Len Brown

Come hell or high water, Len Brown’s coming for more money

He’s amazingly stubborn our Len. ¬†He’s come up with a new way not to make rates go up. ¬†Invent a new one

Aucklanders could pay a new charge on top of rates to fund transport projects.

A “targeted rate” is one option being considered by an independent group looking at alternative funding measures to plug a $12 billion-plus transport funding gap over the next 30 years.

Evaluating road tolls and fuel-tax rises and traditional funding methods such as rate rises and targeted rates is the job of the group due to report to the council next month.

The Herald understands that the independent alternative transport funding group is leaning towards motorway tolls. It will also provide options for targeted rates and extra rates rises.

On Wednesday, Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee reiterated the Government’s pre-election position that there would be no regional fuel taxes or tolling of existing state highways in Auckland.

Auckland Council cannot introduce motorway tolls or a regional fuel tax without government approval.

Len needs $12 billion. ¬†And he’s coming to get it come hell or high water. ¬†Thank goodness he can’t introduce transport related taxes / levies / rates without government approval, otherwise you wouldn’t need an iPredict stock to tell you what would happen. ¬† Read more »

Dirty Len Brown drives a dirtier car while imploring us all to take trains

Len Brown, well known for his dirty rooting is now int eh gun for his dirty car after launching a campaign for us to be clean and green and continuing to push his train-set.

Auckland Mayor Len Brown has opted for a less fuel efficient official car, just weeks after launching a new strategy to cut the city’s greenhouse gas emissions, it has been reported.

A new Holden Commodore has been delivered to Mr Brown for use as the official mayoral car — his third Holden in seven years, with a carbon footprint more than 70 per cent bigger than some of the alternatives, Radio New Zealand reported.

The Holden Calais V-Series V6 has a carbon footprint 50 per cent bigger than a Skoda Superb and 73 per cent bigger than a Toyota Hybrid Camry, the broadcaster said, and comes just over a month after Mr Brown launched the Low Carbon Auckland Action Plan, which aims to reduce the city’s greenhouse gas emissions by 40 per cent by 2040.

Part of the plan encourages the use of more fuel-efficient vehicles.

Mr Brown told Radio New Zealand it was the only suitable option for his needs.

Read more »

Auckland mayor ups your rates, plans world tour

Matthew Teunnisen has this story

Auckland Mayor Len Brown has set himself a globe-trotting agenda for the coming year with planned visits to Taiwan, Japan, China, the United States and Australia.

The mayor’s proposed “outbound programme” includes a one-week trip to Taiwan, Japan and China accompanied by a delegation to “leverage specific opportunities” and to sign an agreement with the mayors of Guangzhou and Los Angeles.

Brown also plans to attend the World Cities Mayors Forum in New York, a summit in Los Angeles, and potentially make trade missions to Los Angeles and San Francisco.

He has also proposed attending the Asia Pacific Cities Summit and Mayors Forum in Brisbane to investigate an Auckland bid to host the summit.

Hand up if you think this is 1) blatant 2) troughing 3) taking the pee? ¬† The man has no shame. ¬† Read more »

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Another poll with Nats over 50%, but media says they are failing

The latest Fairfax/Ipsos poll shows National with over 50% of the vote despite the best efforts of Nicky Hager, Kim Dotcom and the hacker, in league with their bought media activists, to manipulate an election result.

While National is still riding high at 50.8 per cent, the poll shows it taking a 4.3 per cent hit after the release of Nicky Hager’s book Dirty Politics linking Key’s office to political attacks by Right-wing blogger Cameron Slater.

Uhm…no it shows the previous poll was probably a rogue with National too high and this one is more in line with others.

National would still be in pole position to form the next government but the party’s strategists will be alarmed that it has shed support in the opening weeks of the campaign.

National’s nightmare scenario is seeing its support slide to 45 per cent or below, which could see it tossed out of office, depending on which minor party holds the balance of power.

The rise of NZ First leader Winston Peters could see him as kingmaker, with today’s poll putting his party on 4 per cent. Peters, who is 70 next year, has the odds in his favour of crossing the 5 per cent threshold for winning seats in Parliament.

The poll follows a chaotic start to the campaign after Hager’s bombshell allegations that a senior staffer in Key’s office was a conduit to Slater’s WhaleOil blog, infamous for publishing salacious details of Auckland Mayor Len Brown’s extra-marital affair.

Read more »

Len Brown announces big cuts to services and a decade of rates rises

You have to wonder if it isn’t just easier to curl up in a corner and give up. ¬†The man is so determined to have his train set, he’s slashing and burning the budget to find money for it. ¬†And, he’s focused on getting the rest out of Auckland rater payers’ pockets by increasing the rates year upon year.

Auckland’s rates are set to rise 2.5 per cent this year and 2.5 per cent the following year, before eight straight years of 3.5 per cent rate increases, the council’s draft budget shows.

Mayor Len Brown handed down a proposal of the council’s long-term plan this morning.

It outlined $16.6 billion in new investment and a plan to cap rate rises between 2.5 per cent and 3.5 per cent.

Brown said the three things he was focused on were keeping rates low, managing debt and fixing public transport.

“This budget is all about transportation,” he told a media briefing.

“Its about building and funding a fully integrated transport system.”

One of the losers of the budget was the area of parks, community and lifestyle, which would see a 9 per cent funding reduction.

