Len Brown

A reader analyses Len’s crazy tolls idea

tolls

Hi guys

I thought I’d ‘run the numbers’ (and a very quick calculation, nothing exciting) regarding the proposed Auckland toll.

Now, for the time being, I won’t point out the lack of actual authority here. I have a far simpler question: is this actually value for money?

Forgetting the multi-cost option, the basic proposal is for a $2 toll per trip (regardless of distance).   Read more »

Len’s coming for your wallet again, this time it’s tolls

Len Brown just can’t help himself.

He is addicted to spending other people’s money and is looking for ways to further dip into your pockets.

Aucklanders could pay a motorway toll of about $2 under a congestion-busting plan being unveiled by Mayor Len Brown today.

The mayor is set to announce details for tolling existing state highways to plug a $12 billion-plus transport funding gap over the next 30 years.

A motorway user charge of about $2 is believed to be one of two options prepared by an independent alternative transport funding group.

The second option is a mix of higher rates and a regional fuel tax.

Both options are capable of raising about $300 million a year to fully deliver a $30 billion roading and public transport building programme over the next 30 years.

Read more »

Good point John, but those whingers don’t vote for ya

The people who whinge about affordable housing and the fact they can’t afford to buy their million dollar house are probably not National voters.

John Key has given some sound but unpalatable advice for these whingers who have been brought up thinking the world owes them a living, or at the very least a million dollar house next to where their parents lived so they can dump the grand kids every time they want to go out to the swanky restaurants that infest their neighbourhood.

First home buyers in Auckland might have to consider an apartment in order to get onto the property ladder, Prime Minister John Key says.

His comments follow the release of new CVs for Auckland, which have soared since 2011, particularly in city-fringe suburbs.

There are fears the mostly higher CVs could lead to rates increases well in excess of the 3.7 per cent planned for homeowners by Mayor Len Brown next year.

The latest figures show CVs across the city have risen an average of 34 per cent since 2011, and in Hobsonville a whopping 65 per cent.

Mr Key told TVNZ’s Breakfast show today the valuations reflected what had been happening in Auckland over the past three years.   Read more »

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Get ready for massive rates increases

Rates increases are on the cards for Auckland residents.

Len Brown has said that they won’t be more than the rate of inflation, but the Council will undoubtedly use the recent valuations to further ratchet up the rates in coming years…massively.

Council valuations of Auckland homes have jumped by almost a third on average, new figures reveal.

Auckland Council will tomorrow release new valuations for more than 220 suburbs across the region for three-yearly review of CVs.

The figures will show properties in 10 areas have had an increase to their valuation of 50 per cent or more over the past 12 months; including Hobsonville which has jumped by a massive 65 per cent.

Just four areas have recorded reductions in their CVs; Manukau Heads, Kawau Island, Great Barrier Island and Rakino Island.

The new valuations will apply from next year and have an impact on rates for 2015.

Read more »

Something to go to today since the weather is rubbish

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Could be an interesting meeting this weekend for Aucklanders concerned about the council’s racist Unitary Plan, and trashing of property rights.

Remember when Shane Jones called a stupid digging instrument for corrupt extraction of RMA ransom payments a spade earlier this year.

Of course Labour did not pick up his mere when he left, because it did not fit with the identity politics that was all they had left. Bob Jones seems to have been the next public figure to risk tackling this issue (link). He reminded everyone that thousands of properties were newly vulnerable to iwi discovery of taniwha or other spirits and cultural needs that might need placating with koha.

A group called Democracy Action have called a public meeting in opposition to the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan.

The Plan kowtows to iwi elite and forces the rest of us to pay in cultural impact assessment fees, and lip service to so called spiritual and cultural values (taniwha) just to do things like replacing a window or putting in a pool.  Read more »

Dear Len…you suck, Regards Local Boards

Yay! more council money on toys for me

Yay! A letter from the local boards

This is an impressive achievement from Len Brown.

Not only did he manage to alienate the majority of voters with his extra-curricular activities, but now he has managed to sufficiently annoy ALL 21 local boards to the point where they have written him a Dear Len letter, which basically says he sucks as mayor.

