Auckland

Maori Mafiosos coming for your money

Remember Democracy Action, the group set up to oppose Auckland Council’s iwi consent regime that extorted required Bob Jones to cough up to 13 iwi just to let him replace a window in his own building?

It looks like they’re finally getting organised and taking on Len Brown.

We’ve launched an online tool for Aucklanders and other concerned New Zealanders to tell Len Brown and the Council what they think of the radical Mana Whenua provisions that affect up to 18,000 Auckland property owners.

These Mana Whenua provisions have not gone through the standard submission process and infringe on every Aucklander’s basic property rights. They establish a significant financial burden on property owners and provide another obstacle on future land development.

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Some home truths for the corporate bludgers at Team NZ

Team New Zealand want to go again, they also want the taxpayer to continue to pay their inflated salaries, and help fund their next multi-million dollar property purchases.

Well, Man in the Stand has some home truths for them to consider.

Here’s an odd notion for Grant Dalton and Dean Barker and co.

How about telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?

Not that I’m accusing them of telling outright porkies but as usual there’s a lot of spin and hype and half-truths going on in the lead-up to asking taxpayers to stump up with yet another huge dollop of cash.

The kind of nonsense was spun before the last Americas Cup and the one before and the one before that.

So what are the fallacies that I’m referring to?

• Giving 40 million of our taxpaying dollars to Grant Dalton and co. to mount another America’s Cup challenge is the best way to publicise New Zealand.

Not true. Spending less than half that amount on making and showing an advertisement at half-time in Super Bowl, promoting our beautiful country would be far more effective. Read more »

How long before Len tries this here?

Len will be looking for something else now to control us and to raise even more taxes..

What better way than to have a congestion charging and add on a special tax for diesel vehicles….so he can tax his own buses he will try and force us onto.

London will follow Paris and introduce an outright ban on diesel cars which are causing “serious health damage” in the capital, campaigners warn.

The Mayor of Paris has announced radical plans to ban diesel cars from the French capital by 2020 due to concerns about how much pollution the cars cause.

Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, is also grappling with the issue of how to tackle pollution from the fuels fumes which contain tiny particles and nitrogen oxides and have been increasingly proven to be seriously damaging to health.

France, which has the highest number of diesel cars on the road, will now ban the cars out right with Anne Hidalgo, the Parisian Mayor pledging “an end to diesel in Paris in 2020″.  Read more »

Bludging Team NZ seeking new marks for more bludging

The Colin Craig of sport, Team New Zealand, who have spent millions of dollars of taxpayers money losing, are now seeking other targets for their corporate bludging.

And the cash strapped Auckland Council is one of the marks.

Auckland Council’s major events funding body is interested in working with Team New Zealand to secure hosting rights for the America’s Cup Qualifying regatta ahead of the challenger finals and 35th Cup match in Bermuda.

America’s Cup organisers revealed this week they had received a “serious proposal” from the Kiwi syndicate to host a “major event or events” in the lead-up to the big show in Bermuda in 2017.

Emirates Team New Zealand have been reluctant to discuss the details of that bid, pointing to commercial sensitivities.

Given Team NZ’s continued involvement in the America’s Cup now looks to hinge on securing the hosting rights for the key pre-regatta, their caution around revealing their plans is understandable.

With the Government making it plain they do not see any leveraging opportunities in Bermuda, Team NZ boss Grant Dalton hinted their business case for further taxpayer money will focus on the potential economic benefits from hosting the month-long event in early 2017.

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Lessons not learned from Auckland

Yay! Wellington will follow my lead

Yay! Wellington will follow my lead

Wellingtonians appear to be dumber than a bag of hammers, at least the idiots at the Local Government Commission who have issued a report suggesting that Wellington could benefit from a Super City arrangement.

Have they not learned a thing from Auckland?

Goodbye Wellington, hello Greater Wellington – the capital is set to become a super-city.

The long-awaited draft recommendation from the Local Government Commission has found that the Wellington’s nine councils should unite into one council named Greater Wellington Council.

Key points of the proposed model are:

* One mayor elected at large heading a council made up of 21 members from eight wards – Rongotai, Lambton, Ohariu, Porirua-Tawa, Kapiti Coast, Lower Hutt, Upper Hutt and Wairarapa.

That council would be responsible for high-level, region-wide matters.

* Each ward would then also have a local board with between six to 10 elected members which would be responsible for local decisions.

* Two councillors would also be appointed to each board.     Read more »

Once again Len’s council tells us we should shut up, they know best

You know Auckland Council thinks it can do things better than anyone else when it diversifies away from its core responsibilities to indulge in a particular activity that is best conducted by private enterprise. the supremacy and arrogance of the Council has been a bad smell for some time but is about to get stinkier.

It’s urban compact city plans are not happening and its frustrated and desperate to make it happen.

And its usually at times like this that stupid decisions are made.

Len Brown has now announced that Auckland Council will form an Urban development agency to improve the city’s ability to address some of its’ pressing urban development needs. In short – it is going to jump right on into the very high risk game of property development.

Auckland Council’s Governing Body today agreed to support the establishment of an urban development agency to improve the city’s ability to address some of its pressing urban development needs.

The new entity, called Development Auckland, will have a key role in helping deliver the council priority of quality urban living and will have the mandate to deal with the challenge of Auckland’s rapid growth through regeneration and investment.  The agency will have the capability to deliver public and private development and infrastructure, including housing, across the region.

