Auckland Council

Auckland Council brass and Len Brown are trying desperately to distance themselves from the Ports expansion

Auckland Council brass and Len Brown are trying desperately to distance themselves from the Ports expansion with PR spun porkies.

Today the Council is saying ‘heads might roll’ and that ‘it didn’t know anything about the wharf expansion’ which they claim should have been communicated to Council by POAL.

Heads could roll over Ports of Auckland expansion plans, according to a senior Auckland Council source.

Auckland Council has started to flex its muscles on plans by the ports company to build two massive wharf extensions nearly 100m into the Waitemata Harbour.

Council chief executive Stephen Town has written a letter to the council body overseeing Ports of Auckland asking it to “encourage” port bosses to halt the extensions until a wide-ranging port study is done.

Mr Town and councillors have also delivered a firm message to the port company to become more engaged with the community.

“It is my view that Ports of Auckland Ltd (POAL) has not engaged sufficiently with key stakeholders, or the public at large, in relation to the proposed wharf extensions,” Mr Town said in his letter to Auckland Council Investments Ltd (ACIL).

Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse told a council meeting yesterday the letter contained an “iron fist in a velvet glove”. If all else failed there was a “thermonuclear” option.

A senior council officer indicated the “thermonuclear” option could see heads roll.

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Len’s wet bus ticket response to Port Expansion

Len Brown is playing us all for the fool.

Rather than do the right thing Len has instructed Stephen Town to ‘encourage’ Ports of Auckland to halt wharf expansions.

Auckland Council has formally asked Ports of Auckland to halt construction of two massive wharf extensions.

At a meeting today, Mr Brown said council chief executive Stephen Town had written a letter to Auckland Council Investments Ltd, the council body overseeing the port company, requesting it to encourage the port company to hold off the wharf extensions until a port study had been completed.

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12 working days in Auckland traffic?

So Auckland is more congested?

I think that would already feel most obvious to commuters in Auckland but the question is why? And is this survey to be followed by the usual calls for public transport?

I have friends who have commented in the last few months that their work commutes have suddenly changed in terms of trip time.

Last year they were taking around 25-30 minutes on average but this year are finding that those trip movements have jumped significantly to 45 minutes and upto an hour for a cross town trip from East Auckland towards the airport.

What caught my attention is that they followed their observations with a cynical comment that their increased trip times have coincided with Auckland Council’s Long Term Plan survey on transport.     Read more »

Good, now sell Penny Bright’s house

The Auckland Council has sold a section to offset unpaid rates of more than ten years.

Let’s hope they sort out their legal issues and do over Penny Bright next.

A section on Auckland’s North Shore is being sold after its owners failed to pay rates for 10 years.

It’s the first in a list of historical overdue rates cases Auckland Council is taking action over.

The owners of the Belmont section owe $59,393 after they stopped paying rates in March 2005. They haven’t contacted the council since 2012.

The section has a capital value of $640,000. It is the back half of a 718 metre square property in Northboro Road, near Takapuna Grammar School and not far from Takapuna Beach.   Read more »

Len Brown hedging his bets over Port

Nobody believes Len Brown for a second that he and his Council have been powerless to stop the ports from obtaining a Resource Consent to extend wharves.

Auckland mayor Len Brown said he is hoping discussions with the Ports of Auckland will result in the port “cooling their heels” on the construction of two massive wharf extensions, due to begin next month.

Mr Brown told TV3’s The Nation today that a study on the economic, environmental and social impact of the port on wider Auckland has begun.

He has told the council and the port that he wants discussions around the study between the council and Port of Auckland to be held in the coming days and weeks ahead of the start date on the extensions.   Read more »

Brown tape circling Auckland

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Len Brown is a man of culture. Whether it’d putting on cultural dress or working overtime in the Ngati Whatua room, the mayor is known for his hands on approach.

Auckland Council are trying to copy their dear leader and this time it’s property owners that are getting screwed.

Auckland Council is sticking with a new rule requiring owners to seek iwi approval for work on their land.

The council has confirmed its support for the “cultural impact assessments” in the proposed Unitary Plan, or new planning rulebook for the city.

Some amendments have been agreed by the council’s Auckland Development Committee to ensure the requirements only apply in situations where there is the potential for a resource consent to have an adverse impact on the cultural values of Auckland’s Mana Whenua.

“This will be the council’s position going into mediation with Aucklanders who have made submissions on this aspect of the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan,” said chief planning officer Dr Roger Blakeley. “The council remains open to discussing the views of submitters and exploring ways of reaching a common ground.”

When the rules came into effect in September 2013, concerns were raised about the difficulty applicants might have engaging directly with Mana Whenua to confirm whether or not a cultural impact assessment is required, and if so, how one might be prepared.

Duncan Garner recently gave the council a good whack in his column about how the Aucklanders are being choked to death by RMA green tape and now the council’s cultural assessment brown tape.

This is exactly the sort of crap National should have got sorted out by now. Read more »

Bad to worse for Auckland Council and Len Brown over Ports

It just goes from bad to worse for Auckland Council and Len Brown.

Refusing to listen to public concerns and accept that POAL expansion is unwanted the Council is digging a deeper hole for itself as legal action mounts.

Urban Auckland, a society set up to protect the city’s built environment and waterfront, has taken the first legal steps to stop Ports of Auckland beginning construction on two massive wharf extensions next month.

The group said it had notified Ports of Auckland and Auckland Council late yesterday that it proposes to issue legal proceedings against them in the High Court because it considers the resource consents for the wharf extensions were granted unlawfully.

Legal action will be taken as Judicial Review proceedings at the High Court where the decision making process will be questioned.     Read more »

And another one leaves Len’s ethnic panel

The wheels really are falling off Len Brown’s Ethnic Advisory Panel.

Things haven’t gone well since he stopped shagging members of the panel.

A disability advocate recognised in the New Years Honours list has quit an Auckland Council panel, saying it’s no longer independent.

Huhana Hickey is the third member of the council’s community advisory panels to step down over concerns they are ineffectual.

Feroz Ali, chair of the Ethnic Peoples Advisory Panel, resigned last week saying the panel lacked legitimacy and was a waster of ratepayers’ money.

Panel member Kafeba Mundele then also stepped down.     Read more »

Herald editorial slams Len Brown over Ports of Auckland

If you ever wanted to justify to yourself that Len Brown and his staff are telling porkies and that they are out of touch with reality then today’s Herald editorial sums it up.

Firstly Len’s story has changed. His reasons why the Council can’t change the activity status of a port extension is quite different to the story his PR peeps pitched a few weeks ago.

Mayor Len Brown has placed great emphasis on his hands being tied over the Ports of Auckland’s expansion plans because of rules inherited from the old Auckland Regional Council. These, he insists, meant the Auckland Council could neither decline resource consent nor dictate the proposal be publicly notified. That is disputed by former ARC chairman Mike Lee who says the council had the power to demand a public hearing in “special circumstances”. Either way, many Aucklanders have become extremely angry over Mr Brown’s intimation there is nothing he can now do.   Read more »

Auckland Council focusing on things that matter

Via the tipline:

Really? If it wasn’t silly enough that Green Taliban MP has a Bill to protect Bigfoot,  we now see Auckland Council greenies wanting to get rid of so called “single use” plastic bags.

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Sandra Murry from Auckland Council must really have a lot of time on her hands if she’s banging on about ‘Single Use Plastic Bags’.   Read more »