I know it is hard to come by these days with Len Brown raiding our wallets with never ending rates increases, blowing millions of silly bridges and a stupid rail loop, but there is some good news:
A tactical blunder by Mayor Len Brown has stopped the Maori Statutory Board from having a say on next year’s budget.
Councillors voted 11-10 yesterday for the budget to be discussed by the full council and not at the strategy and finance committee. Two board members, chairman David Taipari and John Tamihere, sit on the strategy and finance committee with full voting rights, but the board is not represented on the full council.
Councillor Christine Fletcher wanted the budget discussed by the full council with support from councillor George Wood, who expressed concern about involvement of unelected Maori.
Instead of taking his motion to refer the draft budget to the strategy and finance committee, Mr Brown invited Ms Fletcher to put an amendment to send it to the full council, confidently predicting it would be lost and the main motion would pass. Mr Brown declared the amendment was lost on a vote of voices, but when a division was called the vote was carried 11-10.
After the lunch break, Mr Brown tried to reverse the decision with an impassioned speech about the damage to the council’s relationship with the Maori Statutory Board, but failed to get the 75 per cent support required to do so. The vote was 13-6.
Mr Taipari said Super City legislation allowed the board to participate in the budget. The matter would be discussed at its meeting on November 5.