Penny Bright - Anti-corruption Campaigner and Auckland Mayoral Candidate says “Open The Books!”

Interviewed by

Lisa Er

Penny Bright - Anti-corruption Campaigner and Auckland Mayoral Candidate says “Open The Books!”

“Open the books,” is Mayoral candidate Penny Bright’s catch phrase. She hasn’t paid her rates for 9 years, and won’t until Auckland Council tells us how our rate payers money is being spent.

Auckland Mayoral Candidate and public watchdog Penny Bright talks with Lisa Er.

'Activists get things done'!

“It's time to stop the commercialisation and privatisation of Council services and regulatory functions, and return to the genuine 'public service' model” says Penny.

“It's time for we the people to take back control of our region, our assets and our resources!”

This October, voting Penny Bright for Mayor will not be just a 'protest' vote - but a vote for real change that will serve the public and the public interest - not corporate interests.

“I'm fiercely and genuinely politically independent and work on an 'issue by issue' basis. My proven track record is 20 years experience in local government, defending the public & the public interest, as a self-funded anti-privatisation & anti-corruption 'Public Watchdog'.”

“I am opposed to corporate control, locally, nationally and internationally, and am the only Auckland Mayoral candidate who is actively opposed to the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA).”

Penny also asserts that it is time to 'roll back Rogernomics' which was based on the myth and mantra 'public is bad - private is good'.

Rogernomics neo-liberal philosophy embraces five basic principles:

1. The rule of the market

2. Cutting public expenditure for social services

3. Deregulation

4. Privatisation

5. Eliminating the concept of public good or community.)

“In my opinion, the only ones to have benefited from running public services in a more 'business-like' mode are those businesses which have been awarded the contracts.

However, if Government and Council public services are now being owned, operated and managed for private profit without cost-benefit analysis - then that, in my view is 'corporate welfare', to which I am totally opposed.

Open the books - cut out the contractors - bring Council services & regulatory functions back 'in house' under the public service model, and stop corrupt cronyism and corporate welfare.”

If elected Auckland Mayor, Penny Bright will ensure the rule of law is implemented and enforced regarding ratepayers and citizens lawful rights to open, transparent and democratically accountable local government.

“I'm also totally opposed to 'democracy for developers' and question why all this 'growth' has to come to Auckland?

In my view, there should be a national population growth, migration and regional employment strategy.

Who benefits now from this 'One Plan' for Auckland, in my view, are property developers, foreign investors, bankers, land bankers, speculators and money-launderers.

This is a 'Supercity' - for the 1%.

The Auckland region is being run 'like a business - by business - for business, the mechanism for this effective corporate takeover being the 'Council Controlled Organisation' (CCO) model.

It's time to stop the commercialisation and privatisation of Council services and regulatory functions, and return to the genuine 'public service' model.

It's time for we the people to take back control of our region, our assets and our resources!”

This time voting Penny Bright for Mayor will not be just a 'protest' vote - but a vote for real change that will serve the public and the public interest - not corporate interests.

Penny’s Bio:

AT 61, Penny sees her life as an onion, with many layers to her life.

Her formative childhood years were in the Wairarapa. She was brought up on a 6 acre lifestyle block in Carterton, where she picked strawberries in Greytown as a 10 year old, to help buy a pony with the required riding gear.

From this she learned to focus, and work hard to achieve what she wanted in life.

She did well academically, but chose not to go University, having discovered political activism in her 7th form year through joining the anti-apartheid movement.

After a year of hitch-hiking around New Zealand staying at Youth Hostels in the days when you could just walk into jobs off the street, she got on a plane to Sydney with $200 in the bank - to see the world.

She didn't get past Australia!

In Perth West Australia, in 1974, she got involved in the first famous campaign against foreign military bases in Australia, and was part of the 'Long March' across Australia against the USA base at North West Cape.

She decided to return to New Zealand to become more politically involved, and ended up working for 6 years in a home appliance factory in Masterton and working as a Union activist on the factory floor.

Penny was made redundant in 1981 and so went to Auckland to live. She was one of the 12 people who organised the anti- Springbok Tour protests in Auckland in 1981.

This resulted in her being listed as one of 8 'subversives' on then Prime Minister Rob Muldoon's SIS list, although she has never been able to get a copy of her SIS file, and the GCSB would neither confirm or deny whether she was one of the 88 New Zealanders who had been unlawfully spied upon.

After working for 4 years as an electronics assembler in a 'brown goods' factory, and being eventually sacked as a Union activist for being an arguably effective Union delegate, Penny did a welding course at (then) Auckland Institute of Technology (AIT).

