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NZ Herald: Disgrace to democracy

Written By: - Date published: 11:03 am, December 18th, 2013 - 246 comments
Categories: accountability, auckland supercity, class war, making shit up, newspapers, spin - Tags: ,

So, once again the NZ Herald editors show their right wing leanings.  The front page of the hard copy today is pure partisan propaganda:

NZ Herald Mayor Brown time to go

NZ Herald Mayor Brown time to go altered


The problem with Auckland City is in the undemocratic structure with in which the mayor operates.  Until this is fixed, playing mayoral musical chairs will change little – except of course it provides the right with an opportunity to get someone even more accepting of their elitist, corporate-supporting, “neoliberal” agenda at the PR helm of the supercity.

The NZ Herald is trying to preempt and manipulate the outcome of tomorrow’s public meeting. Their front page is pure propaganda and (pre) electioneering.

Shame on them!

To get a more balanced analysis of Mayor Brown’s fall from grace and mis-deeds, see Russell Brown:

Brown won’t resign and the only way he could be made to is if he was convicted of a criminal office, which has not even been alleged. Were he a Minister of the Crown, serving at the pleasure of the Prime Minister, he would probably by now have put his hand up for some temporary time in the ministerial sin-bin, if only to make the story go away. That happens frequently enough in Parliamentary politics, but it can’t happen in this instance.

Complicating the matter for his councillors is the fact that even if they were to shame the mayor into stepping down, that would not necessarily be in the city’s interests. Brown’s first term was notable for his ability to get disparate groups on the council working together. By contrast, the centre-right can’t even work with each other. The shambles that led to a hopeless (and, as we now know, deeply compromised) newbie like John Palino carrying their flag this year is an indication of that bloc’s coherence.

See also, Chris Trotter:

The new Auckland “super city” was intended to be something else entirely. Its principal political architect, former local government minister Rodney Hide, wanted a city that could get things done swiftly and efficiently. That ruled out the parliamentary model of the UK and Australia which, being dominated by local political parties, was prone to pork-barrelling and horse-trading. Not being a conspicuous fan of either pork-barrelling or horse-trading, Hide opted instead for a lean, mean governance machine presided over by a mayor equipped with unprecedented executive powers.

No doubt the sort of figure Hide had in mind as the first mayor of his new super-city was a charismatic business tycoon; someone who could transform the Office of the Mayor into the workplace of a tough-minded, no-nonsense political CEO.
So eager was Hide to set up his new and streamlined governance structure for the super-sized Auckland City that he neglected to include in its constitutional design any mechanisms for bringing a wayward super mayor to heel.
Under Hide’s monstrously undemocratic supercity structure the  CCO’s and predatorial corporates, like Sky City, have too much power; the elected councillors and board members have too little.  The councillors are the ones that should represent all Aucklanders on crucial matters, in consultation with their local boards. Let’s wait to see what they have to say at tomorrow’s public meeting of the governing body.


The right wing NZ Herald editors, have misused their position in the news mediascape to  produce some shameless, highly partisan and manipulative propaganda. They who do not have the interest of all Aucklanders at heart.

246 comments on “NZ Herald: Disgrace to democracy ”

  1. gobsmacked 1

    All the Herald is doing is moving people like me, who really want to give Len Brown a kick up the arse, back to the barricades in his defence.

    He should resign on principle, but the Herald doesn’t have any principles, so fuck ’em. Viva Len!

    • aerobubble 1.1

      Campbell was more subtle. Instead of comparing Brown with Mayors and MPs of the past who survived a scandal Campbell focused on comparisons with those who hadn’t and had to fall. Althought to his credit, Campbell did choose the present Minister for the environment who returned to office and is embroiled again (ignoring water quality).

      Now all said, Auckland didn’t marry Brown, and who wouldn’t have sex in the office. Then there’s the Hotel supersizing, just to remind everyone Hotels like personalities frequenting their premises so putting a face in a bigger room is hardly going mean kickbacks. The only real problem is the letter of recommendation, but even this, if you know the boss of the monopoly supplier in a market should you be penalized for having them as a reference?

      • aerobubble 1.1.1

        Now you want to talk about reckless. Wittal

        Not only has he given the pike families the finger, but he’s left open the potential of a criminal case.

