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Herald massaging a message

Written By: - 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: ,

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.

(emphasis added)

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.

The blogger formerly known as Jafapete


23 comments on “Herald massaging a message”

  1. Grumpy 1

    That is what happens when the Labour backed Mayor is a proven, and self confessed liar. Everyone naturally assumes he is bullshitting and you guys feel the need to jump in and defend him.
    Get him to quit, install someone with a little bit of integrity (like Shearer or Goff) and you might be able to sell your message but as it is now, every time you go into bat for Len the Liar, you are on a loser.

    • Jafapete 1.1

      Read the post again more carefully. You will see that it is not defending anyone, but rather it dissects a fine example of fact massaging to conjure up a story where there is none, in order to make it look as though someone is lying when they are not. (The evidence for that is included in the post, if you want to check it.)

    • Paul 1.2

      Do you support witch hunts?

  2. aerobubble 2

    Why doesn’t the Mayor of Auckland have a residence, or at least a flat in the council buildings, where they can stay over. I mean this whole mess is all about Brown using hotels and council chambers….

    …its just shocking that council could own hotels yet the Mayor can’t use them.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 2.1

      Because hotels have restaurants as well as rooms.

      You go for a meal with your wife ( who also works in city), and then in 5 min you are in the hotel room.

      In the morning, instead of a 40 minute commute from South Auckland, you walk out the door and are at the Council office in 5 min

  3. ghostwhowalksnz 3

    Not only was the revaluation to Capital value from rental value or land value MANDATED by National and Rodney Hide, as well there is the mandatory ” shift” to increasing private rates while reducing business rates

    “During the 2012/2013 rating year, business ratepayers paid the same proportion of rates as they had previously. Starting from July 2013, business rates differentials will reduce by a factor of 0.1 over 10 years. This means the business differential reduces from 2.63 in 2012/2013 to 1.63 in 2022/2023.
    In 2013/2014 the urban business differential is 2.53. This excludes the differential for Franklin businesses, which is 2.13 and rural businesses 1.92. This differential will increase each year until 2015/2016, when it comes in line with the rest of the region.”

  4. karol 4

    And, of course, the NZ Herald beats up on rates, and is far less concerned for the importance of providing good services and infrastructure for all Aucklanders.

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      Which leads one to suspect that the people beating up about rates don’t really care about providing good services and infrastructure to all Aucklanders.

  5. RedbaronCV 5

    They wouldn’t be paying so much in rates if the CEO hadn’t awarded himself the right to go on a useless witch hunt for +$200,000 with his mates.

  6. jafapete 6

    Good point. The last C&R/National City Council canned around $150m of storm water spending, for example (but still spent millions on a lovely upgrade of Judges Bay). So catching up on infrastructure spending is another reason for higher debt and rates. Didn’t stop one C&R candidate last year from banging on about storm water as though it is a new problem.

  7. jafapete 7

    Read, Good point Colonial viper.

  8. clifford wright 8

    What is really happening with all this “we love Len Brown” stuff on here.
    Last time I looked he was hardly the supporter of the downtrodden he wants to be seen as.
    He lives a distinctly “upper middle class” lifestyle and enjoys a very high salary.
    Certainly some of the “Get Len Brown brigade” are far worse, but IMO the difference is in degree
    not fundamental.

    • QoT 8.1

      Wow, you know, this is *so* weird, but I actually can’t see Jafapete saying ANYWHERE that he loves Len Brown! Could you provide a link or something so I can check out this very important fact?

      • lprent 8.1.1

        That is because silly dipshits like clifford consider that if you aren’t actively campaigning against an mayor for stuff that has little to do with their elected role – then you are clearly supporting them.

        Personally I tend to view people like clifford as being perverts with a wet dick fetish. The reality is that few things are as black or white as addict like clifford thinks. After all most of us don’t have his need to get a buzz by being turned on by moral indignation.


  9. framu 9

    out west many of us are subsidsing the rates of the more expensive areas of auckland so that their rates rises are kept lower – strangely thats not a story for the herald

    my rates bill has the rates im meant to pay plus an adjustment fee, the council have made it clear that this extra fee is to soften the pain for people whos properties are worth much more than mine – any time those in AK experiencing big rises in their rates would like to drop by and thank the poorer parts for helping them out, their welcome.

    the fact that all of this is the result of bringing several different rates systems into one, and that it was set up by rodney hide seems to be forgotten.

    • You_Fool 9.1

      I am out west as well and love the adjustment fee, yay paying more than I need too just because the rich guys managed to vote themselves into low rates and bad council debt.

      I also know that Franklin residential rates had the same adjustment, though they might be aligned now… not sure.

      • framu 9.1.1

        well im not that upset about the fee, and i get why its there – and my rates are still going down even with it included.

        I just wish the media and some AKers would figure out that those getting rises are actually being given preferential treatment

  10. Tracey 10


    You know that a sitting mp and former minister made a false declaration or at best signed a crucial electoral form without reading it? The herald seems fine with him.

  11. captain hook 11

    I think grumpuy is just another wail boil identity.
    he wont show his face in public.
    he is so used to stalking others that he is paranoid.
    More lies and no facts.
    Just crap and more crap from the nasty people.

  12. millsy 12

    Given that Len Brown is busy implementing what is pretty much a centre right agenda, taking the side of PoA in that dispute, supporting the SkyCity deal and being an enthusastic supporter is PPP’s being exhibits A through C respectively, I find it hard to belive that TNZH and CAR are running against him.

    Every time I hear him speak, I hear the language of someone who is on the right side of the political spectrum.

    I challenge anyone here to provide me with links to him supporting things like parks, libaries, public ownership of infrastructure assets, social housing, etc.

    Why else would the right not mount a serious campaign against him, instead putting up a Brooklyn diner operator.

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