Carole King

Random Questions

Cycle lanes
Why has the Auckland City Council sprayed silly green cycle areas at the front of intersections?

Its not like cyclists stop at lights, is it?

How can you lean on a car at the lights if all the cars are behind you?

Doesn’t this encourage skittle like behaviour?

How many cyclists are there anyway?

How much has this silliness cost?


Space Wasted

Who says councils are boring. Check out this message from the Auckland City Council.

$1m for a triangle

City of Sails gets $1m new look – a triangleA secret project to dump the sails and volcano from Auckland City Council's logo for a wavy blue triangle has cost ratepayers about $1 million, according to a senior council source.
Gone is the City of Sails, represented by two…
[Auckland News]

More waste has been uncovered from the previous council. A new logo for the city at $1,000,000. The project was kept secret until after the local body elections and no wonder because it would have ensured the complete and utter destruction of the previous profligate council under Hubbard. That they were destroyed anyway is a moot point.

This secret project just shows how spendthrift the previous council were and we are well rid of them.?

Political Interference to muzzle free speech in Auckland City


There are some sinister actions going on in Auckland City Council. These actions are a very disturbing development in the ongoing campaign by councillor Glenda Fryer and her City Vision ticket to suppress free speech with their billboard banning proposals and an eerie fore-warning of what may come with the passing of the Electoral Finance Bill.

These photos are of a billboard and a mobile billboard that has been erected on a site on busy Dominion Road. It implores people to NOT vote for Glenda Fryer and the CutyVision ticket and calls them the "fun police". Note that it is impossible to discern the owner or the tenant of the building as you drive past this sign.

So what?, you say.

Well I received these photos anonymously, but from a mail server at Auckland City Council. I also was given information that if true shows that sinister forces are at play within the council.

Apparently the organisation that resides in the building that the sign is on is in receipt of funding from the Auckland City Council and apparently officers of the Council have contacted that organisation to request the sign be removed from the site or their funding could well be curtailed in the coming year.

Quite apart from the fact that the advertising company leases that space from the owner of the building this has very sinister implications that political pressure is being brought to bear within the council to use council officers to intimidate organisations to remove messages on or about premises that are contrary to someone elses view of the world.

It is frightening to think this is happening in Auckland let alone New Zealand and should be sending shivers up the spine of all Kiwi's that this is an indication of the future we face under the draconian Electoral Finance Bill.

The owners of the billboard space are clear in the picture, so I rang Gordon Frykberg at Oggi Billboards to ascertain if the rumours that I had received had any basis in fact. Gordon confirmed to me that discussions have taken place with Council Officers, his client, who owns the building and his client who paid for the sign. He believes that pressure is being unduly applied within council and says that this is clearly an attack on Freedom of Speech and all his client is trying to do is exercise his democratic rights to say who NOT to vote for.

It could also be construed as an attack on Freedom of Association.

I think there are serious concerns raised by my anonymous emailer, and after speaking with Gordon Frykberg serious neferious activities occuring within Auckland City Council and from their political masters.

Glenda Fryer and CityVision need to come clean on this issue and fast. There is no place for this sort of politically motivated control over Free Speech. It should be ringing alarm bells for any person supporting Free Speech and it should ring alarm bells for all of us that this is what we may see next year if the Electoral Finance Bill is passed.

There is more to this story and as it comes to hand I will post it.


Hubbard defiant on Metrowater

Hubbard defiant on MetrowaterA damning report accusing the Auckland City Council of misleading the public over its water policy has drawn denials from Mayor Dick Hubbard and chief executive David Rankin.
The council's description of price rises from its water…
[Auckland News]

The Dick has just committed political suicide. He is metaphorically standing there flipping the bird at the highest court in the land who has found that his Council mislead the public over its water policy. I think deceive is a much better word.

[quote]The report drew an angry response from Mr Hubbard, who said it was full
of errors and believed its release on the eve of local body voting
papers going out was politically motivated.[/quote]

Yeah, you are probaly right, even Labour and the Greens who backed you initially seem to have decided you are a right plonker when it comes to mis-managing running a city.?


Newsflash – Herald proved wrong by a blogger

Alright folks, here's the evidence, straight from the Auckland CEO himself that C&R were sticking up for Auckland Ratepayers.

As mentioned earlier , C&R Councillors Armstrong and Millar did NOT vote for the Metrowater price hikes. As the email below from David Rankin (Auckland City CEO) proves, Armstrong and Millar in fact tried to force the whole issue back onto the full Auckland City Council of 20 politicians to take a full vote on the massive water hikes, not just those who sit on the Finance and Corporate Business Committee. Had it been forced back onto the full council, panicked City Vision politicians may have backed down over their massive spending plans, and finally agree with C&R proposals to seek efficiencies and reduce council spending, thus not requiring either a rates increase or water price increase.

Let's remember folks – C&R have been pushing for core council activity from the opposition benches for the last two years. In revenge, one of the City Visioners leaked false minutes of the meeting to the Herald.

You heard it here first……..

David Rankin's email follows now:


From: Russell, Nicki On Behalf Of Rankin, David

Sent: Friday, 25 May 2007 16:35

To: '[email protected]'

Cc: Cr Armstrong, Douglas; Cr Millar, Toni



Regarding your specific questions to assist the Herald in dealing with complaints by Councillors Millar and Armstrong, I note as follows:

  1. If Councillors Armstrong, Millar and Milne had voted in favour of Councillor Fryer?s amendment, with the three councillors who supported it, the effect would have been to pass the motion 6-5. Metrowater would not have required a price increase and depending on other cost factors, could have considered reducing their price. Correspondingly, the council?s ten-year budget would have had $220.8 million of revenue removed from it. This would have required expenditure cuts of this level or a 4.7 per cent rates increase in 2008/2009 to compensate, and smaller additional increases to this in future years.

