Sharon Stewart

Up-zoning causing uproar in suburbia

Auckland Council’s knee jerk decision to up-zone more of Auckland for intensive housing has riled Howick locals and Local Councillors Dick Quax and Sharon Stewart are also peeved off. They weren’t part of the decision process and so they have good reason for spitting tacks.

The possibility that Howick village could in time be hemmed in along its northern side by three-storey residential buildings is expected to create widespread anger, according to Howick Ward councillors, Dick Quax and Sharon Stewart who have taken no part in the plan change. Maps of up-zoning decisions made behind closed doors by Auckland Council’s Unitary Plan Committee have been released in confidence to the councillors, but were leaked last week to the New Zealand Herald newspaper. Neither Mr Quax nor Mrs Stewart are members of the committee. Mr Quax says widespread changes are being made with no community consultation and without any submissions asking for those changes. According to the leaked report the Howick village change involves up-zoning the northern end of Ridge Road from the corner of Bleakhouse Road and around Howick Village to Sale Street.

Changing from ‘mixed housing suburban’ to ‘mixed housing urban’ gives potential for the development of buildings 10 metres high (plus one metre for a portion of the roof) – or three storeys.

Under mixed housing urban, developments would require resource consent, could be declined and could be notified. Mr Quax says the important fact is that some sight lines will be lost, although he acknowledges that under the PAUP (proposed Auckland Unitary Plan) the council is obliged to protect view shafts, such as that around Crawford Reserve. He and Mrs Stewart are also angry at another proposed change in the leaked report which involves up-zoning both sides of Pakuranga Road, from the Pakuranga Plaza to Aviemore Drive from ‘mixed housing urban’ to ‘terrace house and apartment building’ (THAB). The change has been made on the strength of just one submission, Mr Quax says and no consultation.   Read more »

And they think that is going to save them? [UPDATED]

Some Auckland councillors think that abstaining from a vote means they didn’t make one and can’t be blamed for the consequences.

That’s so dumb its incomprehensible.

It’s like saying the dog ate one’s homework.

Not voting – abstaining – is still supporting the Mayor. It just comes with a bit of posturing. The result will still be a win for the Mayor’s budget.

And being scared by Stephen Town into believing that there will be dire financial consequences?

That’s even dumber.

Several Auckland councillors are expected to abstain from a budget vote this week to avoid plunging the Super City into a financial crisis.

Mayor Len Brown looks set to pass his new 10-year, $60 billion budget with less than half the votes of his council at Thursday’s governing body meeting.

He will get there after councillors were told the consequences of not passing the budget by chief executive Stephen Town and chief finance officer Sue Tindall over lunch last Thursday.

Councillors attending the lunch said the consequences were dire.   Read more »

The 15 councillors that need voting out after imposing a poll tax on Auckland

Yesterday 15 councillors and unelected Maori representatives, including Len Brown voted to increase Aucklanders rates by 9.9% despite promises from Len Brown to limit rates rises to just 2.5%.

These are the 15 who need rinsing at next year’s local body elections. They are dead to citizens of Auckland. Useless. A waste of space. If only we had recall legislation.

Mayor Len Brown, deputy mayor Penny Hulse, Penny Webster, Arthur Anae, Cathy Casey, Bill Cashmore, Linda Cooper, Chris Darby, Alf Filipaina, Chris Fletcher, Mike Lee, Calum Penrose, Wayne Walker and Maori Statutory Board members David Taipari and Glen Wilcox voted for the increase.

These people need to be voted out.

They are completely out of touch with the feelings of the ratepayers. Those ratepayers need to ensure they are never in the position to rape our pockets again.

Those who votes against should be rewarded.

Cameron Brewer, Ross Clow, Denise Krum, Dick Quax, Sharon Stewart, John Watson and George Wood voted against the rises.

Read more »

Face of the day

Len Brown gives his new hidden ensuite and er dressing room complete with couch a two thumbs up.

Len Brown  -Photo Stuff

The Herald On Sunday has a headline wondering what secrets are concealed in Len Brown’s flash new office in the brand new private bathroom and dressing room hidden behind a bookcase.
I am sure he has nothing to hide and it is just a bathroom and a dressing room to save him going home to change for an evening function. However I know you all are wondering what the dressing room in particular might look like and also why it would need a couch?
To satisfy your curiosity I have searched my imagination for a few possibilities that I have included below.

Read more »

Len Brown breaks yet another promise, ratchets rates ever higher

Len Brown has become the lying Mayor.

Another of his election promises has gone by the wayside as his council keeps on increasing rates rather than reining in spending.

Auckland Council’s budget committee has voted 16-7 for a proposal to increase rates by 3.5 per cent for each year of a new 10-year budget.

The proposal got the backing of Mayor Len Brown, who promised voters to hold rates at 2.5 per cent this term.

This is on top of the massive rates rises of the last 3 years, some way more than 10% but capped under now expired legislation. Remember too that this is average rates rises of 3.5%, there will be some with even higher rates rises.

These are the tax, spend and hope councillors.

