Phil Wilson

What is going on in Len Brown’s office


A few months ago there were reports of Len Brown’s team sitting him down and telling him the gig was up.

Len Brown of course, being the narcissist he is brazened it out despite the leaks of details to the media and the soft promotion of Phil Goff.

Yesterday more leaks started about another ruction in his office and WOBH can confirm that Phil Wilson, Brown’s former chief of staff has been appointed the new head of Governance for Auckland Council.   Read more »

AT bus drivers spray and walk away


Not only does Len Brown like picking your pockets, but his bus drivers it seems like crapping in ratepayers private facilities.

One restaurant owner is sick of his restaurant being treated like a public convenience by Auckland Transport drivers, so much so he has invoiced the mayor.

A restaurant owner has sent an $11,000 bill to Auckland mayor Len Brown for the “hurt and humiliation” of having to clean up after bus drivers who use his toilets.

Mark Keddell, from the well-reviewed White Rabbit on Customs St, in central Auckland, said bus drivers whose routes terminate outside his restaurant, then come inside to use the toilets, without asking permission or buying anything. Even worse, they are careless in their aim.

In a letter to Brown, with a $10,998 invoice attached, Keddall said he was “personally sick” of having to clean up after the drivers.

Keddell said his staff tried hard to look after customers with boutique soaps, seat sanitisers and cloth hand-towels because clean bathrooms reflected on the restaurant.

He and his management team had been cleaning the toilets themselves and had resorted to taking photos of the drivers, who “slipped in stealthily” through a side entrance and avoided talking to staff.

“I can’t ask my staff to clean them when they are in this state, so I often have to do it myself.”

Keddell said he felt a certain amount of sympathy for the drivers as there were few public toilets in the area, but they should show some respect, ask to use White Rabbit facilities – even buy something. “We are a business, too”.

Keddell got a hasty response from the mayor’s chief-of-staff, Phil Wilson, who said he was “very sorry for the situation that exists” and would brief Brown.

Wilson also said he would raise the matter with Auckland Transport chief executive David Warburton, and he was sure “some influence” could be exerted on the bus companies.

Read more »

Rodney Hide on Len’s dodgy gym

Yay! more council money on toys for me

Yay! more council money on toys for me

Rodney Hide explains why Len Brown’s personal council provided gym is dodgy, and calls on the gutless councillors to do something about it.

A council worker caught “borrowing” council gear for several years for his personal use would be sacked. I would also expect he would be charged. It’s called theft.

He would have a good excuse if his manager gave permission. But the problem then is legal authority. The gear doesn’t belong to his manager. It’s not hers to loan.

And so we have the disturbing case of Mayor Len Brown’s personal gym.

The Herald reports that within a month of Brown’s swearing-in as Auckland’s first Super-City Mayor, his chief of staff was on the scrounge for fitness gear.

I would expect his chief of staff to be advising Brown to buy his own gear. That’s what paid political advisers do: they stop politicians doing stupid things.

But no, Phil Wilson emails the council’s sport and recreation manager Ian Maxwell seeking used equipment from a council facility or a council supplier who could loan or sponsor it.

At least Wilson recognised the problem: “The sensitivity, though, is that we don’t want to be seen to be spending any public money on him.” But note that it’s not the spending that’s the problem: it’s the spending being seen. The concern is to keep it secret.

I would expect Maxwell to email Wilson back explaining he would love to help but that he can’t.

Instead Maxwell replies that he’s on to it.

Wilson emails, “the almighty will be very pleased“.

And so the council’s leisure services “loan” the mayor a new treadmill worth $3000 and a gym system costing $2198.   Read more »

Len Brown should be ‘toast’ anyway, now he will be burnt toast

Len Brown and his office are as tricky as David Cunliffe. But as dumb as Labour in emailing information by mistake to the NZ Herald, who gleefully recount the embarrassing details.

I wonder what James Bews-Hair said when the rooting started! Toast? Roast?

Len Brown’s principal policy adviser James Bews-Hair says the Auckland Mayor will be “political toast” if the council’s credit rating is lowered.

In an email accidentally sent to the Herald, Mr Bews-Hair said the mayor’s office has been advised there is a risk the council’s credit rating will be downgraded.

The email was circulated to senior mayoral staff on Sunday following Herald inquiries about council debt, which has soared from $3.9 billion to a projected $7.4 billion in the first four years of Mr Brown’s mayoralty.

In a candid email to Mr Brown’s chief of staff Phil Wilson, head of communications Dan Lambert and chief press secretary Glyn Jones – and copied to the Herald – Mr Bews-Hair outlined the mayoral position on maintaining the council’s AA credit rating.

“We need to keep on using the KPI [key performance indicator] for debt that we set for ourselves in election policy – retaining our rating.

“If we do that right, that can become the basis on which we are judged.

“We are advised that there is a risk that we will be downgraded … frankly, though, if we get downgraded in an improving economic environment then we are political toast anyway,” said Mr Bews-Hair.  Read more »

Who should get the sack from the Mayor’s office?

Yesterday Bevan Chuang was in the Herald on Sunday crying a river of tears about how hard done by she is. He has been sacked from various positions and boards as a result of her close relationship with the ratbag mayor Len Brown.

