Auckland

Phil Twyford: The Leaker of Lies

Phil Twyford's imaginary 2nd harbour crossing

Phil Twyford’s imaginary 2nd harbour crossing

It will be even harder to take anything lightweight Phil Twyford says seriously after his ‘leaked’ revelations last week have turned out to be made up:

Prime Minister John Key has shot down Labour’s prediction that he’s going to announce the Government favours a tunnel for Auckland’s second harbour crossing.

Labour’s Auckland issues spokesman, Phil Twyford, said on Friday he had been given leaked information about the Government’s decision.

Mr Key would announce this week a road-only tunnel under the harbour, Mr Twyford said.
The Government has committed to a $5 billion second harbour crossing and has been considering rail, tunnel and road bridge options.

Labour suspects a tunnel has been chosen as an election sweetener for the city that has a third of the country’s voters.

“It was nice of them to talk about our policies but no, there’s no announcement coming up,” Mr Key told reporters.

It’s not a leak when it is a lie Phil.  At that stage it’s called flying a kite.

Or, if you didn’t make it up, your source is rubbish.

Either way, try to do better than your leader, and actually say something that’s remotely factual.

 

- NZN, via 3 News

Top international expert slags Len’s compact city

Urban expert rejects city compaction.

Urban planner are lofty dreamers who think their work directs the way cities are shaped and formed. Except it doesn’t and now one of the world’s leading experts is in New Zealand to talk about it.

A French urban planning expert is in New Zealand this week, courtesy of think-tank the New Zealand Initiative.

Alain Bertaud, a global urban planning expert, disagrees with the compact city planning model being used in Auckland and Christchurch and is visiting those cities and Wellington.

He is formerly a planner for the World Bank and has worked in Tehran, Hong Kong and St Petersburg.

Bertaud says compactness cannot be created by planners.

“The urban village model exists only in the mind of urban planners,” he says, adding that mobility and affordability suffer.

Read more »

Anti-semitism rising

Mana supporter burning Israeli flag in Auckland

Mana supporter burning Israeli flag in Auckland

While Campbell Live meticulously catalogues every Palestinian death as he openly weeps he and the mainstream media are whipping the masses into a frenzy of out and out anti semitism, Jews around the world are afraid to leave their homes.

Just yesterday we saw hundreds of protesters again infesting the streets of Auckland, and again the US Embassy issued a warning to US citizens to avoid the area. This is New Zealand…such is the style of protest now being promulgated by Islamists and their enablers like John Minto and the Mana party.

We can at least be thankful that so far we haven’t had the type of anti-semitic rage that is enveloping Europe.

This is the problem when you allow immigration from intolerant nations and people.

EU leaders are stunned but are starting to speak out.

The foreign ministers of Germany, France and Italy have spoken out against a disturbing wave of violent anti-Semitic attacks across Europe in the wake of the Gaza crisis.

In Berlin, police had to step in to protect an Israeli tourist couple at the weekend after protestors turned on them when they spotted the man’s yarmulke. Demonstrators reportedly charged towards the couple shouting “Jew! We’ll get you!”

In Paris, hundreds of protestors have attacked synagogues, smashed the windows of Jewish shops and cafes, and set several alight, including a kosher grocery store which reportedly burned to the ground.

In the Netherlands, the home of the chief rabbi has been attacked with stones twice in one week.   Read more »

Len Brown has bigger problems to worry about than a sugar ban

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Len Brown seems to be so desperate to talk about anything else aside from the Council’s black budget that he’s now thinking about banning sugary drinks.

I’ve posted about Auckland Council’s perilous state of its finances, as has Len Brown’s former favourite journalist Bernard Orsman who talked about ‘how city budget hit crunch point’.

With Len not keen on talking to Bernard, his PR team have instead raced out to find diversions to take Aucklanders’ attention off his inability to deliver his promised pet projects.  If it wasn’t Waterfront Auckland’s clumsy attempt at spending millions on Queens Wharf, it was wheeling out Rod Oram to encourage Len to keep on spending up bigRead more »

Face of the day

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Now he’s after Mum’s chickens……….. Read more »

Forget Kristallnacht in Paris, check out the flag burning in Auckland

Mana operatives are deeply involved in pro-Palestinian and anti-Semitic activities around the country.

Last weekend at the protest in Auckland their flags were dominant, alone with Unite union and First union in an around the protests against Israelis protecting their citizens from terror attacks.

Mana is clearly involved in out and out anti-semitism – just disgusting filth when you see images like this.

