Herald on Goff

November 24th, 2015 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald editorial:

Pointedly, Mr Goff offered to bring “a different personality” to the role in his announcement on Sunday. The pity was that he did not offer much else that was different, or indeed much at all. He promises to eliminate wasteful spending and needless bureaucracy. So do they all.

Can he point to any spending committed to by the current Council he does not support? If not, then why should people think rates won’t continue to skyrocket?

He aims for rate rises no higher than at present.

No higher than 10% per annum!!!

He supports higher density residential development and the central rail link. He will not allow the port to expand but he will not sell it, or even shares in it. He will not sell any “strategic assets”.

These are all off-the-shelf positions for a candidate from Mr Goff’s side of politics. Nothing he said on Sunday gave any sign he has been thinking deeply or originally about Auckland and the problems of the council, and what he might do with the sole executive powers of the mayor. Mr Goff has had a long time to consider these things.

It’s swapping one Labour Party Mayor for another.


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The Remuera Golf Club subsidy

November 23rd, 2015 at 4:08 pm by David Farrar

Bernard Hickey writes:

Just imagine if someone told you the ratepayers of Auckland and the taxpayers of New Zealand were giving billions of dollars to the wealthiest property owners in the land.

How would the public react? Probably not well. Yet that is exactly the case and I haven’t heard a chorus of talkback abuse or any outraged front pages or indignant questions in Parliament.

So here goes. Did you know that 1400 members of the Remuera Golf Club receive the exclusive benefit of a piece of Auckland Council-owned land valued at up to $517 million?

The club pays rates of $130,000 a year. If up to 70 per cent of that land was broken up and sold for housing and the rest left in parks, it would produce revenues of $16.5 million a year.

That’s an annual subsidy of $16.37 million, or $11,700 a member.

Councils should and do provide recreational and sporting facilities. But I don’t think golf courses should be subsidized like this. Sporting fields tend to be open to anyone to play on for a minimal fee, and often can host multiple codes. Also they are much much smaller than golf courses.

I think golf courses should have rates assessed at market prices. If the land is worth $500 million, then their rates bill should reflect that.

Even if each member played 50 rounds a year, that would be a subsidy of $233 per round or $13 a hole.

That’s a huge subsidy.

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Phil Goff’s plan for Auckland is to try and get non Aucklanders to pay for his promises

November 23rd, 2015 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports on Goff’s announcement:

“We need to do more than just finish the motorway network. We need to get on with the city rail link to double passenger capacity and deal with congestion at Britomart. We need light rail on the isthmus, in the East and out to the airport,” he said.

So he plans even more spending than Len. And how would he fund it?

But as far as he was concerned funding for that infrastructure would not come from asset sales, as two independent reports released last week suggested.

So he won’t free up capital to reinvest in more capital. That means borrowing for it, which means rates to go up to pay the interest.

However funding for major infrastructure could not come from rates, and he believed Aucklanders would see a change of heart from central government.

This is almost dishonest. It is the same thing Len Brown did. Promise all this spending, but just assume that the Government will pay for it. And when they don’t, well bang rates go up 10% (on average – often much more).

Phil Goff is campaigning for taxpayers in Napier, Invercargill and Christchurch to fund his campaign promises for Auckland.

“If we go with a well presented case, and it’s central government that’s holding up what needs to happen in Auckland, then central government wears the opprobrium for doing that”

So Phil Goff’s plan is to win the Mayoralty and then campaign against the Government for not giving him taxpayer money to fund his promises.

Under his leadership the council would learn to do more with less, and rates increases would be brought under control, he said.

How? Can he give any concrete examples of where he would reduce spending?

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Auckland Council assets

November 17th, 2015 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reports on a report which values various assets owned by Auckland Council, and how much they could get for them.  Rather than borrow billions of dollars, they could free up capital from these assets. It’s what most rational organisations would do.

The list includes:

  • Watercare $8.5 billion
  • 5% of parks and reserves $2.3 billion
  • Airport shares $1.4 billion
  • Four golf courses $1.4 billion
  • Port shares $1.1 billion
  • Mt Eden volcanic view shafts $0.4 billion
  • Pensioner houses $0.2 billion

Increasing rates by 10% and having debt double is a political decision. There are alternatives.

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Victoria Crone for Auckland Mayor?

November 17th, 2015 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Xero New Zealand managing director Victoria Crone has confirmed she is considering running for mayor of Auckland.

The career businesswoman said she had been approached to stand at next year’s election and was currently giving the matter thought.

