Auckland

Why won’t Vic Crone debate anyone and why is her team strong-arming debate organisers?

Vic Crone

Not a good look for Vic Crone and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out who on her team is strong-arming organisers of debates.

Two Auckland mayoral candidates aren’t happy at being invited and then excluded from an election event being organised by a ratepayer-funded business group.

Mark Thomas and John Palino said they were invited to the South Harbour Business Association candidate event, but then removed from the line-up, leaving just Vic Crone and Phil Goff.

Mr Palino said he was invited by email to join a line-up including Phil Goff and Mark Thomas, but 20 minutes later received another email withdrawing the invitation.

Mr Thomas said he believed he’d been excluded after an objection from rival centre-right candidate Ms Crone.

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Just bloody hopeless

Victoria Crone Vic Auckland Mayor

Vic Crone and her useful idiot side-kick Denise Krum are running around making grand promises but with no actual policy.

The National Party-aligned Auckland Future ticket, and the independent mayoral candidate Vic Crone’s joint Fiscal Responsibility Pledge, sells the message of lower rate rises and smaller council budgets.

The average residential rate rise would be capped at 2 percent in each of the three years next term, $500 million extra would be cut from council budgets over eight years, and staff numbers would be frozen.

In an interview with Ms Crone and Auckland Future’s candidate and sitting councillor Denise Krum, the pair couldn’t say much more about what the pledge will mean.

Then why did they sign something they can’t explain or understand enough about to put their signatures to it?

Take the 2 percent residential rates cap, how much less revenue would that bring in than the currently proposed 4 percent averages?

Ms Crone couldn’t give a figure, it “would depend”, it would “not be significant”, and “would not impede the ability to invest”.

The real answer, based on council data, is that about $20m less would flow into council coffers each year.

Why can’t she give a figure? She’s been at this for 6 months now with less than 5 months to go until the election and she can’t give specific answer on pledges she is making? Is she being advised by drop-kicks and muppets?

The pair repeatedly talked about the certainty the pledge would give residents.

So what about the other components of household’s rates bills, such as the $114 flat Transport Levy introduced last year, would that remain?

They would “review it”, and “not in the first two years”. In fact the levy has only two more years to run, having been introduced as an interim measure ahead of new transport funding sources still to be discussed with the government.

What about the contentious Uniform Annual Charge?

The UAGC makes up a portion of household’s total rates set as a flat fee of $397. Some centre-right councillors want a higher flat charge, which would lower the proportion of rates determined by property value, and bump up rates for lower-value properties.

Ms Crone and Auckland Future are waiting to see what people say on the issue in consultation for this year’s annual budget. So would they be bound by the outcome of that consultation? “No.”

Vic Crone

It’s all just corporate weasel words with no specifics. Bumper sticker slogans, weasel words…if someone who wants to run for mayor can’t provide facts and figures five months out from the election they don’t deserve to even be in the race.

The other key headline pledge is a commitment over eight years to trim the council group budget by $500m, over and above a savings programme being currently driven by the council.

Where would the savings come from? “Back office,” said Ms Crone. No services would be cut. The half billion dollars would be cut from how the council runs itself.

Again no specifics. This is just bloody hopeless.

This probably the reason why Vic Crone is sending out the heavies to try and shut down debates with other candidates. She knows she will flop about like a snapper on the wharf.

If you go to a public meeting of Crone’s she just mouths platitudes and corporate speak. It’s all about “having a conversation” about this or “having a conversation” about that…my favourite was that she was “in listening mode”.

People will increasingly swipe left on the Tinder candidate. The more they find out about Vic Crone and her predilection for helping the Labour party the more they will wonder why she pretends to be a “National” candidate.

 

– Radio NZ

 

Face of the day

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They say a picture tells a thousand words so here are a few for today’s face of the day Penny Bright.

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Penny Hulse endorses wet councillors

Being too wet for Nikki Kaye, the Prima Donna of the wet wing of the National Party, is exceptionally bad news for any alleged right-wing council candidate.

Bill Cashmore, Linda Cooper and Calum Penrose are way too wet for Nikki, so wet that they have managed to win the endorsement of the very left-wing Penny Hulse.

Reflecting on the article by Bernard Orsman in the Herald on the lack of cohesion in the “right” Bernard expresses his views but then goes on to quote Nikki Kaye, Auckland MP who says that the right is disappointed with cllrs Linda Cooper Bill Cashmore and Calum Penrose. I am astounded at this!

These 3 councillors have worked tirelessly for the good of Auckland and have done a huge amount of the heavy lifting, Calum with his huge success on dangerous dogs, Bill overseeing our transport negotiations with government and Linda carrying a huge portfolio of Hearings and also community responsibilities. Councillors need to do much more than swan around currying favour with political parties and saying no to everything. They need to work for the good of the city and all it’s communities.    Read more »

Calum Penrose facing a real fight as his former allies abandon him

Calum Penrose is declaring that he’s running as an independent, but the truth is he’s been dumped by his former allies who regard him as a traitor for hiking rates for grandiose Labour-backed big spending while failing to take care of his own Manurewa-Papakura ward.

