Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Gushing for Auckland

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  • Craig Ranapia,

    If Team Len wants to go on the attack it could focus on Banks' fleet of advisers and sidemen. Who are these people? What do they do? What are their connections? The candidate says he doesn't want to go negative. But he might find that serves him better than continually turning on the emotional gusher in the presence of journalists.

    Got to disagree with you there. First, because I wouldn't be over confident that 'Team Len' doesn't have some rather unsavoury "advisers and sidemen" of their own. And there's still plenty of questions to be answered about who's behind Our Auckland, who's paying for the Brown bus shelter ads that have sprung up all over the Shore etc.

    Second, and to be coldly cynical, Brown's biggest electoral asset is that he's not John Banks. While it's not the ground I want this campaign fought on, strategically "Banks is a cunt. I'm not Banks. That's all you need to know to VOTE ME!" works a treat.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    And there's still plenty of questions to be answered about who's behind Our Auckland, who's paying for the Brown bus shelter ads that have sprung up all over the Shore etc.

    Our Auckland is principally Mels Barton, and Lynn Prentice from The Standard. But you wouldn't know that from the "About Us" section of their website. I agree, their approach to transparency is very odd indeed.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Banks told Radio New Zealand he takes home none of his $160,000 salary – because he uses it to fund a private media adviser.

    That's about as silly as saying that he doesn't take home any money, it all goes on childcare and schooling for the kids.

    If the money ain't going to a foodbank, going back into the city council coffers, or being handed out to people walking up Queen street, it's going home.

    I also want to note that I take home almost none of my salary. I do however take home a car, food, clothes etc. I'll be mentioning this in my upcoming election campaign in which I'll be running against Banks for "most stupid things said in 2010".

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I've just been told that Ralston has been dropped from Banks' campaign, although I have no idea why, assuming it's true.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    I've just been told that Ralston has been dropped from Banks' campaign, although I have no idea why, assuming it's true.

    And if true, you can't help but pose the Palin Perplex: "You can't run a competent and disciplined campaign, but you want me to trust you to headline a government that will closely resemble a sack of hungry weasels on crank?"

    Oh well, I'll always have I, Claudius -- at least that's entertaining. :)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    WTF $10,000 Cell phone bill??? Must be talking to doG.

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1590 posts Report Reply

  • Luke Williamson,

    No mention of Simon Praast for mayor? I am so glad he has joined the race cos he brings something very different compared to the other two. I said from the beginning that one of the rules for Super Mayor should be that you can't be an existing or past mayor of greater Aucks. Go Simon!

    Warkworth • Since Oct 2007 • 297 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Withers,

    I'm unruffled by anything Len Brown has said so far. Yes, he's outraged and disturbed by the NZ Herald's apparent campaign against him - who wouldn't be?

    I find Brown to be sincere / genuine and even when he does the heart-dumps, the values they implicitly convey are - to me - worthy values. His obvious passion for his job and his mission is inspiring, to be honest.

    As for Mr. Banks, I've never been a John Banks fan - ever. I used to wonder what the people in Whangarei were smoking to consistently re-elect such a person. This will be the first time in my life I actually get to directly NOT vote for John Banks.

    Hurrah!

    With gusto.....I'll be voting for Brown.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 312 posts Report Reply

  • Lyndon Hood,

    Aaand Mr 'March for Democracy' enters the race
    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1006/S00289.htm

    If he's such a democracy fan, you'd have though he might have had opinion on the reform process earlier.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1115 posts Report Reply

  • Victoria Beck,

    The calibre, honesty, integrity and intelligence of our local and national politicians says heaps about us as a society We are so easily seduced by the easy way out, vain, empty and false that those who are more fit to govern just wouldn't stand a chance because they might just tell it like it is and some would need to make a helluva lot more effort to contribute instead of just grabbing as much as they can while they can.

    For example, after topping the list for the most spent on travel, Winston Peters used "our" vehicle for months when out of power and not entitled, but was he ever called to account?

    Since Sep 2007 • 3 posts Report Reply

  • Julie Fairey,

    Simon Prast has said he is apolitical and thinks the mayoralty should be apolitical. WTF? Sounds like he should put his hat in for CEO, not a position that is democratically elected and will have an incredibly politically important impact, especially given the relative power balance with Central Govt.

    Puketapapa Mt Roskill, AK… • Since Dec 2007 • 234 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Withers,

    Electing neo-phytes sounds attractive....but too often ends in impotence and / or lost opportunities. The Mayor is the effective Chair of the Council and needs to get alongside everyone to find a way through to the best possible outcome for the city in question.

    Newbies simply are not qualified. They haven't got a clue...and people who vote for newbies are right there with them on that.

