Hulse vs Brown

Radio NZ reported:

It was probably the most electrifying exchange in Auckland Council’s six years of existence.

After being interrupted, deputy mayor Penny Hulse closed her eyes and composed herself.

The following minute ended the unswerving public loyalty that Ms Hulse had shown Mayor Len Brown through his rollercoaster six-year encumbency.

The wedge that finally drove the two apart was Auckland Council’s three-year-old idea of requiring larger housing developments to make 10 percent of the homes built affordable.

The Independent Hearings Panel tasked with re-writing Auckland’s Unitary Plan dumped the quota – and yesterday councillors voted 13-7 to uphold that decision. …

As the councillors argued over the provision during yesterday’s Unitary Plan debate, Mr Brown signalled it was time for him to speak.

“I’ll probably go down fighting like a shark, I feel strongly on this,” he opened.

“I had to fight the government to get that affordability clause written into the Housing Accord,” he said, referring to the agreement which operated over the previous three years.

Over the next six minutes he advanced arguments contrary to those of his deputy, to whom he had given the role three years earlier of leading the development of new housing ideas.

Other councillors argued for and against, until it was time to vote.

Then Ms Hulse took the unusual step of asking to speak for a second time.

“I feel I haven’t really been able to express myself in probably the most important debate of all. I would like a chance to just speak briefly and if you say yes, I’d appreciate that, ” she asked. Mr Brown agreed. …

The final minute of Ms Hulse’s address began in a voice shaking with emotion.

“I’ve spent the last three years working on this issue. To have to vote on something I fundamentally believe in with every fibre of my being and that can be construed as not supporting affordability in this city is the hardest thing that I will need to do.

“On the other hand I don’t believe in populist politics, I don’t believe in grandstanding and I don’t believe in making promises that we can’t deliver on,” she told councillors, some of whom applauded.

“I believe in things we can genuinely deliver.”

So basically the Deputy Mayor said the Mayor was grandstanding and making promises that could not be delivered on. Wow.

Comments (11)

Login to comment or vote