Face of the day

Shayne Currie

Shayne Currie

Shayne Currie is my face of the day. He is the man at the top The NZ Herald and it is fair to say that the buck stops with him.

If his staff lie in articles the buck stops with him.

If they defame people in attack articles the buck stops with him.

If they attempt to undermine inquires the buck stops with him.
If they do anything totally outrageous like I don’t know… deliberately putting an innocent man’s face in an article about public masturbation, then he is totally responsible.

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A reader’s email about housing in Auckland

Yesterday we posted about housing prices and who was to blame for the situation, especially in Auckland.

It prompted this email from a  reader:

Dear Cam

Re: Minimum wage, how about a minimum house price

This whole discussion about housing in Auckland aggravates me because it’s not just the RMA, or the availability of land that is ramping up the price of existing homes and discouraging development. It’s more the power of the mafia council and its ability to squeeze every last drop out of homebuilders that is the big issue.

The ‘new streamlined’ Auckland Council is actually more of a bureaucracy with a capital ‘B’ than its composites, irrespective of the duplication of tasks. It’s a heaving, monolithic, Stalinist leviathan, long since irrelevant in the post-colonial era but with the statutory authority to dictate what use you may put your land to and to gouge you for the privilege.

Try just getting their consent to build a house. We did in 2012, on 3200 square metres of bush in Titirangi, Auckland. We selfishly thought we might (gasp) construct a home for our family there but the thought that someone might purchase a section for such a nefarious purpose was obviously something the West Auckland chapter of the Auckland Council Mafia was prepared for.

We were barely owners of the property for a day before the council weed-fascist was onto us. We had a ginger infestation that needed taking care of immediately or we’d be put in stocks and/or executed. We did the environmentally-friendly thing and approached the Waitakere Weedfree Trust. The guy there sold us a plastic tub and told us to dig out the ginger and put the bulbs in it to rot. A day later, and barely one percent of the ginger removed, I hit the local hardware store and bought the most toxic weedkiller I could find. Six months later, it was all still alive and the council guy was threatening court action.

In the interim, we hired an architect and got him planning our dream home. He prepared a resource consent submission, which we took to lodge at the Henderson office. The architect had warned me that there may now be a charge for the pre-lodgement meeting. What he’d heard anecdotally, and no one since has been able to verify this for me to a legal standard, is that since the formation of the ‘Super City’, whichever ex-composite council charged the most for any particular service was now the going rate for all. What was once free in Waitakere now cost $200.

First shock. A development levy would apply upon the successful lodgement of our consent. Approximately $10,000. I pointed out that our property was within an enclave of seven properties, six of which had been built on many years ago, but not ours. All utilities were already on site: water, power, phone, storm-water and sewage. Nothing needed to be provided, we merely needed to tap in to the pre-existing infrastructure which we had paid for as part of the purchase price. No matter. The levy was for other things, added pressure on the local libraries and such. I thought about saying I had a Kindle but doubted that would have gone down well.   Read more »

The Huddle


It’s Monday and as usual Larry Williams has The Huddle with Jock Anderson and myself.

Our topics will be:

  • National’s cabinet reshuffle.
  • The electricity cuts in Auckland. A two sided affair, businesses take a hit – and these kind of power cuts shouldn’t be happening. BUT also there was a bit of overkill in relation to the media coverage and the term “crisis” being bandied about.
  • Nicky Hager getting raided by the Police.

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Face of the day + Perverse Poetry competition

Mayor Len Brown

Mayor Len Brown


First, the press release announcing the scheme came out only a fortnight before the application deadline. As the winning proposal has to be about living in Auckland that didn’t give applicants much time to think up a suitable, fit-for-purpose idea.

Second, Mayor Len Brown says: “Let’s write about our place with passion and love.” Why the fervour? Is the funding from the council’s marketing budget? Or is the (as yet unselected) panel to ignore the mayor’s pronouncements when judging the proposals for his grant?

And here’s the kicker: the grant winner will be notified in December but will not get the $12,000 until the work is written (they have until next June). Presumably, until then, they live off their credit cards or write only in rare moments snatched between jobs.

It’s unclear who gets to decide if the writer’s results are a “tangible work” in the end, and worthy of payment (no minimum word count is stipulated). Is overt civic passion necessary? Baxter would have had trouble; he compared Auckland with the back-end of an elephant “surrounded with blue-black haemorrhoids“. No wonder he never got paid. Where’s the crowd-funding project for perverse poetry? I’d contribute.

– NZ Herald

As Mayor Len Brown has come up with a Mayoral writing grant I feel inspired to suggest a Perverse Poetry competition about Auckland.

I am sure Whaleoilers can come up with some poems or even limericks to describe how we feel about Auckland under Pants Down Brown.

Definition of: Perverse

Standard Definition
[adj] marked by immorality; deviating from what is considered right or proper or good; “depraved criminals”; “a perverted sense of loyalty”; “the reprobate conduct of a gambling aristocrat”
[adj] resistant to guidance or discipline; “Mary Mary quite contrary”; “an obstinate child with a violent temper”; “a perverse mood”; “wayward behavior”
[adj] marked by a disposition to oppose and contradict; “took perverse satisfaction in foiling her plans”
contrary, corrupt, depraved, disobedient, immoral, negative, obstinate, perverted, reprobate, wayward



Here is my contribution :

Affair with Council employee

Unacceptable behaviour

Censure of Auckland Mayor

Kleenex tissues

Len Brown

Adventures of a sexual nature

Ngati Whatua room

Doesn’t resign

Bob Jones has the solution for cheaper houses

Bob Jones has a brilliant solution for solving housing affordability and the supposed housing crisis.

