Left wing splinters in Auckland with naked power grab

Labour - It's going to get worse

The commentators may say that the left wing controls the new Auckland Council but it appears that they can’t help control themselves.

This blogger has learned this morning that a situation is developing that is splintering the leftwing on the new Auckland Council.

In a situation reminiscent of the old Hubbard/Hucker battle, Mike Lee, Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse and Sandra Coney are leading a push for Auckland to stop using independent commisssioners for resource consent hearings and instead replace them with councillors.

It appears that there are two main reasons behind this push. Firstly money. For the same reason that Len Brown wanted 55 committees the looney left aren’t happy with their remuneration, they wish to pick the pockets of the ratepayers unfettered. Clearly this is a motivator for the push to dump independent commissioners and replace them with councillors. That way they can farm more money out of the council ratepayers from their daily rate. They can do this because resource consent hearing remuneration is from a different, and uncapped by legislation, pool of funds.

Councillors already have constituencies larger than any electorate MP and yet the looney left, led by Lee, Hulse and Coney are trying to foist this upon Mayor Len Brown….so they can pick the pockets of ratepayers even harder.

The second motivator is power. The first 13 days of Len Brown’s mayoralty have been nothing but back-dons and back-flips behind the doors of the town hall. It is my understanding that when pushed, really pushed on a position, Len Brown, in a desperate attempt to be the Mayor for “All” of Auckland caves. hardened politicians like Mike Lee have seen this and they now see this as a weakness. This is exactly the situation that faced Hubbard when he had to stare down Bruce Hucker. It fractured the left and we are now seeing a repeat as Mike Lee now attempts a power grab in the Auckland Council.

It is also my understanding that Len Brown is trying to resist this push, along with senior council executives, but Lee, Hulse and Coney and a big enough cabal of plotters from the West and South are painting Len Brown into a corner. Len Brown, for once doing something sensible, wants to keep the independent commissioners, fearing, rightly that to dump them would hugely politicise a process that is about protecting the environment rather than petty party politics. If Lee and the other plotters are successful they will have achieved two goals. Firstly neutering the Mayor and secondly ideology will trump progress.

Len Brown is finding out now the price of silence and support from the left. It is treachery and division. Where the right has divisions it is at the ballot box and on the husting, the left always appear to be best of mates until they get behind closed doors and then the knives come out.

Make no mistake that a council made up of ex-mayors and deputy mayors, plus the old head of the ARC is going to be messy, and the mess has only taken 13 days to come to the surface.

Len Brown was warned about Penny Hulse, but he ignored that advice and now he is paying the same price that Dick Hubbard paid in having a Deputy with pretensions as to their importance. Egged on by Mike Lee this is only going to get worse….where have we heard this before…oh that’s right…from Labour.

Trust the leftwing to work out the largest pockets to pick. The irony of this battle though is that Len Brown is quietly going around telling councillors that he is trying to get more committee work and meetings for them all so they can increase their pay. Adding on the work of independent resource consent commissioners is one way, but venal troughing like this will not serve the region well.


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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.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

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