Mana supporter burning Israeli flag

Mana supporter burning Israeli flag

Read more »

Face of the day

RIP Edwin Linder

RIP Edwin Linder

Read more »

Len Brown’s failures will cause Auckland headaches for decades

Recently we started glibly taking pot shots at Auckland Council about the perilous state of it’s finances. It may be lost on some people, but the issues are significant and if allowed to continue, will result in massive headaches in decades to come.

The Mayor has strong desires to spend up large on principally public transport. He is also proposing substantial increases in borrowing to fund these works and other trinkets.

At the same time, Auckland Council is bogged down by the constraints of its current borrowing relative to the debt limits imposed on it by legislation. In order to increase spending (and assuming he won’t reduce the right costs) the Mayor has to increase rates, but he also has to opt to to defer maintenance on existing infrastructure to fund things now that he would prefer.

Infrastructure is often misunderstood and hard for the general public to value any expenditure on it because most of it is below ground.

As residents we notice the general condition of roads and footpaths and parks but not really the essential services pipes for potable water, sewer and storm water.

We’ve identified concerns primarily about debt but also the culture of excessive expenditure that has beset Auckland Council. In our view, the city is living beyond it’s means. Much of Auckland’s expenditure to date has come at the cost of maintenance of infrastructure (which in Auckland is widely know to be poked).

Council has many factors that it must budget for in it’s operating expenses. These must generally be offset by income derived principally from rates but also from other sources like airport shares and Ports of Auckland returns.

The Local Government Act clearly sets down the expectations but often Local Government falls short. Auckland Council is no different.

Auckland has significant capital expenditure to outlay, yet is focussed heavily on the persuasion that investment in rail and improved street scapes and other high profile projects should take priority.

Focus – for the purpose of this general discussion – should therefore start with understanding the responsibilities of a Local Government.

Reactionary

Local Government all around New Zealand has for years managed maintenance on a reactionary basis.

Councils fix things only when it breaks because of deficiencies in the planning of future maintenance.

A general lack of prudent planning of adequate future costs into Long Term Plans means Annual Operating budgets typically provision very little for the future with a general preference to spend on more immediate and public works ‘today’. By taking this approach Auckland Council – by example – is creating significant liabilities in the future for other generations to resolve.

Where surplus income avails of itself the normal response is to provision that to expenditure ‘now’ like a kid hungry to blow his pocket money on lollies.

A Local Authority like Auckland Council plans capital expenditure for urban projects – like the pretty CBD road and footpath improvements.

The problem with infrastructure maintenance is that it is very expensive, and it occurs in the future. Competing against the pretty high profile projects it suffers because it takes second place.

On the Audit NZ website is a document that records an audit of the performance of Local Government that is pertinent to this topic.

It is a helpful analysis of the general state of Local Government financial planning. Specific attention should be paid to the sections of the report regarding how Local Government is performing where it concerns maintenance of assets. Overall the report is one of serious under performance by Local Government including widespread failure to appropriately plan for future maintenance of infrastructure assets.

The Local Government Act states in section 10, subsection (1) (b) the purpose of Local Government relative to the provision of services and infrastructure and then in section 10, subsection (2) it goes on to say ‘In this Act , good-quality, in relation to local infrastructure, local public services, and performance of regulatory functions, mains infrastructure, services and performance that are (a) efficient; and (b) effective; and (c) appropriate to present and anticipated future circumstances. [Emphasis added].  Read more »

ATEED staff lairing it up on your rates dollars

via the tipline

The photo below is of ATEED staff having a session at the ratepayers expense (CEO Brett O’Riley is in the background).

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ATEED Muppets give the finger to Auckland ratepayers who are milked $60 million a year to support their party

Like the mayor, these muppets have learned to have fun on the tab of the ratepayer.

Not sure it is a flash look drinking straight out of wine bottles. No wonder their budget is $60 million per annum, it is run by a bunch of tossers and the CEO just sits back and watches.

Auckland Council is out of control and needs to be reined in…hard.

More good news – jobs

Labour can run the mantra of misery all they like but the good news just keeps on rolling in.

Businesses are hiring and jobs are on the increase.

The number of jobs advertised online is growing across most industry groups and occupations, government figures show.

The latest Jobs Online report from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) said skilled vacancies rose by 2.5 per cent in June, while all vacancies increased by 1.7 per cent compared with the month before.

Over the past year, skilled vacancies advertised online increased by 16.5 per cent, while all vacancies increased by 17.2 per cent, MBIE said.

The biggest increases in skilled vacancies in June were in the construction and engineering industries, up 7.4 per cent, and the hospitality and tourism sector, up 1.4 per cent.  Read more »