Kennett on Auckland

March 30th, 2011 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

Rebecca Stevenson at Stuff reports:

mayor Len Brown should “just do it” and build the proposed $2 billion city rail loop, former Victorian premier says.

Mr Kennett was in Auckland yesterday discussing his leadership of Melbourne and the lessons that can be applied to New Zealand’s largest city as it attempts to become super-sized.

As the architect of the “Kennett Revolution” when he came to office in 1992 he drastically cut state spending in Victoria, “offered 50,000 public servants opportunities beyond the public sector” and turned the city into one of the world’s best event cities through an investment programme which included building the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Kennett was one of the great Premiers of an Australian state. I always hoped he would become Prime Minister one day.

The former premier said Mr Brown needed to choose about five key projects for the supercity from the “wordy” 30-year Auckland Plan out for public discussion.

He recommended a national convention centre, cruise ship terminal, a Pacific region office of the United Nations, an Aussie Rules franchise and to “turn the city to the sea”, reversing Auckland’s inward-looking design.

Not so sure about an UN office, but I like the idea of an Aussie Rules franchise – that could become huge.

Mr Kennett said he opposed borrowing for operational spend but approved it for infrastructure investment. He would not hesitate at all to borrow money to build the link because over time it would add to a less congested city.

“Two billion spent today is chicken feed in 20 or 30 years. I’m currently advancing a new underground rail system for $100b. In 50 years that will be a drop in the bucket.”

I agree that borrowing for infrastructure is good, while borrowing for operational spending is bad. And if Len wants the CBD rail loop, then he should go for it regardless of the Government.

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20 Responses to “Kennett on Auckland”

  1. James Stephenson (2,087 comments) says:

    An Aussie Rules franchise…ha ha ha ha. It’d be like a speeded up version of the Soccer Kingz fiasco…stupid game.

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  2. decanker (222 comments) says:

    Would Auckland’s governance structure make a “just do it” approach possible? Can Len Brown be overruled by his transport agency or worse just not have the power to tell them what to do? And can central govt step in and block it? (not rhetorical questions)

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  3. ben (2,414 comments) says:

    Planners run amok, that’s all I see. I’m surprised Kennett didn’t recommend free ponies for everyone. What extraordinary hubris from a man who has spent a career spending other people’s money to bathe himself in glory. Flat out uninspiring.

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  4. RightNow (6,839 comments) says:

    “And if Len wants the CBD rail loop, then he should go for it regardless of the Government.”
    But is it what Aucklanders want?

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  5. Murray (8,841 comments) says:

    I was in Jafaland over the weekend and based on my observation of the ammount of rad building compared to the ammount of damage in Christchurch I’d say if we stopped building fucking motorways for Jafa’s to get to their local Pac N Save for six months Christchurch would be entirely rebuilt.

    Even the Romans didn’t have the hard on for roads that Auckland does.

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  6. Bob R (1,357 comments) says:

    ***office of the United Nations,***

    No thanks (although I suppose they’re wasting billions everywhere else so we might as well get some of the gravy).

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  7. amused (2 comments) says:

    Ben – Hubris was kennet’s stock in trade – small example – I was in a hotel in sydney in the 90s when a hidden door was opened and red carpet was rolled out (literally ) and in strolled kennet and entourage – gave me a very good sense of how kennet saw himself

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  8. bchapman (649 comments) says:

    Jeff was an odd mix as premier. He was an arch fiscal conservative (he shut down nearly all the primary schools in my area and sold the land, sold off the public transport infrastructure and services etc..built private prisons) but he was definitely a big picture creative thinker. He built a huge motorway project (Citilink) in a very short space of time and under budget, amalgamated a lot of small unwieldy local government authorities (which worked well) and played a big part in getting Docklands and Southbank established and supported the arts. He also stole the Australian GP from Adelaide.

    In the end though he was just too confrontational for his own good- he was certainly effective but not particular popular.

    Please, please lets see some Aussie Rules in NZ. My kids love playing it- but never get to watch. What is wrong with Sky- australia’s number 1 sport which we never see. Rugby’s ok but we I admit I can’t enjoy what I don’t understand.

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  9. JeffW (324 comments) says:

    I suspect there wold be plenty of money for what Auckland needs to do (and getting around the city is a real mess and a huge drain on productivity), if only the politicians and bureaucrats would stop spending on nice to have but not necessary stuff. Same goes for central government. But Len wants his memorials (the key one of which will be a mountain of debt) and has a fondness for soical enginerering. He’s also good at funding groups which spend half their money on lobbying for more (and not coincidentally delivering left wing votes).

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  10. dime (9,660 comments) says:

    murray – jafaland? really? makes you sound like an inbred.

    some good ideas there.

    the UN office idea is great. we should go for it. we are PC enough (unfortunately). Lets get our grubby little hands on some UN billions

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  11. RRM (9,638 comments) says:

    I’m sorry, a WHAT franchise?

    And isn’t Princes’ wharf already a cruise ship terminal?

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  12. Murray (8,841 comments) says:

    I was borning auckland so yes, an inbred. Your move dime.

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  13. dime (9,660 comments) says:

    you were borning?

    use “jafaland” if you like, but it makes you sound lame.

    as lame as kiwis who hate australians.

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  14. RRM (9,638 comments) says:

    I visited Auckland last month for the first time in 4 years.

    The new-look SH20 has absolutely transformed that side of town. Good on them for doing it.

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  15. K.Reed (18 comments) says:

    The “It’ll be more in 30 years time” argument is bollocks. Houses used to cost $50,000 to build, now they can cost in excess of $5M. People are still building them. They haven’t thrown up their hands and said, ” No, it’s just too much. Let’s pitch a tent.”. Whatever the year, projects will go ahead.

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  16. Mark Thomson (85 comments) says:

    “Mr Kennett was in Auckland yesterday discussing his leadership of Melbourne and the lessons that can be applied to New Zealand’s largest city as it attempts to become super-sized.”

    Did I miss something? When did we decide Auckland needs to be super-sized?

    “He recommended a national convention centre, cruise ship terminal, a Pacific region office of the United Nations, an Aussie Rules franchise and to “turn the city to the sea”, reversing Auckland’s inward-looking design.”

    I’m open to hearing what the last point actually means, but I’m not sure how the rest of that list makes Auckland a more desirable place to live.

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  17. SteveO (77 comments) says:

    Yes, please, to the AFL franchise. Aussie Rules is surprisingly addictive once you get into it and, with the right sort of promotion, I could see it succeeding here. Sky’s coverage is only one match a week and this season most weeks we only get delayed coverage at that – surely you can do better, Sky?

    SteveO
    (Geelong supporter since those dark days late last century when it was really lame to be a Cats fan. Why Geelong? Their guernseys are roughly the same as the Auckland provincial rugby team)

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  18. ben (2,414 comments) says:

    Amused: funny story. Seems red carpet and grandiose plans using O.P.M. go hand in glove. How long until Len catches on?

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  19. berend (1,673 comments) says:

    Len can pay for rail now if he just sells his airport shares.

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  20. backster (2,122 comments) says:

    “uckland mayor Len Brown should “just do it” and build the proposed $2 billion city rail loop, former Victorian premier Jeff Kennett says.”

    Well maybe but first Len has to do this

    “As the architect of the “Kennett Revolution” when he came to office in 1992 he drastically cut state spending in Victoria, “offered 50,000 public servants opportunities beyond the public sector”.

    He could start with the Maori Advisory Board (19) plus fulltime Maori advisory employees (9) but before he can do anything at all, and at every stage of anything he does he has to consult and get permission from Tangata Whenua (koha).

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