Big projects on back burner, but not Len’s canoe centre

Auckland Council has decided to stop spending any money on maintaining basic infrastructure to save money for Len’s pet project. This is bad news for everyone.

This comes in the wake of the Auditor-General’s report that Len Brown is quickly redacting before submitting it to Council on Thursday.

This is the most basic of functions for a council. Capital works are already paid for by residents over extensive periods of time thanks to depreciation included in our rates.

So what does Auckland Council do?

Defer capital works in a bid to save money for Len’s pet train set.

Only last month the auditor general issued a dire warning about the condition of infrastructure around New Zealand in which she says much of it will fail unless local government gets its act together and focussed on core assets.

She also issued a warning to Len that any attempt to start the train set without funding is irresponsible.

Aucklander’s should be calling for the government to do something before the city falls to bits. Local government minister Paula Bennett needs to issue a letter and publicly redress Auckland Council for the choices it is making – clearly instructing them to focus on the core services as a priority.

That’s what Councils are supposed to do. Keep the roads, sewer, potable water, stormwater and parks in tip top shape through careful management. Not ignore them to build a project it can’t afford.

Speaking of which, a lot of projects may well be on the back burner but one project is steadily moving ahead and that is the expensive white elephant canoe centre in Manukau.

The diggers and trucks are shifting tonnes of dirt at the moment.

Why is that project going ahead when other more important infrastructure projects are being shelved in favour of Len’s train set?

If this isn’t stopped, the rot will result in Auckland becoming a broken down wreck the the government will have to pay to fix.

And we all know how that will go?


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  • WestieBob

    This on top of the 11 free pools in south Auckland compared to 1 free pool in west Auckland. Len’s deputy from the west is a disgrace.

    • Kevin

      Bread and circuses. Gotta keep the brown vote happy some how.

      • jcpry

        The pools have been free as long as I can remember including the lengthy tenure of Sir Barry Curtis. This was always covered in the rates and fully costed.
        Other areas got their berms mown others got free pools. Perhaps you should have had better administration in the past and you could have enjoyed better services that were harder to remove. Personally I would have swapped free pools for lawn mowing any day of the week.

        • WestieBob

          Don;t get berms , rubbish, water or sewage so looks like I am subsidising south Auckland to me.

          • jcpry

            We have paid for rubbish, water and sewage for years. Mowed our own verges for ever. Got free swimming pools though. We have also paid higher rates in our area for years and ended up paying above what we should because we were subsidising other areas. Try gain Westie.

    • hifuncblonde

      Meanwhile Rodney, which comprises 46% of the geographical area of Auckland Council, does not have a pool at all. So this white-water canoeing facility which is for top Olympic and Commonwealth Games competitors to train in, is of more benefit to Aucklanders than a facility for all ages and abilities?

  • Albert Root

    Beijing Olympic canoeing venue in 2012.

    • Tiberius

      And China has many more potential users!!

  • LabTested

    Who has the construction contract for the Canoe center? What’s the bet they were one of Len’s secret donors.

  • Brian of Mt Wellington

    I wonder if the Te Papa museum annex is also still going ahead down Sth Auck. Len keeping his supporters happy or appeased

  • Mrs_R

    I can’t believe Aucklanders aren’t being more vocal of the poor decision making and mismanagement of funds by their council. I watched a news item not that long ago whereby the Auckland City Council was trying to convince the public that it actually was safer for them to walk through an unlit popular park at night than a well lit one. Utter rubbish. Ask any person who has the intention of remaining safe whether they would walk in the light or in the darkness where god knows what lurks. The council conveniently came up with this idea that it was safer so that they can save money on light bulb replacement and the cost of running the lights. I bet street lights will be the next thing to go. It would seem Len is determined to bring you all over to the dark side with him.

    • Old Man, Torbay.

      The North Shore is vocal enough, the apathy seems to lie further south.

      • andrew carrot

        I think you mean “east”

  • Bruce Rayner

    I don’t understand all this constant stuff about Auckland Council over spending,Len browns pet toys etc yet all you guys seem to do is moan and groan and then eventually expect the real NZ to go and pick up the tab when you run outa money.
    Hey isn’t it time you put your size 12 steel caps on and started kicking some buts??
    Geez you got 1/3 NZ population so surely there are some people amongst you with a brain and spome guts.

    • sheppy

      The question is how? There is no recall legislation and Len and his council aren’t accountable to anyone until the next election when National will sit on their hands again whilst the unions chuck money at the left wing candidate.
      As it stands there are organisations like the character coalition and Auckland 2040 working hard right now at hearing panels trying to stop the unitary plan turning Auckland into an overcrowded congested slum. They are handicapped by tight timescales, and well funded vested interests.
      The wrecking of Auckland is well under way…

      • Bruce Rayner

        I understand where you are coming from but is plenty you can do if get organised. People power for starters, get a strong ratepayers association under way and get stuck in, if wont listen use your chequebook and hold back rate payments, hold local public meetings and insist mayor and your region councillors attend and spell out what ratepayers expect/ demand , public demo,s etc.
        Taranaki has had a few, Hawera hospital was one, 4000 people demo’d & won, just last Monday New Plymouth mayor taken to task, had to arrange a much bigger venue and even that was chocker.
        Remember councils are appointed servants to the ratepayers, not other way around!!

  • Balls

    Wait a minute. Isn’t Len related to Ian Ferguson who will be managing the park and has a vested interest in kayaking. Also, from memory the Tamaki brothers were associated with this in the early days. Also from memory the Sydney Olympic venue cost $6m and lost money as a commercial venture. This is set to cost $60m.

  • Nebman

    I still reckon Lyin Lennie is counting on his pet project reaching the “too big to fail” stage and effectively forcing the government to fund it when the ratepayers cash runs out. He can then put his hand on heart and blame them for not supporting it earlier.

  • Sir Brucey

    Why not organize meetings locally and put pressure on your local councilor They need your votes to get reelected and usually cant rely on big vested interests to finance them. You only have to convince half of them to vote against Lens plans

    • what ajoke

      If the Council member they vote against Len Brown he will blackmail them and will say Are you with Me ? or else I sack you the reason will be cut down expenditure ( so if council member are Clean ( Len Brown ) will make sure in future they will be on the same wagon
      unless the Government steps in L .B will start so many projects that before his term runs out Auckland will be Bankrupt
      Sack the Lunatic Now Now