Auckland Council

Auckland: A billion here, a billion there; soon you’re talking real money

The Government is expecting Auckland to spend $30 billion on infrastructure over the next ten years — over half of the total local Government infrastructure spend over the same period, and almost as much as central Government will spend.

Of the $30 billion, $8.5 billion will be on roads; $2.8 billion on rail and $2.5 billion on fresh water, storm water and sewage.

The figures are contained in Treasury’s annual National Infrastructure Report which was released on Friday.

Finance Minister Bill English says of the 3823 projects in the 2016-2025 pipeline, 219 belong to central government and are valued at $40.5 billion, 3559 belong to local government and are valued at $51.1 billion, and 45 projects belong to the private sector at a value of $9.2 billion.

This year’s Auckland figures are up over seven per cent on last year.

Hands up those who are expecting 2% rates rises under Phil? Read more »

Five minutes into the job and Phil Goff wants to blow a billion on a stadium

Now Phil Goff wants to build a stadium!

Now Phil Goff wants to build a stadium!

Well, we did warn you. Phil Goff has just picked up from where Len Brown left off. Now he wants to build a stadium…at a cost of more than $1 billion.

What is it with socialists and grand projects?

New Auckland Mayor Phil Goff wants to make an early start on a $1 billion stadium on railway land alongside Vector Arena.

In an interview with NewstalkZB’s Tony Veitch to be aired today, Goff said he does not want to spend an estimated $250 million on upgrading Eden Park over the next 15 years and believes the spiritual home of rugby and cricket could be sold for as much as $300m.

Goff, who has only been in the mayoral job for two weeks, stressed the council did not have up to $1b to invest in a new stadium right now but if the council did not start planning it would miss the boat.    Read more »

Phil, all you have to do is find the cheap land – here are the houses


Apparently, there is a housing crisis everywhere.

In the UK they are looking for solutions to their own housing crisis.

Most first-time buyers can only dream of buying a home for less than £50,000 – but it is possible if you’re prepared to go ‘modular’.

This involves selecting pre-fabricated, low-cost modules of various sizes which are then put together by skilled craftsmen.

The customer can then choose the interior design, giving an end-product which could be an office, hotel, school or house – and that includes starter homes.

The Modulhus, one such starter home, has now been crowned winner of an annual shoestring design competition.   Read more »

Goff gives Hulse the arse card; appoints one of his South Auckland mates as deputy

Phil Goff has replaced one of the architects of rates increases as his deputy with a member of the Terrible Ten who voted for rates increases under Len Brown.

New Auckland Mayor Phil Goff has confirmed the badly kept secret Bill Cashmore will be his deputy, while also announcing the council’s committees will be overhauled to cut down on meetings.

An official announcement on Thursday confirmed speculation National Party member Mr Cashmore would be picked for the No. 2 spot over two-time deputy mayor Penny Hulse.

Mr Goff – a former Labour Party leader – told reporters he hoped the appointment of Mr Cashmore – who ran unopposed in his largely rural Franklin seat – would send a message to Auckland’s farmers that they were still part of the super city.

“He has a reputation for getting things done. He’s a straight shooter,” Mr Goff said.

Read more »

You have to wonder why he hasn’t acted sooner

Stephen Town reckons he is ready to look for some paltry savings under his new Mayor.

Auckland Council boss Stephen Town says he shares the agenda of new Auckland Mayor Phil Goff for a turnaround in council performance.

Really? Then why is the performance so crap under his tenure then?

In an interview with the Herald, Town said the council already shared the mayor’s agenda and there was nothing to be alarmed about.

Responding to claims by Goff that satisfaction with council’s performance across the board is at “rock bottom”, Town said the council would love to see trust and confidence scores increase on the back of improved performance.

Read more »

Is it because half of council hate her?

Council insiders say that Penny Hulse is getting demoted based on her appalling treatment of a number fellow councillors, who absolutely loathe her.

Perhaps she needs to reflect on her treatment of her perceived inferiors and work out if it has caught up with her.

New Auckland mayor Phil Goff has dumped Penny Hulse as his deputy.

