Should Sam resign?

My intent is to foster a debate as much as to express my own, personal opinion on the matter. But yes, I believe that Sam Lotu-liga should resign as either the Auckland City Councilor for Tamaki-Maungakiekie, or as MP for Maungakiekie. Holding two such offices simultaneously does have some historical precedent, but does anyone really believe that any human being is up to the task of fulfilling both jobs?

Sam did make it clear during the election period that if elected, he would continue as Councilor. He also made it clear that he would donate his Auckland City salary to charity. That is all very laudable, but it still doesn´t answer the legitimate question of whether the interests of the people he is elected to represent are being served.

I am close enough to the corridors of power to recognise and acknowledge the mammoth workload of the vast majority of MPs of all parties. I think they deserve every penny that they are paid. Only a few MPs from the big caucuses are left to wallow without workload and it is often not their fault.

Sam is tipped as an up-and-comer within the National Party ranks, so I hardly expect him to suffer the kind of workload exile that Bob the Builder suffered during the last term. But only that kind of exile would leave Sam free to serve the City Council with any kind of focus and energy. (Never mind family pressures)  It´s a bad look for him and a bad look for the Citizens and Ratepayers majority on the council that they fear a by-election so much that they would consider continuing with such a farce.

My two cents? Sam should resign as Auckland City Councilor. What are your thoughts?

12 Comments Posted

  1. National’s Nathan Guy was a local councilor and list MP at the same time. Labour’s Anne Hartley was a local MP and city councilor with the North Shore City Council for a while.

    Where you’re a back-bench Opposition MP, it may well be possible to hold both offices. Both maintain your profile locally and keep you in tough with your community. I can see how this might be particularly useful for a list MP….as you do also have a vote from a local constituency, even if it isn’t the parliamentary one.

    Many Councils aren’t full time jobs anyway. They are often / usually held by people with day jobs or people who run businesses.

  2. Plenty of councillors have demanding jobs in addition. If you add together the work done by the average backbencher and the work done by the average city councillor, there are plenty of people out there working harder than that. Helen Clark, for example, would get bored doing as little as that.

  3. Johan – I am not questioning Sam’s competence or anything, just one man’s ability to do two jobs.

    sweetdisorder – get a life. It’s my blog and I ask the questions around here. If I had known about Shanes situation, I’d be asking the same questions. So what’s your answer? Should Jones have been allowed to hold the two positions? What about Sam? From your comment I assume that you agree with my position. My answer about Jones would probably be the same as here. But acusations of being me being duplicitous? Go bark somehwere else.

  4. I shall leave it to others to state if it is possible to be both a good member of the city council and an MP but I have some knowledge of Sam Lotu-Iiga’s work as a councillor.

    Sam Lotu-Iiga served as the chairperson of the city development committee of the Auckland City Council with a great degree of competence but stepped down when he accepted the nomination to run as parliamentary candidate. He has since then only served as member of this committee but has been diligent in this regard. Sam was the chair of the bylaw hearings panel (the others on the bylaw hearings panel were Cathy Casey (City Vision), Toni Millar (C&R) and Graham Easte (City Vision)) who recommended to the council to accept a policy of not allowing rodeos on council owned or controlled land – a step I think does them all credit.

  5. StephenR

    In late september 2006, some nine months after Shane Jones was elected he still held the position of MP and chairperson of the Fisheries Commission.

    If you carry on the read the exchange he promised to step aside in 2007 at the next annual general meeting.

    So Frog, either you show me the evidence of you questioning Jones in this regard or you go quietly go into the night as you have no leg to stand on. Or, is this a case of it must be wrong as it isn’t a Labour and/or labour support party doing it?

  6. When Georgina Beyer became an MP, she thought she could be an MP and a Mayor at the same time. She soon discovered she didn’t have time for both, so she resigned as mayor. maybe Sam Lotu-Liga will reach the same conclusion.

  7. I think Lotu-Iiga should definitely stand-down from one of the roles, although I would say that as it would be great to have a chance to run a by-election in that area for the centre-left.

    Seriously though, I too have been close enough to both city councillors and MPs to see that the workload of either role is hideous, hard enough on families too just doing the one. To do both justice and still have time to have an actual life would be impossible, even if you were one of those freaky people who only needs 4 hours sleep a night.

  8. Hmmm, you mean like the multiple positions held by Shane Jones?

    Frog, just a hint, it helps to be even handed if you are going to start down this road. Can you show me evidence on where you have ever questioned Jones interests?

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