Len Brown

Thanks Len: Fights, vandalism, ticket dodging and threatening behaviour

The Auckland train system is an omnishambles.  Heavily subsidised travel is used as a justification that more of it is needed. (Think about that).  And on top of that, the brand new trains don’t work properly.  They even stopped running when there was a power cut.

And even that isn’t enough to throw it all in the ‘too hard’ pile.  Matthew Dearnaley reports:

Auckland Transport is considering forming a special police force to improve safety on trains.

The idea has emerged after criticism by Auckland Council members of a lack of gates at most stations to stop people catching trains without paying fares.

“The provision of transit police is under investigation as a long-term option,” an Auckland Transport spokesman said.

Well, THAT will drop ticket prices, won’t it?  Apart from the safety aspect, would the cost of employing glorified ticket inspectors be less than the non-subsidised loss of income they are meaning to combat?

Manurewa Local Board chairwoman Angela Dalton says fights on platforms and vandalism are becoming prevalent, and commuters are reconsidering their use of trains after “being intimidated by young people of gang persuasions”.

“They are also seeking money from old people, who are a bit more vulnerable – my concern is that somebody is going to get hurt,” she told the council’s infrastructure committee last week.

This is a policing issue.  We already have a dedicated force to deal with these things.  It is called The Police.

There is absolutely no need for Auckland Council to go the way of special dedicated Auckland Transport police force.

Councillor George Wood said a senior police officer had told a meeting of local board members that police were reluctant to travel on trains in uniform at off-peak hours “because they feel intimidated”, a claim denied to the Herald by Inspector Alan Shearer of the Counties Manukau police.

This is just fantastic.  A senior police officer doesn’t feel safe travelling on these trains while in uniform?

NO MORE MONEY.  STOP IT.

No more rates, no more central government taxes should go to this enormous hole in the ground.

[Auckland Transport] has also hired security guards at 10 stations in a 15-week trial due to end on Friday, when it will review the benefits of keeping them on, against a “considerable resourcing cost”.

Listed offences include assaults on train staff and passengers, vandalism, trespass and “surfing” or clinging dangerously to the outside of trains.

Does this happen to the same extent in Wellington?

Welcome to the world’s Most Livable City.   Thanks Len.

 

- NZ Herald

Auckland “Black Budget” no obstacle for Len Brown

Len may be coming for your library hours, rubbish collections and road repairs, but when it comes to keeping his staff in the comfort they deserve, $53M is easily justified

Auckland’s “black budget” council is spending $53 million to move more than a third of its 6,000 staff — including Mayor Len Brown, his staff of 20 and councillors — into new digs.

Council staff will move into the 31-storey former ASB Tower in Albert St, bought by council for $104m two years ago, this year. The move comes after revelations the council must slash $2.8 billion of capital spending over the next 10 years if Brown is to keep rates increases to 2.5 per cent this term.

This month’s “black budget” showed the council has been overspending. Its spend was based on rates rising 26 per cent in its first four budgets, when rates rose only 13.3 per cent. Council debt has gone from $3.9b to $7.3b, with interest now costing $1m a day.

But listen Whaleoil, you’re just being mean!  Think of the savings!  (What savings?)   Read more »

Labour plans to let local bodies tax you even more

Now this has to be an election winning strategy….for National.

Labour is going to let local councils tax ratepayers even more than they do now under their local body proposals.

Labour plans to reinstate the power for local bodies to raise revenue through extra levies such as a ‘pillow tax’ on visitors and regional petrol taxes.

Labour’s Local Government policy will also require a referendum to be held before any local council amalgamations can go ahead.

Local communities would also have to be consulted before council services were contracted out or privatised.

Local Government spokesman Sua William Sio said Labour was not opposed to amalgamations, but did not believe they were appropriate in all cases.

He said the Auckland supercity model was opposed by many Aucklanders “and designed to take control away from the hands of the many and vest governance in the hands of the few.”

Read more »

Auckland Council admits there is no evidence of support for the Central Rail Loop

On a number of occasions Mayor Len Brown has claimed that there is overwhelming public support for the central rail loop.

To see on what this was based, on June 12 one of the Ground Crew lodged a LGOIMA request with the council.

To : Len Brown

Under the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act could you please provide all material,in printed or electronic form, provided to or by the Mayor/ and or Councillors showing the level of public support for the planned central City Rail Loop.

In particular please provide the results of all opinion polls carried out which indicate the levels of support for the CRL and the methodology under which these polls were conducted.

