This morning the NBR reports of bullying from the Mayors office over support for the now discredited unitary plan.
Auckland Mayor Len Brown is ordering council-controlled organisations (CCOs) to fall into line over the controversial unitary plan.
Mr Brown’s office released the text of a November 15 letter yesterday after a request by NBR ONLINE.
Not only does the letter demand the CCOs resolve issues behind closed doors – not always to the satisfaction of those bodies – but he also wants their representatives to appear together before the unitary plan hearing panel and to show a united front.
The tone of the mayor’s letter has been described as “quite threatening” by one person on the council payroll and comes amid Mr Brown’s review of the CCO structure, which the re-elected mayor says is necessary to ensure ratepayers are getting value for money.
In his letter, Mr Brown says the council has an internal process to identify and resolve issues over the council’s submission to the plan.
Most issues are expected to be fully resolved, he writes, but he warns there may be matters “that the council cannot agree to in the exact way that a CCO may wish.”
They will be subject to ongoing discussion and resolution, the letter says, with the ability for issues to be escalated to chief executive level and, if necessary, to Auckland Development Committee chair and deputy mayor Penny Hulse.
“I do not think it is appropriate for a CCO to make a formal submission to the hearings panel independent of the council’s submission,” Mr Brown says.
“In bringing together the eight councils of the Auckland region, there was a clear public expectation that the days of councils using ratepayers’ money to have lawyers and planners fight each other in court were over – we do not need to replace this with the council and CCOs following a similar process.”
NBR ONLINE invited Mr Brown, through chief press secretary Glyn Jones, to explain why it was necessary to write the letter but he has not responded. Read more »