Heart of the City and the Port

Alex Swny has got his tits in tangle about the Port.

He sees red according to paid banner ads in the Herald on line.


Someone has bought the Herald, and captured their journalists trying to make something out of nothing, and it has to be landlord’s lobby group “Heart of the City.

They are running a classic PR programme trying to stop something which wasn’t happening (A Council vote on the Port in the City Plan), and will then claim victory for stopping something that only happened in the Herald. Very Clever.

Heart of the City is a ratepayer and member funded “BID” (Business Improvement Direct) which receives target ratepayer funding from Auckland Council.

They are hardly an altruistic organisation, acting in the best interests of Aucklanders. 

That is not their mandate. Their job is to represent the wealthy landowners, and they have made no secret that they want the Port gone.

Why do they want it gone? So that they can develop the land of course, and build buildings around the harbour. There is no issue in people wanting to do this of course, but there is an issue when they are trying to hide their intentions behind the cloak of a concerned citizen.

Alex Swny really seeing red

Alex Swny really seeing red

Alex Swny has long been an opponent of Ports of Auckland, and once his “move the port elsewhere” campaign failed he appears to have started a new one, paying the Herald a lot of money to run half page ads, and online banner advertising.

The amount of money spent is probably somewhere between $15,000 and $25,000 on advertising, plus paying the PR agency who is running the campaign.

Someone has commissioned Pead PR to run this campaign. Their website contains testimonials which suggest that they are one of the best PR agencies in New Zealand. People of this ability don’t come cheap. The best guess is probably around $15,000 for the work done to date, plus the costs of increasing the Facebook “Likes” on the “timetoseered” page. They went from nothing to 2000 in a very short (overnight almost) period. Would it be strange if the increase in numbers came during the sleeping hours of Aucklanders, but while “Like Sellers” were awake?

That means that Heart of the City may have spent up to $40,000. No one spends that amount without some kind of return in mind.

The way the Herald has been captured by this suggests that a very competent campaigner has captured their thoughts, and then enriched their advertising budget.

How long ago was it that the Herald accused bloggers of being paid?

This takes that level of hypocrisy to a whole new level, but it is not unexpected really is it?

It must be Heart of the City, bringing you buildings rather than trade.


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  • conwaycaptain

    Close down POAL and there goes $1 Billion+ of economic activity. Even more when companies, distributors etc move out and take their staff with them.
    PLUS the money not going into the City Council coffers and therefore rate rises to make up the shortfall.
    How many Lattes would the NIMBYs have to drink to make up for this??

    • Hazards001

      Add to that the port is the distribution hub for the rest of Auckland and in some cases NZ. Move that hub to somewhere else and the associated costs move with it. In particular the added cost of freight. At approx $3.80 per km to move one container shifting the port North is going to have a massive flow on affect in costs. No prizes for guessing who Heart of The City will be on charging those to along with every other retailer in Auckland that imports it’s wares?

      • conwaycaptain

        3.80 per box/km and 250,000+ moving through Akl??? Say 150km per box if handled at Whangerei/Tauranga do the sums!!

        • Hazards001

          From Auck CBD to Whangarei is aprrox 158km so $3.80 (freight) x 250.000 (container movements) x 158 (approx additional Km added by shifting port) =$150 million dollars to be added to the costs of living in Auckland. Awesome!

  • David Broome

    This is a fantastic campaign, which has the support of those outside of Auckland. While they are at it, that airport in Mangere creates noise pollution all over Auckland too. It needs to go. I can think of several centres who would be keen to pick up Auckland’s slack (and the jobs which go wi them).

    • Whanga_Cynic

      and solve the housing “crisis” at a stroke – good job!!!

  • NotLen

    I think you will find that the Heart of the City represents retailers and business owners. The Property Council represents building owners and developers.

  • LionKing

    Hasn’t that loser Sweeney tried at least 10 times to be elected to Auckland Council? But never mind, according to the Herald today he’s happily living in a $3.8m house in Herne Bay… lots of harbour views over the port area… whoops wrong direction.

    • I think Swny is pronounced Swiney

      • Pointless

        I think it’s pronounced “nob”.

  • cows4me

    The POAL needs to be bulldozed, the rest of the country will be very grateful, thank you.