It is Local Body elections this year so let's have a look at Manuaku

Manukau City is one of the largest cities in New Zealand. It is largely polynesian in mix and based in South Auckland.

Barry Curtis has run Manukau as his persoanl fiefdom for some time and would have been tipped out had the Conservative vote not split.

There are very good reasons why the Manukau City Council is largely disfunctional but most of the reasons stem from namby=pamby pet projects of the erstwhile Mayor and his lackeys.

A case in point is this little stoush that has opened the New Year.

Three councillors have objected, quite rightly too, to Mayor Sir Barry Curtis committing ratepayer resources to efforts to rebuild Tonga’s capital. The trio, councillors Jami-Lee Ross (Howick), Dick Quax (Botany) and Bob Wichman (Papatoetoe), have told the Times they’re worried Sir Barry has taken the decision alone, before the full council has debated the idea.

The sensible Cr Ross from Howick points out that Manukau is sending a Town Planner to help in Tonga when the council’s own annual report for 2005/6, which states “only” 50 per cent of resource consents and 60 per cent of building consents had been processed inside regulatory deadlines.

Uhmmm…."outside regulatory deadlines" is womble speak for breaking the law.

Lord Mayor, His Majesty, El Jefe Sir Barry Curtis has typically responded with piffle completely missing the point that he committing council resources that are already streched to the limit and pursuing foreign policy and assistance when that is clearly the domain of the government not some tin-pot little lord in a city in New Zealand.

Councillor Ross has also called into question the Lord Mayor’s silly justification with his own press release.

Democracy in Manukau?, not while Sir Barry is Mayor.

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.