Len Brown has an unhappy knack of wasting large sums of other people’s money in chasing his pet dreams.
He’s done it again costing ratepayers more than $100,000 chasing an award we didn’t win.
Auckland has been pipped at the post by a Colombian city in the Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize – a competition Auckland Council spent $103,000 of ratepayers’ money entering.
It is a prize few people have ever heard of and which appears to have no lasting benefits.
Auckland was one of five finalists, along with Medellin, Sydney, Vienna and Toronto. Medellin, Colombia’s second biggest city, won.
Auckland mayor Len Brown, who promoted the expensive entry, is excited because Auckland was recognised by the judging jury for “overcoming its planning challenges faced over the past 20 years, notably through a highly integrated and innovative governance model.”
A letter Mr Brown received overnight from Singapore says his leadership in spearheading the ambitious Auckland Plan is highly remarkable, and that he and his colleagues have shown even the world’s most remote city can radically transform itself and unleash the creativity and cultural potential of its citizens.
Mr Brown says the council “were in to win, and yes we all had our hearts set on gold but this is an absolutely fabulous achievement when you consider the calibre of cities entered. And I can’t help but be inspired and excited by the fact this year’s winning city, Medellin, got a Special Mention in the previous prize round in 2014.”
Auckland was nominated for the award by Prime Minister John Key and others including Ngati Whatua o Orakei kaumatua Joe Hawke and world cities expert Greg Clark and it was the mayor’s pet project from then on.
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