Len’s gaggle of spin doctors

February 16th, 2013 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

has just hired his sixth spin doctor. That’s six , all funded by the ratepayer, working in Len’s private office. That isn’t six for the entire Auckland Council. That is six just for Len.

Started this month is Dan Lambert as Len’s propaganda manager. He comes from the United Kingdom.

Dan joins Glyn Jones who was the chief spin doctor, and who is now called Media Communications Manager.

Len also has a senior press secretary, a communications advisor, former Clark spin doctor David Lewis as a media consultant and a speech writer on top of that.

Len has more spin doctors than the entire Parliamentary Labour Party (they have five). The previous Mayor of Auckland had just one – Cameron Brewer.

Should Auckland ratepayers be funding Len’s reelection campaign?

Talking of the election, isn’t it time also for C&R and their friends in Auckland to get their shit together and select a Mayoral candidate. Otherwise Len and his six spin doctors will have too easy a time of it.

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35 Responses to “Len’s gaggle of spin doctors”

  1. Reid (15,498 comments) says:

    Otherwise Len and his six spin doctors will have too easy a time of it.

    No they won’t. See, the spin doctors are working full time on how to spin Len’s loop so it makes the slightest sense but it’s impossible for only one man to do that so they went to two, then four, now six, an import, fresh thinking on the problem. Well let’s hope Dan the man can make the breakthrough so the full time mountainous effort can finally wind down and everyone can turn themselves once again to daily affairs.

    After three years of non-stop work.

    So they’ve been too busy to promote Len, they’ve had to spend all this time and effort making sure he wasn’t hoisted by his own petard and that was Herculean enough. It’s a shame he ever said anything in the first place, I mean, he clearly never asked anyone about it, he can’t have. They would have said no straight away.

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  2. iMP (2,143 comments) says:

    While we’re on city spinning, Vicki Anderson’s piece in The Press on Quake Porn and the Canterbury museum, is excellent.

    http://conzervative.wordpress.com/2013/02/16/quake-porn/

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  3. Johnboy (13,335 comments) says:

    Ah well the future of Len and his accoutrements is entirely in the hands of the ratepayers of the supercity.

    They voted him in last time. Will they be two time losers? :)

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  4. bchapman (649 comments) says:

    Wasn’t the super city structure set and mayoral office set up by Rodney Hide? Ask him about the budget allocated to the mayor.

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  5. Redbaiter (6,463 comments) says:

    Yep, its utter madness, especially when one thinks about whther the so called spin doctors really have any kind of clue. Who vets them and who decides if they’re succesful or not?

    There is many a politician getting bullshit advice from mainstream media besotted progressive/ liberal flunkies who do not know how out of touch they may be.

    Quote-

    The PM’s office has about 25 highly-professional staff working in it. Under Helen Clark’s rule, Heather Simpson was of course the head of the unit, and thus the second in command of the Labour Government. Simpson’s replacement is Wayne Eagleson, who like Heather Simpson is highly aversive to both media scrutiny and political risk. In his unit of about 25, he has people working for him such as Kevin Taylor (Chief Press Secretary), Phil de Joux (Deputy Chief of Staff, former head of the National Party research unit), Sarah Boyle (Senior Adviser; apparently a “guru of the Official Information Act”), Stephen Woodhouse (Senior Private Secretary), Grant Johnston (Chief Policy Adviser; former Treasury policy wonk and partner of columnist Joanne Black), Jason Ede (Senior Adviser), Nicola Willis (Senior Advisor), Lesley Hamilton (Press Secretary), and Paula Oliver (Press Secretary).

    Unquote

    See

    http://truebluenz.com/2011/12/30/kiwiblogs-mystery-writers/

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  6. jaba (2,068 comments) says:

    is there any hint on potential contenders in the next election (please don’t suggest Penny Not So)?

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  7. Aidy (7 comments) says:

    Something David forgot to mention: The previous Mayor of Auckland was the Mayor of Central Auckland and the Gulf Islands. The Current Mayor is the Mayor of Rodney, Waitakere, Central Auckland, the Gulf Islands, Manukau, Papakura and Franklin. And the Council has taken over the responisbilities of the ARC.

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  8. Johnboy (13,335 comments) says:

    Idi Amin would have been a better Mayor of Auckland.