It’s all about one train set. ¬† His reputation is completely destroyed as it is. ¬†He’s running out of time. ¬†(He’s praying for a Green/Labour goverment). ¬† And all he can do is hold on for dear life to his legacy project. ¬†A train set that will service only 27 business areas for less than 20% of Auckland’s working population. ¬†And that is¬†if they can be persuaded to use the train.

Read more »

…the project is not at a point where he can comment

That’s quite a nice way to say “go away” to the media. ¬† Lauren Priestly reports

State tenants slamming a $1.5 million sculpture proposed for Queens Wharf say it’s ironic and offensive.

The artwork designed by Michael Parekowhai is a model of a state house with a $700,000 hand-blown Venetian glass chandelier inside.

It’s two-thirds of the size of a state house and early design images leaked to media are drawing serious criticism.

Leading the charge are state house tenants under threat of eviction as Housing New Zealand sells off some of its stock. The extravagant work was commissioned after a $1 m donation from Barfoot & Thompson in 2013. A further $500,000 is needed from Auckland Council to make up the shortfall.

Westmere state tenant and artist Gael Baldock said the sculpture is in “very bad taste”.

The cost of the chandelier alone could help build two new state houses, she said.

“With the amount of homeless we have, particularly in Auckland now, the whole thing is insulting.”

Glen Innes state tenant Sue Henry said the idea is appalling.

The Housing New Zealand Northern Glen Innes redevelopment project is in full-force in her suburb, moving 156 tenants and families out in the process.

“It’s almost like a trophy for developers and real estate agents that they’ve got rid of the state houses, that’s the way I see it.”

Councillor Mike Lee says the sculpture is not in keeping with the maritime elements and history of Queens Wharf.

He said the council should scrap the project or move it elsewhere.

It would actually be more sensible to build a real house, don’t you think? ¬† Move it? ¬†Not in keeping with maritime elements?

This from the Auckland Council that has money for opera, arts, but not the Rescue Helicopter Trust.

It makes me sick to the stomach to think these people have totally forgotten this money has been slaved over by the rate payers, and in their care to diligently spend it on our behalf.

Nooooo, it’s the wrong¬†location for a pretend state house with a $700,000 hand-blown Venetian chandelier.

Do these people even listen to themselves? ¬† Read more »

Len Brown continues to pour ratepayer cash down the dunny

It appears there are no limits to the incredible waste from Len Brown’s out of council.

Plans to install a state house as a piece of art on Auckland’s waterfront have been called a waste of money, offensive and plain stupid.

The Herald yesterday revealed a black and white image of what the $1.5 million sculpture on Queens Wharf will look like.

The newspaper received huge feedback about the article, with most people unhappy about the state house sculpture.

Many felt it was a waste of money and were particularly unimpressed about the idea of a state house being dubbed art.

“Passengers who’ve spent thousands on their cruises won’t want to see the inside of a state house and the people of Auckland certainly won’t want their rates money spent on this,” emailed Heather Buckley.

“Surely there are far more worthy things that our money could be spent on.” ¬†¬† Read more »

Mike Lee slags off crap development and Brown’s fingers become more sticky

Mike Lee – long time consolidated city advocate – has hit out at the winning entry for Len Brown’s developer mate Mark Todd.

Mr Todd has chosen a design from an initial competition but Mike Lee says it’s not what should be built.

Whilst it’s somewhat contradictory of Lee, the fact is – even he is unimpressed. More ticky tacky units by the railway.

But that’s not all. Whilst Lee is bagging the development as another eyesore news to WOBH says that Mr Todd has also garnered himself criticism for obtaining consent for a development proposal on Khyber Pass that breaks a number of provisions set by the Special Housing Areas.

Locals are upset that the first consent under the SHA process should have been notified – at least to immediate neighbours due to its height yet Mr Todd was able to do what other developers can’t and sneak one passed the goalie. ¬†¬† Read more »

Laciviously Loose Loser Len Liberally Leeches Lucre

Wayne Thompson has the story on Len Brown’s latest brain wave to penny pinch us to misery in the “most livable city in the world”

Making a dollar entertaining and trading in streets and parks is about to involve more red tape and expense, with Auckland Council proposing to tighten controls on use of public space.

Ten different sets of rules left over from the region’s former councils are being replaced with uniform bylaws aimed to bring all areas into line – for activities ranging from hiring out surf boards to handing out fruit juice samples.

Handing out promotional material and goods would need to be approved by the council, after it has vetted written content for offensive language. Fees are yet to be fixed.

But hardest hit will be Manukau and Papakura mobile traders, such as coffee cart operators, who are facing annual fees for the first time to use roadside spots.

You get the feeling Auckland Council is having brain storms on how to extract more money from the rate payers. ¬†Not long ago, they wanted permits for spreading ashes, then they’re going to install parking meters in parts of Auckland where there are no parking problems, and now this. Read more »

More favours for Len’s mates

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Hobo housing?

Len Brown’s favourite property developer mate Mark Todd is still receiving beneficial favours with the Mayor providing space for him to display competitive entries for an apartment building design competition.

Len loves Mark because Mark is openly extolling the benefits of a compact city and the two are as thick as thieves.

The developer who is new to the Auckland scene has been spending time schmoozing politicians and council officers during the Auckland Unitary Plan process and has developed beneficial relationships. WOBH pointed out recently that one of the judges for the apartment design competition was none other than Jacques Victor who is a member of Len’s Mayoral office. ¬† Read more »