A Chamber board member writes about AECT


There is much scrambling occurring behind the scenes after Michelle Boag’s little plan to raid the AECT consolidated fund and hand the cash to Len Brown was rumbled.

A humber of people named are now backing away from the plan, and some feel they have been mis-represented by their attendance at Kim ‘The Clown’ Campbell’s little meeting the other day.

Clearly people are frustrated at the Boagan’s old school whispering campaign and it looks and sounds like the Chamber is running a million miles away from her nationalisation/theft scheme.

One Chamber of Commerce board member writes:

Dear Cameron,

I have long been a reader of your blog, and appreciate that you have a desire to put the truth out in front of your readers.

I also understand that you suspect the motives of some people, and use your blog to raise these issues into the sunlight.

I know that you accept that you don’t always get it right, and have, in the past, been happy to acknowledge this, and apologise accordingly.

Your recent attack on Michael Barnett and the Chamber of Commerce is one of those errors.

I am not a neutral bystander in this, and write as someone who chose to be a Director of the Auckland Chamber of Commerce. This choice was made through years of watching the way the Chamber, and Michael work.

The Chamber is the rational voice of business within Auckland. An organisation which works to make sure that the physical and political landscape is shaped to serve the interests of Auckland, by ensuring that the business environment is the best it can be.

This is not an easy task, and for many years the Chamber has worked away to ensure that business has a rational and respected voice.

Michael has been a voice promoting initially the need for significant transport projects in Auckland, and then promoting the debate on where the funding will come from. Auckland faces a dramatic shortfall in funding for transport projects whether or not the Central Rail Link is built.

Government has accepted the Central Rail Link case, and has said that it will provide funding when certain conditions are met, and after a certain date if they are not.

The debate that needs to happen is for Auckland City to determine where it will source its funding, and how it will achieve that.

The only way for this to happen fairly is to bring all of the options on to the table, and work out which ones are available for use.

The Auckland Energy Consumer Trust is simply one of those options. Once brought to the table it can be parked again, because it is not available for use until the trust is dissolved in my personal view. I will be dead when that occurs in the later part of this century. It does need to be part of the debate so that its place can be publicly reported and recorded.

Michael Barnett and The Chamber of Commerce defended the AECT in the High Court, and won, when Politicians tried to take it away previously. Michael, and the Chamber, would be there again if anyone else tried to do so. He was then, and is now, a champion for the AECT.

That does not mean that the debate should not happen. It should. But the AECT should rightly be then taken back off the table to continue in the role that it was intended. The sale of other assets needs also to be part of that debate. The ownership of assets like the Ports of Auckland, Auckland International Airport and Water care as examples also need to be part of that debate.

Your piece is simply not accurate.

Michael was part of the team which saved the Auckland Santa Parade. Without his efforts then it would not be here today. That is simply Michael and The Chamber doing their part of Auckland. No kudos are required, but understanding that the parade exists because of the efforts of those you attacked is necessary.

The Equal Opportunities Trust promotes the need for equality, and the Chamber puts its member’s money where its mouth is by training and helping a wide range of people into jobs and into a productive area of the community. The Chamber runs a number of programs which have changed the lives of the participants and made Auckland a better place as a result.

I have never heard Michael discuss Alex Swney as a friend.

The recent Herald speculation about potential Mayoral candidates for the next election was just speculation. Michael has not put his hand up. If he did choose to do so however he would make an outstanding candidate, and the Chamber would lose an exceptional CEO.

Perhaps the Chamber doesn’t publicise its efforts in a way that brings its notice to the wider community, so that many, including yourself, are not aware of the contribution it makes. That level of publicity takes money and resource, and that is better placed in doing the job rather than publicising a then diminished effort.

I believe that in your desire to attack one person you have done considerable collateral damage to a person and an organisation who should not be associated with your campaign.

In many cases you have brought items to public notice that need “disinfectant”.

If you were correct I would not be able to serve as a Director.

In this case you are simply wrong.

In this case I am happy to sit on the Board of the Auckland Chamber of Commerce, and support our CEO Michael Barnett in providing business leadership to Auckland.


Chris Carr.

So it seems there is no appetite from within the Chamber of Commerce to see a naked grab for the cash of the AECT occur…in face it certainly looks like they oppose such a move.

The Boagan’s little club of elves seems to have developed a case of the vapours.

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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.