        Had he been humble, he’d have paid the compensation, even plead guilty in the hopes of being a witness against others, maybe getting a community service in exchange.

        But right now not paying out this money, now its on the table, is just going to make any future potential alleged guilty sentence far harsher.

        I mean he doesn’t have any certainty, he’s claims to be a victim of the victims, he’s indicated responsibility by offering the money, could he have done more wrong?

        • Paul

          Why would the Herald put something like Pike River front page?
          Mustn’t highlight the appalling work safety conditions in the country.
          Repeat after me….
          PC, nanny state, red tape
          PC, nanny state, red tape
          PC, nanny state, red tape

          Yes that neoliberal mantra might persuade some people to vote against their own interests.

  2. Paul 2

    At least the leopard is showing its spots.
    Progressive parties better beware next year..
    Hosking, Henry and this crew all stirring up the mob to vote in a semi-fascist government.
    A third term will see NZ totally owned by corporate interests..

  3. James 3

    I thought it a very good editorial, and to be honest think that Len should stand down.

    Good on the Herald for running with it. About blimmin time.

    • gobsmacked 3.1

      James, do you think anyone in the government should have “stood down” in the last 5 years?

      Anyone at all?

      • Paul 3.1.1

        He won’t answer.

        • James

          Paul – wrong.

          Gobsmacked – yes I do. But this is not about them – this is about Len.

          • karol

            James –
            But this is not about them – this is about Len.

            Wrong. It’s about the editors’ of the NZ Herald abusing the paper’s position as part of the news media. And the way it/they respond/s to wrong doings by other elected representatives is relevant.

          • gobsmacked

            It’s exactly about them, IF you believe this is a matter of principle.

            Either (for example) not disclosing hotel upgrades should be a resignation matter – or not.

            Either (for example) having an affair should be a resignation matter – or not.

            Either (for example) dodgy dealing with Sky City should be a resignation matter – or not.

            Personally I’d say “No” to 1 & 2, but “Yes” to 3.

            So Brown and the National government should resign. Unless it’s not about principles at all. And for you and the Herald, I suspect it isn’t.

            • gobsmacked

              OK, so who’s going to say why Brown should go AND government Ministers should stay?

              “Because yeah bad look” isn’t an answer. “Because Herald” isn’t an answer “Because memory hole look over there” isn’t an answer.

              Some argue consistently (e.g. No Right Turn) that Ministers – including the PM – should resign, for worse offences. So Brown should too. That’s fair. Demand high standards for all, regardless.

              But that’s never the Herald’s line, is it?

          • Paul

            And did you contribute to a blog recommending their resignation or removal?
            Just checking consistency James.

          • Tracey

            which ones? and why?

    • Naturesong 3.2

      Great, Len Brown stands down.

      Then what?

      Expensive reelection and ….. the National Party fly in another american to run?

      I don’t think you’ve thought this through.

      • amirite 3.2.1

        I think the plan is something like appointing a Commissioner for Auckland, like
        they’ve done for Environment Canterbury – an undemocratic takeover by the RW.
        Remember Gerry Brownlee threatening the Christchurch Council?
        There ya go.

  4. TightyRighty 4

    what was your stance on the herald when the editortials suppourted len as it was a family matter?

    • Paul 4.1

      I consistently state that the Herald is a rag; it headlines trivial news most of the time, thereby attempting to dumb down the population. The rest of the time it has a right wing bias in support of its corporate masters. e.g. ‘ Democracy under attack’ headline.

    • karol 4.2

      That was to do with Brown’s affair – it was nobody’s business but Brown’s his family’s and Bevan Chuang’s. Brown should be censured for the non-declarations of gifted hotel rooms – that is a different issue.

      My view is, the Herald should have waited for the meeting tomorrow and not attempted to manipulate the outcome. The councillors should have more say in the response to Brown’s misdeeds that. And I am more in agreement with Russell Brown & Chris Trotter, as linked in my post, than with the Herald’s front page propaganda.

      • Colonial Viper 4.2.1

        Brown made a good point in the radio interview though.

        Politicians and MPs are frequently granted hotel room or air travel upgrades and almost never ever report them.

        Where this doesn’t work very well for Brown are the SkyCity hotel stays, because of the sensitive negotiations that were being undertaken, but you could still argue that SkyCity’s treatment of Brown was nothing special compared to any other hotel.

