Auckland’s bargaining power MIA along with Lame Duck Mayor

No mates: Len Brown stands with all his supporters

No mates: Len Brown stands with all his supporters

When lame duck Mayor Len Brown bolted for the holidays (or was that painting the house so it could be sold?) taking what little remained of his dignity he also left behind a city that has been leaderless ever since. He claimed in the furore over his rooting, his favours, his dalliances and his spending that Aucklanders just wanted him to get on with running the city…a job he has singularly failed to do ever since he uttered those words.

Cameron Brewer notes this as well in a paywalled column at the NBR.

With all political parties and leaders set to keep their distance from Auckland Mayor Len Brown this election year, Auckland will sadly lose some real bargaining power and influence via party policies and manifestos at a critical time for the region and the economic growth cycle.

Six months ago a big part of the 2014 election looked set to be about which party could keep the Auckland Mayor the happiest. Now, political parties will be very circumspect about promoting any close association with Mr Brown or shared policy platforms for fear of it having a negative impact on their party vote nationwide. Simply put, it’s no longer a good look to be seen pandering to Len Brown.

Auckland should be calling many of the shots this election year, but unfortunately gaining political accommodations for Auckland Council will be harder.

It is clear that the Labour Party has abandoned its highest-profile member and in election year looks set to keep its distance.

Only in June Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford was talking up Len Brown in the House and in press releases as “the popular Labour Mayor.” However Labour seems to have been the ultimate fair weather friend with leader David Cunliffe cutting him completely loose since. 

Len Brown is as popular as prostate cancer. He has been the butt of jokes all holiday period at BBQs across the city and in the summer playgrounds of Aucklanders. People now rush to get the Len Brown jokes over with so they can then get on and enjoy their evening. The man is literally a walking and talking joke…that is when he fronts for anything these days.

Even Nigel No-Mates has more friends than Len Brown.

One thing the Mayor had going for him was that come the hard-fought 2014 General Election he would at least have the opposition parties on his side and hence put pressure on the Government. We’ll he hasn’t even got the Opposition now, so where does that leave Auckland?

The Mayor’s Office should be heavily influencing and advocating for different Auckland policy promotion and wins from the varied political parties this election. However, the Mayoral Office is in sheer survival mode with the Mayor’s ability to now credibly influence any new and significant policy gains rendered almost useless.

Thank goodness the National-led Government last year announced its $10 billion acceleration package for regional transport projects.

Not anymore. I heard of a function held in the Ngati Whatua Room where no one would sit on the chairs and everyone stood around tittering nervously. No one wants to shake his hand, stand bedside him for a photograph or be seen in public with the fool. His influence now is nil.

But what about the Mayor’s faltering promise of working with any government to deliver significant alternative transport funding streams such as tolling existing motorways or introducing a regional fuel tax? He no longer has the authority to convince Auckland’s motoring public to pay extra, let alone convince any politician in Wellington to legislate the extra costs.

In his first term the Mayor’s advocacy delivered some good results. However  the ability for Auckland Council to secure many big wins in 2014 is going to be near impossible, given how politically toxic Len Brown has become and how risk adverse political parties are in election year.

Len Brown needs to realise that his position as Mayor and his dignity and influence departed as quickly as his stamina in the cot.

  • Col

    The city of Doom.

    • caochladh

      The city of Doom fucked by the Dick of Doom.

  • ratesarerevolting

    Len Brown will realise nothing.

    LBIAFC !

  • Adam Michaels

    I just wish Len would sign the resignation letter that I posted and allow Auckland to move on.

    • http://www.whaleoil.co.nz/ Pete

      How thoughtful of you.

      • Adam Michaels

        Least I can do, Pete.

    • http://www.whaleoil.co.nz/ Pete

      How thoughtful of you.

  • thor42

    I ask the councillors of Auckland a question –
    If Len Brown is *not doing his job*, can’t he be SACKED?

    Is there NO “performance standard” or “code of conduct” for the mayor? If not, WHY not?

    As far as can be seen from here, this guy is not turning up to work. Correct?

    *Anyone else* who did this would have a six-inch deep boot imprint on their backside – booted out the door with their belongings landing in a bag beside them.

    WHY IS IT THAT THIS GUY IS DIFFERENT?

    Why is the bloody Auckland Council so damned DYSFUNCTIONAL?

