Len Brown

And Len brown wants more of this?

Well, Auckland’s dirty public transport secret is out.  It’s not safe on Auckland trains

Measures approved by Auckland Transport and confirmed by rail operator Transdev – after the latest two assaults on the weekend before Easter – include extending hours worked by Maori Wardens. That means their patrols on the southern line between Otahuhu and Papakura now run from 4pm each day until trains stop operating after 1am.

The police also say they are “assigning additional resources” to trains and stations as well as shopping centres over the school holidays, which began on Good Friday.

Counties Manukau prevention manager Inspector Richard Middleton said the police had met Transdev and KiwiRail to discuss setting up a working group to improve staff and passenger safety on trains.

The latest attacks left a Maori Warden with bruises and put a ticket inspector off work with undisclosed injuries after he was hit from behind at Papakura by an unseen assailant.

Although the company is vague about the number of violent incidents on the trains it runs under contract to Auckland Transport, the Rail and Maritime Transport Union says it knows of 12 since January.

Twelve assaults!  Public transport has never been this dangerous.   And the good news is, if Two Minute Len gets his way, he will create a huge train set for this sort of carry on.   Read more »

Drug abusing mayor offers free booze at election event

Toronto’s Mayor Rob Ford shares one thing with Auckland Mayor Len Brown:  A total lack of repentance.

Embattled Toronto Mayor Rob Ford acknowledged ”rocky moments over the past year” but vowed to fight harder than ever to win re-election at a rally he dubbed the official launch of his campaign.

Ford, who was the first to register as a candidate in January, invoked the spirit of second chances during a speech in front of supporters on Thursday. Ford is seeking re-election on October 27 despite acknowledging last year that he had smoked crack cocaine ”in a drunken stupor”.

Volunteers gave out one free drink to everyone at a hall in a Toronto suburb. There were lineups for Rob Ford bobble-head dolls that were being sold to raise money for the campaign. The mayor made his way through the crowd along a red carpet to the stage, led by bag-pipers and volunteers carrying campaign signs.

City council removed most of Ford’s powers after he admitted to having smoked crack.  ”There’s been some rocky moments over the past year. I have experienced how none of us can go through life without making mistakes,” Ford said.

You have to admire the balls of someone who is in the news for abusing drugs giving free alcohol to people in an election meeting.   This would be the same as Len Brown having an event where all the Asian professional girls are on offer for a bit of free little slap and tickle.   Read more »

The Len Brown Sux campaign

One Auckland rate payer hasn’t given up on Len just yet.  Two different Ground Crew members reported in over the week.  One from Western Springs, the other from Greenlane.

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Len Brown fails Auckland again

Nicholas Jones reports on the Auckland housing market

First-home buyers may be squeezed out but property prices in Auckland remain high as one agency reports record average sale prices.

March residential data from Harcourts for Auckland and Northland shows its average sales price now sits at a record high of $697,454.

That is up 12 per cent on the same time last year and 9 per cent on February’s figures.

But Harcourts chief executive Hayden Duncan said its figures showed overall demand was undented as “there are more buyers than there are houses”.

“The only way to slow prices in Auckland is the mass construction of new houses to meet the demand.

“While more construction is planned, we are a long way off achieving the numbers needed. Expect prices to continue to climb for some time yet.”

Instead of farting around with a million here and a million there by playing around with services like The Auckland Helicopter Trust and the Auckland Philharmonic, Len Brown’s focus should be on getting more houses sorted out for Auckland.   Read more »

Lenny No Mates takes the Train

People often ask me if Len Brown takes the train anymore.

Well, thanks to the WOBH Ground Crew, we can confirm that he does indeed take the train…at least he has this morning.

Hi Cam

I’m on the train right now and Len is sitting on his own. No one wants to talk to him or even have eye contact.

Sad!

Lennynomates

“Oh, I know, I’ll take the train, that will make me popular again”

Cartoon of the Day

brown's-hand

Credit: SonovaMin

Rodney Hide on Len’s dodgy gym

Yay! more council money on toys for me

Yay! more council money on toys for me

Rodney Hide explains why Len Brown’s personal council provided gym is dodgy, and calls on the gutless councillors to do something about it.

A council worker caught “borrowing” council gear for several years for his personal use would be sacked. I would also expect he would be charged. It’s called theft.

He would have a good excuse if his manager gave permission. But the problem then is legal authority. The gear doesn’t belong to his manager. It’s not hers to loan.

And so we have the disturbing case of Mayor Len Brown’s personal gym.

The Herald reports that within a month of Brown’s swearing-in as Auckland’s first Super-City Mayor, his chief of staff was on the scrounge for fitness gear.

I would expect his chief of staff to be advising Brown to buy his own gear. That’s what paid political advisers do: they stop politicians doing stupid things.

But no, Phil Wilson emails the council’s sport and recreation manager Ian Maxwell seeking used equipment from a council facility or a council supplier who could loan or sponsor it.

At least Wilson recognised the problem: “The sensitivity, though, is that we don’t want to be seen to be spending any public money on him.” But note that it’s not the spending that’s the problem: it’s the spending being seen. The concern is to keep it secret.

I would expect Maxwell to email Wilson back explaining he would love to help but that he can’t.

Instead Maxwell replies that he’s on to it.

Wilson emails, “the almighty will be very pleased“.

And so the council’s leisure services “loan” the mayor a new treadmill worth $3000 and a gym system costing $2198.   Read more »

Cartoon of the Day

personal-trainer

Credit: SonovaMin

HELICOPTER HATER UPDATE: Len Brown must stop all Auckland arts funding

Lyin Len Brown has been too busy this year whitewashing Ernst & Young reports and hiding from ratepayers to keep his eye on the books.  As a result, the Auckland Council faces another $16 million black hole which would push up rates by yet another 1%.

But this time Lyin Len is Lucky Len because not only is there an easy $14.3 million saving staring him in the face, it would be illegal for him not to take it.

Today, helicopter hater Vern Walsh fronts up to the Auckland Council to ask for $14.3 million for his dodgy Auckland Regional Amenities Funding Board to dish out, mainly for arts luvvies but also some remaining chump change for rescue services like the rescue helicopter and the coastguard.

My lawyer friend points out that it would be illegal for any of the $14.3 million to go to the arts festival, the orchestra, the theatre, the opera or any of the “amenities” except for the rescue helicopter.

That’s because section 21(1)(f) of the Auckland Regional Amenities Funding Act 2008 says Vern’s dodgy board can only fund an amenity if it “has made all reasonable endeavours to maximise its funding from other available funding sources”.

That means to get your hands on Vern’s ratepayer cash, you have to show you have done everything you reasonable can to raise money from the public, banks and other corporates.   Read more »

Mayor’s PR spin gets going in 2014 to protect incompetence

Auckland Council are pulling a big PR spin here because the Ministry for the Environment has sent in it’s muscle to sort out some problems for and on behalf of the minister for housing.

The Herald reports:

Whole new towns are taking shape within metropolitan Auckland after nearly a dozen years of planning and half a billion dollars of public spending to encourage developers.

Towns at Westgate Centre, Hobsonville Point, Flat Bush and the regeneration of New Lynn are “transformational projects” inherited by the Super City from the former city councils of Waitakere and Manukau, which chose the projects well before the November 2010 merger and had agreements with private-sector developers.

The councils believed it was within their role to foster economic development by setting up new town centres and community facilities to create encouraging conditions for landowners and developers.

The Special Housing Areas enabled under the Housing Accord are meant to fast track development. But legacy projects run by City Transformations are in the way and causing road blocks for Developments.   Read more »