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Megan Woods: Democracy isn’t “risky”, Minister

Written By: - Date published: 9:00 am, March 22nd, 2015 - 60 comments

megan woods

Nick Smith’s latest pronouncements on ECan are an insult to Cantabrians – and a chilling precedent for any other regional councils who step out of line.

National still attacking democracy in Canterbury

Written By: - Date published: 8:45 am, March 20th, 2015 - 10 comments

democracy under attack thumb

The Nats’ takeover of Environment Canterbury is the greatest attack on democratic rights ever seen in this country. They are about to extend the period of imposed rule, because a fully elected body carries “too many risks”. If you think the people of Canterbury can actually be trusted with democracy you can sign the petition.

Len Brown is toast

Written By: - Date published: 8:00 am, March 18th, 2015 - 117 comments

len-brown

Bernard Orsman has reported in the Herald today that Len Brown’s campaign team no longer back him and are considering support for a Phil Goff run for the mayoralty.

Local Leadership

Written By: - Date published: 10:26 pm, February 4th, 2015 - 3 comments

llgcJan

The Labour Local Government Council ran a hui last Friday in Wellington. I went along and it was one of the better Labour events I have been to in a long time – community-based organisers sharing and discussing what works. Crosby/Textor is onto it too.

Happy birthday Auckland

Written By: - Date published: 7:02 am, January 26th, 2015 - 11 comments

Auckland

Happy Birthday Auckland. Body in The Herald comments on “A splendid anniversary”

Armstrong and Small on Nick Smith’s RMA reforms

Written By: - Date published: 9:05 am, January 24th, 2015 - 26 comments

nick smith and joh key

Senior political reporters Vern Small and John Armstrong have both chosen to pan Nick Smith’s proposed RMA changes using remarkably similar logic.  Update: and Fran O’Sullivan has a go too.

Where have all the houses gone?

Written By: - Date published: 7:10 am, January 20th, 2015 - 131 comments

Trailerpark-Stack

Yesterday it was announced that Auckland is the ninth least affordable city in the world requiring 8.3 times their average wage to buy a home. Reducing regulation hasn’t worked, otherwise more than 20 homes would have been built under the 2013 fast track accord. The problem is a shortage of affordable housing.

Save the Pohutukawa Six

Written By: - Date published: 9:28 am, January 3rd, 2015 - 34 comments

Motat pohutukawa

Despite local opposition Auckland Transport intends to fell six prominent Pohutukawa to make way for an extra road lane with dubious transport benefits.

Why John Banks must never be the Super City Mayor

Written By: - Date published: 12:00 pm, December 3rd, 2014 - 60 comments

John Banks NOPE

The Herald today suggested John Banks is thinking of another tilt at the Super City Mayoralty. This video shows why he should never be trusted with this position.

Cause of poverty and inequality found!

Written By: - Date published: 8:06 am, October 8th, 2014 - 36 comments

National government state house sales Tamaki Housing Group

Good news citizens! The National government has revealed unto us today the cause of poverty and inequality.

Unaffordable housing & the culture of greed

Written By: - Date published: 11:17 am, October 4th, 2014 - 42 comments

Greed-is-Good-251x300

Rental housing remains unaffordable for many.  The problem is the greed of investors & speculators,  supported by a culture in which housing investment is seen as a way to individual prosperity.

First they sold Auckland, then the rest of NZ…?

Written By: - Date published: 10:00 am, October 3rd, 2014 - 28 comments

John_key_pokies

A quiet shift in a dodgy Key govt-SkyCity deal: TVNZ land, sold to SkyCity for its convention centre, is to be used for a new hotel.  Plus: non-mandated deal between Auckland Transport Authority & a US corporate – intense surveillance of Aucklanders’ diverse activities.

Helen Kelly on Vote Chat: Questions for PoA & Key?

