Len Brown

Five minutes into the job and Phil Goff wants to blow a billion on a stadium

Now Phil Goff wants to build a stadium!

Now Phil Goff wants to build a stadium!

Well, we did warn you. Phil Goff has just picked up from where Len Brown left off. Now he wants to build a stadium…at a cost of more than $1 billion.

What is it with socialists and grand projects?

New Auckland Mayor Phil Goff wants to make an early start on a $1 billion stadium on railway land alongside Vector Arena.

In an interview with NewstalkZB’s Tony Veitch to be aired today, Goff said he does not want to spend an estimated $250 million on upgrading Eden Park over the next 15 years and believes the spiritual home of rugby and cricket could be sold for as much as $300m.

Goff, who has only been in the mayoral job for two weeks, stressed the council did not have up to $1b to invest in a new stadium right now but if the council did not start planning it would miss the boat.    Read more »

Goff gives Hulse the arse card; appoints one of his South Auckland mates as deputy

Phil Goff has replaced one of the architects of rates increases as his deputy with a member of the Terrible Ten who voted for rates increases under Len Brown.

New Auckland Mayor Phil Goff has confirmed the badly kept secret Bill Cashmore will be his deputy, while also announcing the council’s committees will be overhauled to cut down on meetings.

An official announcement on Thursday confirmed speculation National Party member Mr Cashmore would be picked for the No. 2 spot over two-time deputy mayor Penny Hulse.

Mr Goff – a former Labour Party leader – told reporters he hoped the appointment of Mr Cashmore – who ran unopposed in his largely rural Franklin seat – would send a message to Auckland’s farmers that they were still part of the super city.

“He has a reputation for getting things done. He’s a straight shooter,” Mr Goff said.

Read more »

Is it because half of council hate her?

Council insiders say that Penny Hulse is getting demoted based on her appalling treatment of a number fellow councillors, who absolutely loathe her.

Perhaps she needs to reflect on her treatment of her perceived inferiors and work out if it has caught up with her.

New Auckland mayor Phil Goff has dumped Penny Hulse as his deputy.

An official announcement is expected later this week, but sources close to the mayor’s office said Hulse would not be getting the nod.

Read more »

Once Goff opens Len’s books, the only answer will be higher rates, extra levies and more taxes

Matthew Hooton dares write what most Aucklanders really hoped wasn’t true

The former Labour leader, who is expected to win the mayoralty wearing National Party colours, will next week take the helm of another despised institution. According to Auckland Council’s own Citizens’ Insights Monitor, just 17% of Aucklanders trust the council to make the right decision on any given issue.

Worse, Mr Goff has won the position based on four fiscal promises that he knows perfectly well do not add up.

First, he has promised another $17-20 billion of infrastructure spending on top of the council’s existing estimate of $18.7 billion, for which it plans to borrow.

Second, Mr Goff has vowed not to jeopardise the council’s AA credit rating, which is under threat as debt to revenue reaches 200%, interest to revenue touches 15% and interest to rates approaches 25%. In practice, Mr Goff’s credit-rating commitment rules out any further increase in debt.

Third, Mr Goff has promised not to fund new infrastructure by selling “strategic” assets, including the $9 billion Watercare, the 22% stake the council still has in the mainly privately owned airport, and the waterfront land being used wastefully by council-owned Ports of Auckland.

Fourth and finally, Mr Goff has pledged that rates – which currently bring in just $1.5 billion a year anyway, less than half of the council’s revenue – will not rise by more than an average of 2.5% a year.

To some degree Auckland’s mayoralty is a bit of a hospital pass.  Len Brown has shackled the city to a sufficient number of long term money draining black holes that any new mayor is going to need central government help to get around the rules that are hemming any kind of creative consolidation in.   Read more »

Len Brown’s legagy: Sexy Times or Trains?

What will Len Brown’s legacy be?

“It’s been a helluva journey.”

In five words, Len Brown’s deputy Penny Hulse captured his six years as the first mayor of the amalgamated Auckland.

