Maori Statutory Board

Maori Statutory Board given arse card by High Court

Good news, the Maori Statutory Board has been told to sling their hook by the High Court.

A bid to protect Auckland’s Maori cultural sites has been thrown out in the High Court due to a lack of evidence as to their importance.

The Independent Maori Statutory Board appealed a decision by Auckland Council to remove provisions relating to sites of value for mana whenua from the Unitary Plan.

However, in a ruling released to the public on Tuesday, Justice Edwin Wylie rejected the appeal, saying there wasn’t enough evidence of the sites’ significance.

Read more »

Judith Collins calls for the axing of the Maori Statutory Board

Len Brown promised to hold a referendum on Maori Seats and never honoured that after his election, instead putting in place the Maori Statutory Board.

They are unelected yet they get to vote and decide on every aspect of business at Auckland Council.

Now Judith Collins has called for it to be disbanded.

National Party MP Judith Collins has called the Auckland Council’s Maori advisory board an “unaccountable monster” that thinks it’s “outside the law”.

Ms Collins made the remarks in a speech to the ACT Party’s Auckland South annual regional conference on Saturday afternoon.

In her address as guest speaker at the conference, the Papakura MP said the Independent Maori Statutory Board (IMSB) was neither elected nor accountable, and should be dumped.

“The Maori statutory board is an unaccountable monster. It believes it is outside the law,” she said in her speech.   Read more »

Welcome to Len’s apartheid city

When Len Brown was first elected as Mayor if Auckland Council he had promised to hold a referendum on Maori seats for the Council.

He reneged on that and instead went for a Maori Statutory Board with appointees rather than elected officials.

Len Brown also stated that he wants the world’s most liveable city.

One would presume that would mean that everyone in the city could enjoy the facilities of the city at all times.

However it appears that what he really means is that one race is being preferred over another with the latest outrage being the closing of a popular beach so some Maori can have a party.

Auckland’s popular Okahu Bay beach will be closed to the public this Saturday for a “private family event”, local iwi Ngati Whatua Orakei says.

It has placed a public notice in local newspaper the East and Bays Courier saying the beach on Tamaki Drive will be closed between 6am and 4pm tomorrow.

No-one from Ngati Whatua was available this morning to give further details.    Read more »

Len Brown breaks yet another promise, ratchets rates ever higher

Len Brown has become the lying Mayor.

Another of his election promises has gone by the wayside as his council keeps on increasing rates rather than reining in spending.

Auckland Council’s budget committee has voted 16-7 for a proposal to increase rates by 3.5 per cent for each year of a new 10-year budget.

The proposal got the backing of Mayor Len Brown, who promised voters to hold rates at 2.5 per cent this term.

This is on top of the massive rates rises of the last 3 years, some way more than 10% but capped under now expired legislation. Remember too that this is average rates rises of 3.5%, there will be some with even higher rates rises.

These are the tax, spend and hope councillors.

For a 3.5 per cent increase: Len Brown, Penny Webster, Arthur Anae, Cathy Casey, Bill Cashmore, Ross Clow, Linda Cooper, Chris Darby, Alf Filipaina, Penny Hulse, Mike Lee, Calum Penrose, John Walker, Wayne Walker and Maori Statutory Board members David Taipari and John Tamihere.

Read more »

Fran O’Sullivan on Brown’s bullying and corporate governence

Fran O’Sullivan doesn’t mince words when talking about and dissecting the recent actions of Auckland’s power mad mayor.

Her article is on the NZ Herald website.

There is a suspicion that the mayor’s office is now charging ahead with too many initiatives simply to take the heat off [Len] Brown on other fronts. The manner in which Len Brown deploys his considerable powers as Mayor of Auckland deserves greater scrutiny by elected members of the Auckland Council.

Formally the Mayor of Auckland is legislatively tasked with promoting and leading a vision for Auckland, as well as leading the development of council plans, policies and budgets.

Brown occupies one of the most powerful positions in New Zealand. It is a position which clearly vests a great deal of trust in any incumbent – far too much, in my view – allowing them to push through too many personal policy platforms without requiring them to be appropriately put to the test other than support from councillors.

In Brown’s case, the most recent example was his advocacy for a living wage policy which he managed to get through the council’s budget committee, with help from a couple of Independent Maori Statutory Board members (including John Tamihere), to give him the requisite majority of 11 to nine in a vote.

A substantial policy initiative – like a living wage – should be debated thoroughly on the basis of full background papers on its implications for the broader council finances.  Read more »

Good news for Auckland

I know it is hard to come by these days with Len Brown raiding our wallets with never ending rates increases, blowing millions of silly bridges and a stupid rail loop, but there is some good news:

A tactical blunder by Mayor Len Brown has stopped the Maori Statutory Board from having a say on next year’s budget.

Councillors voted 11-10 yesterday for the budget to be discussed by the full council and not at the strategy and finance committee. Two board members, chairman David Taipari and John Tamihere, sit on the strategy and finance committee with full voting rights, but the board is not represented on the full council.

Councillor Christine Fletcher wanted the budget discussed by the full council with support from councillor George Wood, who expressed concern about involvement of unelected Maori.

