Having dragged myself out of bed on Sunday morning to perform my civic duty and watch the competing political affairs shows, it was depressing to see Auckland deputy mayor Penny Hulse end a confusing discussion on Auckland's housing crisis with a plea to "let's keep the politics out of it. It's too important to score political points on".
What? A senior politician - if Ms Hulse will pardon the slur - disowning her own honourable trade.
Ironically, next weekend she'll be at a cenotaph or RSA hall somewhere, honouring the 30,000 or so New Zealanders who have died in our name over the past 120 years, from the Boer Wars on, defending our democratic way of life.
Yet without politics there would be no democracy. Instead we'd be left with the rule of those who "know best". The bureaucrats, the dictators, the disgruntled army generals, the port company directors.
With the port company gone feral, Auckland house prices spiralling off into la la land, and indecision on the transport front, what Auckland urgently needs is more political participation not less. We need leaders who will wear their politics on their sleeves, not hide it away like some secret masonic handshake.
On television, Ms Hulse argued the way to solve the 35,000 new house deficit is with a cross-party accord. Presumably, Labour, National, the Greens and Act - oh sorry, and Winston - sitting around a table with Auckland Council and the developers, holding hands, singing Kumbaya and hoping for a miracle.
Yet back in October 2013, Mayor Len Brown was bullied into signing a housing accord with Housing Minister Nick Smith which was supposed to free up land, ease the consenting process and fast-track the supply of houses on to the Auckland market. Yet according to the mayor, only 170 new homes have so far eventuated from that deal. House prices keep rocketing upwards. What Auckland needs is a political leader who will stand up to the Government and point out the first backroom accord has failed.
That the 13 per cent leap in Auckland house prices in the March year compared to the 0-5 per cent increase over the rest of the country is proof of that.
The Government's answer is to leave it to the market to solve. Labour's answer is for the Government to build 10,000 affordable houses a year over the next decade - most of those in Auckland. Two diametrically opposed solutions. This is politics at work. Why waste time trying to stitch together a cross-party accord. Pick up any Herald or ask any first-time home buyer in Auckland and you'll see the market solution has failed. So has the 2013 accord which was supposed to energise the over-slothful market.
Ms Hulse says that over the past four years, Auckland has "absorbed a city the size of Tauranga". We need a leader to put the politics into the problem and lobby central government to build new houses like governments do across Australia, and do it fast.
The present city administration's desire to keep politics out of council affairs also plays right into the hands of the bureaucrats and the powerful, and misnamed, "council-controlled organisations" that run most activities. Look no further than the ritual humiliation the politicians are undergoing at the hands of their supposed "employees" at the Ports of Auckland.
It's like watching a cat play with a half dead mouse. And we all know who is the mouse. If only the mouse would roar. Behave like the political leader he is supposed to be and express his and our displeasure that the port company, with the knowledge of the bureaucracy, have unilaterally decided to expand yet again, out into the precious harbour.
And if the roar doesn't work, then get political and start sacking directors of Auckland Council Investments Ltd, the body which acts, on our behalf, as "shareholder" of the port company, until the un-elected men and women on the board get the message.
As one of the oldest democracies in the world, the first to give women the vote, it does no harm in the run-up to Anzac Day to remind ourselves that political participation is a good thing. We might mock the participants from time to time, especially when they get things wrong. But whatever its faults, it's proved better than any alternatives. Rule by the Port Company? By the board of Auckland Transport? I think not.