Len Brown

So much for consultation on land transport, just two options and none that says “nick off noddy”

So opening the mail we find that Auckland Council has put out a consultation document on the Long Term Plan.

Unbelievably they have inserted this question about paying for public transport.

IMG_2621 Read more »

Lyin’, loopy, lusty, lascivious Len wants to run for mayor again

Someone needs to tell Len Brown ‘e’s dreamin’.

Auckland Mayor Len Brown has told an inner circle of friends and advisers he plans to seek re-election next year.

But rather than throw their weight behind the under-fire mayor, it is understood some supporters have told him he has no chance of winning a third term and should step aside.

They do not see any way back for Mr Brown, who has struggled in the wake of an extramarital affair and widespread criticism over management of the city’s finances.

Mr Brown would not answer questions about his political plans

I’m going to let the pictures tell the story

Len-Brown-thumb

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Len Brown makes lame promise to repair image

Check this out

Auckland mayor Len Brown says the council will not put any ratepayer cash into building or running an international convention centre.

He told the Weekend Herald yesterday that there would be no money for the SkyCity convention centre in a new 10-year budget.

The council and Mr Brown were blindsided by suggestions from the Government and SkyCity before Christmas that ratepayers’ money be used to fund the shortfall in costs for the controversial project.

SkyCity said the original $402 million cost had been “revised” to $470 million and to $530 million.

Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce floated the idea of ratepayers helping cover operating costs, but has since talked down the idea and suggested the council look at its regulatory fees for the consent and construction process.

Mr Brown said he had never been formally approached by the Government on the issue.

One, Auckland Council have been told that if they spend any more money they’ll have their credit rating downgraded. ¬†Bottom line: ¬†there is no money for the train set, so Brown would never have given any to Sky City. ¬†(Of course, there is enough for the arts, but not the rescue helicopter). Read more »

Len Brown recruits… everyone who doesn’t like John Key

Lobbyists and opposition political parties are welcoming the idea of light rail through some of Auckland’s main arterial routes.

Auckland Transport says it’s investigating whether light rail on Queen St, Symonds St, Sandringham Rd, Dominion Rd, Mt Eden Rd and Manukau Rd is a good alternative to buses.

Most of those routes had trams running on them before they were removed in the 1950s.

Auckland Transport chairman Lester Levy says light rail could move more than three times the number of people per hour than buses, and at higher speeds, and would complement other projects like the City Rail Link rather than replace it.

He says a public private partnership could be a good way to fund it. Read more »

Len can’t control rates, has broken his promises, time for him to go

When spending gets out of control its symptomatic of bigger deeper problems and there are surely serious problems with Auckland Council that need to be addressed.

The Council is like a crack addict and is unable to see where it is going wrong. Spending is completely out of control and massive rates increases loom. 5.5% this year will almost certainly blow out to 7 or 8% because the Council has a habit of instigating projects that don’t keep to budgets. Like the ballooning computer IT spend up that’s now $100m over budget.

Household rates could rise by 7.6 per cent this year if the city adopts a motorway toll of $2 or a regional fuel tax to tackle the city’s transport challenges.

The Auckland Council today releases a draft 10-year budget for public consultation, which includes some difficult choices on the costs and services of the Super City.

Among the options are paying less for transport and getting less, or a scheme involving a motorway toll or a fuel tax to raise $300 million a year to fill a $12 billion transport funding gap over 30 years.

The council is considering a targeted rate this year until revenue from tolls, a fuel tax or higher rates is in place by about 2018.

In the meantime, about $1.7 billion of $3.4 billion of additional transport projects over the next 10 years will be funded by debt.

Council finance officer Matthew Walker said the targeted rate would collect $30 million this year, the equivalent of a 2 per cent rise in rates, to fund the revenue shortfall.

This would raise the overall rates increase from 3.5 per cent to 5.5 per cent.

Household rates would increase on average from 5.6 per cent to 7.6 per cent.

New valuations and a lowering of business rates has led to higher rates for households.

The latest figures show inflation is just 0.8 per cent.

An extra 2 per cent rates increase would take the rates on a $750,000 home from $2274 to $2319 and for a $1 million home from $2904 to $2962.