Penrose is low profile in Papakura and invisible in Manurewa (where two thirds of the votes will be cast). When he does speak he is highly critical of Manurewa Local Board chairperson Angela Dalton, who is much-loved in her area.

Penrose claims he voted for a 9.9 per cent rate increase to fund $523 million worth of transport project. Yet he failed to secure just $2 million to keep Te Mahia Station safe for his own constituents.

Penrose says the local board campaigned on making Te Mahia a top priority and “throwing money at it”.

“The board has $2.5m unspent in its Regional Land Transport Programme budget.

“I can’t understand why they’re making it a priority to build a covered walkway which is on private land. They should go to Auckland Transport and say ‘we will put some skin in the game and put $1m into improving it [Te Mahia]’.

“But they want Auckland Transport to do everything.”

Penrose says Te Mahia has low patronage numbers and is therefore not as high a priority for upgrades as busier stations with more pressing security issues.

Lighting has been installed at Te Mahia and he’s working with the Manukau Beautification Trust to “tidy it up”.

“I would have thought Te Mahia would be the board’s priority. That’s what they campaigned on. They put something in, AT puts something in, it’s a win-win.”

Penrose says the station is covered by monitored CCTV cameras, its platform is lit to AT’s standards and the facility is patrolled by security guards.

“It has a public address system through which AT’s control room can speak directly to people on the platform. AT also liaises daily with police through its operations centre, assessing threats and managing issues on the network.

“Lights are being installed in the walkway that runs from Ferguson St to the station and contractors are still confirming details of the lighting that will be installed in the walkway that runs from Great South Rd.”   Read more »

Is Joe Davis Ratfucking Vic Crone?

Any decent political analyst knows that Phil Goff will become Mayor of Auckland because there are too many candidates on the right.

In an ideal world the right wing candidates would be smart enough to work together, run a defacto primary and decide who should run and win because they will all lose otherwise.

This requires goodwill between candidates. Candidates need a rapport and mutual respect to do deals, or else they will think “fuck it if I cannot win I am buggered if I will let X win”.

Which makes Mark Thomas’ Facebook challenge to Vic Crone seem as if Joe Davis’ strategy is going to ratfuck Vic Crone.

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Impertinent question of the day

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via aucklanddailyphoto.com

Greg M asks

Today’s silly question.

How come the majority of “homeless” people, or otherwise known by the media party and other assorted lefty types as “our most vulnerable” seem to be absent from the CBD over the weekends and / or when there is no cruise ships in port?

Could it be that indeed they are not homeless, and are simply scroungers and bludgers coming in to take advantage of the complete lack of policing of such activities?

So, why does the property industry hate the compact city?

Auckland-Housing

The property industry hates Auckland’s compact city dream. The loathing is substantial.

There are a few players who like the compact city idea – but those people have more to gain from restricted supply that boosts the value and demand for their investments.

And there are the gravy train troughers who sit on committees and feel important and cherished. They like the idea too. But they are mostly consultants.

The rest of the property industry thinks the compact city sucks. It’s like dog poo on their shoes.

Partly the loathing is universally influenced by the seething hatred that the property industry has for planners and the processing hoards of hairy-foot hobbits in the Council organisation. These meddlers and haters of the world cause mayhem and angst 24/7 for the property industry with slow processing, crap decisions and constant niggle.

But the compact city is the incongruous icing on the cake.   Read more »

Council Economist tells it like it is

So, Auckland Council’s own Chief Economist gets it but the rest of Council is going to continue to act like a bunch of stubborn old stooges, and stick with the impossible dream of a building a compact city.

Auckland Council’s plans for higher density housing cannot succeed unless the city also expands further into the countryside, says the council’s chief economist.

Chris Parker said the only way to contain Auckland’s runaway house inflation – up $70,000 last month to $820,000 on a median price house – was to open up more rural land to relieve price pressure on a “dysfunctional” urban land market.

The council’s flagship compact city plan, based on more people living in apartments, terraced houses and townhouses within city limits, was necessary but unable to work by itself.

“Intensification won’t do it – not alone, it’s got to be part of a package,” Mr Parker told the Herald in an interview for the Home Truths series.

“Intensification increases the opportunities for what can be done on each piece of land and it increases the value of land underneath. The hope is that you can spread more houses on top of it, but the problem is we’re in a race we can’t win.   Read more »

Auckland Council’s war on workers continues via parking fees

The ‘mode shift’ to push Aucklanders into public transport continues as Auckland Transport prepares to hike car parking rates in the CBD.

Auckland city workers and inner-city dwellers could be paying more than $60 a day to park on the CBD streets from June.

As part of its regular review, Auckland Transport is planning to increase its inner city rates in response to the increased demand.

The central area, which is at present priced at $4/hour for the first two hours, is proposed to increase to $4.50/hour for the first two hours then $9/hour for every subsequent hour.

For an eight-hour working day this would hit $63.

The city fringe zones, which are at present priced at $2/hour and $3/hour for the first two hours, would rise to $3/hour across both zones for the first two hours and would cost $6 for every subsequent hour.

This would cost $42 for an eight-hour working day – a significant price increase from the present $16/day in the lower-priced areas around Wynyard Quarter, some streets around Sale St and Vector Arena.

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