Auckland Council

More good news, it keeps on coming

Two more pieces of good news have come in this morning.

Ports of Auckland have reported a record month for March:

Container numbers continue their relentless growth, with a new record high at Ports of Auckland in March.  The port handled 54,427 containers (79,492 TEU), 10,305 (16,771 TEU) more than the same month in 2013.  This breaks the previous record of 54,049 set last October.

Ports of Auckland Chief Executive Tony Gibson said that “breaking the monthly record in March is unusual; normally the pre-Christmas period is the busiest.  Solid import volumes plus a lift in exports gave March a real boost.”  Bulk, break-bulk and car volumes are also up.

When good are flowing across the ports then you know the economy is booming.

Then Anne Gibson reports that Auckland’s jobless are at a 6 year low:

Auckland’s unemployment rate has dropped to its lowest level in six years, buoyed by economic growth and the associated demand for workers to the point where 48,000 new jobs were created in the city last year.  Read more »

Lenny No Mates takes the Train

People often ask me if Len Brown takes the train anymore.

Well, thanks to the WOBH Ground Crew, we can confirm that he does indeed take the train…at least he has this morning.

Hi Cam

I’m on the train right now and Len is sitting on his own. No one wants to talk to him or even have eye contact.

Sad!

Lennynomates

“Oh, I know, I’ll take the train, that will make me popular again”

Rodney Hide on Len’s dodgy gym

Yay! more council money on toys for me

Yay! more council money on toys for me

Rodney Hide explains why Len Brown’s personal council provided gym is dodgy, and calls on the gutless councillors to do something about it.

A council worker caught “borrowing” council gear for several years for his personal use would be sacked. I would also expect he would be charged. It’s called theft.

He would have a good excuse if his manager gave permission. But the problem then is legal authority. The gear doesn’t belong to his manager. It’s not hers to loan.

And so we have the disturbing case of Mayor Len Brown’s personal gym.

The Herald reports that within a month of Brown’s swearing-in as Auckland’s first Super-City Mayor, his chief of staff was on the scrounge for fitness gear.

I would expect his chief of staff to be advising Brown to buy his own gear. That’s what paid political advisers do: they stop politicians doing stupid things.

But no, Phil Wilson emails the council’s sport and recreation manager Ian Maxwell seeking used equipment from a council facility or a council supplier who could loan or sponsor it.

At least Wilson recognised the problem: “The sensitivity, though, is that we don’t want to be seen to be spending any public money on him.” But note that it’s not the spending that’s the problem: it’s the spending being seen. The concern is to keep it secret.

I would expect Maxwell to email Wilson back explaining he would love to help but that he can’t.

Instead Maxwell replies that he’s on to it.

Wilson emails, “the almighty will be very pleased“.

And so the council’s leisure services “loan” the mayor a new treadmill worth $3000 and a gym system costing $2198.   Read more »

HELICOPTER HATER UPDATE: Len Brown must stop all Auckland arts funding

Lyin Len Brown has been too busy this year whitewashing Ernst & Young reports and hiding from ratepayers to keep his eye on the books.  As a result, the Auckland Council faces another $16 million black hole which would push up rates by yet another 1%.

But this time Lyin Len is Lucky Len because not only is there an easy $14.3 million saving staring him in the face, it would be illegal for him not to take it.

Today, helicopter hater Vern Walsh fronts up to the Auckland Council to ask for $14.3 million for his dodgy Auckland Regional Amenities Funding Board to dish out, mainly for arts luvvies but also some remaining chump change for rescue services like the rescue helicopter and the coastguard.

My lawyer friend points out that it would be illegal for any of the $14.3 million to go to the arts festival, the orchestra, the theatre, the opera or any of the “amenities” except for the rescue helicopter.

That’s because section 21(1)(f) of the Auckland Regional Amenities Funding Act 2008 says Vern’s dodgy board can only fund an amenity if it “has made all reasonable endeavours to maximise its funding from other available funding sources”.

That means to get your hands on Vern’s ratepayer cash, you have to show you have done everything you reasonable can to raise money from the public, banks and other corporates.   Read more »

Mayor’s PR spin gets going in 2014 to protect incompetence

Auckland Council are pulling a big PR spin here because the Ministry for the Environment has sent in it’s muscle to sort out some problems for and on behalf of the minister for housing.

The Herald reports:

Whole new towns are taking shape within metropolitan Auckland after nearly a dozen years of planning and half a billion dollars of public spending to encourage developers.

Towns at Westgate Centre, Hobsonville Point, Flat Bush and the regeneration of New Lynn are “transformational projects” inherited by the Super City from the former city councils of Waitakere and Manukau, which chose the projects well before the November 2010 merger and had agreements with private-sector developers.

The councils believed it was within their role to foster economic development by setting up new town centres and community facilities to create encouraging conditions for landowners and developers.

