Len Brown

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 »

Want to know why your rates bill keeps increasing? Len Brown has let staff numbers explode

The disaster of the mayoralty of the rooting ratbag Mayor Len Brown shows how out of control Auckland Council is.

The wages bill at Auckland Council has topped $800 million and the number of fulltime staff has climbed to nearly 10,000.

The latest council figures show fulltime equivalent staff numbers have risen from 9678 to 9870 between the 2015 and 2016 financial years. This is a rise of 192 staff.

Salaries and wages have risen from $771 million to $803 million, although this includes $20 million of staff costs previously budgeted as operating costs.   Read more »

Guess who gets to take home the money for building Len Brown’s rail loop?

Australian-listed Downer EDI has won one of the first construction contracts for Auckland’s $2.5 billion City Rail Link.

Downer has joined forces with French specialist geotechnical and civil engineering company Soletanche Bachy to build part of the CRL.

The city rail link will have twin 3.4km tunnels up to 42 metres below the inner-city’s streets to create an underground line linking Britomart with the existing western line near Mt Eden.

Boring machines will be used to create the tunnels and new train stations will be built at Aotea Sq and Karangahape Rd.

It is estimated it will take five-and-a-half years to build the CRL, which has been divided into four work packages – a decision AT made after consulting with international rail constructors and experts.

I understand that we don’t necessarily have the experts lying around locally, but New Zealand companies can hire them. Why are we pushing all that money into overseas balance sheets?  Read more »

Len’s crazy rail loop set to cost billions more

 

congressional-train-wreck

Sometimes I can smell a dead rat from another universe.

Only last week I mentioned that the rumour mill was rich with talk that the CRL is now massively over budget and could be as high as $5 billion.

Then, following that, John Key also mentioned the same.

It has to be said that the rumours must be thick and strong when the PrimeMinister is saying the same.

Now a group of Auckland Councillors have stuck the knife in to ferret out information.

And, at the same time, AT have come out in defensive mode with talk that admits it but doesn’t. They’re scared and yet they know the truth is going to get out there.

Auckland councillors want the Auditor-General to investigate the -City Rail Link’s billion-dollar costs with the Government and Auckland Transport admitting the original $2.5 billion estimate is almost certain to change.   Read more »

Hide mocks National for just one more little tax

The Government now wants to charge us to drive during peak times. Our fault, apparently.

We are not spreading our road use through the day and the new charge is designed to make us do that.

Minister of Transport Simon Bridges says building more roads won’t solve the problem. That’s because we would just fill them up.

It’s hard, though – they are such a good way to get about.

The new rationing policy is called Variable Network Pricing (VNP). Its purpose is to price some of us off the road. Those who use the roads must pay for each kilometre driven.

Those priced off will have to stay at home, drive off-peak or use some other form of transport.

The VNP will need to be high to make it work. Read more »

Hookers with the pox are trusted more than Auckland Council

I can’t believe they needed a survey to find out that there are disgustingly low levels of trust in Auckland Council.

Aucklanders have low levels of trust and satisfaction in Auckland Council, a survey has found.

According to the council’s Citizens Insight Monitor, only 17 percent of 3015 respondents trusted the council to make the right decision and only 15 percent said they were satisfied with its performance.

View a summary of the survey – June 2016 (PDF, 747KB)

The survey showed views worsened the further out from the city centre a respondent lived.   Read more »

Size of Auckland Ratepayer Alliance shows depth of feelings against Auckland Council

Us New Zealanders aren’t easily moved off the couch.  It has to get to a point where we are really, really pissed off.   Here’s a sign that has happened.

The Ratepayers’ Alliance is now the most popular political group in Auckland, with more than 16,000 Aucklanders having signed up, as of today. The Alliance, which launched last year, has seen a membership surge since its recent leaflet campaign to 72,000 housholds in the North Shore and Albany Wards. The campaign exposed the additional waste charges for residents, and those Councillors responsible for voting in Len Brown’s 9.9% rates increases.

The group’s spokesperson, Jo Holmes, says:

“With membership passing the 16,000, the Ratepayers’ Alliance is now larger than the nationwide membership of the Labour Party and the National Party’s membership base here in Auckland. We have been overwhelmed with people who want yard signs, to deliver pamphlets and generally spread the word.” Read more »

Auckland Council hopes to save their jobs by signing off on 2.4% rates rise

The Auckland Councillors have voted in yet another rates increase.

They are hoping that with this smaller increase that people will forget their massive increases over the last six years.

Aucklanders will pay an average 2.4 percent more in rates next year.

Auckland Council’s annual plan means household rates will rise by 2.6 percent and business rates by 1.7 percent.

Much of today’s council debate centred on a management proposal to cash-up as much as two-thirds of a $330 million investment fund over the next two years, if needed.

Auckland Mayor Len Brown describes this year’s record low rate rise as a “steady as she goes” effort.   Read more »