    His Excellency President for Life, Field Marshall Al Hadji Dr. Idi Amin, VC, DSO, MC, King of Scotland, Lord of all the Beast of the Earth and Fishes of the Sea and Conqueror of the British Empire in General and Uganda in Particular Mayor of Rodney, Waitakere, Central Auckland, the Gulf Islands, Manukau, Papakura and Franklin.

    He had much more presence. :)

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  9. noskire (796 comments) says:

    @jaba

    Penny Not So Bright, the infamously demure, self-deprecating and self-elected spokesperson for truly great causes such as Greater Freedom For Hedgehogs, The Greater-Auckland Paranoid-Schizophrenics Neighbourhood Watch Collective, Lesbians Without A Cause (also known as Lick-A-Like) and Dodge Your Rates By Being A Muppet will be mounting a campaign for Auckland super-city supremacy once she has mastered SimCity2000 on the PC.

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  10. Fox (182 comments) says:

    *sarcasm on* Thank you Rodney ‘perkbuster’ Hide for including limitations with regards to the Mayoral budget and personal staffing during the Auckland Supercity reforms. Another job well done. *sarcasm off*

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  11. Rightandleft (574 comments) says:

    I made the serious mistake of voting for loony Len last time. I won’t be fooled twice on that one. I just hope the alternatives don’t all back his crazy rail loop too though. Last time Banks was pro-rail loop as well. I don’t know if 6 spinners will be enough for Len, he’s alienated so many people on both the right and left.

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  12. swan (651 comments) says:

    “Talking of the election, isn’t it time also for C&R and their friends in Auckland to get their shit together and select a Mayoral candidate”

    For gods sake I hope someone decent puts their hand up. Another three years of Len Brown will be very painful.

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  13. Viking2 (10,687 comments) says:

    Fox (110) Says:
    February 16th, 2013 at 5:08 pm

    *sarcasm on* Thank you Rodney ‘perkbuster’ Hide for including limitations with regards to the Mayoral budget and personal staffing during the Auckland Supercity reforms. Another job well done. *sarcasm off*
    ——————–
    Except Rodney wrote this at National s behest because they actually didn’t have anyone capable of doing so. Once written the Nats. vetted and changed it all (remember Rodney was against Maori with special non voted seats at council which the Nats. over ruled).

    And in the end the Nats passed it in the form it is so you got what the Nats wanted.

    Rodney would rather have been Finance Minister which would have really made a difference instead of the bumbling boy from that place no one has heard of.. Oh yes dopey Dipton. the one horse town from down country.

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  14. Fox (182 comments) says:

    Rodney would rather have been Finance Minister which would have really made a difference instead of the bumbling boy from that place no one has heard of

    Really? If he let the Nats walk all over him as Minister of Local Government, how would he have faired any better as Finance Minister?

    And yes, National share the blame for Looney Len’s 6 member entourage as well. I’m not denying that at all.

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  15. lazza (296 comments) says:

    “Spin” from Len is just the a tip of a Titanic-sized Auckland Council iceberg. There has been, and currently there is no … Zip! information coming out of the AC by way of any useful intelligible/performance reporting. Within the next ten years AC will hold 64% of ALL NZ Council debt … done with no/low accountability,just PR BS. This is going to end up in tears … Lord have mercy … Oh … BTW Where are the auditors? Another factoid … AC is three times bigger than Fonterra. At least we know how “they” are doing. Not so for “OUR” voracious-expensive peoples nightmare.

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  16. bhudson (4,720 comments) says:

    Wasn’t the super city structure set and mayoral office set up by Rodney Hide? Ask him about the budget allocated to the mayor.

    @bchapman,

    That is like saying that Johnathan Hunt collecting National Super while living high on the (taxpayer) hog as High Commissioner in London, was the fault of the government.

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  17. Alfred (52 comments) says:

    There is not a hope in hell that C&R has any chance under its current management. They all believe that they understand politics better than anyone else and STILL can’t understand, or believe that they lost!!!

    They should be out there now building profile of candidates. Instead they thing someone like Greg Moyle is the answer (he’s one of the most disliked C&R representatives. Their view of Cameron Brewer is just as bleak with C&R believing that he should toe the line with them.

    All I can say is that they are FUCKING USELESS. Len has no worries.