All of Auckland’s 21 local boards have signed a stinging letter rebuking Mayor Len Brown over his leadership.

Matters have come to a head for local boards who feel “stifled” and “ignored” by Auckland Council, the letter says.

Under the mayor’s proposed Long Term Plan, boards have been expected to significantly cut operating budgets while community projects go on hold.

The letter pulls Brown up for not living up to his promises trumpeted in previous speeches while largely delivering “cuts in funding for local priorities”.

In one 2010 address, according to the letter, Brown said he presented “a vision of an inclusive and united Auckland … A city proud of local communities … and their place as part of a metropolitan powerhouse”.

He continued in the speech: “For our … communities to flourish, we will provide them with the parks and pools to be active, the libraries to learn, and the theatres and galleries to foster the creative talents of our artists and performers.”

Local board policies to foster Brown’s vision have for “the most part [been] ignored”, the 21 board chairs said.     Read more »

Woodburner police for Auckland?

It looks increasingly like Len Brown’s army of brown shirts with clipboards is about to get bigger, this time with the creation of the Woodburner Police.

The Environment Ministry has fixed its death stare on Auckland and a ban on domestic open fireplaces and old wood burners affecting 85,000 homes looms.

A report in the New Zealand Herald yesterday, or should I say a press release from the Auckland Council reproduced in the Herald, breathlessly asserts that 75 per cent of Auckland’s winter air pollution is due to fine particle emissions (PM10) from open fires and non- compliant wood burners.

Noting that motor vehicles account for 18 per cent of pollution, and industry 7 per cent, “the burning of coal and wood during winter raised the level of PM10 inhaled and lodged in lungs, and that 110 adults died prematurely every year due to emissions from indoor fires.

Hang on, did it say “110 adults died prematurely every year due to emissions from indoor fires”?

I checked this out last year by sending in a request to the Minister of Health under the Official Information Act seeking all advice received on PM10 from fires and woodburners along with full details of the numbers of respiratory illness deaths resulting from PM10.

The reply was that the Health Ministry cannot identify whether a death was caused by exposure to PM10. There is no evidence of any death whatsoever resulting from PM10 in New Zealand at any time.   Read more »

A whole club sandwich of wrongness, made up of many delectable layers of stupid

Len Brown is pushing through a ratepayer subsidised cycleway across the harbour bridge. There is no way his proposal will ever pay for itself and he is pandering to about 5 cyclists on the North Shore.

But whatever happens there don’t let him see this proposal from London, for a cycleway on the Thames.

The odds were tough, but we did it: London has just come up with what must be the silliest cycling infrastructure idea in the world. Put together by a motley group called the River Cycleway Consortium, London is fielding a new proposal for a new central cycle path that will stretch eight miles and cost £600 million ($965 million) to construct. Quite a lot for a pair of bike lanes, isn’t it? Ah, but these are not ordinary paths. These babies would float. On the River Thames.

The answer to London’s cycling problems, the consortium argues, is a bobbing pontoon strung along the Southern side of London’s river. This aquatic cycleway would stretch from Battersea, just west of Central London, to the newish business district to its east at Canary Wharf, protected by what appear to be waist-high walls. Given the construction cost of over $65,000 per yard of path, using the cycleway wouldn’t be free. Cyclists would need to pay a £1.50 ($2.40) toll before entering.

And then perhaps the best sledge of all time:

The proposal isn’t just wrong. It’s a whole club sandwich of wrongness, made up of many delectable layers of stupid.

Read more »

A reader’s email about housing in Auckland

Yesterday we posted about housing prices and who was to blame for the situation, especially in Auckland.

It prompted this email from a  reader:


Dear Cam

Re: Minimum wage, how about a minimum house price

This whole discussion about housing in Auckland aggravates me because it’s not just the RMA, or the availability of land that is ramping up the price of existing homes and discouraging development. It’s more the power of the mafia council and its ability to squeeze every last drop out of homebuilders that is the big issue.

