Rudman finds his funny bone, slaughters some sacred cows

It is not often I agree with Brian Rudman…about twice in the last year.

However his article about mowing of berms is hilarious.

One-time Rodney dairy farmer Penny Webster got us into this berm-cutting mess as chair of Auckland Council’s strategy and finance committee. What’s her way out? Trucking a herd of cows into town?

Indeed, as Mrs Webster is a one-time Act MP and Auckland Federated Farmers president, perhaps the entrepreneurial possibility of grazing the urban “long-acre” was her masterplan all along. Not only was there lush grass going begging, but there were spin-off advantages.

Anyone who’s tripped around India knows the traffic-calming effects of randomly wandering cows on city streets. Once drivers realised a half-tonne of meandering beast could be lurking behind every parked car, hooning down Ponsonby Rd would rapidly become a thing of the past.

If urban New Delhi can accommodate – and milk – a herd of 40,000 cows, why not Auckland?

With a cow or two on every street, Mrs Webster could also rethink Auckland Council’s grandiose – and expensive – green recycling plans. Instead of wasting millions of dollars on manufacturing, distributing and then regularly collecting 440,000 new greenwaste recycling bins, how much more planet-friendly to feed our food scraps to friendly Doris or Matilda at the front gate. 

You think that is funny…Brian segues perfectly from satire to anger.

The byproducts? No problems. Dried cow pats make ideal barbecue fuel. Just slap them on the sunny side of the house and let them dry.

Daft? Well, no dafter than a bunch of ex-suburban politicians from Mayor Len Brown down slashing a service that Auckland City ratepayers had previously paid for collectively.

Mrs Webster pumped out a press release this week sneering that “the rest of the region has always got on with it and mowed their own berms because local people have taken pride in their local community”. What she conveniently ignores is that residents of the old Auckland City had equal pride in their local community. They just preferred to pay for services such as berm mowing through their rates.

We also expressed our pride in our city by funding a major art gallery, a public library service, a regional performing arts centre and many other facilities, all with little or no help from the citizens of Rodney or the other fringe areas now part of the Super City.

Mrs Webster and her fellow outlanders have inherited these fabulous regional facilities, all built at no cost to them. Instead of lecturing us on civic pride, they should be thanking the ratepayers of the old city. But instead of thanks, they squeeze the stone for more.

He is dead right…all those things that the citizens of the super city enjoy are mostly in the old Auckland City.

Len Brown never delivered anything except free swimming pools for his city… oh and the vision of a mayor slapping his face, most of the good things in the old Manukau boundaries were created firstly by Lloyd Elsmore and then by Barry Curtis…proper mayors like Robbie was.


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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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