Sometimes the egregious spin gets too much.
The ratepayer-funded issue of Our Auckland is devoted to climate change.
It states on p.13, quote:
What is particularly loathsome in this egregious guilt-peddling is the non-accountability of the people writing it or the people representing us who sign it off. There is not a single line in the publication about whether Auckland Council and its entities have delivered.
Auckland Council has had a Labour-aligned mayor since inception in 2008 and Labour-Green majorities for most electoral terms.
So this political accountability is on them.
Auckland’s public transport attendance is plummeting and it has taken central government to prop it up temporarily, even though it is Auckland Council’s job with AT to deliver the goods.
It took Auckland Council a decade to enact a fairly weak Unitary Plan, and even then the Council, its entities and its regulatory staff didn’t fight for it.
Episode after episode through the last decade, Council and its Councillors have simply folded like origami when it came up against opposition.
Auckland Council has done nothing except find more and more carveouts to the bipartisan legislation promoting the neighbourhood density that Auckland Council’s spin department proposes.
It has taken until 2022 – 12 years since it began – for Auckland Council to generate alignment between central and local government on how to enable higher density and good neighbourhoods.
Auckland Council has been warned that they would need to actually fight to get the city they wanted.
In fact warned by everyone from Vision Zero to Greater Auckland to Cycle Action to myriad coalitions of housing providers has been telling them to gear up and fight.
Instead Auckland Council has ensured that Auckland has continued to sprawl and sprawl. Not sure if anyone can remember the MUL, but without it we’ve loosened a bit here, loosened a bit there, and suddenly found our trousers fell down.
Nor is it the Usual Suspects in the advocacy community that are complaining about the seminal weakness of Auckland Council encouraging us to do everything to pollute more, use the car more, and generally wreck our own planet. Mark Todd of Ockham Developments spells it out and doesn’t hold back:
“We tell ourselves this is inevitable – that this is the price of progress. We endure ever-worsening congestion – more lanes, more cars – and arrive late and frazzled, ‘Bloody Auckland traffic’ our stock greeting shared with rolled eyes and a rueful smile.
We fudge or rationalise or simply ignore the cost of our urban sprawl – the billions of dollars for our roads and motorways, the billions of hours wasted at the wheel, the billions of tonnes of carbon emitted. And then there are the 50,000 hectares of nature that have been sliced and diced into subdivisions. Like the apocryphal frog in the pot, we keep adjusting to the new normal, not realising what we’ve lost until it’s gone forever.
It is a development model replicated in car-centric countries all over the world, one driven by a frontier mentality and underpinned by the folly that our horizons are unlimited, and we can just grow ourselves out of trouble. It’s never been less true than now.”
Even the developers are telling Auckland Council that they aren’t working.
It is egregious to be guilted with a whole edition of Council propaganda reminding us that energy use is really really hard but individual citizens ought to do more about it. Particularly sick in an election year.
Auckland Council is a Labour-Green majority but consistently lazy Council that has had plenty of time to deliver through its legislated structures a city that is good for its people, its country and its planet.
Auckland Council’s PR bullshit machine reflects on the whole of this Council.