The new entity is a result of the realignment of Auckland Council’s council-controlled organisations (CCOs).

Mayor Len Brown said: “Meeting Auckland’s development needs over the next 10 to 20 years requires a transformational shift in the council’s approach to urban development and regeneration

“Central government, the council, the private sector and the not-for-profit sector will be able to work together in a way that does not burden ratepayers further with the costs of growth, but rather sees them realise the benefits of it.

“The CCO review has provided Auckland Council with an opportunity to address this.”    Read more »

Hosking’s good hard sledge of Len Brown

Mike Hosking delivered one long hard sledge against the little ratbag masquerading as Auckland’s mayor.

In a way I have no one to blame but myself.

I, much to my surprise, have found myself increasingly agitated about the running of this great city. Increasingly I feel it is being run by idiots. Idiots and financial illiterates.

I have had little, if any, interest in local body politics before. I didn’t vote last time. I don’t think I voted the time before. In fact if I were putting it all on the record it’s entirely possible I have never voted.

So you have every right to bag me now for complaining.

Actually I am not complaining, more raising the alarm. More asking the question: Am I the only one who thinks things around Auckland Council are getting hopelessly out of control? By way of some defence, I didn’t vote in my local area because there was only one person standing.

And when it came to Mayor there was the incumbent and the New York restaurateur. Who seemed like a decent bloke but had no profile, and as much as I might have liked to vote for someone other than Len, I would never vote against someone. Voting against someone is a recipe for trouble. You might not like what’s in office, but that doesn’t mean just anything else is the answer.

People who don’t vote, then complain usually give me the shits…but I’ll spare Mike some latitude.

Anyway, having got my excuses out of the way, I am bordering on ropable over what’s unfolding around the council table. First of all shall we deal with the broken promises?

Len Brown promised a rate rise of no more than 2.5 per cent yet voted for a 3.5 per cent increase.

Len Brown promised rate rises within the range of inflation.

The council promised a maximum rates cap of 10 per cent. They then rejected that.

Hundreds of thousands of households will be getting bills with increases of in excess of 10 per cent, some as high as 40 per cent. How in God’s name is this allowed to happen?

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Oh well done Len. Well done. 2.5%, then 3.5%, and now up to 40% and more

Auckland Council are determined to get everyone paying exactly what the formula says they should pay, no matter how much this will increase rates.  Check this out.

The cap which has protected some Auckland homeowners from up to 40 per cent rates rises has been voted down…

Auckland Council’s Governing Body today argued its way through its 10-year budget, known as the Long-term Plan 2015-25.

Among a series of major decisions it has removed the rates cap, refused a referendum on its controversial plans to pay for expensive transport projects and made changes to how it charges property developers.

The vote to scrap the rates cap was tight – 11 votes to 10.

Since the eight old Auckland councils amalgamated into the super city, the new council has been trying to align the rates it charges.

It has meant some homeowners have had decreases in their rates, but others have faced steep increases.

In an effort to give some relief to the pain of those homeowners in line for big increases, the council operated a policy called “rates transition” – capping the extent of rates rises each year to a maximum of 10 per cent.

But today the cap went  – all ratepayers who own similar value properties will pay the same rates no matter where in Auckland they live. And no matter how big the rates rise.

It has been reported that some will now face a massive household rates increases of 40 per cent or more next year.

This is after Len promised 2.5% rises.

And then he said, sorry, but, erm… 3.5%, ok?

And now this.     Read more »

Face of the day

Pippa Doyle

Pippa Doyle

One of New Zealand’s most secretive military organisations has opened its high-security doors for a 93-year-old woman.

Tonight, it was a meeting of war heroes when New Zealand’s Victoria Cross winner Willie Apiata kissed 93-year-old Pippa Doyle, one of the great if unknown secret agents of World War II.

Apiata was in the audience as Pippa – otherwise known as Phyllis Latour Doyle – received France’s highest decoration: the Chevalier de l’Ordre National de la Legion d’Honneur, the Legion of Honour (knight class).

 DAVID WHITE/Fairfax NZ TOP HONOUR: The Legion of Honour medal which was presented to Pippa Doyle.


DAVID WHITE/Fairfax NZ
TOP HONOUR: The Legion of Honour medal which was presented to Pippa Doyle.

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I can see Len implementing this in Auckland

Insanity…but the sort of thing that Len Brown is likely to bring to Auckland in order to carry on his dream of making the city the most liveable city in the world…whatever that means.

MPs have been criticised for employing a member of staff to hand-strip the leaves from its trees because it is more cost efficient than raking them up.

For most of Friday Annabel Honeybun, a gardener contracted by the Palace of Westminster, was cutting back the leaf stalks from the lime trees in New Palace Yard below Big Ben.

For several hours Miss Honeybun climbed a step ladder under the tree and removed the golden coloured leaves, throwing them to the floor.

The leaf-stripping was carried out in full few of members of the public outside the gates guarding the entrance to New Palace Yard, and a few yards from Parliament Square.

The House of Commons employs a gardening service which covers maintenance of more than 145 trees on the Parliamentary estate as well as all grassed areas, planted areas, indoor plants, containers and window boxes.

A spokesman for the House of Commons said: “The leaves are removed each winter as a more time-efficient alternative to raking fallen leaves.

“It is not possible to separate the cost of removing leaves from the trees in New Palace Yard from the wider cost of the gardening contract.”

But there was surprise by users on Twitter, the social media network, that time was being spent removing the leaves instead of leaving nature would work its magic naturally.

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