Len Brown

Why doesn’t the council consider reducing costs instead of stiffing ratepayers harder?

Len Brown is now trying to make your parking charges higher…all in a bid to a) raise more revenue for him to spend and b) force people onto his crappy trains that don’t go anywhere useful.

It is just shameful revenue gathering. If you live on the North Shore or in East Auckland then public transport just isn’t an option for you and driving is faster despite traffic.

Now Brown and his rapacious army of tax collectors are wanting to charge you even more for parking…to “encourage” you to use public transport services that just aren’t there.

Auckland Council is suggesting a comprehensive shake up for parking in central city and outlying town centres, which could mean higher costs to park your car and fewer places you can.

In releasing a discussion paper today, council agency Auckland Transport says parking is a tool to make the transport network more efficient and there is a need to balance the needs of all road users.

Complaints to the agency showed Auckland’s present parking policies were not work well and were causing conflicts for businesses, residents and commuters over limited spaces, particularly in the city fringe.

Extending central city parking scheme to other main regional centres, by which time limits are removed but motorists will pay incrementally more after the first hour for on-street parking and are offered cheaper off-street parking as an alternative. The goal is 85% per cent occupancy of street parking spaces     Read more »

Len Brown’s contribution to affordable homes…increased connection charges for water

Council services just keep on rising under Len Brown’s ‘leadership’. The latest rise is for water charges up another 2.4% under this spendthrift mayor.

It will now cost $12,075 to connect the water up to a new home! Auckland City’s contribution to ‘affordable homes’.

Bernard Orsman reports:

Auckland households will pay 2.4 per cent more for water and wastewater charges from July.

Watercare Services has announced the price of water will increase from $1.343 to $1.375 per 1000 litres of water, and wastewater charges will rise from $2.281 per 1000 litres to $2.336.

The fixed charge will rise 2.6 per cent from $190 per year to $195.

[…]     Read more »

It’s not compulsory…yet

 The NZ Herald has an article and Auckland Council buying up properties in the path of Len Brown’s rail track.

They focus on some whiners who don’t think they got enough.

Properties worth $35 million have been bought to secure the route for Auckland’s proposed $2.86 billion City Rail Link.

Although it would not list them, Auckland Transport told the Herald it had bought 27 of 73 above-ground properties it needs to create entranceways to proposed underground stations and train lines along the 3.4km route from Britomart to Mt Eden. It also needs land for its major construction yard at Eden Terrace.

The Auckland Council-owned authority said the most expensive property it had bought was an empty site near Mt Eden Prison for just over $6 million.

It was bought “as an advance agreement with the final amount to be determined by the Land Valuation Tribunal”.

What is interesting is that the process is stated in the last paragraph – it’s not a compulsory acquisition.  Read more »

Len Brown’s reckless ideas expenditure plan

Len Brown wants to cut $2.8b from capital expenditure to find the funds to build his train set.

What that means is that he wants to rob the capital expenditure kitty.

The result is quite simple – roads, storm water, sewer, parks, libraries and other important infrastructure will have their budgets slashed.

Bernard Orsman reports:

Planning is under way to slash $2.8 billion of new spending at Auckland Council to control soaring debt and rates while pushing ahead with the $2.86 billion City Rail Link.

The fiscal shake-up will come at a cost to core council services, such as new libraries, swimming pools and playing fields, which face being pushed back or canned altogether.

An early start to electrification of rail to Pukekohe now appears highly unlikely and bus and ferry improvements could take a back seat to the rail link.

The Herald has obtained a copy of a confidential briefing by council officers to councillors, which outlines four scenarios for next year’s 10-year budget review.

The first two are based on updating the first 10-year budget and the second two are based on locking in rates at 3.5 per cent and 2.5 per cent over the next decade by cutting capital spending by $2 billion and $2.8 billion   respectively.

Read more »

I bet Len Brown feels lucky he isn’t a mayor in France

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A tiny French village has been rocked by the news that its recently elected mayor has been castrated and killed by a jealous love rival who accused him of having an affair with his wife.

Well, who can blame a man for getting upset when the mayor is showing his wife the ins and outs of local government.

The barbaric killing of Dominque Leboucher, 55, has been greeted with horror in the small Normandy village of Bretteville-le-Rabet, 10 miles south of Caen.

Mr Leboucher’s mutilated body was found lying in a pool of blood at his home close to the town hall, where he had been based since being elected mayor in March this year.

Isn’t Len Brown lucky that Luigi Wewege wasn’t that jealous over Bevan Chuang being used as a Ngati Whatua meeting table polishing cloth?

Mr Leboucher is said to have been having an affair with the wife of another villager, who got hold of a knife and attacked the mayor at his home.

The murderer then ran into a nearby field and committed suicide, a source close to the criminal enquiry said.

Mr Leboucher first worked in insurance sales before becoming a councillor in 2001.

He took up the post of deputy mayor of Bretteville-le-Rabet in 2008, and was became mayor himself in municipal elections in March.