The Special Housing Areas enabled under the Housing Accord are meant to fast track development. But legacy projects run by City Transformations are in the way and causing road blocks for Developments.   Read more »

Helicopter Hater Update: Vern’s Vendetta

Readers will know all about arts luvvie and Labour Party activist Vern Walsh.  He is to troughing what Jesse Owens is to athletics, Mohammed Ali is to boxing, Sir Don Bradman is to cricket, and Babe Ruth is to baseball.  A man with his snout so deeply in the trough, he’s made it all the way to Spain.

Vern is the chairman of the Auckland Council’s dodgy funding board that has cut funding to the Auckland rescue helicopter service by over $1,000,000 or 70% to give to Dame Rosanne Meo’s philharmonia.

He’s the guy who admitted to Sean Plunket that the board doesn’t have any criteria about what to fund and not.  They just make it up as they go along.  And they are careful not to have any register of what free arts tickets they get or their other troughing.

But Vern’s not content with just cutting the helicopter funding he controls.  Now he’s trying to stop anyone else from funding the rescue helicopter either.

My deep-cover spies in the Mayor’s Office report that Vern has been making a nuisance of himself, hanging around the Ngati Whatua Room, ever since his councillors made him realise Aucklanders wouldn’t stand for their rescue helicopter being cut to fund more $85,000 arts junkets.

When the mayor managed to fit him in on Wednesday, Vern tried to tell him it would be illegal for the council to fund the rescue helicopter service.  Not even Brown fell for that.

So it looks like Vern skulked off for a leak to the Horrid.   Read more »

It isn’t going away Len, poll says naff off Noddy

Len Brown thinks that his problems have gone away and that in his mind most Aucklanders want him to carry on in the job.

The NZ Herald/Digipoll busts that little misconception this morning.

Bernard Orsman delivers the bad news to Len Brown.

Len Brown will find it tough to be re-elected Mayor of Auckland, according to a new Herald-DigiPoll survey.

Only 22.7 per cent of the people questioned in this month’s poll said they would vote for Mr Brown in the 2016 elections; 57.7 per cent said they would not. The other 20 per cent said they did not know or did not vote in local body elections.

The poll suggests women and the elderly were particularly upset by revelations about his extramarital affair and undeclared hotel stays.  Read more »

Tweet of the Day

 

Wrong again Len, just go already

Len Brown continues to massage his public perception issues by constantly claiming, erroneously, that the vast majority of the people of Auckland wahim to get on with his job.

What he doesn’t understand is that the vast majority of Aucklanders didn’t vote for him….and now don;t want him.

He is a creepy, sneaky, little ratbag that most people don’t want a bar of.

Ask anyone who goes to functions that Len Brown is also at and they will tell you of a man that stands alone shuffling around looking for someone to talk to. He is shunned and he knows it, but his narcissism means he will continue to inflict himself on the people of Auckland.

Even his claims of his happy reconciliation with Shan Inglis are a fantasy despite the photo opportunities.

Auckland mayor Len Brown believes he has won back the support of the public and his fellow councillors following last years revelations and subsequent furore over an extramarital affair.

Brown has faced repeated protests and calls for his resignation as a result of the affair with Bevan Chuang and he was roundly booed when he spoke at the recent Auckland Nines tournament earlier this year.

In spite of the public pressure he has steadfastly refused to resign and told TVNZ’s Q and A this morning that believes he is back on track.

“Most people are over it and they want me to get on with the job and that’s what I’m doing,” he said.

He said he spent a lot of time in the community and the recent feedback, especially since the start of the year, had been “Len get on with the job”.

“So one, yes I am totally over that, and on with the job, and secondly the community wants to see our city continuing to flourish as it has been over the last six months.”

He also believed his fellow councillors were getting behind him.

Only because they are as venal as him…or too gutless to challenge the creepy little man.

Brown said the scandal had not diminished his enthusiasm for the role.

“Despite the challenges, I’m absolutely loving it [the job] and that conviction and that commitment is there as much as it was the first day that I stepped into that office three-and-a-half years ago.”

He also denied he was shirking public appearances.

“I’m everywhere I need to be, I can’t be at everything. I get 80 or 90 invites a week. I share those invites around our councillors, local board chairs. I’m out there, I’m in the face of the public of Auckland and I’m on the streets.  They see me there they come up, they give me their view.  Sometimes it’s not positive.”

Yes you are in our face, and it isn;t a good look.

But hey, Len Brown can go on deluding himself…wait until he stands again, or gets caught again in the back of a slapper…then see how he gets on.

Sell her house

Penny Bright is crazy…the sort of crazy who refuses to pay rates then spends every waking moment complaining about the very things rates pay for.

She is now being chased by the Auckland Council seeking her rates arrears.

Good. I can’t stand bludgers and she is bludging off other ratepayers.

An enemy of Auckland Mayor Len Brown may lose her home after refusing to pay her rates.

Auckland Council wrote to activist Penny Bright this month to demand $29,000 to cover overdue rates, penalties and legal costs.

The council threatened to sell Bright’s home if she did not pay the bill within 10 days.

Bright, an anti-corruption campaigner, has refused to pay rates since 2008 in protest against the lack of transparency in how the money is spent.

She has accused Auckland Council of targeting her because of her outspoken views.

“They’re desperately trying to stomp on my head.”  Read more »