Brown for democracy

Written By: - Date published: 7:30 am, July 30th, 2010 - 24 comments
Categories: auckland supercity, local body elections - Tags: ,

I’m not one for cities, and I don’t live in Auckland. But if I did I’d vote Brown for Mayor of the Supercity. He got me with his first big policy announcement. Bernard Orsman (who has been great on Auckland issues) reports:

Brown’s policy gives communities more say than law provides

Local boards will control transport issues in their communities and grassroots politicians will sit on planning hearings under a policy from Super City mayoral contender Len Brown. In his first major policy announcement, the Manukau mayor has promised to extend the roles and functions of local boards beyond those proposed by the agency designing the Super City.

Despite the law stating that all transport matters will be vested in a mega-council-controlled organisation to allocate to politicians as it saw fit, Mr Brown said local boards should be responsible for local roads, footpaths, pedestrian zones, bus stops, speed limits and local public transport. … Mr Brown has promised to allow local board members to sit on resource consent hearings in “their own back yard” instead of solely relying on the Super City planning department, which will be on the North Shore. …


* Set local policies for dog control, gambling and gaming machines, cafe licences, bar and liquor outlets, brothels and town centre development within regional guidelines.

* Be responsible for local roads, footpaths, pedestrian zones, bus stops, speed limits, public transport, crime prevention, as well as local parks, recreation facilities, libraries and pools, community houses, advisory services, galleries and museums, beaches, camping grounds.

* Have members sitting on resource consent hearings.

* Be given staff resources to do the job.

After the Nats bullying attack on local democracy in Auckland, this is a breath of fresh air. Here’s a chance to salvage something from the wreckage, and give the people back some of their voice. What a concept! It’s my guess that if he can communicate this policy effectively to Aucklanders, then Brown has the election in the bag. He should take every vote in Rodney for a start. But what about Banks?

The other heavyweight mayoral contender, Auckland City Mayor John Banks, has not revealed his policy on local boards. But he has promised to strengthen the voice of local communities.

That ball’s in your court John. Can you match Brown’s plan? Will there a bidding war to restore local democracy? Wouldn’t that be something to see…

24 comments on “Brown for democracy”

  1. TightyRighty 1

    and here was me thinking you were undecided between brown and banks

  2. tc 2

    I doubt you’ll see any tangible policy from Banks as he’ll try and win it on spin/PR/Propaganda about his woeful record/deep campaign pockets for posters/ads/media presence etc

    Banks is from the muldoon era and hasn’t changed a bit…….Brown’s a breath of fresh air and represents the counterpoint required for Wodneys grand sellout of democracy.

    If banks is the answer then everyone misunderstood the question.

  3. Comedy 3

    At present there’s none of them I’d vote for, pack of shits the lot of them.

    Brown’s pronouncements are hot air and aeolism, much the same as his opponents a pox on the lot of them.

    If you lived in Auckland you’d know that his first pronouncement beggars belief in relation to the disgraceful proliferation of pokies, liquor outlets and knock shops in Manukau during his term.

    • G8 3.1

      Comedy – emotional dribble. Fact is under Browns leadership the number of liquor outlets is far less per head of population than Auckland. Same goes for the pokies in which Brown has a sinking lid policy unlike Banks. He has also cleaned up tagging and the girls! from Hunters Corner have now moved to the CBD which Banks hasnt done a thing about. Banks is all talk and no action and the figures and history confirm this.

      • comedy 3.1.1

        Partisan political hack – POPULATION YOU.

        [lprent: Is there a point in there somewhere? But I’m afraid I don’t even understand the insult? ]

        • G8

          Oh what such wit………

          • comedy

            Spin this then you turd.

            The Manukau City Council has spent more than $186,000 of ratepayers’ money in the past year on leadership courses for staff at a luxury resort near Queenstown – although the council will cease to exist within four months.

