A week in the life of Mayor Wayne Brown

Written By: - Date published: 12:09 pm, February 3rd, 2023 - 34 comments
Categories: auckland supercity, local government, supercity - Tags:

The Mayor of Supercity this week has given a textbook example of how not to communicate in a crisis.

Friday: “It’s pissing down so no tennis.”

Saturday: “I’ve got to deal with media drongos over the flooding tomorrow so sadly no tennis for me tomorrow.”  Also “It will be interesting to see just how well-prepared Wellington is when the earthquake strikes.”

Sunday: “emergency managers may have made some incorrect decisions.”

Monday: “Please don’t” publish Drongos message.  And “don’t f*** me over … I am the mayor for three years. You can’t do anything about that”. Also “I don’t think I personally did anything wrong”.

Tuesday: “People do have to do some things themselves … If someone rings and says the drain is blocked outside my house, I’d say get a shovel and go and do it if you can. We don’t pay rates for someone to be standing outside your house 24/7.

Wednesday: “all comms should go through me, to ensure they’re consistent, clear, up-to-date, and accurate”.

Thursday: “They’re [the elderly trapped in high rise apartments] are just another community, they’re being looked after by their community”.

Friday: nothing yet.

34 comments on “A week in the life of Mayor Wayne Brown ”

  1. Ghostwhowalksnz 1

    he agrees with you , and said so BEFORE the election

    'BOB — Wayne, is there anyone you like?

    WAYNE — Few people. I’m not here to be loved or liked. I don’t see myself as warm or friendly."


    Interestingly, of the other candidates (and existing mayor) the only one that he respected was Efeso Collins

    But I can see we will hear plenty who think all public figures should be media trained to within an inch of their lives , who cares if they are inauthentic , the media love it for a sound bite – which is all you get thank you very much

    • That_guy 1.1

      It's the incompetence that bothers me, not being "authentic".
      I mean we’ve found the “authentic” Brown. He’s authentically shit at his job.

      • lprent 1.1.1

        That has been my view ever since I looked at him at the Auckland District Health Board back in the 2000s. This NZ Herald article from 2007 gives a pretty accurate and moderately accurate (but semi-sanitised) view.

        Wayne Brown is competent in a very narrow sense. That of pinching the dollar short-term rather than looking at the longer term downstream issues. It is the approach of a foolish loud-mouthed accountant.

        So in health that meant short-term dropping or diminishing of services that would obviously cause longer term downstream costs. In local bodies, he would never fix longer term issues, instead just plastering a kludge over the problem.

        Also complicated by his personal attributes of being a blowhard who trumpets 'his' successes that were entirely done by other more competent people. While pissing off competence and driving them from their vocation.

        Essentially what I class as a arsehole manager.

        Which has been his pattern yet again since gaining the Auckland Mayoralty as the putative candidate of the right. He hasn’t been looking at the problems that current projects are trying to solve in Auckland. He has been just wanking on about how to cut costs short-term without think through the longer term costs.

        The floods in Auckland are a classic. Storm water is one of the 3 Waters. To make sure that Auckland can survive this kind of level of rainfall, in a changing climate, is a long-term 30 year project of hardening as maintenance is updated.

        Can anyone imagine Wayne Brown being capable of conceiving what to do now for something that may happen later this year or in 25 years? For that matter are local councillors and mayors anywhere in NZ capable of that task? All of the evidence of deprecated assets, low maintenance, water fouling, and flooding over the last 30 years shows that they aren’t.

        I'd point out that the vocal and loudmouthed support that Wayne Brown seems to engender seems to be from a type of people that I view as being incompetent blowhards – like Shane Jones, Matthew Hooton, David Farrar ….

        • Peter

          The 2007 comment suggests how good a Mayor Brown would have been in the 1950s and '60s.

          " … that meant short-term dropping or diminishing of services that would obviously cause longer term downstream costs. In local bodies, he would never fix longer term issues, instead just plastering a kludge over the problem."

          If we'd had his level of incompetence and lack not vision and courage we'd turn up in 2023 with shitty transport systems across the region. Virttually no rail, hubs like the airport zone and the link North Shore to the Central City and South being crap.

        • Ghostwhowalksnz

          Auckland is never going to be 'hardened' to survive a 0.5% AEP or 1 in 200 year rainfall. Which is actually what we had in a narrow strip of the city from parts of North Shore through CBD and Onehunga and Mangere.
          Otahuhu was around 1/4. Mt Roskill maybe 60% of that, New Lynn maybe 50%
          these are AC own rain gauges numbers which interested people can look at ( which is hardly anybody)


          The stormwater system is only designed in 20-25 year, much of the older system could even be less 1 in 15 yr. The backup system is overland , which means roads , gutters, down drives or front or back yards. This is working properly when it happens.

          House floor levels for the last 25 years have been designed to be above 1 in 100 yr rainfall. Thats habitable levels, which doesnt include attached garages which many people use to store items or use as extra living areas- unfortunately thats at their own risk as they say.

          Some smaller areas will have managed retreat as the housing should never have been there, but they were getting flooded every 10 years or less.

  2. Anne 2

    Mayor Brown apologises for dropping the ball:


    No apology for the way he talked about those charged with the task of handling the emergency and/or providing urgent information to the public… yet.

    Was he ordered by his numerous minders to show some contrition? If his mea culpa turns out to be genuine I will give him credit – for the time being.

    Note: it was recorded so he didn’t have to face any questions? Is that what we can expect from now on – recorded statements?

    • Drowsy M. Kram 2.1

      Is that what we can expect from now on – recorded statements?

      Given Mayor Brown's recent 'live' utterances, it's probably for the best wink

      Trying to see the bright side – the only way is up.

