckland. With good media skills, CBT has run several well-attended meetings and marshalled a large group of local supporters who collected 11,500 signatures on a petition to government. They are pressing candidates to Vote Trains and have endorsed candidates who have signed their manifesto to support the cause if elected, as I do.
Sustainable Waikato is a locally based and recently formed group. Leaders include some of our most respected scientists and supporters include a solid academic base. Sustainable Waikato has questioned candidates on their views on a range of topics relevant to long term needs of the city and region and good governance. Their answers have been carefully assessed and based on this assessment, some have been endorsed. The Sustainable Waikato website http://www.sustainablewaikato.org.nz/ lists those who have been endorsed and also provides the full text of their answers and the assessment criteria. This gives voters comprehensive information about candidate's views and an assurance as to the integrity of the process. I welcome their endorsement.
After the election, the assessment criteria could be provided to councillors as a checklist for responsible governance. I trust that Sustainable Waikato will continue.