I have a solution which may induce initial antagonism, but viewed calmly, it’s perfectly logical. National’s policy of providing more cash for first-home buyers is certainly not addressing Auckland’s problem. Instead it will heighten it by increasing demand, although outside of Christchurch it will have merit in assisting first-home seekers.

Recently, we legislated that our worker standards must apply to foreign trawlers fishing our waters. On face value that appeared virtuous. In fact, it’s utterly hypocritical.

Our living standards rely on incredibly cheap goods from Asia. They’re cheap thanks to low labour costs, as on the foreign fishing boats. So to be consistent, why not impose the same fishing boat rules to imported goods? There are two answers.

First, in terms of moral inconsistency, it’s analogous to the abortion debate. What can’t be seen, namely Chinese factories and unborn babies, conveniently doesn’t count.

The second excellent reason is that free trade is unquestionably mutually beneficial, and as with Japan and increasingly Korea, in a few years, fast-rising Chinese living standards will see this low labour cost manufacturing continue its westward move to Southeast Asia, then the Indian sub-continent, and if robots haven’t by then killed off menial jobs as inevitably they will, then on to Africa. Everyone’s a winner.

Actually, minimum standards are imposed by America, albeit not the same as Western equivalents. A few years ago I met a young American woman in Bolivia who was taking a break from her job as an inspector overseeing Caribbean factory and labour standards.

If they weren’t up to scratch she could block their exports to the US. Her concerns were wages and working conditions. America has similar inspectors in Asia following a public clamour after revelation of some Chinese factories’ then appalling standards.

So accepting that low Asian labour costs are mutually beneficial, the answer to attaining a mass supply of housing in one fell swoop, is to emulate Dubai and, as a one-off exercise, import an army of cheap sub-continent labour. Dubains reject manual work, aside from which they’re too small in population to achieve what they have without outside help.

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Housing crisis or Green interference?

Guest Post

“Houston, we don’t have a problem …… but Auckland does”


This is a new two bedroom, two bathroom home in the leafy suburbs of Houston, Texas.

You can buy it today for NZ$240,000.   Read more »

Len Brown continues to pour ratepayer cash down the dunny

It appears there are no limits to the incredible waste from Len Brown’s out of council.

Plans to install a state house as a piece of art on Auckland’s waterfront have been called a waste of money, offensive and plain stupid.

The Herald yesterday revealed a black and white image of what the $1.5 million sculpture on Queens Wharf will look like.

The newspaper received huge feedback about the article, with most people unhappy about the state house sculpture.

Many felt it was a waste of money and were particularly unimpressed about the idea of a state house being dubbed art.

“Passengers who’ve spent thousands on their cruises won’t want to see the inside of a state house and the people of Auckland certainly won’t want their rates money spent on this,” emailed Heather Buckley.

“Surely there are far more worthy things that our money could be spent on.”    Read more »

EXCLUSIVE: “Bash the Jews, cut their f***ing heads off” The footage of Auckland’s protest the other media won’t show you

Bash the Jews, cut their heads off. cut their f***ing heads off”

Those were the fanatical words of a demented blood thirsty nutcase as he stood in protest in front of the American embassy on Customs St, Auckland on the 27th of July. This being just part of the “peaceful protest’ last month in support of some place called Palestine.

I am going to add very few words to this post, and allow you to make judgement for yourselves.

At 3:25 an organiser hurries to usher children in front of a placard saying “MAKE ISRAEL HISTORY” because it was at the front line of the protest in front of a television camera. There were many of these placards seen at the protest.

At 6:20 the demented nutcase begins his violent anti Jewish and anti American rant outside the American Embassy:

“Drag them out. Got a word with them. It’s called Allahu Akbar. God is great. Child killers! F***in’ child killers! “


American murderers! Murderers! Burn the flag! Burn the American flag! Bash you Jewish! Cut their heads off. Cut their f$^%in’ heads off!


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1000 vs 20, so what does Michael Field focus on?

Yesterday over a thousand people turned out to hear what Frank Bainimarama had to say at a public meeting in South Auckland.

Michael Field, enraged by not being granted an interview has decided to focus, not on the large turnout of people who want to listen and learn, but rather on the pathetic group of around 20 disaffected loons that he gets most of his stories from.

Around a thousand people greeted Fiji’s military strongman Voreqe Bainimarama in Auckland today, but his rally was peppered with barracking and jeers at times.

Bainimarama, who overthrew a democratic government in 2006, is in New Zealand on a tourist visa to campaign ahead of elections on September 17.

Speaking to the predominantly Indo-Fijian audience, he stressed that under his military dictatorship he had instituted a rule that was not based on race.

Unlike previous elections, voters will not be categorised by race. Instead, everybody’s vote would be equal, he said.

Around 56 per cent of the 838,000 people of Fiji are indigenous and 37 per cent Indian, descendants of indentured labourers imported by the colonial British.

Around 20 protesters marched to the Manukau Event Centre and while security kept them out of the grounds, a number of loud critics called out abuse during the meeting.

“I have been told not to worry about the devils,” Bainimarama told the audience.    Read more »

More favours for Len’s mates


Hobo housing?

Len Brown’s favourite property developer mate Mark Todd is still receiving beneficial favours with the Mayor providing space for him to display competitive entries for an apartment building design competition.

Len loves Mark because Mark is openly extolling the benefits of a compact city and the two are as thick as thieves.

The developer who is new to the Auckland scene has been spending time schmoozing politicians and council officers during the Auckland Unitary Plan process and has developed beneficial relationships. WOBH pointed out recently that one of the judges for the apartment design competition was none other than Jacques Victor who is a member of Len’s Mayoral office.   Read more »