Instead of taking his motion to refer the draft budget to the strategy and finance committee, Mr Brown invited Ms Fletcher to put an amendment to send it to the full council, confidently predicting it would be lost and the main motion would pass. Mr Brown declared the amendment was lost on a vote of voices, but when a division was called the vote was carried 11-10.

After the lunch break, Mr Brown tried to reverse the decision with an impassioned speech about the damage to the council’s relationship with the Maori Statutory Board, but failed to get the 75 per cent support required to do so. The vote was 13-6.

Mr Taipari said Super City legislation allowed the board to participate in the budget. The matter would be discussed at its meeting on November 5.

The Huddle

I was on the Huddle last night with Larry Williams and Josie Pagani.

Our topics were:

  • The government response to the Waitangi Tribunal report.
  • Then we’ve got the Auckland Maori Statutory Board  for the Auckland council wanting to lots of pie in the sky things with ratepayers money.
  • And last but not least, a free hit on Colin Craig and his Key is “too gay” pamphlets.

The Huddle at 1740

I am on the Huddle tonight at 1740 with Larry Williams and Josie Pagani.

Our topics will be:

  • The government response to the Waitangi tribunal report.
  • Then we’ve got the Auckland Maori Statutory Board  for the Auckland council wanting to lots of pie in the sky things with ratepayers money.
  • And last but not least, a free hit on Colin Craig and his Key is “too gay” pamphlets.

You can listen online, and I will post the audio tomorrow morning as usual.

The Two Faces of Len Brown

Yesterday, Len Brown gave his thoughts about the proposed multi-million dollar spendup by the Maori Statutory Board, including bi-lingual street signs (aren’t half of all street names in Maori anyway?), compulsory Maori language in schools (you will recall how the education curriculum is a council responsibility), insulating Maori homes (others can shiver) and plus pork and puha barrel politics like a Maori cultural centre and a sculpture park (high margin make work scheme for the boys and girls).

Len Brown, 10am on Marae Investigates: “Of course it will. It will become a reality. Not all of it. No one gets everything they want but… Good parts of this plan will become a reality because it is our present and our future.”

Len Brown, 6pm on One News: “No! I’m just happy with the way it is, and the way in which it is basically developing organically.

So which Len do we believe?

The one that told Maori he will turn on the funding tap for ratepayer dosh?

Or the one that told the rest of New Zealand he won’t turn on the tap?

The only thing ratepayers can be certain of is that Len is capable of slapping both his faces silly when the pressure cooker is on.

Council fratricide on Thursday – pass it on

The streets will flow with the blood of left-wingers after this coming Thurday’s Auckland Council committee meeting on the Ports of Auckland industrial dispute.

To be discussed at the meeting will be a series of questions posed by Richard Northey and answered by Auckland Council Investments’ Gary Swift.

Also on the table will be the nutty and pathetic tablings of Local Boards (they who are so clearly not tasked with regional and investment matters) who have even had MUNZ come and whinge to them about what is happening. This is all a bit ho-hum.

What is going to really set the cat amongst the pigeons is Richard Northey’s motion as chair:

• That the Accountability and Performance Committee express to the Ports of Auckland and to the Maritime Union:

i) its strong desire for an immediate return to good faith bargaining aimed at the achievement of a fair collective agreements that further significantly improves port efficiency, and
ii) its opposition to the redundancy and contracting out of 292 port workforce positions as proposed.

This amounts to political interference amongst the management of the Ports. Should this motion pass, then the left will have massively backflipped – and in the process handing a massive humiliation to Len Brown who has said his hands are tied and he won’t interfere.

It will also be interesting to see which councillors do not turn up (like last time), or choose to abstain. This includes Len Brown, whose failure to turn up last time kicked off the cunning C&R strategy of baiting Len into a foolish and compromising position of “supporting both sides” in mid January.

Brown is now tasked with an even worse set of choices thanks to Richard Northey’s desperation to show he is a worker’s mate.

a) Don’t turn up and be called a coward
b) Turn up and vote for the motion, completely upending his council and risking central government wrath (with the wrath rumoured to include legislation that the council might not like)
c) Turn up and vote down the motion, doing the right thing but further hurting his support with the militant left

I will be counting on the votes of the 5 C&R councillors, plus independents to show that it’s NOT the business of council politicians to publicly contradict and countermand previous decisions it made to support the boards of its investment wing. (Remember than on 8 December, the council voted at this same committee to back the Ports board and Auckland Council Investments). Nominally centre-right councillors like Penny Webster, Michael Goudie, and Calum Penrose, plus centrists like Arthur Anae, Sir John Walker and Sharon Stewart will be scrutinised heavily to see if they back this hard left retrograde step to inferfere in the management of the Ports.

On top of this – the votes of the two unelected Maori Statutory Board members will be scrutinised hard too.

This is going to be the showdown of the council term – this vote may define the Len Brown and Labour-left led council in the same way the Waterfront Stadium debate of the Hubbard Council wrecked the inter-personal relationships between left-wing councillors and humiliated Dick Hubbard publicly.