2. If the committee had not adopted the substantive motion to approve the three-year statement of intent, a valid statement of intent would not have been approved by 30 June by the council as required to do under local government legislation. This would have necessitated further urgent consideration by the council of the price increase issue, to enable a statement of intent to be approved at a further meeting to be held in the near future. This was, as I understand it, the intent of Councillors Millar and Armstrong. In essence, a future such meeting would have had to resolve to either:

a. confirm the 9.1 per cent price increase and leave council?s ten-year expenditure and proposed rates increase unchanged; or

b. arrive at some different price increase figure for Metrowater requiring an offsetting balance in some mixture of spending cuts and rate increases for the year to compensate.

David Rankin

Auckland City Council are hypocrites

The Auckland City Council are hypocrites .

[quote]Mark Venter, director of outdoor advertising company OTW, counted signs, flags, billboards and banners in Queen St one day in January and found just 10 of 140 "commercial advertising opportunities" he spotted were billboards.

Most of the spaces he noted were owned or controlled by the council, he said.

"It's completely hypocritical," said Mr Venter. "They are saying one thing and doing another."[/quote]

And in other news the Council hell bent on ramming their way through despite overwhelming oppositioon and submission against their draconian proposal have kept Mad Glenda Fryer as the chair of the panel reviewing the sumissions.

One councillor has resigned in protest from the panel as the council persists in riding roughshod over democracy.

Auckland City may prosecute itself

The Auckland City Council lurches from one crisis to the next. The latest being an unpermitted Carpark the council itself built.

Auckland City Council has launched an internal inquiry after building a carpark in a posh suburb without resource consent – and could prosecute itself.

The half-finished 200-car "park and ride" project is lodged between a proposed apartment block and the Orakei train station, but builders have downed tools until the consent is granted.

Well Duh!!!!

Another example of do as I say not as I do.

Meanwhile whispers are emerging about a certain well to do member of council and the woes of his non-compliant house, which could now well become part of a legal battle after a sale fell through….I wonder who that could be?, more details as they come to hand.

Would you give a credit card with a $1.35 billion limit to a bunch of clowns

As you might have read in the Herald online, the Auckland City Council is looking at an overall rates increase of 2.7% this year, (with a 4.5% increase for residential ratepayers).

Firstly, it’s pretty obvious that this is a cynical attempt to try and calm furious Aucklanders after the two rates shocks of 2005 and 2006.

Secondly, they are only able to keep rates down because they now intend to borrow up to $1.35 Billion over the next ten years. There is no cutback in the spending plans for the left wing council, they intend to keep on with many of their social engineering projects and pet projects and similar – but now instead of funding it from rates they’ll borrow. Guess what that means – people will now pay twice for dubious projects – once in actuality, a second time with cumulative interest.

The council shouldn’t be borrowing any large sum of money until they have addressed the large amount of poor quality spending, bloated bureaucracy and expansion into social engineering. There would be scant need for borrowing with the extra cash found in Auckland City doing some belt-tightening.

Auckland City is now also abandoning the previous John Banks led council policy of running budget surpluses, so now some of Auckland’s operational expenses and unforeseen expenditure may also met with borrowing/going into overdraft instead of paying out of surplus.

Here’s the analogy. If you have a house that’s debt free, is it a good idea to take out a mortgage to buy yourself a holiday or an item that doesn’t generate income for you, such as a collection of books or a garden? The answer would be no. You would use equity in your home to buy something that provides an income stream (like another investment property) or a measurable economic benefit to you, such as a car. Borrowing for OPEX or non-economic fixed assets is a fiscally dumb thing to do. A small to moderate level of debt for assets that produce cashflow (like car parks) or deliver a real measurable economic benefit (and not this triple bottom line nonsense) is a smart thing if the council is a tight ship showing fiscal disciple.

But now the left wing Auckland City Council is using debt to fund a very large wish list of items using Auckland’s significant asset base. But much of what they are intending to buy won’t generate cashflow, which ought to be a test used to see whether money should be borrowed against it.

Now, granted, a left wing councillor would see things much differently (ie, who will notice, and anyway, future generations should pay), but arguably, future generations were already paying via depreciation being factored in to the council’s annual plan.

The real issue here is the lack of fiscal discipline. It’s just going to be far too easy from now on for the left wing council to say "Ok, our pet project costs $25 million, just whack it onto the council credit card for some future generation to pay". And pay they will – once upfront, and a second time with cumulative interest. $1.35 billion in ten years will be generating an interest bill of around $90 million per annum (assuming Auckland gets a an excellent rate of around 6.7% for borrowing). That’s some serious interest. And Dr Bollard’s interest rates rise this morning makes that even more expensive.

Basically it boils down to this – would you give a credit card with a $1.35 billion limit to the same clowns who spend up like drunken sailors on shore leave?

O'Sullivan turns her sights on the Council

Right Wing Blogger Fran O’Sullivan turns her sights onto the Auckland City Council over their ludicrous proposal to ban billboards.

Fran has delved into the process, and I use the term process loosely, and finds it wanting. Very wanting in fact.

[quote]The analysis tends to suggest that just 157 of the 745 complaints last year related to billboards – but as no breakdown is provided, it is hard to work out whether the grounds the council’s majority faction is relying on to scupper a multi-million-dollar industry are solid or simply the result of political payback time.[/quote]

Fran helpfully provides some advice for people concerned at the East German-like plans for our city.
[quote]Businesses taking issue with the council’s proposals have just two weeks to file a submission, which can be found at

The ban will not come into force until May so there’s plenty of time yet for businesses to make their opposition felt.

Just use a billboard.[/quote]

Heh, looks like some are.