    • Whafe

      The 15 limp waisted councillors whom are supporting him don’t have the guts nor gumption to sack him…

      The more time that goes on, these 15 limp wrists look more and more stupid… They are supporting a mayor who is ineffectual, useless, waste of space… And the sooner Aucklanders take note of this and really get angry, Auckland will just go backwards even more

      • Col

        Yes limp council, wonder if they will get voted in again, the person who stands up and tells Lenny to bugger off would get my vote and may even become Mayor?
        So what’s happening in Auckland? Nothing.

    • Rod

      The minister for local government can sack the whole council including the mayor, if the council is dysfunctional:

      258M Minister may call general election
      (1) The Minister may, by notice in the Gazette, call a general election of a local authority if the Minister believes, on reasonable grounds, that the membership of the local authority is such that the local authority is unable or unwilling to perform its functions and duties and exercise its powers or there is a significant or persistent failure by the local authority to do so in respect of 1 or more of those functions, duties, and powers.

      In my view, this is what has to happen. Existing councillors can stand again.It would be interesting to see how many (or more likely how few) would be re-elected,

  • dilligaf2013

    After viewing these two links, I am left wondering
    – Is Nutbar Chuang pretending to be dumb, or is
    she seriously this stupid…………..?

    Clearly anybody who acts the way she has, in very
    public situations must either be immune to criticism or too stupid to recognise
    what is really going on.

    This also leads us to ask about Pants Down Brown’s
    decision making ability – after all, surely only a deaf, dumb and blind kid
    (maybe he is great at pinball?) would be stupid enough to entrust career ending
    and very questionable activities with somebody as obviously stupid as Nutbar
    Chuang…………….?

    I wonder how the overseas visitors reacted to her
    when she was introduced as his “interpreter” and now that they know the truth,
    that she was his mistress of two years, how will they view Pants Down Brown’s
    credibility now – and that of Auckland in general…….?

    Did she act in an appropriate manner as PDB was
    entertaining South China Airlines with Nutbar as his “interpreter” – well you’d
    bloody well hope so….!

    Nutbar Chuang stated that the story has gained
    publicity in Hong Kong and therefore PDB will undoubtedly be viewed with
    ridicule and contempt – as we view the slimy prat.

    No public figure who acts to deliberately cover up
    prolonged illicit affairs and has been compromised by taking freebee’s from
    organisations like Sky City while the conference centre deal is being lobbied,
    plus the undeclared Hong Kong trips and other questionable antics, (as exposed
    at WO and the soft EY report) will ever be taken seriously.

    There are no business leaders or political leaders
    on the world stage who will trust PDB’s credibility and by default, this will
    have a huge negative impact on Auckland’s growth and potential business
    partnerships for many years to come.

    The only possible solution to this is to prune the
    dead wood and therefore allow the tree to grow healthily – regrettably, we are
    well past utilising a spray to rectify the rot.

    Well that’s my ten cents worth – for what it’s
    worth.

    http://www.3news.co.nz/Nightlines-New-Zealander-of-the-Year-Bevan-Chuang/tabid/423/articleID/325954/Default.aspx

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11182477

    • thor42

      I don’t care about Ms Chuang.
      She’s not the one who is *supposed* to be running the city.

      • dilligaf2013

        That’s exactly the issue – the complete plonker who is supposed to be running the city has been parading Nutbar in an official capacity (apart from wasting tax payer funded resources conducting the affair) – this then begs the question – if Pants Down Brown can do something as immature and stupid as this, how the fuck is he supposed to be able to make informed and intelligent decisions about our great city’s future…..?

        • Whafe

          There lies the question that 15 councillors need to sort their shit quick and answer this

          • dilligaf2013

            5 have, but they are the minority in the room and the only ones with the intestinal fortitude to do anything about it. Remember Cameron Brewer put a vote of no confidence up and Penny Hulse blocked it on a technicality

          • Whafe

            For sure, only 5 of the 20 though. That leaves 15 muppets that support this fiasco that PDB has caused… The 15 in the real sense support the damage being done to Auckland. That friends is beyond disgusting….

          • http://voakl.net/ Ben Ross

            It was put up by Councillor Dick Quax and was blocked by Standing Orders after advice was sought by the Deputy Mayor to both the Democracy Advisors and the legal team

      • Col

        Would be interesting if she was running the city!!!!