Could you please acknowledge receipt of this LGOIMA request and provide a date by which the information will be made available.

Could you please provide the answers in electronic format by email.

Thanking you in advance

The council failed to respond and so the Ground Crew member asked again.   Read more »

Len Brown has bigger problems to worry about than a sugar ban

image001

Len Brown seems to be so desperate to talk about anything else aside from the Council’s black budget that he’s now thinking about banning sugary drinks.

I’ve posted about Auckland Council’s perilous state of its finances, as has Len Brown’s former favourite journalist Bernard Orsman who talked about ‘how city budget hit crunch point’.

With Len not keen on talking to Bernard, his PR team have instead raced out to find diversions to take Aucklanders’ attention off his inability to deliver his promised pet projects.  If it wasn’t Waterfront Auckland’s clumsy attempt at spending millions on Queens Wharf, it was wheeling out Rod Oram to encourage Len to keep on spending up big.  Read more »

Oram justifies borrow and spend from Brown

One of the left’s biggest apologists, Rod Oram, has penned an article which basically forgives and encourages Len to borrow and spend and particularly for his train set and then at the end of the articles we find Oram is on the payroll.

So he gets hired by the ratepayers and the coincidently uses his weekly column to write nice things about his paymaster.

Ratepayers should be asking what this guy is paid and Fairfax should never have accepted the column and asked him to write about something else, in fact Fairfax should get a proper business columnist who actually knows something about business.

The fight is on for the future of Auckland. The choice is: a healthy one driven by ambition, or a dysfunctional one dragged down by a penny-pinching mentality.

The issue has come starkly to a head with the deliberations over the council’s 10-year budget. The decisions the council will make over coming months, guided by public opinion, will set Auckland’s course for years to come.

So far the pessimists have dominated the debate with their wildly inaccurate and irresponsible claims that the council’s finances are shambolic. Only savage budget cuts can save it, they say.

To set the record straight:

The council runs a budget surplus on operating expenses. In 2012/13 it was $246m.

Rates provide only half the revenues for the council’s $3 billion annual budget. The rest come from a variety of sources.  Read more »

Cartoon of the Day

Credit:  SonovaMin

Credit: SonovaMin

ATEED staff lairing it up on your rates dollars

via the tipline

The photo below is of ATEED staff having a session at the ratepayers expense (CEO Brett O’Riley is in the background).

unnamed-1

ATEED Muppets give the finger to Auckland ratepayers who are milked $60 million a year to support their party

Like the mayor, these muppets have learned to have fun on the tab of the ratepayer.

Not sure it is a flash look drinking straight out of wine bottles. No wonder their budget is $60 million per annum, it is run by a bunch of tossers and the CEO just sits back and watches.

Auckland Council is out of control and needs to be reined in…hard.

Not much hope for ratepayers in Auckland when the CEO’s PA needs a PA

There sure isn’t much hope for the ratepayers of Auckland for savings led from the top when the Executive Assistant for the CEO feels the need to hire a personal assistant.

Take your career to the next level!

Are you looking for a role with variety, responsibility and a great corporate working environment?

This role supports a number of key areas within the Chief Executive’s Office at Auckland Council. This really is an exciting opportunity to provide efficient and high quality PA support to the Executive Assistant to Chief Executive and administrative support to Executive Officer. This position is responsible for providing appropriate support and, as required cover for the Executive Assistant to ensure that deliverables are met and that a high standard of customer service, quality and stakeholder relationships are maintained.

Your day will involve providing administrative support as and where required, this includes anything from managing correspondence, records management to diary management. This role is vital to ensuring that items are actioned, recorded and accurate.

I mean seriously…this is a p.a. role to another p.a. Astonishing.  Read more »

Does Len Brown have the stones to rein in Waterfront Auckland?

image001

This morning Len Brown’s former favourite journalist Bernard Orsman is running a story about how Auckland Council’s CCO Waterfront Auckland is suddenly running their Queens Wharf idea up the flag-pole.

Now considering Bernard’s Monday story about how the city budget has hit a crunch point, the times are tough message obviously hasn’t filtered down to the bloated office of the Waterfront Auckland CCO.

What better way for Len Brown’s team of spin doctors to draw attention away from the city’s financial mess under their Mayor, than to get people talking about Queens Wharf instead.

But there’s a slight problem with this.

Waterfront Auckland’s John Dalzell isn’t too forthcoming about how much will all of this will cost Auckland ratepayers?  Read more »