That’s hugely exciting. I think Crone would bring great skills to the job, and I also think she could win.

As Aucklanders face average rates rises of 10% (and for some it has been much more than that, and for many years),  think they would welcome someone who isn’t a typical politician who will just put rates up further to fund their pet projects. There’s a lot of waste in the Council’s spending.

Crone is not a household name but the story of accounting software company Xero’s explosive growth is well known, and she has a high profile in business circles.

Xero is arguably our most well known and even iconic Internet start up. It has created hundreds of jobs for NZers, is beloved by the 200,000 or so users and also hugely popular with accountants.

Crone has two young daughters and competes in multisport events in her spare time.

She recently addressed the Labour Party conference about the future of work, and earlier this year wrote an opinion piece on the small business policies of both major political parties.

Crone can work across the political spectrum.

Local issues commentator and transport blogger Patrick Reynolds said if a candidate like Crone did not understand that local government was not a business “well then we’re in trouble”.

“I’m kind of bored with people who claim that we need business people running the country and our cities,” he said.

“Obviously we want it to be business-like, but it doesn’t have any of the clarity of outcome indicators like a business does, like shareholder returns.

It is not a business, but business skills can be incredibly useful in local government. First of all successful business leaders are leaders. They have to be able to work with diverse teams, and get agreement on a clear direction.

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Len’s borrowing

November 11th, 2015 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

Four years ago, the Auckland Council had $3,081 million of debt (June 2011). At June 2015 it had $6,328 billion of debt. That is an increase of 105%.

An an annual basis it means Auckland Council have been borrowing $812 million a year.

That’s $68 million a month.

Or $16 million a week.

On a daily basis that is $2.22 million every day for the last four years.

Now this isn’t central Government where your tax take is uncertain, and you have cycles of surpluses and deficits. Local Government is your rates income is a fixed amount and known and should match your spending (basically). Yet Len has chalked up $3.3 billion of borrowing in four years, which is partly why rates had to go up 10%.

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Hulse attacks Brown

November 11th, 2015 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Outgoing Auckland Mayor Len Brown is “not a team player”, his deputy says. …

Announcing his final decision on a Sunday morning without consulting anyone first was typical of his leadership style, she said.

“I thought we should have at least been accorded the respect to have been brought round the table to talk about how he was going to make that announcement.

“Len’s just not a team player,” Hulse said.

“That’s where the energy has drained out over the last couple of years around the council table.

“For those of us who’ve held things together it’s been pretty exhausting really.

“A good leader needs to spend as much time with his troops around the table and talking about things in detail as he does out the front chairing meetings and leading.”

Brown had not necessarily done a good job of that, she said.

That’s very damning, from your own hand-picked Deputy Mayor.

On the subject of Labour MP Phil Goff’s expected bid for the mayoralty she said she hoped he would be focused on what’s good for Auckland, rather than politics.

“The last thing we need is the long hand of Wellington running things in Auckland.”

Can Phil Goff put aside being a partisan MP for 35 years, to work with all Councillors?

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Goff to announce on 22 November

November 8th, 2015 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Labour MP Phil Goff is poised to confirm his bid for the Auckland Mayoralty, sounding the final death knell to Len Brown’s prospects of another term.

Goff is expected to make the announcement on November 22 and has already pulled together a campaign team, which includes former Brown aide, top spin doctor David Lewis.

Lewis’ presence in Goff’s camp is confirmation that the Left have swung in behind Goff’s candidacy, stripping Brown of the support and financial backing behind his previous successful bids.

Sources say that Brown will announce a decision about the mayoralty before Christmas and he has been counselled that he no longer has the backing to mount a successful bid. But it remains unclear if he will try to win another term, despite his lack of backing of the progressive vote in Auckland.

Goff’s camp are confident the MP has strong support across the Auckland region and that he is also a popular pick in Wellington, where the Government sees him as a strong and credible mayor who they can work with to get things done.

The key question is will Goff spend less than Brown? Len Brown and his Council hit Aucklanders with a 10% rates increase, at a time when inflation is under 1%. Will Goff commit to a cap on rates increases?

Len has surprised no one by saying he won’t stand again. But will a Goff led left Council be any different?

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Hide on the Auckland Super City

November 2nd, 2015 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

Rodney Hide writes in the Herald:

I’m afraid rate hikes seem a forever-thing. We keep voting for politicians who promise things and those things cost money which means higher rates. Rates will only come down if we elect politicians promising less, not more. That’s not been the case for years. The fault is with us.

