Written By: Guest post - Date published: 5:19 pm, January 23rd, 2014 - 23 comments
Categories: act, articles, auckland supercity, len brown, local government, Media, national, national/act government, rodney hide - Tags: granny herald, jafapete
The Herald continues this morning its tabloid-style vendetta against Len Brown by serving up non-news in a shock-horror frame designed to make the mayor look bad.
The article begins by noting the number of Aucklanders who face rates rises this year of more than 2.5% and then states
Mr Brown has promised a “low and sustainable” rates policy in his second term by setting a 2.5 per cent average rate rise ceiling, but it will not be low and sustainable for many.
In fact, this is what Len Brown said
Our focus will be on keeping rate rises low and sustainable – and I am determined that 2.5 per cent average rates rise is the new ceiling.
Every time the Mayor has announced rates rises he’s made it clear that these are average rises that apply to the total rates take. Nobody has ever tried to hide the fact that rates are being standardised on a capital value basis by legal mandate. But the Herald has yet to make it clear just who was responsible for the law. This would not have anything to do with it being National and Rodney Hide’s work, of course.
So nub of this story is hidden in paragraph 10, which few people will read. People have to wade through a great deal of hand-wringing about the pain, and then make the connections. This is such a good tactic that the Herald uses it again… The Chief Financial Officer cops it:
… Andrew McKenzie said he had no idea how many properties would pay more than the 2.5 per cent ceiling for the next three years, beyond this year’s budget.
But how could he?—there’s going to be another property revaluation apart from anything else. You have to read some paragraphs further to learn that, and then make the connections.
In sum, everything Mayor Len is reported as saying in this article is true, but by confusing the two sources of rates increase, the Herald purports to show that Len is telling fibs. If anybody is being deceptive, it’s the Herald.
Note: For an equally vacuous story in the anti-Len campaign, try this. A reporter was not given the mayor’s programme earlier than usual! Still, it was a good opportunity to rake over the “background”. I guess it’s what you do when you don’t have real news to report.