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  18. the conservative (57 comments) says:

    But let’s not forget how Len Brown has wasted $100,000 of our rates’ money on the gay parade today.

    Len Brown:

    “In the new Auckland, diversity is our strength. And that’s why I am so proud to support the first Auckland Pride Festival. We already come out in our thousands for occasions like Matariki, Anniversary Day, Pasifika, Diwali and the Lantern Festival.
    The Pride Festival is one more very important celebration of the rainbow community that is Auckland. The fortnight-long festival will showcase and highlight our diversity, and I look forward to the arts, sports and community events as well as the big events such as Get It On! Big Gay Out and the Parade.

    Many Aucklanders remember Hero Parade with great fondness. I look forward to my annual appearance at the Get It On! Big Gay Out. However, there’s more to Pride than just fun. Through the Council controlled organisation, Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED), we have contributed $100,000 to the festival, but we expect the event to return a great deal more than that to the visitor economy.”

    http://www.gayexpress.co.nz/2013/02/welcome-to-the-auckland-pride-festival/

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  19. orewa1 (425 comments) says:

    Aucklanders didnt vote Len Brown in. We voted John Banks out.

    It is way over time for somebody on the right of centre to push the pathetic Citizens and Ratepayers aside and find a high quality candidate. Right now Cameron Brewer looks like the only bet, but surely there will be others?????

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  20. Shazzadude (465 comments) says:

    Len Brown will be easily re-elected. I think Colin Craig might’ve had a chance had he not ventured into national politics.

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  21. wiseowl (569 comments) says:

    The Mayor of any city should not be able to hire any spin doctors.If they are good enough to stand for such prestigous office they should be able to front up themselves.

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  22. mikemikemikemike (239 comments) says:

    So says one of the paid National Party spin doctors :p….

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  23. kowtow (6,684 comments) says:

    In one form or another this empire building and waste of rate payers ‘ money is going on practically every where.

    And no one really seems to give a shit!

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  24. rakuraku (162 comments) says:

    Spin seems to be the name of the game these days, National ans Simon Joyce have mastered it, however I guess len is just spending his allocated budget on media propaganda, all professional bludgers in Central and Local Government.

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  25. HC (130 comments) says:

    And how many “spin doctors” has John Key got, apart from National Party expert Spin Meisters David Farrar and Matthew Hooton?

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  26. burt (7,083 comments) says:

    <sarcasm>A lefty shamelessly using other people’s money in their own best interests … Who’d have thunk it!</sarcasm>

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  27. northern (44 comments) says:

    Incidentally, although Dan Lambert has just come from working in the UK, he is in fact a Kiwi and used to work for Steve Maharey in Parliament…

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  28. Rhodie (28 comments) says:

    The same Len Brown whose leadership at Manukau City (as it then was) could only have been described as incompetent, now requires one more spin-doctor to cover up his malpractice. I note with concern he also quite casually uses $100k of ratepayer funds to sponsor the Poofters Parade. But then, that’s only to be expected from a Labour politician, isn’ it ? :-(

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  29. Paulus (2,289 comments) says:

    I am quite happy for the people of Auckland to re-elect Lying Len.

    You get what you voted, for failing to vote in a more moderate way, so suck it and see.
    After all not all that many actually pay rates, so tough.

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  30. publicwatchdog (1,801 comments) says:

    Here you go Kiwibloggers!

    NO ‘Spin-doctors’ here! :)

    Some of the issues for which I will be campaigning as a 2013 Auckland Mayoral Candidate:

    ACTION PLAN TO PREVENT CORRUPTION – ‘WHITE COLLAR’ CRIME & ‘CORPORATE WELFARE’ IN NZ:

    1. Get our anti-corruption domestic legislative framework in place so NZ can ratify the UN Convention Against Corruption.

    2. Set up an NZ independent anti-corruption body tasked with educating the public and PREVENTING corruption.

    3. Change NZ laws to ensure genuine transparency in the funding of candidates for elected public office and political parties at central and local government level.

    4. Legislate for an enforceable ‘Code of Conduct’ for NZ Members of Parliament (who make the rules for everyone else).

    5. Make it an offence under the Local Government Act 2002 for NZ Local Government elected representatives to breach their ‘Code of Conduct’.

    6. Make it a lawful requirement for a publicly-available ‘Register of Interests’ for NZ Local Government elected representatives.

