Fran O’Sullivan doesn’t mince words when talking about and dissecting the recent actions of Auckland’s power mad mayor.
Her article is on the NZ Herald website.
There is a suspicion that the mayor’s office is now charging ahead with too many initiatives simply to take the heat off [Len] Brown on other fronts. The manner in which Len Brown deploys his considerable powers as Mayor of Auckland deserves greater scrutiny by elected members of the Auckland Council.
Formally the Mayor of Auckland is legislatively tasked with promoting and leading a vision for Auckland, as well as leading the development of council plans, policies and budgets.
Brown occupies one of the most powerful positions in New Zealand. It is a position which clearly vests a great deal of trust in any incumbent – far too much, in my view – allowing them to push through too many personal policy platforms without requiring them to be appropriately put to the test other than support from councillors.
In Brown’s case, the most recent example was his advocacy for a living wage policy which he managed to get through the council’s budget committee, with help from a couple of Independent Maori Statutory Board members (including John Tamihere), to give him the requisite majority of 11 to nine in a vote.
A substantial policy initiative – like a living wage – should be debated thoroughly on the basis of full background papers on its implications for the broader council finances. Read more »