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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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.