Len Brown

Police looking into Greg Presland’s money laundering rort for Len Brown

Greg Presland.  You may recall he was a ‘close adviser and friend’ to David Cunliffe.  You may also recall he writes as Mickey Savage on The Standard.  You may also recall he put together David Cunliffe’s dodgy secret trust.

Seems the paragons of virtue, Brown and Presland have come to the attention of the police.

Police are investigating an entity that funded Auckland mayor Len Brown’s 2010 and 2013 election campaigns.

More then $750,000 in backing for Brown’s two successful campaigns was paid by a trust that kept donors’ identities secret. Since February police have been investigating whether the trust breached the Local Electoral Act.

The Sunday Star-Times has confirmation from Brown’s former campaign team that Greg Presland was involved in the donor trust. He was also the main trustee of the trust that paid almost $20,000 in anonymous donations to former Labour leader David Cunliffe during Labour’s 2013 leadership contest.

Cunliffe has since said using that trust was an error of judgment, and keeping donors’ names secret didn’t fully represent “the values I would like to bring to this leadership”. Cunliffe eventually named three donors and returned donations to two others who did not want to be named.

Brown sees no need to do the same with the “New Auckland Council Trust”, which donated $499,000 to his 2010 mayoral campaign and $273,375 last year .

Let me fast-forward to the end for you all:  1)  Len Brown will not stand down.  He has done nothing illegal and he’s not ashamed about anything.  2)  Greg Presland, in spite of being poison to whoever he gets involved with, will happily continue to ply his trade.   Read more »

Auckland Council rail loop will probably blow through $6B before it’s done

This is quite serious

An Auckland Council IT project considered key to delivering the promised savings of the “Super City” model faces a budget blowout of up to $100 million.

The “NewCore” programme is designed to consolidate the outdated operating systems of the eight local bodies which merged in 2010 to become the Auckland Council and has an approved budget of $71 million.

The first stage was supposed to go live in May with the project completed by June 2016, but council bosses yesterday confirmed a delay of 12 months.

Chief operating officer Dean Kimpton also confirmed more money was needed but would not comment on specific figures as councillors were discussing a briefing paper behind closed doors today. But sources say the total cost could end up between $140 and $170 million – up to $100 million more than the budget approved two years ago.

That’s $100M more over the top of $70M… so far.

That’s some serious mismanagement. Read more »

Len’s rates rampage continues

Len Brown and those councillors who continue to enable his rapacious grab with rates are fast coming to a point where there will be a rebellion against their continued raids on our pockets.

About 4000 households face rates increases of 40 per cent or more next year under a “cold turkey” proposal causing deep divisions among city councillors.

The budget committee yesterday voted 10-7 to implement big rates rises in one hit next year.

The decision will be felt hardest north of the harbour bridge, where 2122 of the 3738 households facing a 40 per cent-plus rates increase are located.

The big rises are at the extreme end of the latest property valuations and the end to implementing a single rating system for the Super City.

About 126,000 households face rates rises of more than 10 per cent and 25,000 more than 20 per cent.   Read more »

Hosking loves Len

I see Len Brown’s grand dream of making Auckland the world’s most liveable city is right on track. Part of the plan is to clearly run your local Aucklander broke by making it cost more and more to do anything.

All council owned car parks are going to be more expensive. Early bird parking is bring scrapped. Why? So you can catch the train or bus of course. Livable cities run on public transport.

I note there have been some people raising issues like “there aren’t any buses or trains where I live” or “they haven’t started running because of the hour of the morning I need to commute”. These concerns of course are exactly the sort of petty nonsensical rubbish all great visionaries have to put up with on the path to greatness.

Also this week, I see some ratepayers are facing rate rises of more than 10 percent. In fact over 125,000 households are in exactly that boat. Let’s hope they don’t have people in them that enjoyed some early bird parking or else that’s looking like one crappy week.