    I remember when Brian Mulroney - political neophyte and corporate boss - became Prime Minister of Canada having never held any previous elected office. You'd think he'd been elected Dictator for Life the way he carried on.....just as corporate CEO's are used to behaving: giving orders, not consulting and listening only to their mates and backers....not the people are large. By the end of his second term he had destroyed his party and they won 2 seats out of 300+......after having had the largest majority in Canadian history. His legacy still cripples Canada today.

    You want someone there who understands what democracy is (too many do not) and who has worked through those processes and understands they aren't there to dictate.....they are there to lead, listen and facilitate.

    Mid-wives to good outcomes.

    You wouldn't let an untrained inexperienced person oversee the birth of your children.....and just as certainly you don't want them trying to run a large, complex structure with many diverse and conflicting interests with no previous expereience.

    Newbies just can't do that 999 times out of a thousand. I'm not feeling lucky enough to try it.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 312 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    While it's not the ground I want this campaign fought on, strategically "Banks is a cunt. I'm not Banks. That's all you need to know to VOTE ME!" works a treat.

    I'm not so sure anymore. Whilst I don't attribute c-word qualities to most of the denizens of this city, I do think they have a strange belief that having those qualities is essential to being an effective politician.

    They might even be right. That scares me.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • DexterX,

    The problem with self-crucifixion is getting that last nail in, the comparison to Jesus in Brown's HOS interview showed him as weak, unbalanced, and lacking judgment; the only plus being he didn’t say he was Black Jesus and bust out some rap.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1224 posts Report Reply

  • pcorrect,

    I bought Simon Prast's house from him recently.

    Free flowing water from from roof to basement.

    I wonder what his Leaky Home policy will be.

    Auckland • Since Jun 2009 • 5 posts Report Reply

  • Juha Saarinen,

    He's working on a Chinese song though...

    Since Nov 2006 • 529 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    Clean and safe, how hard is it?

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    Aaand Mr 'March for Democracy' enters the race

    So he'd vote-splitting with Banks? He's pretty definitely not a leftie.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Leigh Kennaway,

    I was at the Pt Chevalier Community Committee AGM when John Banks spoke, and I left wondering what drugs he was on. For a politician who has served multiple terms in both national and local government, he seemed confused about the responsabilities of each, and was remarkably short of concrete ideas and solutions for our future. His speech was a jumbled collection of sound-bites about improving economic prosperity, greater productivity, law and order, more opportunities... blah, blah, blah.

    As for his ridiculous whine about the audience being stacked with Labour party stooges..... I saw one fellow member of the LP there and that was it. You'd think a Mayor visiting one of the wards he represents would be familiar with the general political leanings of the neighbourhood and prepare accordingly. Point Chevalier has been a bunch of lefties at least as far back as when John A Lee lived in the 'hood. That's John A Lee for whom the local pensioner village is named - the pensioner village that John and his mates sold off last time he was Mayor.

    sunny Pt Chevalier • Since Mar 2008 • 40 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Gosh, Gush, Gauche...
    Banks said some pay-related things on Nat Radio last week (either Checkpoint or Afternoons Panel section) about how he (if elected) would be giving vast portions of his new salary of $240,000 to charity or similar (the Society Concerned for Underpaid Media-advisers maybe?) and how he was only doing it for the privilege and honour of serving the city - he must've said it about 5 times...
    It was awfully irritating and fatuous sounding...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7950 posts Report Reply

  • Luke Williamson,

    Yes, I understand that experience is a very helpful thing in the down and dirty world of council politics but that doesn't mean we have to disqualify someone straight away because they haven't been there before. One could argue that John Key is brand new in his job and he seems to be managing pretty well - whether or not you like his politics. Simon at least brings a true love of Auckland and its unique characteristics that isn't just focussed on economics. And it also doesn't have to be a bad thing if he doesn't identify (or is identified with) either of the main national political parties. His may be the politics of Auckland.

    Warkworth • Since Oct 2007 • 297 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    One could argue that John Key is brand new in his job and he seems to be managing pretty well - whether or not you like his politics

    I seem to recall he was finance spokesperson in the opposition for a full term, and had been in Parliament for six years before becoming PM.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Luke Williamson,

    Agreed but still pretty quick to be PM is it not? I guess the analogy I'm looking for is whether John Key is the leader of the country for his experience in politics or for his vision/charisma/enthusiasm (again, whether or not you agree with his politics).
    Could Simon be a worthy mayor with no prior experience in local body politics. I think yes. He's worked hard to make the Auckland Festival happen and that can be no mean feat of financial and political management.
    Does his lack of experience make his less appealing than the experienced alternatives?

    Warkworth • Since Oct 2007 • 297 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Agreed but still pretty quick to be PM is it not?

    Not especially, actually. Brash would have been even quicker.

    Does his lack of experience make his less appealing than the experienced alternatives?

    I would say so, yes.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Luke Williamson,

    So no matter how vile, as long as they have previous experience . . .

    Warkworth • Since Oct 2007 • 297 posts Report Reply

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