Rates have not increased because of the Super City. Rates increased because the elected Councillors voted for lots of extra spending that needed a 10% rates increase to fund it.

The changes are all “under the hood”. We had eight councils trying to run Auckland. It was a nightmare. Roading projects were constantly stymied through political gamesmanship. Maintenance and repairs would go to a council boundary — and stop.

The major infrastructure works that Auckland needed couldn’t happen.

All that’s now different. It’s still not easy but with one mayor, one council, and one plan, the impossible has become possible and, indeed, is happening.

A big change is that central government can now talk to Auckland council and get answers. That previously was not possible. The failure of Auckland’s mayors and councils ever to agree meant nothing much happened.

Infrastructure development in Auckland was forever stalled.

Having one mayor and one council has made a huge difference for transport and other infrastructure developments but also for schools, policing, health care and, well, everything that central and local government does.

Not sexy but important.

The bylaws are now consistent across the city. That makes doing business across the region easier. It’s also fairer. There were 44 different water tariffs. Now there is one.

The service is better too. In ways you don’t necessarily notice but do care about.

I was shocked to discover most of the local water treatment plants were producing water that did not comply with the Ministry of Health’s standards. In Franklin alone, Watercare has now invested $116 million to transform the area’s water supply and to ensure a safe and reliable water supply.

Previously, much of Auckland’s water was not safe. Now it is.

These are changes well worth having. They are things you don’t notice when they work but you do when they don’t.


Helen Clark had started the process with a Royal Commission of Inquiry that followed on from exasperation that the mayors of Auckland couldn’t agree on where to site a new stadium to be paid for entirely by taxpayers. The Commission reported and John Key agreed to establish one council as recommended.

Which Labour then opposed despite being their own Royal Commission!

Two areas need consideration in my view. There are too many local boards. Twenty-one is too many to service and for the council and CCOs to consult. I don’t know the right number but a rationalisation is in order. A bigger jurisdiction would make them less local but the advantage would be in their say counting for more.

The Maori Statutory Board is a mistake. It’s a recipe for division and poor governance. The people running government should be elected, or appointed by those who are.

Critical decisions can turn on the vote of Maori Statutory Board members who themselves aren’t democratically accountable. The members of the Board are appointed by a Mana Whenua selection body. That’s wrong.

Yep. It should go.

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Auckland Future

October 30th, 2015 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

National Party figures are behind a new ticket, Auckland Future, being set up to wrestle for control of the Super City at next year’s local body elections.

A Council that doesn’t increase rates by 10% would be a good thing, and that needs Councillors who will commit to spending restraint.

Joe Davis, a Browns Bay business consultant and National Party volunteer chairing Auckland Future, said the organisation was incorporated in September.

He said there had been a lot of conversation across the centre-right, including the National Party, about wanting to see Auckland run well, and with a vision.

“There is real widespread dissatisfaction with the current state of Auckland,” Mr Davis said.

“The city is too big and too important to have councillors voting in an ad hoc manner on key issues.”

Any ticket should have two to three key pledges that they can be held to account for.


Herald urges Council to stick to its knitting

October 28th, 2015 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald editorial:

The Auckland Council intends to hold a debate and a vote on Thursday on whether to oppose exploratory oil drilling in an area of seabed off the west coast. Is this really part of its job? Not so long ago, the same council spent quite some time debating the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement. What does the council think it is doing?

Aucklanders, like the rest of New Zealand, elect a Parliament to debate issues of national interest and a government to make decisions on these issues. The Government receives information and advice from an apolitical public service maintained at public expense. Aucklanders who did not vote for one of the parties in power have their views well represented by a range of other parties in Parliament. MPs are well paid to keep themselves briefed on matters of national importance and to subject Government decisions to critical scrutiny, which they do with a vengeance. So why do any Auckland Council members imagine we need their expertise in these matters, or their political opinions on them?



Herald would have you think entire suburbs in Auckland can be demolished

October 21st, 2015 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

Thousands of homes across Auckland have been stripped of heritage protection, according to new maps presented to councillors at a confidential briefing on Friday.

Entire suburbs, including Mission Bay, Kohimarama, St Heliers, Takapuna, Milford and Belmont, have virtually no heritage protection, leaving them open for demolition.

Yes,you could wake up next and find entire suburbs have been demolished!

We must protect home owners from themselves!

All that has happened is that the Auckland Council is now looking at only protecting homes with actual heritage value, as opposed to protecting every pre-1944 home in Auckland.

