In a sure sign that the political phone is off the hook for John ‘Mayor for Remuera’ Banks, the deputy mayor of Rodney John Kirikiri has a scathing letter in yesterday’s Herald criticising the super-mayoral candidate’s cynical electioneering.
After a couple of high-profile high-cost staff hires (he has ex 3 News political reporter Scott Campbell as his spin-doctor and PR image consultant Janet Wilson on board), Banks has appeared a lot in the media recently.
In what seems like a desperate attempt to turn around Len Brown’s growing momentum, Banks is frantically trying to up his profile by jumping on any issue that pops up. Yet it seems that all his appearances simply serve to reinforce to people why they don’t like the man.
Firstly there was this disastrous Campbell Live interview, where Banks tries to stick up for Aucklanders by attacking Transpower boss Patrick Strange over power outages, but simply succeeds in looking as angry and crazy as the Waikato farmer who caused the problem in the first place. Facepalm.
And then he came out in his most robo-Banks faux-outrage campaign voice to condemn the senseless killing of dogs up in Rodney.
However, in another example of Lord Mayor Banks’ political Tourette’s syndrome getting him into trouble, the people of Rodney don’t seem to have taken too kindly to Banks’ bleating.
Deputy mayor Kirikiri is a very high profile person in the district so his words will carry a lot of weight there. He writes, ‘I am appalled at the statement from Auckland Mayor John Banks over the Wellsford dog shootings. It appears to be little more than an attempt to gain political capital out of a tragic event. What concerns me event more is what this may foreshadow for Rodney if it is absorbed into the Super City under his governance.’
Kirikiri concludes, ‘Mr Banks’ statement highlights that he is contemplating ruling an area (Rodney) and a culture (rural) that he cares little about and of which he has little understanding.’ Ouch.
Banks’ problem is that he is (rightly) seen as the mayor for downtown Auckland who is running to enhance his own ego and to suck money and power away from communities around the region. People have stopped listening to him and no amount of expensive spin-doctoring or political grandstanding is going to change that.
Banks’ campaign slogan is: ‘The Mayor for a Greater Auckland’. Make that: ‘The Mayor for Grating Auckland’.