An official announcement is expected later this week, but sources close to the mayor’s office said Hulse would not be getting the nod.

Read more »

Council commits $11M so road maggots can enjoy the ladies of the night too


Auckland Council sure knows how to blow millions and for so few people as well.

Auckland Transport and Auckland Council today revealed plans for proposed changes to Karangahape Rd and are inviting feedback from the public.

The proposal includes a protected cycleway on both sides of the road. It will span the length of the road and part of Upper Queen St.

Other plans include improvements for pedestrians, peak-hour bus lanes, bus-stop relocations, changes to parking, upgraded street lighting, street furniture, cycle parking, opportunities for outdoor dining and street activities and rain gardens, trees and landscaping.    Read more »

Thanks a bunch Sue and Michelle

Sue Wood and Michelle Boag have helped deliver Labour-aligned councillors to North Shore with their ill-fated and frankly bizarre set up called Auckland Future.

After a nail-biting race to the finish line, Richard Hills takes his seat at the council table next to North Shore ward councillor Chris Darby.

The announcement was confirmed at 9am this morning, October 14, following a neck-and-neck race between Hills and rival Grant Gillon.

Hills takes the title by 128 special votes.

Hills and Darby were campaign partners for this election, and are looking forward to working together.

Hills says he’s chuffed and it feels real now.

Darby says it just seemed like a “natural fit” to work with Hills.   Read more »

The knives are out…as they should be

The National party, in the past, has been very effective at cutting out cancer. After the 2002 debacle the board moved very quickly to cut cancer out and Boag and English were knifed.

Now one of those fools is back meddling and it cost Auckland a centre-right council. Michelle Boag is a cancer in National. Maurice Williamson once described her as a boil that needed lancing. That has not changed.

The knives are out in the National Party after the centre-right’s disastrous result at last weekend’s local elections in Auckland.

Mayoral candidate Vic Crone trailed Labour Phil Goff from start to finish.

Goff’s name recognition and political experience were too much of a mountain to climb for Crone in 10 months. Having two other centre-right contenders, John Palino and Mark Thomas, confused voters and made matters worse.

The immediate post mortem is focused on National’s de facto ticket Auckland Future, which bombed horribly.

Auckland Future set out to create a citywide ticket and secure a majority of centre-right councillors on Auckland Council. It stood seven council candidates and endorsed media personality Bill Ralston in Waitemata and Gulf. It came away with one seat. Of the 25 candidates who stood for a Local Board, six were elected.

On the North Shore, where National holds every electorate seat, Auckland Future was taken to the cleaners by four centre-left, liberal candidates. From a base in Parnell, Auckland Future nobbled the sitting centre-right North Shore councillor George Wood, who could have won.

On election day, not a single National MP turned up at Crone’s function at the Cav tavern in Freemans Bay. Act leader David Seymour was the only MP in attendance. Seven National MPs, including junior cabinet ministers Maggie Barry, Paul Goldsmith and Nikki Kaye, were at her campaign launch.

Read more »

Observations of Auckland’s centre-right clusterf*ck election

Nick K stood for office on the North Shore.

He makes some observations of the campaign at No Minister:

Like a lot of people, I watched the clusterf**k unfold last Saturday, but my sentiment was more of amusement rather than disappointment.  And that’s because I saw this coming about 6 months ago, or maybe even longer.  I was involved in the campaign at a candidate level for a local board, and tried to distance myself from Auckland Future as best I could.  Stevie Wonder could have seen what was coming for them.

The political right in local body politics in Auckland exhibit the same attitude and make the same mistakes that Labour does at central politics level at the moment.  Both sets of players talk at voters, rather than to them.  They both believe they are right (as in correct) and soon the dumb voters will wake up and realise it.  But critically, they both utterly fail in their political messaging and strategy.  Both Labour and the centre right in Auckland local body politics believe if they keep doing the same things – the very things that have failed Labour and the centre right in Auckland local body politics since 2010 – eventually they will succeed as the voters will inevitably see sense.

Of course, doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result is the definition of stupidity.   Read more »