Ask me anything: ACT?s maverick in Northcote, Stephen Berry

ACT candidate Stephen Berry

This morning ACT?s ‘maverick’ in Northcote, Stephen Berry, is live on Whaleoil and available to answer your questions. This is Stephen’s second visit to Whaleoil and we welcome him back. His guest post is below.

Up until the beginning of May the Northcote by-election looked like it was going to be the country?s slowest drag race. Two establishment candidates with about as much difference as vanilla and French vanilla ice cream, both seeking a smile-and-wave policy-free campaign with as little controversy as possible.

Having watched the past seven months (at the time) of dreadfully dull politics in which the blue-reds and the red-blues traded accusations that the other was spending less on government programmes than they would have done, I knew that Northcote deserved better. A genuine contest of ideas, bold proposals that can genuinely improve life for the people of Northcote and no more ‘politics as usual’.

Dan Bidois? comprehensive traffic plan hit Northcote letterboxes last weekend. If you take out all the political fluff, his solutions will fit on the back of a postage stamp. Shannan Halbert has nothing new to add because his government have already announced it: a busway extension and a harbour bridge cycle path. If either of these candidates win Northcote, they?ll immediately fall into party line, vote whichever way they?re whipped and their maiden speeches will be the last we hear of Northcote till 2020.

As the ACT candidate for Northcote, I?m turning this moribund exchange of agreement between the two major party candidates into a proper three-way contest. My first act as Northcote?s MP will be to table a private member?s bill requiring the government to complete the Auckland motorway network?within ten years. The first part that needs to be constructed is a second harbour crossing that links Point Chevalier with Kauri Point, stretching through Highbury and Glenfield before meeting with the Upper Harbour Highway.

So, ask me anything!