Now the reason they are paying more is that some pay less. Ironically not as many pay less as those who pay more, but that’s their fault for going and living in suburbs that for reasons best known to themselves just went and got expensive. And if you insist on living in one of those, you’re just going to have to pay the price. Read more »

Cartoon of the Day

Credit:  Roger Price

Credit: Roger Price

Auckland Council bills ratepayer 5 cents, posts bill with 50 cent stamp and then denies all knowledge

via Facebook

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Auckland Council sending me a printed invoice for a remaining $0.05c owning from a cash payment I made in July 2013 for work I had done on my house. After 12 months wait then paying an exhorbidant amount to get my renovations permit, 16 months later I’m receiving this, the final bill?   Read more »

Len Brown’s next scandal: secretive unitary plan provisions that pander to Maori

3 News reports

Documents released to 3 News have revealed accusations of subterfuge by Auckland Council over a controversial part of its Unitary Plan.

What’s more surprising, the attack comes from within, from councillors who say radical and far-reaching provisions have been sneaked through by officials with little discussion. But the council strongly denies the accusations.

Auckland’s unitary plan has earmarked 3600 sites as possibly having cultural significance.

“Some of them were basically middens, a few shells where somebody had a feed of pipis maybe 200 years ago, and all of a sudden it becomes an archaeological site of value,” says Auckland Councillor Dick Quax.

House owners nearby who want resource consent might now have to pay iwi for a cultural impact assessment.

“It’s part of a precautionary process to make sure we don’t destroy sites without knowing what their cultural values are,” says Auckland Council chief planning officer Roger Blakeley.

The real problem is that there is no public visibility of where these sites are.  Your house could be right on top of one now, and thanks to the Auckland unitary plan, you now have to consult all iwi before you can dig your goldfish pond.  And no, I’m not kidding.   Read more »

Len Brown strangles “most livable city” plan

It’s all on in the quest to squeeze money out of everything to get his train set built.   Now Len is going to put a huge dent in the hospitality industry.

Cafes and restaurants face higher costs to put tables and chairs outdoors under Auckland Council plans to recover a full rental for use of public space for street trading.

However, some cafe owners say the plan threatens to put a damper on the streetside dining atmosphere.

Their businesses would not be able to afford to put out tables and customers would refuse to pay an “outdoor surcharge”.

In a proposal to the council’s budget committee meeting yesterday, council staff said rent rises of more than $1000 for some street cafes would boost council coffers by about $1.2 million in 2015/16.

Rents on footpath space were brought in by only some of the region’s former councils and now staff wanted a uniform street trading bylaw with consistent licensing fees and a regional rental.

The proposal is that all street traders pay $360 a year for a licence plus a rent based on the commercial value of the space they use.

This means the highest rentals will be in the central city and graduated for popular suburban strips and shopping centres with fewer customers.

Yeah, you wouldn’t expect Len to take fees away, would you?  He’s squeezing the last drop out of everything he can find.   Read more »

Face of the day

Len Brown

Len Brown

Auckland mayor Len Brown has traded verbal blows in a heated debate over how the council is making decisions about rates and financial matters.

Former Auckland City mayor Chris Fletcher has accused him of rushing through decisions without adequate information and proper procedure.

An angry Len Brown has shouted down Councillor Fletcher, saying he’s had enough of her ‘baseless’ accusations over the past four years.

He says the decisions have to be made, the information has been adequate, and no one will be entirely satisfied by the process.

It’s the latest in a string of angry outbursts from the mayor, who’s faced repeated challenges about spending plans during a two-day meeting.

On several occasions, he’s lost his temper at left and right wing councillors who have criticised proposed plans for transport and stadiums.

-NewstalkZB

Read more »

Len Brown breaks yet another promise, ratchets rates ever higher

Len Brown has become the lying Mayor.

Another of his election promises has gone by the wayside as his council keeps on increasing rates rather than reining in spending.

Auckland Council’s budget committee has voted 16-7 for a proposal to increase rates by 3.5 per cent for each year of a new 10-year budget.

The proposal got the backing of Mayor Len Brown, who promised voters to hold rates at 2.5 per cent this term.

This is on top of the massive rates rises of the last 3 years, some way more than 10% but capped under now expired legislation. Remember too that this is average rates rises of 3.5%, there will be some with even higher rates rises.

These are the tax, spend and hope councillors.

For a 3.5 per cent increase: Len Brown, Penny Webster, Arthur Anae, Cathy Casey, Bill Cashmore, Ross Clow, Linda Cooper, Chris Darby, Alf Filipaina, Penny Hulse, Mike Lee, Calum Penrose, John Walker, Wayne Walker and Maori Statutory Board members David Taipari and John Tamihere.

Read more »