Auckland Council

Two-minute Len’s tearful valedictory speech

Mr Brown was the first Super City mayor, elected as head of the amalgamated council in 2010.

In his valedictory speech, Mr Brown described the City Rail Link project, which was now under construction, as a metaphor for the changing spirit of Auckland since the 2010 amalgamation of eight councils.

He told councillors he felt bullish about the future of the city. Read more »

Aucklanders, not voted yet? Then read this

…a former Senior Manager at Auckland Transport, Murray Noone, is being tried in the Auckland High Court for charges relating to bribery in the course of his employment at the Council.

Jo Holmes, Spokesperson for the Ratepayers’ Alliance, says:

“It will come as a bitter disappointment, but no surprise, to the ratepayers of Auckland that Council’s culture of waste that the Alliance has been shining a light on for 18 months extends to one of corruption and bribery.”

“The Auckland High Court heard that one of Auckland Transport’s senior managers Murray Noone, accepted nearly $1.1 million in bribes from a private company he was involved in awarding roading contracts to. The proceedings are exposing examples of alleged corruption and bribery up to the highest levels of Auckland Council.” Read more »

No surprises here as corruption trial reveals culture of corruption in Auckland Council

I’m not at all surprised by revelations in the High Court yesterday.

A rare prosecution of alleged corruption in the New Zealand public sector has heard of a claimed cascading culture of bribery that saw a senior Auckland Council manager collect $1.1 million and his subordinates taken for a $3000 lunch.

The alleged gratuities extended to covering honeymoon expenses in Florida for the daughter of a senior council staffer, dozens of overseas trips, and regular monthly payments of around $8000 into the pocket of former Auckland Transport senior manager Murray Noone by roading contractor Stephen Borlase.

Noone and Borlase yesterday pleaded not guilty to charges of corrupting a public official by bribery. Borlase, who road maintenace firm Projenz is at the heart of the case, also declared himself not guilty of charges he inflated invoices.

Crown prosecutor Brian Dickey said part of the Crown’s case is that Borlase arranged matters so the Rodney District Council – and later Auckland Transport – effectively paid to have their own staff bribed.

The case has drawn considerable interest from white-collar crime watchers as it wound through the system over the past three years, particularly given New Zealand’s hiterto almost-spotless reputation for having an incorrupt public sector.

[…]    Read more »

That’s it, it isn’t safe to vote for any Auckland Mayoral candidate

I was going to put up a recommended voter guide for the Auckland Council elections.

But after today I can no longer support any mayoral candidate.

Three leading mayoral candidates have backed the idea of dedicated seats for Māori on the Auckland Council, but one of them, Phil Goff, would leave it to the government to decide.

Mr Goff – along with John Palino and Chloe Swarbrick – said he would support Māori seats but, in today’s Radio Waatea debate, both Mark Thomas and Vic Crone opposed them.

Mr Goff was asked directly whether he would support dedicated Māori seats.

“I’d say ‘yes’, John Key says ‘no’, so it’s not going to happen,” he told a live audience gathered at a marae in Mangere.   Read more »

One of these things is not like the others

Phil Goff continues to campaign as an independent candidate.

Unfortunately, the reality is that his claims of independence are a lie.

14409645_10154084786609285_6042436395600023198_o Read more »

Convicted blackmailer and tax fraudster rides again…with Penny “Not so” Bright for a sidekick

Serial litigant, convicted blackmailer and tax fraudster Graeme McCready is at it again, this time on behalf of ratbag rates dodger Penny Bright.

NBR reports:

Self-styled anti-corruption public watchdog Penny Bright has upped the ante in her fight with Auckland Council to have its books opened before she pays her rates.

She has enlisted serial litigant Graham McCready who will take a private prosecution against council chief executive Stephen Town under the Public Records Act.

The draft charging document, served on Mr Town by fax, alleges he has committed an offence under the act by refusing to allow Ms Bright access to the list of contracts let by the council, the amount of each and details of the successful bidder.

The document claims Mr Town failed to let Ms Bright access the public records, despite several formal requests to do so over several years and “has therefore knowingly and willingly breached the act.”   Read more »

Why does Phil Goff hang around with dodgy, corrupt, convicted ratbags?

Corrupt former Labour party candidate was in the news again last week for more ratbag behaviour.

He is a darling of the Labour party however and in the past both Goff and his putative replacement in MT Roskill Michael Wood have enjoyed being seen with him.

But what we can reveal today after information via the tipline became available is that Phil Goff is still consorting with the corrupt ratbag.

On the 14th of August this year a fundraiser for Phil Goff was held at an Indian restaurant in Papakura.

And there, front and centre with Daljit Singh was Phil Goff.

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Aucklanders: Congestion charging back on the menu as National and Len 2.0 come for your money

I don’t really think National would seriously consider introducing tolls on roads we already have paid for…especially in Auckland.

It would be political suicide. So anything the retiring root bag has to say on the matter is moot.

Aucklanders will have to pay to drive at peak times if the city is to overcome its growing traffic problems, says outgoing Auckland mayor Len Brown.

A joint transport strategy report released by the council and the Government yesterday said a dedicated project should develop ‘smarter transport pricing’ for implementation within the next ten years.

Brown said this meant a specific focus on congestion charges.    Read more »

Are you ready for your massive rates increase to pay for the blowouts in Len’s rail boondoggle

You all want the rail loop…now you get to pay for it.

The costs are ballooning. I reckon it will balloon past $8billion by the time it is operational.

The price tag on Auckland’s inner city rail link has ballooned to as much as $3.4 billion, up from earlier estimates of about $2.5b.

The Government and Auckland Council on Wednesday signed a Heads of Agreement, under which the Crown will fund 50 per cent of the City Rail Link (CRL).

The total cost of the project is estimated to be between $2.8b and $3.4b, Associate Finance Minister Steven Joyce and Transport Minister Simon Bridges said.

Earlier estimates had put the cost at about $2.5b, although backers had said they expected that figure to rise.

Joyce said Wednesday’s agreement set out in-principle commitments from the Government and Auckland Council, and contained broader funding, governance and risk management arrangements.

[…]    Read more »

Of course he’s ahead, he has all the resources of the Media party helping him

There are no surprises in a recently released poll that shows Phil Goff well ahead of anyone else in the race for the Auckland mayoralty.

Phil Goff maintains a commanding lead in the running for Auckland mayor, according to the latest poll.

In the mayoral poll published by the Spinoff website, 38 per cent of respondents supported Goff, with Vic Crone holding second place at 11 per cent.

Six per cent favoured John Palino while 5 per cent picked the youngest candidate of them all, 22-year-old Chloe Swarbrick.

Mark Thomas and Penny Bright both scored 4 per cent.

Read more »