Written By: - Date published: 1:35 pm, August 16th, 2014 - 17 comments

Helen Kelly

Helen Kelly is interviewed on Vote Chat.  Kelly raises questions about the Ports of Auckland & Key’s role in Dirty Politics. She has read some of Dirty Politics, & was axed from today’s the Nation Panel, then replaced by Josie Pagani.[Updated]

Message from Christchurch: Send Help Now

Written By: - Date published: 8:57 am, August 5th, 2014 - 36 comments

christchurch crowd

Power has been concentrated into the figure of one man – a man who has in recent weeks shown that he thinks he is above the rule of law. You might think your one vote doesn’t make much of a difference – but it is everything to us here. Another three years of National and Brownlee, and we might not have a vote at a local level at all.

Provincial councils not happy over roads.

Written By: - Date published: 1:38 pm, June 30th, 2014 - 38 comments

truck

National has been sucking billions of dollars out of the provincial road maintenance budgets to throw into “Roads of Significance only to National” since 2009. In the latest round, maintenance costs for roads mostly used by trucks will drop to an average of 52%, with the small populations of ratepayers expected to subsidize trucking firms. Is it any wonder that they’re looking at National’s token gesture  over the weekend with disdain and anger. Meanwhile the urban centres aren’t getting the public transport they need.

Auckland’s forgotten West

Written By: - Date published: 8:55 am, June 17th, 2014 - 107 comments

Auckland June 2014 storm damage NZ Herald

Almost a week after last week’s storm, some people in West Auckland are only just getting their power back on, while others are still without hot water. Some parts of Auckland’s west are becoming increasingly neglected under John Key’s watch, especially since the centralising-moves following Hide’s blueprint for the “supercity”.

The neoliberal power game: cities for sale

Written By: - Date published: 7:24 am, May 4th, 2014 - 27 comments

skycity auckland

An NZ Herald article about Mai Chen’s book on Auckland Council, supports big power, big money, big competition, and economic activities focused on anything but the production of material needs and wants.  It ignores the struggling precariat living with housing, income, transport and energy poverty.

Second class citizens. Beggars belief

Written By: - Date published: 9:49 am, April 29th, 2014 - 58 comments

begging

Out of sight-out of mind seems to be the logic of Auckland City’s bylaw to come into effect next month, to outlaw begging on the streets. The clear message from Native Affairs report, ‘Walk on By‘, last night, is that the bylaw is the result of pressure from the comfortable middle classes. [Update: bylaw only says it’s an offence where begging causes a nuisance]

Auckland Council CCO 2 step

Written By: - Date published: 10:42 am, March 7th, 2014 - 13 comments

Asset theft National disgrace Demo Auckland Dec 2012

Mai Chen argues that the current review of Auckland Council CCOs will put them on a tighter leash.  Tony Holman argues against the whole CCO set up: it’s a trojan horse, 2 step towards privatisation of Auckland assets.  Aucklanders need to have their say. Vote out Team Key to prevent such sales.

NRT: No justice for electoral fraud

Written By: - Date published: 4:05 pm, February 19th, 2014 - 28 comments

no-right-turn-256

Daljit Singh got an inappropriately short sentence for committing electoral fraud. It is hardly a deterrent to prospective politicians from trying to fiddle the electoral system. What was interesting was the way that the fraud was picked up – using back end systems. Far better than the type of populist stupidity to intimidate voters that National MP’s are currently supporting.

A glorious waste of money for the titillation of perverts

Written By: - Date published: 9:28 am, February 8th, 2014 - 67 comments

Auckland Five_Page_1

The fiasco of the wet dick and the perverts shuddered to a conclusion yesterday with the direct bill of around $250,000. Len Brown was strong-armed into paying $40,000 for the audit which turned up nothing much except that his wife brought a lot of hotel nights. Questions remain about who was responsible for the waste caused by the lack of scoping of the external audit. Looks like dirty politics at the ratepayers expense.

