Len cops one in the Chook

Cameron Brewer posts on Facebook:

Dick Quax has come out supporting Environment Minister Amy Adams’ statement today on the council’s pending Unitary Plan. She said the Government “rejected” the Mayor’s proposal that “sought removal of merit appeals to the Environment Court, meaning the decisions of the council panel on the council plan would have been largely final.”

Cr Quax and others of us on the centre-right support Ms Adam’s alternative proposal which she describes as a “comprehensive independent hearing process”. In his statement Cr Quax says he was worried “the process was being hijacked by the Mayor’s office to accommodate his vision of a compact urban form.” The Mayor and the planning department didn’t get their way today. Wellington spoke!

And Len copped one in the chook.

Today’s decision though is a kind of MMP-muddle, a compromise that will likely please no one.  But the biggest loser is Auckland Council, because it will be forced to put science and metrics in place to defend urban intensification.  When that happens it will be very hard to persuade the hearings panel to buy piled-high shoebox apartments along the rail corridor.

Len and Penny went to the government with a plan to avoid accountability and bypass a planner’s rulebox without any legal challenge.  They came close, but their conspiracy was exposed by angry residents and groups who flooded Amy Adams’ office and email inbox with angry letters and messages demanding the same legal rights as everyone else.  That message persuaded the Government to step back from a full embrace of Auckland Council’s seductive spin.

Now Len is in big trouble.  Borrow and hope, rate increases, budget blow-outs, local boards revolting, and a City Rail Loop that looks as distant today as it did in the days of Sir Dove Myer Robinson.  Gerry Brownlee has repeatedly rejected Len Brown’s pole dance, and so too has Amy Adams.  Now a proper process of accountability can begin.

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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.  And 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 that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

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