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Happy birthday Auckland

Written By: - Date published: 12:01 am, November 1st, 2010 - 7 comments
Categories: auckland supercity, len brown, supercity - Tags: , , ,

Happy Birthday Auckland! The new Supercity is now in effect, with Mayor Len Brown at the helm.

The Supercity was conceived by Labour and a Royal Commission. The incoming National government set out to remake it in its own image, trampling all over democracy, the Royal Commission, Maori, and its own election promises in the process. Clearly the plan was to pass it over to ex Nat John Banks to continue the right wing / privitisation agenda. But, for now at least, the election of “Labour Mayor from South Auckland” Len Brown has put a stop to that. Auckland is Brown Town!

Len Brown is making all the right noises. He promised more local democracy to offset some of the worst of National’s tampering. He embraces diversity and fairness, and intends to focus on uniting Auckland. He hits the ground running with a very full agenda. He’s also making good his rhetoric of being an inclusive Mayor in the most concrete way possible, in the makeup of his administration:

Super City Mayor announces his team

Super City Mayor-elect Len Brown today unveiled the makeup of his new Auckland Council, with key roles going to councillors from across the political spectrum.

“This announcement recognises the community’s desire to have an inclusive council that draws on strengths of people from right around the region,” said Mr Brown this afternoon. …

The powerful role of chairing the Strategy and Finance Committee has gone to former Rodney mayor and ex-Act MP Penny Webster, who sits to the right of Mr Brown politically.

Other right-leaning appointments are young Howick councillor Jami-Lee Ross to the Tenders and Procurement Panel and Cameron Brewer to the District Plan and Urban Design Forum of the Regional Development and Operations Committee.

Those closer to Mr Brown’s own point on the political spectrum also nabbed some key roles, including Mike Lee to the chair of the Transport Committee, Richard Northey to the chair of the Accountability and Performance Committee and Ann Hartley to the Regional Development and Operations Committee.

Smart moves from Brown.

Despite all this The Herald can muster only luke warm support for the new era. And there are indications that the Nats don’t intend to make it easy for Brown. In a move not widely signaled before Brown’s victory, Rodney Hide is, according to this report, setting up “a new Cabinet Committee to hear the new Auckland Council’s pleas and weigh up the Government’s responses”. Hmmmmm. Also, Key has earned a rare rebuke as “tight-fisted” for his failure to support Brown’s plans for Auckland rail.

However, much as it will gall the Nats for Brown to succeed, they can’t afford to have Auckland fail. It will be through gritted teeth perhaps, but they must do their best to support Auckland. They’ll loose the next election if they don’t.

So, good luck Aucklanders, and happy birthday. From the safe distance of The Mainland I shall watch with interest, and wish you well.

7 comments on “Happy birthday Auckland”

  1. lprent 1

    Basically Aucklanders will be looking at how the NACT Auckland Mp’s behave. If they screw up over the auckland that they imposed on us over the next year then they can expect quite a lot of blowback

    The exception is Rodney Hide. He is toast regardless of what happens

  2. Carol 2

    I think in the long run there could be really good outcomes for an integrated greater Auckland, especially if we could get beyond the NACT way of setting it up.

    One issue lurking in the background & related to other topics on The Standard: If you talk to anyone who is now working for the current supercity about the way the council jobs and pay for lower level workers have been integrated across the supercity, it sounds like it’s been set up to move towards an erosion of wage levels over time.

  3. Book Worm 3

    I look forward to the new integrated library service across the whole region :-)

    (The one potential success story to emerge from this mess?)

  4. prism 4

    Written 12.01 am. You must be the first Rob to hail the supercity. With some streamers and toasts? With Len Brown in we have the chance of some good practical policy and action. Hope this will be the case. May be the only good news for the rest of the country burdened by NACTs brand of self-interest and lack of political professionalism which requires commitment to the country’s and people’s needs.

    • r0b 4.1

      Well – posted at 12:01. It was written before that (mostly). Streamers and toasts? Nah – we Mainlanders try not to get too excited about Auckland!

      • prism 4.1.1

        Ah-hah. Not an Auck! Neither am I (but born there) . Last time I was there I got caught in the slow filter of traffic at 5pmish from the city to the south. What a journey. Reminded me of Los Angeles when I stopped over for a day and went to Disneyland on one of the regular (not express) buses. So far to go and so slow, calling into all the suburbs. Auck needs faster services for sure.

        Anyone travelled between Hamilton and Auckland at night? What a nightmare journey it was for me a few years ago. Facing a constant glare from opposing traffic on long unlighted sections of the main highway made me aware of night blindness. Driving with lights on dip because of all the oncoming traffic, when I was head of my Auck bound group I had such a short distance revealed by the spread of just my dipped lights. I found the driving very stressful and pulled off to check my map but there was no alternative ‘country’ road.

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