Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The Mayor's marginal enemies

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  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Jim Cathcart,

    And I'm interested to know more about the power balance between central and local government. Are you saying that LB has no influence on meaningful change in urban planning policy and legislature? I actually though that pressure was coming from the central government on ACC to free up land and construct affordable housing. Correct me if I'm wrong.

    Rodney Hide structured the AKL Supercity under the belief that John Banks and others of his ilk would hang on to the mayoral chains. It didn't happen, and now the current lot in the Beehive is trying to box in anyone who strays from the 1950s urban planning orthodoxy. It's happening in Wellington too, with the ongoing Basin Reserve Flyover issue, and Christchurch, with Prostetnic Vogon Gerry and CERA.

    The same lot in the Beehive seem to think that affordable housing can only come in the form of bungalows with 'large' sections. With every man and his dog moving to Auckland - where the plum jobs and direct global links just happen to be - that model is colliding with the tragedy of the commons. And 'affordable housing' lobbyists like Hugh Pavletich aren't really interested in affordable housing as such, they're really speculators who think they're interested in affordable housing. Even his poster-children of sprawl, like Houston, are seriously looking at intensification.

    There's still a lingering perception among the hoity-toities that anything taller than a few storeys belongs in Detroit or the Bronx. And it's safe to assume that they're keen to see the back of the RMA, unless there hapens an apartment building going up next door. In short, the property bubble is more like a property cartel.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5442 posts Report Reply

  • dtk, in reply to JonathanM,

    Actually the post appears to be about never trusting a journalist whose style is breathless, or a writer whose natural instinct is obsequious, especially when it comes to telling a story about predatory sexual behaviour in the workplace by someone who has significant influence and relies on a public profile.

    Te Whanganui-a-Tara • Since Feb 2014 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Brown Derangement Syndrome Watch:

    Kerre McIvor: Come out of hiding Mr Mayor.

    I can understand why he would want to steer clear of questioning about his sordid affair but when it comes to presenting his vision for Auckland's future he has a responsibility to answer questions.

    What will the projects cost ratepayers? What are the options?

    But anywhere he fears there might be a challenge he steers clear. NewsTalk ZB is the No1 rating station and it is unprofessional of the mayor to hide from such a huge audience.

    McIvor seems rather shocked by the notion of politicians not accepting ever interview request, but it's funny how she also forgets to mention that she's employed by the radio station on whose behalf she's taking umbridge. Now, what's that you're saying about "professionalism", Kerre?

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

  • Sacha, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    And the radio station has been bought by the same company as the newspaper who published her column.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19743 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Kerre must be utterly furious, then, that the Prime Minister refuses to front on National Radio. How dare he cower in fear of being asked sensible questions by proper interviewers!

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie, in reply to Jim Cathcart,

    Well yes you are wrong in as much as the ACC doesn't exist so it can't be pressured (obviously) and less nitpickingly, the National government's solution to housing affordability --- more sprawl --- is not a solution.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1452 posts Report Reply

  • Alex Coleman, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    "How dare he cower in fear of being asked sensible questions by proper interviewers!"

    On top rating stations, even.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 247 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Craig Young,

    However, this particular scandal is of lesser significance than the corpulent cavortings of the crack cocaine-imbibing Toronto mayor Rob Ford,

    Oh come on. The guy had a legitimate excuse for smoking crack with gang bangers, he was drunk at the time.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Jim Cathcart,

    Are you saying that LB has no influence on meaningful change in urban planning policy and legislature? I actually though that pressure was coming from the central government on ACC to free up land and construct affordable housing. Correct me if I’m wrong.

    Brown absolutely “has influence on meaningful change in urban planning policy”, but only within the realm of Auckland Council and even then only as one voice and one vote at the table. He has no fiat powers of policy-setting, he can only achieve change through persuasion of other councillors to his perspective. Councillors don’t answer to him, either, they answer to the voters in their wards, and that means that the councillors are quite open to being swayed by hysterical beat-up bullshit like we saw being spread across the pages of Granny during the draft Unitary Plan process. So whatever you might think, Brown cannot hammer his fist on the table and get his way. Not just will not, not just should not, cannot.

    As for the government’s pressure, you’re confusing opening up land with affordable housing. The two are not the same. The government has no interest in the council’s intent to use intensification as a way to improve affordability, and has said as much; their perspective is that the only solution to housing affordability issues is to open up more greenfields land and sprawl, baby, sprawl. This negates any influence Brown might have on policy at the national level, too, because what he believes is directly opposite to what the numpties on the Treasury benches believe; same issue with the Core Rail Link.
    The evidence is building that sprawl runs counter to affordable housing, because even if the housing might be cheaper the far greater transport costs imposed consume all the money saved on the mortgage and then some. The isolation and automobile-reliance also destroys social fabric and general health and well-being. So when you speak in the same breath of “free[ing] up land and construct[ing] affordable housing” you are speaking of two incompatible policy settings.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • llew40, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    You may be right, but I have heard senior officials say that government is supportive of the CRL, at the least. There is a lot more common ground between Brown and Government than most people realise.

    Since Nov 2012 • 140 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to llew40,

    There is a lot more common ground between Brown and Government than most people realise.

    Yes – and anyone who thinks any Mayor has ever gone to Wellington and left with a blank cheque really needs to get their heads into this universe. That would be the universe where anyone who expects to get their own way in all things, preferably yesterday, should stay the hell out of politics, full stop and period.

    (And to be blunt about it, I know plenty of people in National Party circles who'd much rather work and get things done with Brown than any of his likely replacements.)

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

  • Myles Thomas, in reply to Penny Bright,

    Penny, you may not be right wing but you are playing into the hands of the right wing. And if you did help the 2nd most popular mayoral candidate into office, you would find him far less interested in your causes than the current Mayor.