    7. Make it a lawful requirement for a publicly-available ‘Register of Interests’ for NZ Central Government staff responsible for property and procurement, (including the Ministry of Health), in order to help prevent ‘conflicts of interest’.

    8. Make it a lawful requirement for a publicly-available ‘Register of Interests’ for NZ Local Government staff, and Directors and staff employed by ‘Council-Controlled Organisations (CCOs) responsible for property and procurement.

    9. Make it a lawful requirement for details of ‘contracts issued’ – including the name of the contractor; scope, term and value of the contract to be published in NZ Central Government Public Sector, and Local Government (Council), and ‘Council-Controlled Organisation (CCO) Annual Reports so that they are available for public scrutiny.

    10. Make it a lawful requirement that a ‘cost-benefit analysis’ of NZ Central Government, and Local Government public finances be undertaken to prove that private procurement of public services previously provided ‘in-house’ is cost-effective for the public majority. If not – then return public service provision to staff directly employed ‘in-house’ and cut out these private contractors who are effectively dependent on ‘corporate welfare’.

    11. Legislate for a legally-enforcable ‘Code of Conduct’ for members of the NZ Judiciary, to ensure they are not ‘above the law’.

    12. Ensure that ALL NZ Court proceedings are recorded, and audio records made available to parties who request them.

    13. Make it a lawful requirement for a publicly-available NZ Judicial ‘Register of Interests’, to help prevent ‘conflicts of interest’.

    14. Make it a lawful requirement for a publicly-available NZ ‘Register of Lobbyists’ and ‘Code of Conduct for Lobbyists’ at Central Government Ministerial level.

    15. Make it a lawful requirement at NZ Central and Local Government level for a ‘post-separation employment quarantine’ period from the time officials leave the public service to take up a similar role in the private sector. (Help stop the ‘revolving door’).

    16. Make it a lawful requirement that it is only a binding vote of the public majority that can determine whether public assets held at NZ Central or Local Government level are sold; or long-term leased via Public-Private –Partnerships (PPPs).

    17. Make it unlawful for politicians to knowingly misrepresent their policies prior to election at central or local government
    level.

    18. Make laws to protect individuals, NGOs and community-based organisations who are ‘whistleblowing’ against ‘conflicts of interest’ and corrupt practices at central and local government level and within the judiciary.

    19. Legislate to help stop ‘State Capture’, a form of ‘grand corruption’ arguably endemic in NZ – where vested interests get their way at the ‘policy level’ before legislation is passed which serves their interests.

    Prepared by Penny Bright, ‘Anti-corruption’ and ‘Anti-privatisation’ campaigner (2013 Auckland Mayoral Candidate)

    _____________________________________________________________________________________________

    Cheers!

    :)

    http://www.dodgyjohnhasgone.com

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  31. dog_eat_dog (674 comments) says:

    What are you going to do if no one pays their rates bill?

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  32. sweetd (124 comments) says:

    Pay your rates first Penny.

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  33. BlairM (2,265 comments) says:

    C&R don’t run candidates for Mayor. Their implicitly endorced candidate normally runs as an independent.

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  34. Francis_X (143 comments) says:

    DPF – you’re kidding us, right?

    Central governments – and National is no exception – spends tens of millions of dollars on their Prime Ministerial staff, including dozens of spin doctors, media-minders, speech-writers, strategists, etc, etc, and you have the cheek to point the finger at someone else?

    Hypocrisy does not become you my dear chap.

    Quote: wiseowl (209) Says:
    February 16th, 2013 at 9:12 pm

    The Mayor of any city should not be able to hire any spin doctors”

    Yeah? And what about Prime Ministers? Does the same apply to Clark and now Key, or are you advocating different rules for different politicians.

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  35. Brian of Mt Wgtn (18 comments) says:

    This muppet Night Mayor Brown is just treating the ratepayers with contempt. He spends ratepayers dollars like its his own money and then tries to justify it by saying ” It’s what Aucklanders told him they want.” He has never asked my opinion on any of the personal spending Ratepayer funded non core council projects. He is just vote chasing and to have 6 publicly funded personal spin doc’s he must be worried that he will do or say something to stuff his election campaign up. Hopefully someone decent puts their hand up to run for Mayor and whips Brown’s ass.

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