This is a good thing. Blanket rules are stupid.


Auckland Councillors waste hours debating TPP!

October 9th, 2015 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

Auckland councillors have today spent two and a half hours debating the Trans Pacific Partnership at a reported cost of $50,000 to ratepayers.

Albany councillor Wayne Walker put forward a notice of motion, including clarification from Trade Minister Tim Groser on how the recommendations from eight Local Boards were being addressed in current negotiations.

After a long discussion on the trade agreement, several councillors vented their frustration on social media.

Councillor Denise Krum said: ” A very long morning! Best use of our time? I think not.”

Councillor Linda Cooper said at a cost for council committee meetings of $20,000 an hour, the debate had cost $50,000.

“That much money to a local community development organisation would employ a community broker. Actual work on the ground for people,” she said.

And councillor Sharon Stewart: “We need to stick to our core business.”

The debate took up most of the morning session at the regional strategy and policy committee.

Yes they do need to stick to core business.

What next – spent a morning debating Syria and ISIS?

If Councillors can waste time debating this, then there are too many of them, and not enough real work!

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Rankin’s Auckland policies

October 1st, 2015 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

Ngapuhi’s David Rankin has announced he is standing for Auckland Council:

Ngapuhi leader David Rankin has announced his intention to stand for the Auckland Council in next year’s local body elections.

“This Council is broken – it lacks imagination and integrity, and is driven by Len Brown’s vanity projects, which will drive Auckland bankrupt,” he said in a statement released tonight.

His five policies are:

  1. put an immediate end to the inner-city rail loop, and invest the funds instead on roading.
  2. extend the urban limits of the city to allow the supply of more land for housing. The aim will be for a radical drop in land prices due to a huge supply of residential-zoned land
  3. disband the current Maori statutory board and replace it with a five-member advisory board with a total budget of $150,000.
  4. Restore the access to all the volcanic peaks as it existed in 2011
  5. Halt all future cycle lanes, and remove existing ones where they obstruct traffic and a bicycle registration system will be introduced so that future cycle lanes will be built when the fund accumulated from cyclist registrations allows for it.

I like 2, 3 and 4.

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Goff’s running

September 24th, 2015 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

The Super City mayoral contest has sparked to life with Labour MP Phil Goff all but declaring he is standing and the first centre-right candidate coming forward.

Last night, Mr Goff told the Herald “it is likely I will put my name forward”, telling voters to expect an announcement before Christmas.

If Goff stands, will he remain an MP and campaign while being paid as an MP? Lianne Dalziel resigned as an MP prior to the results of the Mayoral election. Will Goff do the same?

This comes as Orakei Local Board member Mark Thomas puts his hat in the ring.

Mr Thomas is standing as an independent with encouragement from several councillors but no political backing at this stage for the October 2016 contest.

The mayoralty is important, but even more important is getting a majority on Council who will stop doing over ratepayers with 10% rates increases.

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No online voting for Auckland

August 30th, 2015 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

Aucklanders won’t be able to choose their next council at the click of a mouse.

Local Government Associate Minister Louise Upston confirmed that the country’s biggest city wouldn’t feature in a trial of online voting for next year’s local body elections.

Officials from the Super City are some of the biggest supporters of a digital voting revolution, but Auckland Council’s catchment has been deemed too big.

“A trial that includes all of Auckland and its approximately 1 million electors is simply too large to adequately mitigate these risks,” she said.

I understand the nervousness about having such a big Council s part of the trial, but by excluding Auckland you also run the risk that the trial is uneconomic.

If the Government was willing to contribute towards the costs of a trial, then I think it would be fine to say Auckland is too big to take part. But as the Government has declined to contribute costs, then excluding the largest Council in NZ runs the risk that the trial will not occur.

Stung by a dismal 36 per cent voter turnout in the 2013 elections, Auckland Council has lobbied hard to introduce internet voting.

But its campaign has failed. Applications are now only being sought from smaller councils to provide a range of voting systems.

So far, Porirua, Rotorua, Palmerston North, Matamata-Piako, Selwyn, Marlborough and Whanganui councils have confirmed that they want to be part of the trial.

So four cities and three districts. I’m not sure if they will be able to make it economic. I hope they can, because if there is a sucessful trial, I expect 90% of Councils would then offer an online voting option in future.

Auckland Council bosses are not happy about being sidelined as they consider the council is well placed to take part.