    Your idealism is admirable but hopelessly impossible and your delivery is so unreasonable and dogmatic that no one listens. Hence your otherwise worthwhile cause actually suffers.

    Please consider the effect on Auckland's future public transport system, an utterly critical policy of Browns, if he were to lose the next election because your protests have given his right wing enemies the fuel to keep attacking him.

    Auckland • Since Apr 2011 • 130 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Myles Thomas,

    Please consider the effect on Auckland's future public transport system, an utterly critical policy of Browns, if he were to lose the next election because your protests have given his right wing enemies the fuel to keep attacking him.

    All the more so, because AKL still has FPP local body elections, which are very unfriendly towards disunited political movements. It's the whole reason why the CitRats gained a council majority in a past election. The post-mortems of such elections often go as follows:

    "If you hadn't split my vote, the CitRats wouldn't have won!"
    "Oh yeah? You would have won if you hadn't sold out your principles!"

    All the more reason to scrap FPP electoral systems. Bush vs Gore in 200 comes to mind.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5442 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Orsman finally acknowledges who Sharon Stewart is.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19743 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Sacha,

    Orsman finally acknowledges who Sharon Stewart is.

    More to the point, that's a story about absolutely nothing. It's just embarrassing.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22849 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to llew40,

    government is supportive of the CRL, at the least.

    The sure have a funny way of showing it. When they insist on occupancy targets for rail before they'll commit to funding something that's going to be needed to allow additional train services before they're prepared to even start its construction, they conveniently don't mention that on a vehicle-occupancy basis Auckland's motorways are so far from congested that we should have stopped laying tarmac in the 1960s.

    If National are "supportive" of the CRL, they shouldn't have a problem with committing a future government to spending money on the project. The actions and words around funding the CRL vs funding the Roads of (increasingly) Dubious Significance are far more convincing than any side conversations with "senior officials".

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Attachment

    man gets tattoo...

    ...a story about absolutely nothing. It’s just embarrassing.

    Here, I've fixed that bottom strapline link for them:

    Click here for more coverage of our Len Brown lynch mob rabble-rousing.

    I love the way when you click on their link
    - the page above is what comes up,

    Search Results for '"len Brown"'.
    Showing 1 - 20 or about 1000 matches for the keywords(s) '"len Brown"'.
    Did you mean:"lynn Brown"Top 2 results shown;

    Another little dig via the IT dept?
    or fickle fate...

    ..or does the entire APN corporate structure completely reject Len Brown and his very existence?
    We have Philip K. Dick on line 2...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report Reply

  • llew40, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    again, you may well be right, but when I said senior officials, I also meant officials from Auckland Council, not just central Government

    Since Nov 2012 • 140 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Russell Brown,

    More to the point, that’s a story about absolutely nothing. It’s just embarrassing.

    Bloody oath – “man not only fails to bite dog, said dog happily pees on a bush and takes a nap."

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

  • david kinniburgh, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Took my family along to the Tattoo, just in case no one made LenBs family welcome.. Fortunately John Walker stepped up to the mark and made sure that everyone was warmly welcomed. Maybe this story is showing Brown as not lacking in courage and diplomacy, in contrast to his vociferous critics, who seem to lack both

    Auckland • Since Jan 2012 • 29 posts Report Reply

  • martinb, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    It's ironic really- I briefly attended a council meeting to support the Fukuoka Friendship garden with a few colleagues and didn't get a chance to show support for that because of the boorish behaviour of Penny Bright, Lisa Praeger and Steve Crow.

    Now the Japanese consulate is dragged in to the row, on the basis of some incorrect reporting which the Herald doesn't seem to have corrected yet. (right?)

    I think I saw the numbers somewhere else- Howick Tatoo 0 protestors, Japan Day 1 protestor, and Pride parade 0 protestors- about 100,000 out and about in Auckland with the mayor and 1 protestor. And I also heard from people that were there that he was well received.

    Auckland • Since Jul 2010 • 206 posts Report Reply

  • martinb, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I think that there would be a lot of left critiquing of Len, especially around things like PPP, the waterfront, the ice-cream contracts etc etc
    except that the idea of an American style attempt at impeachment after an election aided by less than objective journalism really has got the goat of many here.

    Len has got some questions to ask, and you almost feel that a more morally rigorous line of attack might have damaged him more. As it is, the way the opposition to Len is going on, it feels that in the main, those who didn't like him to begin with are just enjoying the opportunity to complain. Their complaints I've noticed, in particular Dick Quax, quickly turn away from anything that the mayor has actually done to the council policy in general which he opposes.

    Auckland • Since Jul 2010 • 206 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to martinb,

    Now the Japanese consulate is dragged in to the row, on the basis of some incorrect reporting which the Herald doesn’t seem to have corrected yet. (right?)

    As far as I can tell, the correction was so half-arsed and passive-aggressive voiced it was almost meaningless. I don’t think this is a major diplomatic incident in the making, but it’s not particularly helpful to anyone. What's it achieved? The Herald, Penny Bright and Co. aren't going to drive Brown out of office; and when it comes to grown-ups making substantive criticism of Brown in particular, or the Council in general, it's just going to be that much harder to be heard and taken seriously. As I've said many times before 'The Tale of The Little Boy Who Cried Wolf' should be required reading for all politicians and activists.

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

  • Russell Brown,

    Matthew Dentith's account of Saturday's Stand Down Len Brown march.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22849 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    As far as I can tell, the correction was so half-arsed and passive-aggressive voiced it was almost meaningless.

    It was written so as to obscure the fact that the prospective protests were not about Brown at all, but about whaling. And then buried on page five.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22849 posts Report Reply

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