    • dvT 2.2

      Geez he didn't even catch the ball.

    • Thinker 2.3

      Now he is saying he wasn't on the Emergency Management's email list, to which EM has responded that the reason for that is that they phone him and include him directly in things as they happen.

      I'm a bit p***ed off because Brown has announced he will do an independent review. Now that we have a Minister for Auckland, wouldn't that be the job of the Minister's office? Or, do we seriously believe in the independence of consultants who are paid by the person who is one of those being reviewed?

  3. woodart 3

    how to go from rooster to cock in one week.

  4. Visubversa 4

    I use Mayor Brown's "performance" last Friday as an example of why business people don't automatically make good politicians. I said that on Friday Wayne was sitting in his office like a CEO, waiting for his underlings to bring him things so that he could pronounce on them, issue directions etc. That is business behaviour.

    Political behaviour makes sure that you are available for the people in your office who may need you to make a decision – but you are also about and about to encourage the people to whom you are responsible, to make sure that they know you have their backs, to reinforce important messages and let them see that you are doing your best and appreciate the difficulty that they have.

  5. The reclusive Mr Brown could be swapped for Mr Burns of the Simpsons or even Homer. If Hooton backed Homer, he would be the next mayor of our largest city.

    • woodart 5.1

      homer would be okay because he is always saved from himself by marge and lisa. is desley simpson , marge simpson?

  6. Incognito 6

    A week is a long time in politics and surely this must have been the longest week so far in the life of Wayne ‘Rain Man’ Brown. The petition to get rid of him seems to have lost steam at just over 25,000 signatures. Still, that is a lot of fingers. For his birthday I reckon we should all give him a bucket, you know, one of those little plastic ones that you use in the sandpit or at the beach with a little pooper-scooper spade, so that Desley Simpson can nudge him out of harm’s way and keep him occupied when the next crisis hits.

  7. Peter 7

    I accept that Wayne Brown is in somewhat of a no-win situation with making an apology. The apology is useful though.

    "I dropped the ball on Friday," he said. "I was too slow to be seen. The communications weren’t fast enough, including mine. I am sorry."

    It shows that media and other advisors have to school him on basic things about the job and have been involved. That's acceptable I suppose, although having been Mayor for six years of the Far North one would have thought he would have been well-schooled on the fundamentals.

    The mechanics of the job, the 'paint-by-numbers' staff can be taught and learned, if the pupil is educable. Trouble is if the things of people and humanity are absent or buried under piles of arrogance or whatever. People probably want and need more qualities in a Mayor than the ability to make an apology, or get someone to do it on their behalf.

  8. Barfly 8

    I see Brown's prospective budget totally defunds the Citizen's Advice Bureau what a fucking moron

    • Peter 8.1

      A press conference with Mayor Brown talking about scrubbing Citizen's Advice Bureau in his city will be a doozy.

      • woodart 8.1.1

        the next open council meeting is going to be even better. expect brown to lose his temper . will desley save him from himself(again)?

    • Ad 8.2

      All the local boards are getting stripped out.

      Imagine trying to rebuild west Auckland with no money.

  9. Ad 10

    No one could imagine Sir Barry Curtis or Sir Bob Harvey or Phil Goff reacting like this to any crisis. They were all battle-hardened.

    This Brown guy is a huge step downwards in quality of leader.

  10. newsense 11

    Or Len Brown. Or Dame Cath. Or Banksy even.

    And we’ve got to watch these casual complete and utter lies being thrown in- airport shares, people stuck in lifts etc. Who knows why it is happening, but this is not the way to do New Zealand politics. Especially with a reaction to an emergency that is potentially wiping a lot of wealth, security and happiness out of your community.

  11. Chess Player 12

    One thing I've found fascinating about the critiques of Brown's mayoralty so far is the sheer number of people who expect him to act like a politician. He's never claimed to be a politician, rather a fix it man.

    The fact he's clearly not a politician, who would just talk for decades but achieve nothing, was one of the reasons he had appeal to Aucklanders.

    They're sick of career politicians of any stripe, as they've seen where that leads, which is nowhere.

    It remains to be seen, of course, whether he will be able to fix anything about Auckland Council and its various entities, but why do people expect him to be something he clearly is not?

    That would be like expecting Phil Goff or Len Brown to have been action-oriented achievers, instead of the gas bags they were.

    • Incognito 12.1

      Being the Mayor of Auckland is by definition a politician. He has been elected in nation-wide Local Elections to hold a local office with political power. If Wayne Brown did/does not want to be a politician, then he should not have been a candidate for the job.

      Your attempt is as pathetic as it is desperate and bringing up previous mayors only further confirms your dishonesty or stupidity, take your pick.

    • Drowsy M. Kram 12.2

      The fact he's clearly not a politician…

      Mayor Brown – "clearly not a politician"? A "fact", you say. This Mayor Brown?

      Wayne Brown (New Zealand politician)

      Maybe “action-oriented achiever” Brown will achieve good things for Aucklanders, but I wouldn’t hold my breath..

  12. SPC 13

    An aging white man on super has gotta do what he has to do

    Work part-time at high rates of pay and maintain that fit and active man about town lifestyle.


  13. Thinker 16

    Lorde – Tennis Court…

    "Baby, be the class clown, I'll be the beauty queen in tears
    It's a new art form, showin' people how little we care (yeah)
    We're so happy, even when we're smilin' out of fear
    Let's go down to the tennis court and talk it up like, yeah"


  14. PsyclingLeft.Always 17

    Re "Buckets" Brown wanting to slash Auckland Citizens Advice. Not sure if this has been linked before…


    Citizens Advice..are Awesome. I use them in the South. Please support …..

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