His election slogan had been: ‘For a happy village to live in, where everybody feels good.’

Just like Len.

He’s here to ‘serve’ all of us.

One thing you do have to admire him for:  you wouldn’t find Len doing any Asian bashing.

English tells Auckland Council to get on with it

You should know when you are not performing when the Finance Minister states it publicly.

Bill English has told media that a despite notifying tranche land for special housing areas – the Council is lacking substantially consenting developments on them.

Hardly a surprise.

Efforts to address Auckland’s chronic housing shortage by building thousands of homes in special housing areas could be hindered by a lack of tradesmen, the industry says.

The comments come as the Government accuses Auckland Council of being too slow to issue consents to get construction under way.

Special housing areas catering for a projected 39,000 future homes are being established in Auckland in a bid to boost supply and curb price inflation, but Finance Minister Bill English said they still hinged on consents.

The Government wanted to see the council follow through on the special housing area announcements and process the required consents to allow construction to start.

“They’ve had pretty positive leadership in this area, but I think they’re yet to show the kind of urgency about really changing how they do business,” English said.

“Their decisions have an impact on the whole economy. They have an impact on thousands of households, so they need to understand that impact and get on with the job.”

Read more »

Does the Mayor need to disclose relationships he has with property developers?

Two weeks ago Mayor Brown stood at the Akipiro St, Eden Terrace development site of Mark Todd and announced the Tranche 3 Special Housing Areas.

The developer intends building a small 25 unit apartment block with a design competition to be run by the NZIA. All very noble and perhaps a quality building to come.

Today a press release from the NZIA (PDF 189K)states the competition details.

Interestingly the panel of judges includes Jacques Victor from Mayor Brown’s own office.   Read more »

The pay rise has gone to his head

Is Len Brown serious or now proving he is a looney?

The NZ Herald reports:

Seaplanes, America’s Cup yacht charters and the Auckland Harbour Bridge SkyPath are among forecast visitor experiences tipped to help lift Auckland’s annual tourism income.

Mayor Len Brown said the city’s visitor economy was booming and plans were in place to expand from a $4.8 billion-a-year industry in 2012 to $7.2 billion in 2021 – a rise of 50 per cent.

Auckland’s previous 10-year visitor plan, released by Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (Ateed) in 2011, was to grow the visitor economy from $3.3 billion in 2010 to $6 billion annually in 2021.

The plan is being revisited. The increase would be achieved by increasing international tourism from $2.46 billion in 2012 to $4.23 billion in 2021 and domestic tourism from $2.37 billion in 2012 to $3 billion in 2021, Mr Brown said.   Read more »

Are you as pleased about Len’s pay rise as I am?

via Yahoo! Len Brown celebrating the start of the Year of the Whores

via Yahoo! Len Brown celebrating the start of the Year of the Whores

Len Brown has scored a payrise, as has every councillor in the latest deliberations from the Remuneration Authority.

Auckland Mayor Len Brown will be paid $259,500 from July after the Remuneration Authority approved a 3.4 per cent pay rise well above the rate of inflation and the average wage increase in New Zealand.

The authority, which oversees public sector pay rates, has recommended a 3.4 per cent pay rise for Mr Brown, Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse and the chairs of the major committees. The other 16 councillors will receive a 3.3 per cent pay rise, taking their salaries from $98,672 to $101,900.

The $101,900 salary is embarrassing for Orakei councillor Cameron Brewer, who has criticised a sharp increase in the number of council staff earning fat salaries of more than $100,000.

Last October, Mr Brewer said a 256 jump in staff earning more than $100,000 in 12 months “will go down like a cup of cold sick among our stretched suburban ratepayers”.    Read more »

Bill English gives Brown and Dalziel a tickle up

New Zealand’s two largest cities are being run by Labour cronies.  Both have a severe problem planning, managing and providing solutions for housing crisis.  Marta Steeman explains

Finance Minister Bill English pointed the finger at Christchurch and Auckland city councils for their part in the country’s high interest rates and dollar.

English said at the post-Budget gathering of about 100 Christchurch businesspeople that a sharp rise in immigration caused by fewer Kiwis leaving for Australia would place strain on the housing market.

Councils needed to respond pretty quickly by granting consents for more houses, faster, so housing prices didn’t soar.

Councils needed to understand how their decisions had broad impact on the economy and the Government was working “intensively” with them on that.

“Some of the decisions that the Christchurch City Council could have made in the aftermath of the earthquake are driving down returns for export businesses in Invercargill, because anything that pushes house-price growth up keeps the structure of interest rates and exchange rates higher than they otherwise would be,” English said.

Instead of fiddling with train sets and trying to get more money out of the rate and tax payers to create one, the Auckland council has only one major objective:  provide housing for people that come to live here.

Not doing so will drag the whole of New Zealand down with it.  Even people in Dannevirk will be paying too much for their mortgage because Len Brown and his council aren’t making housing their number one priority.   Read more »