The ‘new streamlined’ Auckland Council is actually more of a bureaucracy with a capital ‘B’ than its composites, irrespective of the duplication of tasks. It’s a heaving, monolithic, Stalinist leviathan, long since irrelevant in the post-colonial era but with the statutory authority to dictate what use you may put your land to and to gouge you for the privilege.

Try just getting their consent to build a house. We did in 2012, on 3200 square metres of bush in Titirangi, Auckland. We selfishly thought we might (gasp) construct a home for our family there but the thought that someone might purchase a section for such a nefarious purpose was obviously something the West Auckland chapter of the Auckland Council Mafia was prepared for.

We were barely owners of the property for a day before the council weed-fascist was onto us. We had a ginger infestation that needed taking care of immediately or we’d be put in stocks and/or executed. We did the environmentally-friendly thing and approached the Waitakere Weedfree Trust. The guy there sold us a plastic tub and told us to dig out the ginger and put the bulbs in it to rot. A day later, and barely one percent of the ginger removed, I hit the local hardware store and bought the most toxic weedkiller I could find. Six months later, it was all still alive and the council guy was threatening court action.

In the interim, we hired an architect and got him planning our dream home. He prepared a resource consent submission, which we took to lodge at the Henderson office. The architect had warned me that there may now be a charge for the pre-lodgement meeting. What he’d heard anecdotally, and no one since has been able to verify this for me to a legal standard, is that since the formation of the ‘Super City’, whichever ex-composite council charged the most for any particular service was now the going rate for all. What was once free in Waitakere now cost $200.

First shock. A development levy would apply upon the successful lodgement of our consent. Approximately $10,000. I pointed out that our property was within an enclave of seven properties, six of which had been built on many years ago, but not ours. All utilities were already on site: water, power, phone, storm-water and sewage. Nothing needed to be provided, we merely needed to tap in to the pre-existing infrastructure which we had paid for as part of the purchase price. No matter. The levy was for other things, added pressure on the local libraries and such. I thought about saying I had a Kindle but doubted that would have gone down well.   Read more »

Face of the day + Perverse Poetry competition

Mayor Len Brown

Mayor Len Brown

 

First, the press release announcing the scheme came out only a fortnight before the application deadline. As the winning proposal has to be about living in Auckland that didn’t give applicants much time to think up a suitable, fit-for-purpose idea.

Second, Mayor Len Brown says: “Let’s write about our place with passion and love.” Why the fervour? Is the funding from the council’s marketing budget? Or is the (as yet unselected) panel to ignore the mayor’s pronouncements when judging the proposals for his grant?

And here’s the kicker: the grant winner will be notified in December but will not get the $12,000 until the work is written (they have until next June). Presumably, until then, they live off their credit cards or write only in rare moments snatched between jobs.

It’s unclear who gets to decide if the writer’s results are a “tangible work” in the end, and worthy of payment (no minimum word count is stipulated). Is overt civic passion necessary? Baxter would have had trouble; he compared Auckland with the back-end of an elephant “surrounded with blue-black haemorrhoids“. No wonder he never got paid. Where’s the crowd-funding project for perverse poetry? I’d contribute.

– NZ Herald

As Mayor Len Brown has come up with a Mayoral writing grant I feel inspired to suggest a Perverse Poetry competition about Auckland.

I am sure Whaleoilers can come up with some poems or even limericks to describe how we feel about Auckland under Pants Down Brown.

Definition of: Perverse

Standard Definition
[adj] marked by immorality; deviating from what is considered right or proper or good; “depraved criminals”; “a perverted sense of loyalty”; “the reprobate conduct of a gambling aristocrat”
[adj] resistant to guidance or discipline; “Mary Mary quite contrary”; “an obstinate child with a violent temper”; “a perverse mood”; “wayward behavior”
[adj] marked by a disposition to oppose and contradict; “took perverse satisfaction in foiling her plans”
Synonyms
contrary, corrupt, depraved, disobedient, immoral, negative, obstinate, perverted, reprobate, wayward

-poetrysoupdotcom

 

Here is my contribution :

Affair with Council employee

Unacceptable behaviour

Censure of Auckland Mayor

Kleenex tissues

Len Brown

Adventures of a sexual nature

Ngati Whatua room

Doesn’t resign