Len Brown meanwhile has escaped scot free, mainly because of his extreme narcissism and refusal to buckle.

However the Ernst &Young report highlighted some grave deficiencies in the operation of the Mayors office. Deficiencies, we as ratepayers shouldn’t have to accept.

When you have a budget of over $3 million per annum you’d think that the simple stuff would be right.

However what we have is a orchestrated litany of failure.

Let’s examine those failings.  Read more »

A weapons grade knifing on its way for Phil Wilson

13-Web Photo - Phil Wilson

Is that a knife in your back Phil?

Seems like Phil Wilson’s very bad year just got a lot worse.  Last month I posted that Wilson had sacked Len Brown’s key political operative, James Bews-Hair.

That would have been dumb, but it turns out Wilson was even dumber. He tried to get rid of a political guy from a political office by using a convoluted restructure.

Bews-Hair is drenched in political experience and he is a rat cunning bastard. So it comes as no surprise that he did the numbers, lined up some of those people who owe him and brushed off Wilson’s aggression – Bews-Hair is in the Brown office for as long as he likes…or as long as Len lasts. Wilson is left with the impossible task of trying to find a way to make that work.

And that is when bad goes to awful for the blustering bully. Clearly Wilson knows nothing about politics so here is a bit of advice for free – never push ‘go’ on trying to shaft someone unless you know damn sure you are going to win. If you lose you become a sitting duck.  Read more »

Breaks the rules, can’t keep his pants zipped, unfit to be mayor

Phil Wilson in the Mayor’s office has fessed up to “mistakes”.  The NZ Herald finally gets around to starting to hold Len Brown to account.

Perhaps they have heard the whispers about the content of the EY report and have decided to be on the winning side.

Len Brown’s office last night confirmed that the Auckland Mayor has not complied with the council code of conduct rules over a trip to Hong Kong.

Responding to an urgent request under official information laws by the Herald, Mr Brown’s chief of staff, Phil Wilson, owned up after chief executive Doug McKay allowed the issue to simmer for two days.

Mr Wilson said he understood Mr Brown did not file an annual return of interests by July 31 under the code of conduct because it was under review at the time.

“As a consequence, elected members – and myself on Len’s behalf – did not file returns understanding they would be requested to do so at a later date,” Mr Wilson said.

The code of conduct matter is the latest in a string of issues about the trip, which has been shrouded in mystery and controversy.

Even though Phil Wilson is throwing himself under the bus it is actually the Mayor who is responsible for filing those documents.   Read more »

Len Brown’s office bullying Taxpayers Union with threats of legal action

This morning the NBR reports of bullying from the Mayors office over support for the now discredited unitary plan.

Auckland Mayor Len Brown is ordering council-controlled organisations (CCOs) to fall into line over the controversial unitary plan.

Mr Brown’s office released the text of a November 15 letter yesterday after a request by NBR ONLINE.

Not only does the letter demand the CCOs resolve issues behind closed doors – not always to the satisfaction of those bodies – but he also wants their representatives to appear together before the unitary plan hearing panel and to show a united front.

The tone of the mayor’s letter has been described as “quite threatening” by one person on the council payroll and comes amid Mr Brown’s review of the CCO structure, which the re-elected mayor says is necessary to ensure ratepayers are getting value for money.

In his letter, Mr Brown says the council has an internal process to identify and resolve issues over the council’s submission to the plan.

Most issues are expected to be fully resolved, he writes, but he warns there may be matters “that the council cannot agree to in the exact way that a CCO may wish.”

They will be subject to ongoing discussion and resolution, the letter says, with the ability for issues to be escalated to chief executive level and, if necessary, to Auckland Development Committee chair and deputy mayor Penny Hulse.

“I do not think it is appropriate for a CCO to make a formal submission to the hearings panel independent of the council’s submission,” Mr Brown says.

“In bringing together the eight councils of the Auckland region, there was a clear public expectation that the days of councils using ratepayers’ money to have lawyers and planners fight each other in court were over – we do not need to replace this with the council and CCOs following a similar process.”

NBR ONLINE invited Mr Brown, through chief press secretary Glyn Jones, to explain why it was necessary to write the letter but he has not responded.  Read more »

Super City clears the desks


Created by Cyber Billy


Super City clears the desks
Auckland Council workers may be losing their desks when the council shifts into its new Albert St headquarters next year……

[EXCLUSIVE] Cover up over Len Brown’s secret trip to Hong Kong

When Len Brown’s sex scandal was broken on this site he made a statement to the media later in the week that he had made “full disclosure”.

Let’s for a moment accept that Len Brown’s dalliances are actually ‘private’ matters and ignore the use of council resources, council offices and meeting rooms and the pull of the mayoral reputation for freebies.

Let’s focus on his ethics and financial prudence and honesty.

Information came in to the tipline that needed to be followed up and what we have uncovered shows that the Mayor’s office appears to be involved in a coverup, including strong arming of council staff and attempted denials of an overseas trip in January of this year.

Our information was that Mayor Brown flew to Hong Kong. Three separate witnesses have reported Mayor Len Brown to have arrived in Hong Kong with a travel companion.  Who was this?  The translator?  His wife?  Other council staff?

Several LGOIMA requests were submitted to the Council and here is where things get very interesting.   Read more »