For a 3.5 per cent increase: Len Brown, Penny Webster, Arthur Anae, Cathy Casey, Bill Cashmore, Ross Clow, Linda Cooper, Chris Darby, Alf Filipaina, Penny Hulse, Mike Lee, Calum Penrose, John Walker, Wayne Walker and Maori Statutory Board members David Taipari and John Tamihere.

Read more »

Len Brown has more front than Dolly Parton

Len Brown really has no shame. Here he is at the Howick Military Tattoo…an event he was asked not to attend.

More front than Dolly Parton: Len Brown brings his wife as a human shield.

More front than Dolly Parton: Len Brown brings his wife as a human shield and plays pocket billiards in front of her

I don’t know what is worse…Len Brown ignoring requests from organisers or bringing his missus to act as his human shield so he doesn’t get any push back from constituents afraid of upsetting the missus.

Well, I’m afraid that won’t work. This is clearly part of the plan concocted by the ratepayer funded spin doctors keen on keeping their jobs. Unfortunately now, though, Len Brown has made his wife a player in the political game. The Herald reports:

Auckland Mayoress Shan Inglis yesterday accompanied her husband Len Brown to the Howick Military Tattoo – an event from which the mayor had been told to stay away for fear he would attract protesters.

The couple spent about an hour strolling around Lloyd Elsmore Park, talking to Celts, Norsemen, military groups, members of the public and listening to a brass brand well away from the formal stage.   Read more »

Howick ward councillor Sharon Stewart has a spine

Finally, someone with the canon balls to make a public stand against Mayor Len Brown.  Howick ward councillor Sharon Stewart has told Len to stay away from the Howick Militairy Tattoo.

Brown’s response?

Meh, he’s coming anyway.

Embattled Auckland Mayor Len Brown has been told to stay away from a community military event this weekend for fear he will attract protesters and take the shine off the promotion.

It follows booing when the mayor opened the NRL Auckland Nines at Eden Park on Saturday and comes ahead of a planned march up Queen St calling on him to stand down.

The terse reaction following him at many public appearances seems to be a response to last year’s revelations of Mr Brown’s affair with council adviser Bevan Chuang, hotel stays and censure by councillors.

When will Brown allow it to sink in past his political thick skin?  He’s lost the respect of his family, his council and  most of the public.    Read more »

Editorials on Len Brown

NZ Herald editorial:

Those hoping for public accountability over Mr Brown’s repayment should not hold their breaths. Afterwards, talking to reporters, he revealed that this part of the censure would remain confidential. The commitment to accountability will go only so far.

Still being sneaky and furtive. They can’t have confidentiality anyway…ever heard of the LGOIMA?

The Royal Commission on Auckland Governance emphasised the need for a strong and independent mayor. It said: “Auckland needs an inspirational leader, inclusive in approach and decisive in action. Auckland needs a person who is able to articulate and deliver on a shared vision, and who can speak for the region, and deliver regional priorities decisively.”

Yesterday’s peculiar accord makes that ever less likely. Auckland has a mayor who is politically reined in, reputationally damaged and personally unlikely to regain residents’ respect. It also has a mayor who must, one day soon, realise his diminished mana cannot allow him to speak for all in the region. At one level, a right-wing councillor, Sharon Stewart, reveals Mr Brown’s reputation so troubled schools and churches in her community they found it hard to have him present awards. At another, left-wing commentator Chris Trotter doubts Mr Brown’s ability to be taken seriously in Wellington.

The mayor’s failure to acknowledge the reality of his position was starkly apparent when, offered a “right of reply” to the councillors’ decisions yesterday afternoon, he offered a few perfunctory thoughts that came across as insufficient and offhand. The contrition that even his council supporters desired remained out of reach.

The manner in which Mr Brown has brazened it out with the council and the people this week shows he doesn’t, really, get that his tide has gone out. The city needs a new leader.  Read more »

Brewer, Quax and Stewart already elected

The nominations for local body elections have now closed and three councillors have already been confirmed, essentially elected due to the lack of opposition.

They are Sharon Stewart and Dick Quax in Howick Ward and Cameron Brewer in Orakei. All are top performers in their wards, working tirelessly for the local community, the lack of opposition would seem to confirm this.

Congratulations.

It is perplexing to see the left wing not try to stand against them, or anyone else for that matter. Though given the lack of resources they it is probably smart to concentrate those in areas at the margins, like in Maungakiekie-Tamaki where the tired old warhorse and rifler of desk drawers Richard Northey will face a battle from the much younger and energetic Denise Krum.  Read more »

These Auckland Muppets should be voted out

These are the muppets who voted for Cathy Casey’s motion for Auckland Council to reject a free convention centre. They do not deserve any support and should be booted from the council including George Wood.

THE MOTION

“The governing body does not support the Government’s proposal for SkyCity to develop a convention centre in return for changes in our gambling legislation to increase gambling at the SkyCity casino.”

FOR

Cathy Casey, Sandra Coney, Alf Filipaina, Michael Goudie, Ann Hartley, Penny Hulse, Mike Lee, Richard Northey, Wayne Walker, George Wood

All of them need to go.  Read more »