            The $19,265 fee for the six-day course is not much less than the $23,700 fee for a one-year MBA degree at the University of Auckland Business School. This is aimed at mid-managers and taught two nights a week.

            The chief executive of Mangere Budgeting and Family Support, Darryl Evans, said the $3210 daily cost of the leadership course for each council staff member was about six weeks’ wages for the average Manukau family he works with.


            • rainman

              “He said plans to send staff to the Institute for Strategic Leadership were made long before decisions were made about the new council”

  4. bbfloyd 4

    comedy? have you got a point to make, or is personal abuse the sole debating tool you possess? i would hate to think of you as “just another nat”. we already have far too many childish, self centred, greedy, short sighted individuals masquerading as real people with an actual philosophy operating to the detriment of “normal” people.
    btw, if i have used too many big words, then i apologise. i will dumb it down for you if you like.

  5. Roger 5

    This is the type of thing I was hoping for from Len Brown. Someone who cares about democracy enough to blow the whistle on the grand theft of Auckland’s democracy and assets. He also has a good track record of responsiveness, concern, and betterment of the community he oversees. Hopefully the right won’t come up with more stupid smears and nonsense.

  6. Graham 6

    @ G8

    Tagging in Manukau: Reduction in tagging in Manukau is largle due to initiatives started by private citizens (in particular, a church based in Clendon) which led to the creation of the Manukau Beautification Trust. This does now come udner the auspices of Manukau City Council, but it wasn’t started by Len Brown (or his predecessor Barry Curtis). The anti-tagging bylaw was fought for by George Hawkins (and opposed by Act, Maori and the Greens).

    Alcohol: A report from March 2010 found that “in Manukau City, off-licence liquor outlets tend to be located in areas of high social deprivation and high population density … higher off-licence density is associated with lower alcohol prices and longer opening hours … of particular concern are the more vulnerable communities of Manukau City, in which the high density of liquor outlets relative to other parts of the city is a notable feature”.

    And a lot of momentum in this are has again come from concerned citizens and action groups.

  7. Me 7

    Brown wants to give local communities power to make decisions over things like libraries – this may not be good. I live in a conservative Christian small-business-owning part of Auckland.

    What’s the bet our local reps will try to restrict what the library does or holds?

    A current councillor tried to get cuts to the library budget on the grounds that they compete with local businesses that sell magazines and books, and that rent movies.

    Local control of decisions does not mean enlightened decisionmaking!

    • Draco T Bastard 7.1

      What’s the bet our local reps will try to restrict what the library does or holds?

      Are councils even allowed to control what the library holds? Realistically, the council (local reps) would have control over where the library was sited, it’s budget and any extensions it needs. The control of what services that library supplies would be entirely over to it’s staff.

      • Lanthanide 7.1.1

        “the council (local reps) would have control over […] it’s budget and any extensions it needs”

        That’s the point, isn’t it? Stop stocking those magazines and videos and the books on this list or we will decrease your budget next year…

        • Rex Widerstrom

          Or alternatively, “do as I say and I’ll increase your budget at the expense of other public amenities I don’t like, such as art galleries”.

          Such things happened not so far from Auckland, in a wee place that can’t decide whether or not it ‘as an ‘aitch.

    • I agree with you ME .I am sick to death of the way Christians dominat the way we live. Their influence over certain matters is not only undemocratic but unhealthy.
      There is no doubt that if they are in postions of power they would censor everything we read, watch and write. The worst are the “Born Again ” and if we get a few of them in positions of power we will be in big trouble. The advice I recieved from my father when I left home to work in another town is still relevent today.If somebody tell you they are a “Good Christian run like hell”

      • Pascal's bookie 7.2.1

        I’ve always had a soft spot for that bible yarn though. It’s not a bad read once you get through the ridiculous language, though there’s no accounting for it’s fans, who seem to have very different, and frankly nonsensical interpretation of it.

        basically you’ve got this god chappie, jehova. The book is written pretty much exclusively from his followers point of view, but there is an awesome subversive subtext running through the whole thing.

        jehova is a jealous old coot, prideful, demanding, arrogant and all the rest of your basic authoritarian kitset. He gets to the point that he demands that his followers deny the existence of all other gods, who are, subversively, mentioned quite freely in various places in the text.

        jehova also demands a rather complicated and demanding lifestyle program from his adherents beyond the basic ‘do unto others’ routine that most gods demand from their followers (within the group).

