More lies from Len

Len Brown really is earning his nickname of Lyin’ Len at the moment as he lurches from one shameless lie to another in his attempts to placate his donors.

Sir Noel [Robinson] said this commercial venture, with an entry fee of $35 for kayaking and $55 for rafting, is budgeted to run profitably.

He and Pacific Events Centre chief executive Richard Jeffery have close ties to Auckland Mayor Len Brown, who removed himself from the debate on the issue because of a conflict of interest. Mr Jeffery was a member of Mr Brown’s mayoral campaign team in 2010. Sir Noel is a close confidant of Mr Brown and told the Herald he had contributed financially to his election campaign.

It is interesting that the article says that Lyin’ Len removed himself from the debate, yet sat outside and had his staffers run messages backwards and forwards from the room. Word on the street is Sir Noel Robinson has told Len that unless this project happens he can forget about any cash for the campaign next year.

Now it turns out that his sop to his pals and donors, the White Elephant Water Rafting Centre was sold to councillors on the basis of lies and obfuscation:

Today’s revelation that neither Auckland Council’s own economic development unit nor Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) were asked to have input or to review last week’s proposal to support a $20m – $30m ratepayer investment into a whitewater rafting facility in Manukau, shows the poor process surrounding the project going from bad to worse, say Auckland councillor Cameron Brewer, who chaired today’s Economic Forum.

“At today’s forum some councillors were genuinely surprised to hear from representatives of ATEED and council’s own EDU that neither were involved in the Counties Manukau Pacific Trust and Regional Facilities Auckland’s proposal for proceeds of a council land sale to go into converting a South Auckland paddock into a whitewater rafting facility.”

Mr Brewer says that’s concerning given the controversial proposal narrowly got through last week largely off the back of all the economic development promises sold to councillors.

The report circulated to the 4 October 2012 Strategy & Finance Committee promised that the project would create 110 full-time equivalent jobs, attract 31% of its visitors from outside the Auckland region and New Zealand, act as a catalyst to attracting quality development within the surrounding area, and contribute an additional $7.4m annually to Manukau’s GDP.

“Now we learn that the compelling economic story that helped to successfully sell this project was never audited or even inputted by council’s own economic team or ATEED which employs 60 people in its economic development operations alone. That’s not good enough, particularly when you consider the proponent’s business case for this facility was completed in July last year. As councillors we need to be confident that what is promised can stand up to scrutiny and that should start with internal reviews of such big economic promises at the very least.

Reality seems to be catching up with Lyin’ Len Brown really very quickly.

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