Mr Brown leaves the office with a legacy that will not be fully appreciated until the 2023 opening of the City Rail Link project which he championed.

The 3.4km twin-rail tunnels will cost around $3 billion, and took Mr Brown nearly three years to help convince the government to move from public scorn, in 2010, to Prime Ministerial agreement, in 2012, to co-fund the project.

The tunnels will create a loop under the CBD, boosting the frequency and capacity of the rail network, and are expected to trigger large commercial property developments along its route.   Read more »

Is it a smear campaign if it is the truth?


coat or mark (something) messily or carelessly with a greasy or sticky substance.
“his face was smeared with dirt”
synonyms: streak, smudge, stain, mark, soil, dirty; More
damage the reputation of (someone) by false accusations; slander.
“someone was trying to smear her by faking letters”
synonyms: sully, tarnish, besmirch, blacken, drag through the mud/mire, stain, taint, damage, defame, discredit, defile, vilify, malign, slander, libel, stigmatize, calumniate;

Is it a smear campaign if it is the truth?

It has always fascinated me reading on left wing blogs about what they call ” dirty politics smears” even when the subject of the so-called smear has admitted publicly that it was the truth. I refer of course to Len Brown. Whaleoil was described by them as being evil and dirty for revealing the truth about Len Brown’s behaviour and his use of council property and money to conduct his affair. Was it a real smear though? Isn’t a smear dirty precisely because it is based on innuendo and gossip rather than substantiated facts like the signed affidavit that Whaleoil had in its possession?

Read more »

Two-minute Len’s tearful valedictory speech

Mr Brown was the first Super City mayor, elected as head of the amalgamated council in 2010.

In his valedictory speech, Mr Brown described the City Rail Link project, which was now under construction, as a metaphor for the changing spirit of Auckland since the 2010 amalgamation of eight councils.

He told councillors he felt bullish about the future of the city. Read more »

Aucklanders: Congestion charging back on the menu as National and Len 2.0 come for your money

I don’t really think National would seriously consider introducing tolls on roads we already have paid for…especially in Auckland.

It would be political suicide. So anything the retiring root bag has to say on the matter is moot.

Aucklanders will have to pay to drive at peak times if the city is to overcome its growing traffic problems, says outgoing Auckland mayor Len Brown.

A joint transport strategy report released by the council and the Government yesterday said a dedicated project should develop ‘smarter transport pricing’ for implementation within the next ten years.

Brown said this meant a specific focus on congestion charges.    Read more »

Are you ready for your massive rates increase to pay for the blowouts in Len’s rail boondoggle

You all want the rail loop…now you get to pay for it.

The costs are ballooning. I reckon it will balloon past $8billion by the time it is operational.

The price tag on Auckland’s inner city rail link has ballooned to as much as $3.4 billion, up from earlier estimates of about $2.5b.

The Government and Auckland Council on Wednesday signed a Heads of Agreement, under which the Crown will fund 50 per cent of the City Rail Link (CRL).

The total cost of the project is estimated to be between $2.8b and $3.4b, Associate Finance Minister Steven Joyce and Transport Minister Simon Bridges said.

Earlier estimates had put the cost at about $2.5b, although backers had said they expected that figure to rise.

Joyce said Wednesday’s agreement set out in-principle commitments from the Government and Auckland Council, and contained broader funding, governance and risk management arrangements.

[…]    Read more »

It appears if you vote for Len 2.0 you get Len 1.0 thrown in

phil goff like len brown zipper up

As we predicted here at Whaleoil voting for Phil Goff just means it is the same as Len, but with his pants up.

Now it appears that Phil Goff intends to give a job to Len Brown to keep him in the trough.

Labour MP Phil Goff is not ruling out a job for outgoing Auckland mayor Len Brown if he wins the mayoralty, but says it is very unlikely in the short-term.

Goff told the Herald he has had no discussions with Brown and made no promises “full-stop”.   Read more »