Far from being a careful steward of ratepayers’ money and someone who takes pride in his city, Auckland mayor John Banks is allowing parts of the CBD to slide.
Less than two years ago Banks’ council spent $1.5 million upgrading the central Auckland lane Swanson Street. Yet far from being some kind of urban oasis, as Bernard Orsman notes in this Herald article, Swanson ‘is looking the worse for wear with grubby stains and leaching paving stones.’ Orsman goes as far as to describe it as ‘filthy’.
Banks’ empty campaign slogans consist of ‘affordable progress’ and ‘value for money’ (obviously he wouldn’t use the truer tagline “in your guts you know he’s nuts”).
However, his poll tested branding is constantly undermined by inattention to his council’s inefficient incompetence – which currently includes wasting $1.5 million failing to clean up a street, lax oversight leading to his council paying twice for footpaths, then forgetting to pay the same contractor for other work, and Banks voting in secret to underwrite My Fair Lady which eventually lost $2.5 million.
And let’s not forget the 11pm closing-time-for-suburban-bars debacle which Banks’ admitted “my fingerprints” were all over. What is becoming apparent is that the Banks and C&R led council is both a do-nothing council and a lax steward of ratepayers money. When Banks says “If I wear my policy on my sleeve I won’t get elected” he means he can’t be trusted to look after the city he’d rather see it become ‘filthy’.