“We were disappointed the Government decided to exclude the council from the online voting trial,” manager democracy services, Marguerite Delbet, said.

The council had been actively working to introduce online voting and this year asked the Government to allow it.

Auckland’s size is a risk, but also a benefit. They have a more well resourced voting unit than most Councils, and I think would have addedvalue to teh trial.

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Why does Auckland Council own 13 golf courses?

August 15th, 2015 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

Auckland Council is reviewing its ownership of 13 golf courses worth more than $40 million, as pressure builds to find space for thousands of new homes in the city.

Developers say the land could be used for up to 8000 houses and apartments if the entire 200ha-plus area was made available, easing the city’s chronic shortfall of about 30,000 homes.

Golf courses are commercial propositions. No need for the Council to own them.

However, the exercise comes as the council is urgently looking for new sources of revenue and space to build houses within existing city limits. Several golf courses, such as Waiheke and Waitemata in Devonport, occupy real estate worth millions but pay only peppercorn rents as little as $1 a year.

Outrageous. Subsidised golf. General parks are open to everyone to use for recreation. These are available only to members of the associated golf club. The golf club should buy the land from the Council or at least pay market rent for it.

Figures obtained by the Weekend Herald show many golf courses enjoy historic sweetheart deals: the Waitemata Golf Club and the Waiheke Golf Club each pay only $1 a year for their privileged positions, surrounded by hundreds of 800sq m private sections paying $4000 a year in rates.

Those two clubs alone occupy 42.7ha, while Omaha, near the holiday home of golfing Prime Minister John Key, returns $5 a year to ratepayers.

That’s 427,000 square metres or 534 800 sq metre sections. So the rates alone from those sections would be $2.14 million.

Hobsonville Land Company chief executive Chris Aiken estimated 5000 to 6000 houses could be built on 200ha but more-intensive use could see up to 8000 residences.

He called for a close examination of all under-utilised Auckland land, not just that used for sports or recreation.



A 70 year old house is not a heritage house

August 12th, 2015 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Heritage campaigners are dismayed by the rejection of a council proposal to protect pre-1944 character housing areas.

The Auckland Unitary Plan Independent Hearings Panel rejected the council proposal for a pre-1944 damage control overlay in the proposed Unitary Plan as “unnecessary”.

The overlay is a proposed interim measure to last for three years and protect all pre-1944 houses not already covered by special character or heritage controls.

This interim period is to allow the council to assess each house individually and determine its historic and special character value.

The panel says based on the evidence submitted, the pre-1944 buildings are not deserving of historic heritage scheduling or inclusion in a special character area.

Very pleasing the panel is making decisions on evidence, not sentiment.

This would have deprived every home owner of a pre 1944 home of the ability to control their own house.

Decisions on heritage status should be based on individual properties, not broad classifications.

In theory the Council only wanted this for an interim period, but I am sure once all these houses were classified as heritage, it would be an uphill struggle to get them removed.

The panel’s interim guidance is not binding and the council will have the final say on the pre-1944 demolition control.

It will do this once the panel makes its final Unitary Plan recommendations toward the end of 2016.

Hopefully they will not over-turn the panel.

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Auckland Mayoral candidates on the big issues

August 10th, 2015 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald asked some questions of potential Auckland mayoral candidates. The more important answers (my summaries) are:

Would you cap the rates rise?

  • Phil Goff – no
  • Michael Barnett – no
  • Colin Craig – yes to inflation, and referendum for anything beyond that
  • Cameron Brewer – yes 2.5%
  • John Palino – yes to inflation

What projects would you cut?

  • Phil Goff – none, need a briefing
  • Michael Barnett – none, just prioritise
  • Colin Craig – drop rail loop
  • Cameron Brewer – low quality bureaucratic programmes
  • John Palino – city rail link

Priority for transport – roads or public transport?

  • Phil Goff – public transport
  • Michael Barnett – need a mix
  • Colin Craig – roads and busways
  • Cameron Brewer – too much focus on rail used by only 1.6% of communters
  • John Palino – not clear
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Will Gattung stand?

August 8th, 2015 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

Former Telecom boss Theresa Gattung is believed to be seriously thinking about standing for the Auckland mayoralty next year, sources have told the Weekend Herald.

Ms Gattung and Labour MP Phil Goff are the two biggest names to emerge to challenge Len Brown, who has not said if he will seek a third term. Last night, Mr Goff said he had still not made a final decision, but sources close to the MP put the odds on him standing at 95 per cent.

That would be great.