She was first employed as a welder and then ended up doing an adult apprenticeship in a stainless steel fabrication workshop qualifying in Advanced Trade in Sheet metal Engineering, where she became New Zealand's first female CBIP (Certification Board for Inspectorate Personnel) Welding Inspector.

After doing some production planning, Penny became a Quality Assurance Co-ordinator, whose job it was to help ensure that pressure vessels didn't blow up, and make sure that quality systems were in place so that the jobs that went out on the truck, were that which the sales people had promised, and the clients had ordered and paid for.

After a change of company ownership when a number of people were made redundant Penny was subsequently hired as a Welding Tutor for 9 years at Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT), where she helped teach thousands of (mainly) men how to weld.

So Penny had 16 years of working in a totally male-dominated environment.

In 2000, she was made redundant from MIT, and having being fortunate enough to become mortgage-free that same year, Penny decided to work full-time on a self-funded basis on the political issues that she was involved with.

These were mainly on the local government front, as a founding member of the Water Pressure Group against Auckland City Council's commercialised water services company Metrowater, and water privatisation.

Penny has now been involved in local government issues in Auckland for the last 20 years. On the home front she has been together with ‘a lovely man’ who is hugely supportive of her, for over 10 years.

Always campaigning with an element of humour, Penny signs her e-mails with,

‘Her Warship’.

This interview was sponsored by The Awareness Party.

PENNY BRIGHT’S ACTION PLAN TO ENSURE 'OPEN, TRANSPARENT AND DEMOCRATICALLY ACCOUNTABLE' NZ GOVERNMENT AND JUDICIARY:

1) Make ALL 'facilitation payments' (BRIBES) illegal.

2) Legislate to create a NZ independent anti-corruption body, tasked with educating the public and preventing corruption.

3) Legislate for NZ Members of Parliament (who make the rules for everyone else) to have a legally enforceable 'Code of Conduct'.

4) Make it an offence under the Local Government Act 2002, for NZ Local Government elected representatives to breach their 'Code of Conduct'.

5) Make it lawful, mandatory requirement for Local Government elected representatives to complete a 'Register of Interests' which is available for public scrutiny.

6) Make it a lawful, mandatory requirement for Local Government staff, responsible for property or procurement, to complete a 'Register of Interests' which is available for public scrutiny.

7) Make it lawful, a mandatory requirement for Local Government Council Controlled Organisation (CCO) Directors and staff, responsible for property or procurement, to complete a 'Register of Interests' which is available for public scrutiny.

8) Fully implement and enforce the Public Records Act 2005, to ensure public records are available for public scrutiny.

9) Make it a lawful requirement that a 'cost-benefit' analysis of NZ Central Government and Local Government public finances must be undertaken, to prove that private procurement of public services previously provided 'in house' is cost-effective for the public majority of tax payers and rate payers.

10) Legislate for a legally enforceable 'Code of Conduct' for members of the NZ Judiciary, to ensure that they are not 'above the law'.

11) Legislate to provide a publicly-available NZ Judicial 'Register of Interests', to help prevent 'conflicts of interest'.

12) Ensure ALL NZ Court proceedings are recorded, with audio records available to parties who request them.

13) Legislate for a publicly-available NZ 'Register of Lobbyists, and 'Code of Conduct' for lobbyists.

14) Legislate for a 'post-separation employment' ('revolving door' ) quarantine period from the time officials leave the public service, to take up a similar role in the private sector.

15) Legislate to make it a lawful requirement that it is only a binding vote of the public majority that can determine whether public assets held at NZ central or local government are sold, or long-term leased via Public Private Partnerships.

16) Legislate to make it unlawful for politicians to knowingly misrepresent their policies prior to central or local government elections.

17) Legislate to protect individuals, NGOs and community-based organisations, who are 'whistle-blowing' against 'conflicts of interest' and and alleged corrupt practices at central and local government level and within the judiciary.

18) Legislate to prevent 'State Capture' - where vested interests get what they want, at the 'policy' level, before laws are passed which serve their vested interests.

Policy of 2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate Penny Bright- www.pennybright4mayor.org.nz.

Authorised by Penny Bright 86A School Rd Kingsland Auckland.

Want to help? e-mail - waterpressure@gmail.com.

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Lisa Er

Lisa Er

Born in the UK Lisa emigrated with her parents to New Zealand at the age of 16. Already politically active Lisa has continued to have a passionate interest in peace, politics, and the philosophy behind what we do.

A primary school teacher for 14 years, Lisa then turned her hand to business and created the well known Lisa's Hummus, which she sold a few years ago. Now Lisa is immersed in creating a better political system via www.theawarenessparty.com

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