Anne Gibson

More waste from Len’s Council

Len’s urban spending is to include a tart up around Council’s Bledisloe House.

Whilst the space is a dog, the majority of users are Auckland a Council staff. Surely there are better places to prioritise the funds?

Bledisloe Lane between Aotea Square and Wellesley St is being upgraded.

Ludo Campbell-Reid of Auckland Council said the popular thoroughfare for inner-city workers, theatre-goers and tourists has often been criticised for its dark recesses and gloomy, dated appearance.

So the changes will transform it into a brighter, safer connection.

New paving, a new glass canopy and facade to Bledisloe House at ground level and an upgraded pocket park on Wellesley St is planned.

The existing canopy which limits natural light will be removed in stages in work due to finish in September and the whole job will be completed this year.

But the changes were debated and questions have been raised about how much shelter would be provided.    Read more »

Dobbing in rorting ratbags

Finally someone ready to take their head out of the sand to attempt to address the cartel behaviours of the construction material suppliers.

Anne Gibson reports:

The Commerce Commission is so concerned about construction industry cartels, price-fixing and bid-rigging that it has launched a website calling for whistleblowers.

Kate Morrison, the commission’s competition general manager, said the site – – went live partly as a result of Canterbury’s rebuild but also Auckland’s busy building sector.

“It is widely acknowledged internationally that corruption, fraud and anti-competitive practices, for example price-fixing, bid-rigging and market sharing, occur after natural disasters.”

And it wasn’t just Canterbury; rorts could be widespread in other parts of the country.

“The idea for a website arose from our work with the sector in the last few years. We saw a need for a user-friendly guide specifically tailored to the needs of construction businesses and workers to help them understand and comply with the laws we enforce.”

Read more »

Auckland 2040 the new Auckland Council slayer?

Policy Parrot says:

Anne Gibson has interviewed former planner Richard Burton this week in the NZ Herald website about the Auckland 2040 group he runs and their opposition to the Unitary Plan.

Richard is no muppet. As a former planner he has formidable experience and a well earned reputation. Thus his involvement and leadership of the Auckland 2040 organisation should be a big concern for Auckland Council.

Most community organisations are hopeless at stopping or facilitating change. They build large soap boxes, whine and bleat from the top of them and they typically cause more nuisance than they do benefit – slowing down the process but not identifying the issues nor providing solutions.

Some take extraordinary positions – like the crazy bunch of loons in Auckland’s East – the Pohutakawa Coast Community Association – who are well known for their utterly entrenched NIMBY-ism. They lose everything they oppose.

Conversely some community groups are effective.   Read more »

Lazy repeaters and a good feed

Yesterday, I was spurred on by tantalising tales of forbidden food and a new burger chain that purportedly served up foot long cheese-burgers with more calories than a KFC Double Down.

I checked the locations for Carl’s Jr and found that there was one at Takanini. An excursion was needed from Manukau. I popped onto the motorway and two exits down at Takanini I headed towards Papakura…it was easy to find.

The Herald had repeated that Carl’s Jr:

Has a notorious foot-long cheeseburger that has twice as many calories as KFC’s Double Down

That is exactly what I was looking for…turns out that the repeater, Anne Gibson, appears to have researched using Google and not actually gone into a Carl’s Jr restaurant. Sounds like she may have been coached in “journalism” by Simple Simon Collins.

Carl’s Jr doesn;t have a foot-long cheeseburger…but they do have quite possibly the best fast food burgers in New Zealand and the certainly the yummiest fries.

One of my loyal army members contacted me on Facebook when he heard I was heading down there and so he joined me and my mate for lunch. We were all very satisfied with our nosh.

Carl’s Jr do things  a little differently. You go in and order, they give you a number and a short time later your yummy, extremely hot burger arrives at your table.

I had the Double Western Bacon Cheeseburger which was a whole lot of yum and though not a foot long either it is 1000 calories which is almost double the 540 calories of the puny double down.

I reckon the only thing better than that would be two of them.

I am reliably informed the Guacomole Burger was awesome. Most menu items I am told are available in low carb which is exactly what I require.

As far as price goes it wasn’t as cheap as Maccas, but a whole lot tastier…and beats Burger King hands down as well.

The service and surroundings at Takanini were pleasant. Again a distinct difference from the lazy repeating of the Herald. Most people attending the restaurant appeared to be reasonably well dressed. They were certainly well above the dross you would see scoffing up at a KFC.

As a final note, the repeater at the Herald carped on about locating the restaurants in poor areas…and cited Glen Innes as an example. Now on the surface most Aucklanders would nod sagely and say that G.I. is a poor area..hard hat even…some times worse than South Auckland. However the repeater, mainly because she was researching via her kepyboard neglected to notice that the address of 113-117 Felton Mathews Ave is actually in St Johns and near to the swanky new manufactured suburb of Stonefields where a 4 bedroom terrace house will set you back $720,000.

It certainly looks like the Herald is really continuing to pimp out the poor  in order to sell newspapers.

I will be eating again at Carl’s Jr.

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