Mr Walker said the $30 million targeted rate could become $60 million in year two and $90 million in year three and so on.

This scenario would see household rates rise by 22 per cent over three years.

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It’s the Auckland Council that is the problem

Finally the Herald is waking up to the fact that Auckland Council is a useless organisation who are still the reason why housing is an issue.

Yesterday property developers were fingered the blame for supposedly sitting on their hands and land banking. And yesterday I said it wasn’t developers but Auckland Council.

Property developers say the failure to quickly resolve Auckland’s housing crisis is not their fault – lack of infrastructure is one of the biggest impediments to more building.

Connal Townsend, chief executive of the Property Council, said one of the biggest blocks to creating new subdivisions was lack of adequate sewerage, stormwater and fresh water connections.

Those often needed to be upgraded from existing residential areas to vast new tracts of land to enable developers to put up the homes, he said. Until that happened, developers might have consents to build but they could not go ahead.

Lack of Resource Management Act reform, no mezzanine or second-tier finance, a labour shortage and the high cost of building materials were other factors stopping the rush to put up new homes, he said. ¬†¬† Read more »

Some more thoughts on the Special Housing Area debacle

With Auckland Council failing to deliver on the Special Housing Areas in a deliberate attempt to thwart the Government and bolster its own compact city aspirations Рa solution is required.

I hear that the Nat’s don’t want to push the issue too hard because they are worried about the political backlash.

But, it’s already happening.

Whilst it is a catch 22, the reality is that there are only two choices:

1. Do nothing, be hammered by Phil Twyford and Andrew Little and eventually lose the next election because the housing woes get worse and New Zealanders get sick of it – voting for change out of desperation;

2. Step in to take control of the process. Sure there will be blood on the floor, but if the problem is solved Kiwi’s will think the Nat’s are decisive, strong and solve problems and that’s a winning formula.

The problem is the stepping in bit.

Nobody is sure what the blood on the floor will be and in the dark of night they fret that its political suicide. Except I don’t believe that it is really is. ¬† Read more »

Special Housing Areas a total failure

The Special Housing Areas are failing and yet nobody is asking why?

The Government’s Auckland Housing Accord aims to relieve the city’s desperate housing shortage with 39,000 new homes, but only 350 residences have so far been built in the plan’s Special Housing Areas, an official has revealed.

Of those, only 20 have been a direct result of the housing accord.

Labour is accusing developers and landbankers of sitting on their hands and watching the value of their land increase instead of working to ease the crisis. Auckland Council has warned it could take action if building does not take place quickly.

I happen to know that the reason is deliberate and the perpetrators aren’t developers and landbankers, it is the¬†Auckland Council.

Council doesn’t want greenfield subdivisions – that’s the polar opposite to their fundamental core beliefs and desires for a compact city. ¬† Read more »

One-trick pony Len Brown makes Auckland least livable while wasting time on his train set

Mayor Len Brown

Mayor Len Brown

Auckland as the Most Livable City is nothing but platitude as it slides backwards as one of the least affordable places to live.

Auckland has once again been named one of the most unaffordable housing markets in the world.

The 11th annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey classified Auckland as the ninth least affordable major city in the world.

Auckland is the 14th least affordable city out of all 378 surveyed.

Auckland has been rated as “severely unaffordable” in all 11 surveys.

Take a bow Len. ¬†Awesome job. ¬†Apart from penny pinching your rate payers and reducing basic council services while pushing rates up to unsustainable levels, you also have made it one of the least affordable places to live in the whole world. ¬†¬† Read more »

Len’s most livable city needs dedicated train cops

Auckland is in need of dedicated transport police to stop the thugs from turning Len’s train set into an even whiter elephant.

An Auckland councillor is renewing calls to have a dedicated transit police force on Auckland’s trains.

Former police officer George Wood’s comments follow the release of a report into a brawl involving scores of youths at Britomart station.

The report says more police are needed on public transport for events like the coming Cricket World Cup.

Mr Wood has repeatedly warned scenes like the brawl are clear evidence there should be a dedicated transit police force. Read more »