  • Adam Michaels

    When Robbie was Mayor he could look back to success in stopping raw sewerage going into the Manukau.
    Guess he never though that a future Mayor would end up as sewerage.

    • ratmuncher

      I think most would be happy for this raw sewage to end up there.

    • ratmuncher

      I think most would be happy for this raw sewage to end up there.

      • Adam Michaels

        You’d be right there, mate!

  • GazzW

    The Government could do a lot worse than by appointing a skilled administrator as Commissioner for election year. Neither of the major parties will benefit from a dysfunctional Auckland and neither can NZ Inc afford to have Auckland rudderless at this vital period of economic expansion.

    • Whafe

      Gazzaw, totally agree, to have Auckland rudderless is shocking and should not be allowed to happen. This fiasco has gone on long enough….

      The spin Dr’s think this has died down, they couldn’t be more wrong….

  • Whafe

    Very very good thread Cam

  • Adam Michaels

    As I understand it, no Mayor can be removed unless they have committed a criminal offence punishable by two years or more in jail.
    So, we are stuck with him.
    Only solution is to sideline him, by the Council attempting to take over the roles that a Mayor would normally have.

    • Whafe

      Agree, however if 20 councillors ignored him totally, he would have to go……

      The man has no spine, but being ignored by 20 voted councillors, PDB couldn’t cope with that…

      The spin Dr’s will dump a PDB mental breakdown shortly, just wait. Bet they will

      • Adam Michaels

        No one likes being ignored, for sure.

    • GazzW

      If push comes to shove in election year we aren’t stuck with him. It just depends on what lengths Aucklanders are prepared to go to have him removed.

      • Adam Michaels

        Time will tell- especially if the council isn’t able to function efficiently. I think a later post has said the whole council would have to go at one time, according to the relevant Act.

    • http://voakl.net/ Ben Ross

      That we will have to wait and see. Which means focus will be on the two stewards: the Deputy Mayor and Councillor Chris Fletcher and what they do over the next couple of months.

      • Adam Michaels

        I am not holding my breath, to be honest.Things have gone on long enough already!

    • Sooty

      Who would have thought Auckland, has a Mayor without integrity. I still so hes bent!!! This is the tip if the iceberg.

  • GregM

    The only upside to it all is that as long as he is still here, he is damaging the Labour brand as well. In an election year.

    • http://www.whaleoil.co.nz/ Pete

      Lame Duck Labour Len?

    • http://www.whaleoil.co.nz/ Pete

      Lame Duck Labour Len?

      • GregM

        Exactly. Lets not let anyone forget he is “the Labour mayor of Auckland”.

      • GregM

        Exactly. Lets not let anyone forget he is “the Labour mayor of Auckland”.

  • wiltinpenis

    Rodney Hide also needs a swift kick up the arse for ‘designing’ the plan that has allowed this ridiculous situation to continue. Why on earth were there no checks and balances in place for a ‘rogue’ Mayor. Did Rodney imagine any Mayor would have the sanctity of Jesus Christ? Oh, wait …

    • Col

      This is the first big Rooter to be caught, wasn’t PC to put that in the code of conduct, as all the left are shafting each other.

  • MrAuz1989

    Labour’s “Auckland issues spokesman” Twyford… first T Bomb now Twyford. Geeeezzz Auckland really gets the top shelf reps.

  • DLNZ

    Definitely the butt of all jokes, even at our Christmas Day BBQ… “Whats the difference between Santa and Len Brown? Santa doesn’t empty his sacks in offices”

    • Mr Sackunkrak

      Priceless.

    • Mr Sackunkrak

      Priceless.

  • Cyber Billy

    Getting a root and begging for it doesnt seem the same some how

    • wiltinpenis

      Well done! or well found?

    • wiltinpenis

      Well done! or well found?

  • Cyber Billy

    Getting a root and begging for it doesnt seem the same some how

  • Steve (North Shore)

    Monday morning I will be at work at 7.00am
    His Worship Len Brown should be at work at the same fucking time.
    He can finish work when the job is done, just as I do.
    Security cameras are all down Tawa Drive Len

  • Bart67

    Now, let’s not be too hasty, after all, Len can do in two minutes what sometimes takes me up to 20-25 minutes, so that’s got to be good, right?

  • Kimbo

    He’s gone already isnt he ? We’re just financing his holiday.

82%