I can’t imagine Phil Goff could possibly lead Auckland Council to reduce costs. The current left dominated Council has just put rates up 9.9%. Someone like Theresa Gattung could get rid of waste and focus the Council on core business.

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Yes the solution to Auckland is more Councillors!

July 31st, 2015 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

The country’s largest city could end up with more local politicians, if a bid by Auckland Council for a law change is successful.

Auckland is the only local authority in New Zealand which can’t increase its number of councillors, despite population growth.

The legislation which set up the Super City five years ago capped the number of elected representatives at 20 plus the mayor.

But Auckland’s burgeoning population means areas such as the central city Waitemata ward are already outgrowing their representative limits, which aim to have all wards having about the same number of residents.

Then you can change the word boundaries without changing the total number of Councillors.

A Council of 21 is already large and unwieldy for decision making matters. Making it bigger will just make it even worse.


Ratepayers paying for personal calls to tell them how much more their rates will be!

July 15th, 2015 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

Auckland Council is spending up to $90,000 to provide advance warnings to householders to be hit by rates rises not due to be generally notified until midnight tonight.

The council is making about 12,000 phone calls to brace those ratepayers for the worst, and has been mailing around 77,000 letters to let others know their rates notices will be coming soon.

A spokeswoman said the phone campaign had been funded through the council’s long-term budget, to the tune of a $60,000 initially, but with an option to add another $30,000 if needed.

“The call is a chance for council staff to talk through changes to rates as a result of revaluation, transition, change of property and the transport levy….” she said.

It is in advance of the council’s rating database going live online at midnight tonight.

But Point Chevalier resident Andrew Robertson, for whom a phone call received last night as he was cooking dinner for his family of six warning him of a 46 per cent rates rise, has condemned the campaign as another example of a spend-thrift council.

Mr Robertson, who faces a $1720 increase to $5500 in his rates bill, said he was expecting “some variation” in an average residential rise of 9.9 per cent in view of recent property revaluations.

“But 46 per cent?” he asked.


I’d encourage Mr Robertson and others to join the Auckland Ratepayers’ Alliance, and fight back.

“It must cost money to have a person sitting on a phone ringing up ratepayers telling them what’s going to be coming in a couple of days anyway. What’s the point?”

Trying to protect the guilty 10 who voted for the massive increases from a public backlash.


Translating Phil Goff

June 30th, 2015 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Phil Goff criticises Auckland ‘presidential’ leadership | Stuff.co.nz

Auckland mayoral prospect Phil Goff says he would run the city differently from the current “presidential” style of leadership.

In a local television interview the Mt Roskill Labour MP has reiterated that he’s seriously considering standing for mayor, but claims he still hasn’t made the final decision.

Translation: I’m definitely running

“If I ran for mayor, that’s the reason I’d run as an independent.

Translation: Labour is unpopular in Auckland, so I’m hoping to con people into thinking I haven’t been a Labour MP for the past 34 years.

“I think a mayor needs not to be partisan, but to be inclusive to look after the whole of the city and to try and work with the whole of the council.

Translation: I hope to win with no policies, no position on rates increases by just promising to be inclusive.
Also Phil Goff claimed that Auckland is 40% of NZ’s GDP. He’s out by $11 billion or so. NZ GDP in March 2014 was $220 billion so 40% is $92 billion. Auckland’s GDP was $81 billion.
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A ratepayer funded party to celebrate a 10% rates rise!

June 28th, 2015 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

Auckland Mayor Len Brown and council staff held a ratepayer-funded party hours after passing a new budget that includes a 9.9 per cent average rates rise for households.

Senior staff have defended the function as a way of thanking staff but critics say the decision was misguided when thousands of Aucklanders were smarting from big rates increases.

If this just adds even more pain to the 9.9% rates rise, you can do something about it – join the Auckland Ratepayers’ Alliance. The 10 Councillors who voted for the 9.9% rates rise will be targeted for defeat at next year’s election – to send a signal to all Councils and Councillors in NZ that if you massively hike rates, you will lose your jobs.


The guilty 10

June 26th, 2015 at 7:00 am by David Farrar
  • Arthur Anae
  • Len Brown
  • Bill Cashmore
  • Linda Cooper
  • Chris Darby
  • Alf Filipaina
  • Mike Lee
  • Calum Penrose
  • Wayne Walker
  • Penny Webster

You now know who not to vote for Auckland.

Special attention must go to Mike Lee who correctly labels the 9.9% rates increase as odious and deeply flawed, yet votes for it.