Herald massaging a message

Written By: - Date published: 5:19 pm, January 23rd, 2014 - 23 comments

sinking-herald-square

The Herald continues its tabloid-style vendetta against Len Brown by serving up non-news in a shock-horror frame to make the mayor look bad. With a combination of the delicate removal/rewriting of what was said and a a senile loss of memory about the chains imposed on Auckland by National, Act and Rodney Hide – the Granny Herald continues its downward slide into irrelevance.

Auckland Council’s next 100 days

Written By: - Date published: 9:54 am, January 14th, 2014 - 46 comments

Auckland

Auckland Council probably has only 100 days left to sort itself out.  Otherwise it is going to be a long three years where the prospects of good being achieved will be poor.

Local govt is on the move

Written By: - Date published: 11:00 am, January 6th, 2014 - 51 comments

5377401-isolated-illustration-of-a-house-being-squeezed-in-a-vice

The Local Government Commission is currently proposing to crush a number of local bodies together into the same kind of mess that the Auckland super city has been suffering. Undemocratic and divorced from anything local because only a wealthy few can consider standing and those few can ignore any local wishes from the token local boards. The only defense that citizens have against the LGC is to force binding poll. Be ready to do so for Northland and Hastings/Napier.

Wet Dick and the Perverts

Written By: - Date published: 10:37 am, December 27th, 2013 - 135 comments

save_the_perverts-sq

It should be the name of a group from a bizarro version of the 1960’s. But no, it is what passes for the governance of the Auckland City Council these days. There is our mayor with his wet dick. Then we have the five perverts who are busy emoting faux outrage whilst quietly forgetting that we elected them to help run a city. Dick Quax, Cameron Brewer, and the handful of other perverts in council can play with that aspect of their lives on their own time.

Auckland in search of democracy

Written By: - Date published: 12:59 pm, December 24th, 2013 - 29 comments

vision_real_democracy

Media beat-ups around personality politics divert from Auckland’s real problems: an undemocratic council structure that panders to corporates, & that does not represent Auckland’s diversity, while doing little to counter the destructive impact of the inequality gap.

Reef piranha

Written By: - Date published: 8:32 pm, December 22nd, 2013 - 42 comments

piranha

Today’s Herald editorial gets one thing right – a media pack has turned on Len Brown. But it’s not gutsy journalism – it comes straight out of the Rupert Murdoch playbook. Len’s latest sin is his upgrades – EY says  they total  $32,000 for 64 occasions. That’s $500 an upgrade, which seems  a lot on top of what Len paid. The report does not detail how this total was arrived at, and I cannot find any example of any journalist asking questions about it.

Ernst and Young should investigate Cameron Brewer

Written By: - Date published: 7:46 am, December 20th, 2013 - 239 comments

Cameron BRewer

Cameron Brewer apparently forgot to file a declaration of interests in 2012 which should have included details of a four day junket to the Gold Coast paid for by Mediaworks.  Dick Quax forgot to file returns in 2011 and 2012.  Is an investigation required?

A Tale of Two Cities

Written By: - Date published: 10:03 pm, December 19th, 2013 - 88 comments

livingwage

It was the best of times in Wellington today. Council workers will get a living wage, and parking wardens will become council employees so they will get decent pay also. It was the worst of times in Auckland as the right-wing Scrooges having failed to remove Mayor Len Brown took it out on their workers by overturning his call for a living wage for Council staff.

Showdown at Auckland Council

Written By: - Date published: 8:52 am, December 19th, 2013 - 264 comments

Auckland-Mayor-Len-Brown

Today’s Council meeting will no doubt develop a great deal of heat but little light.  And then hopefully everyone can settle down and working on the real job which is to create Auckland into a great city.

NZ Herald: Disgrace to democracy

Written By: - Date published: 11:03 am, December 18th, 2013 - 245 comments

NZ Herald Mayor Brown time to go altered

The  right wing NZ Herald editors, have misused their position in the news mediascape to  produce some shameless, highly partisan and manipulative propaganda. They do not have the interest of all Aucklanders at heart. More considered analysis needed. Let’s wait for tomorrow’s public meeting.

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