        There are dietary rules, sexual purity rules, economic rules, commerce rules the whole shebang. Most of it is pretty arbitrary stuff, and combined with the ‘I’m the only god that exists’ routine, it’s a pretty tough rule set to comply with. The inevitable breeches are always punished by jehova ‘allowing’ the whole of his tribe to be sent off into slavery. Invariably to a neighboring tribe with a different, ‘non existent’, god whose followers jehova gets all genocidal on when he feels his peeps have suffered enough.

        As you can imagine, his followers get pretty stroppy, both at him, the world, and theology in general. They know it has results, (witness the frequent genocide of their enemies) but always seem to be labouring under oppression from the earthly followers of whichever non existent god is next on jehova’s shit list.

        Enter the bloody Romans. Not to be fucked with of course, at pretty much the height of their own ass kicking abilities. Jehova needs a new plan. His followers aren’t responding to the usual prophets from the wilderness, although said prophets are a growth industry in the restive nation.

        So he pulls an awesome trick, that I guess he picked up from, Isis, or the greeks or any number of other places and does the old god becomes man trick. problem is, romans are tough as, see. not to be fucked with.

        Jehova has quite the transformation and seems to realise just how damn tough he has been making life for his followers, So he changes the demands quite substantial and pretty much humanises a lot of it. In becoming human, he seems for the first time to appreciate that humans are the point, and comes to genuinely love them. Tells them not to worry about any earthly kingdom other than one of selfless love. That selfless love for your neighbour, is the only way that the sort of kingdom he now realises he wants, can come to pass.

        Then comes the twist. His followers have had some thousands of years of serious shit from this guy. What with the rules, and the slavery and the constant warfare and the genital mutilation and all. He’d told them that when he did come down he was gonna be kick arse roman killer. Fiery laser eyes and shit. And they get this hippy see. So they nail him to a fuckin stick and demand forgiveness from him if they are going to keep following.

        Basic theme of the book is ‘Man puts authoritarian god right in his fucking place’.

        Obviously a lot of this is subtext. But still it’s all in there, good book.

        And how about his missionaries traipsing around the world spreading the ‘good news’ to heathen bloody savages? Imagine it. You worship nature spirits or whatever. Some sort of pantheistic system, and these guys show up telling you that ‘nah, there is only one god, all powerful, all knowing, here’s what we did to him’ and show you their crucifix momentos. “He’s all about the forgiveness baby”. No fuckin shit! Guys nailed god to a stick! Fuck the romans. New ass kickers are on the scene.

    • Tell us here who that councillor is so that they can be named and shamed.

  8. Bored 8

    Interesting approach from Brown, it flies in the face of the NACT corporatist agenda, and it is quite an in your face challenge to the power of central government to dictate to local government. If Brown wins and makes the changes it will also be a big kick in the teeth for the whole process since inception. Exciting times.

  9. peter 9

    I still recall how Banks hoodwinked peopleover the extra Police Officers by integrating the MOT with the Police. an utterly untrustworthy scoundrel.

  10. sean14 10

    I’m not one for cities, and I don’t live in Auckland. But if I did I’d vote Brown for Mayor of the Supercity.

    Fair enough, but I imagine you’d vote for a hat-stand as long as it had a red rosette on it.

  11. Sanctuary 11

    A hat-stand wearing a red rosette would do a better job of being the mayor than any Tory I can think of.

    • comedy 11.1

      Indeed and it would also be fair to say that a hat stand would do a better job of super city mayor than any of the current mayoral contenders

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