Standing up for what you believe in

Daniel Newman is the local board chair in Manurewa, and he has run into problems with the Auckland City Council trying to reef money away from his board?s budget to fund dumb stuff. So he has taken a stand. Here is some of what he has said.

2. The Manurewa Local Board is given an assurance that all budget lines have been mapped correctly, although several are now engaged in butt-covering due to “mistakes” in mapping budgets between the regional body and the local boards. Local Boards are told that their budgets will not be touched, that the funding envelopes will be honoured.

3. Auckland Council cuts $1.75m out of the Manurewa Local Board budget to fund the Botanic Festival and Southside Gig, two events that Manurewa said were not necessary and unaffordable given the budget situation.

4. Manurewa goes and readjusts its (reduced) budget in order to balance. Cuts such as a reduction in operating funding for the Nathan Homestead Arts Centre are proposed. Auckland Council officers go wobbly at the knees but the Board stands firm on the basis that building community and sporting infrastructure for poor children in south Auckland must take precedent. I declare my intention to stand full-square behind its cost-cutting measures, and invited the Mayor to join me.

That will piss off the pinkos like Len Brown and Brian Rudman. Refined arts always take precedent over uncouth sports in the eyes of local government, maybe because so many people in local government are utter spastics and would have always been the last kid selected in pick up games at lunch time.

So the council tell Daniel that they have things sorted as long as he trusts them.

6. The Chief Executive of Auckland Council phones me at 11:27am on Saturday, 23 June to request that I withdraw my deputation on the basis that ?? we want Thursday to be a celebration? and that ?? we can fix up your board?s budgetary problem during next year?s annual plan round?.

Anyway, hopefully the poor of South Auckland won?t be sacrificing their sports grounds to fund Brian Rudman’s theatre because Daniel has told the council to stick it.

It is quite apparent that Auckland Council?s leadership would like this unsightly stand-off to go away so they can get on with the ?celebration?. That won?t be happening. Next stop will be a complaint to the Ombudsman. A petition to Parliament requesting an inquiry into Auckland Council?s handling of its local board budget negotiation is also in order.

Having watched Daniel in action when he was a Manukau City Councillor, Len Brown would be well advised not to piss him off too much as he has a reputation for standing his ground and causing pinkos a lot of problems.