        • Tracey

          nothing special, declare them. should have been simple. he didnt. transparency is crucial. we’re all busy that’s no excuse. It ought not be an excuse for banks either.

          cost of a new election is immaterial. If it is right he goes, then he goes.

        • MrSmith

          CV the Sky city link stinks even if there’s nothing in it, but then sky city seem to have everyone on their books, Banks! Brown! Shit I remember some Labour MP sitting in their corporate box a while back.

          • ABS

            That would be the Labour Leader of the time David Shearer and 4 other senior Labour MPs, right? Round about the time that the RWC was on and Labour was voting against the Sky/Convention deal? IIRC. That wasn’t a great look either.

      • TightyRighty 4.2.2

        You can’t separate the issues karol. They are tightly interwoven as you can’t have one without the other.

        The herald has commented earlier that this is largely a family affair, but now that it has morphed into a ethical issue, they’ve rescinded their earlier position and it is now a public affair and len needs to stand down.

        Were you in agreement with the herald in it’s publishing of propoganda that we should leave len alone before the enquiry?

        • karol

          Were you in agreement with the herald in it’s publishing of propoganda that we should leave len alone before the enquiry?

          I wouldn’t call that propaganda. That was a fair call given that there was an upcoming enquiry. And as the editorial position at that time stated, it wasn’t about the affair, but about spending, conflicts of interest etc. The enquiry has showed that to be the case. And it wasn’t splashed all over the front page as the call to resign is today. That earlier editorial said wait for the enquiry. Instead of doing a front page piece of partisan propaganda today, the NZ Herald editors should have waited for the outcome of tomorrow’s meeting.

          • TightyRighty

            So you were in agreement with the herald then when it supported brown?

            • karol

              TR, you are avoiding the main issue about how the Herald editors are using the front page to promote a particular view.

              The earlier editorial was not a big one taking up the front page as I recall. It wasn’t so much supporting Brown as stating, let’s wait for the enquiry. They couldn’t do much else. They realised that the affair itself was not evidence of corruption. They were waiting for more evidence.

              There are times I agree with Herald editorials, but more often I disagree with them – and they often promote opinion over evidence-based arguments. I and many Standardistas will critique the editorials as they happen

              Today’s editorial is totally different from the majority of Herald editorials. It’s trying to drum up support for Dick Quax push to get Brown to resign. It’s partisan propaganda, aimed at whipping up public pressure for a particular position. My view is that they should have waited for tomorrow’s meeting, and leave Aucklanders to come to their own conclusion.

              TR, you are trying to compare different kinds of editorial presentations – it’s not comparing like with like.

              • Tracey

                remember their democracy headline over the EFA????

                “News release 18 April 2008

                Coalition for Open Government

                The Coalition for Open Government is delighted that the Press Council has upheld its complaint against the NZ Herald’s Electoral Finance Bill campaign.

                The Press Council found that the Herald’s front-page editorial last year contained a “mis-statement of fact”, which the paper should have promptly corrected.

                Coalition spokesperson Steven Price said the Press Council’s ruling showed once again that the public were not well-served by the reporting on the Electoral Finance legislation. “We strongly support the Herald’s right to comment on this important law,” he said. “But it’s vital that the media doesn’t mislead the public about the basic facts. We think the Herald was exaggerating the problems with the bill in order to bolster the paper’s campaign against it.”

                This is the first time the Press Council has ruled that such a prominent, vigorous and sustained campaign by a newspaper contained a significant inaccuracy.

                The editorial was published under the banner headline: “DEMOCRACY UNDER ATTACK Speak now, or next year hold your peace”.

                The paper asserted that anyone spending any money on electioneering would need to register as a third party to do so. The Press Council said this was wrong. The law only requires those who want to spend more than $12,000 electioneering who need to register – a much smaller group. The law is designed to allow normal debate about issues to go on as usual in election years, with no controls or limits of any kind, and the restrictions on electioneering are geared to telling voters who is behind the ads and ensuring that the ability to participate in political debate doesn’t turn on the size of your bank account.

                This is not the first example of misleading reporting on the bill. COG’s complaints against early coverage of the Electoral Finance Bill on TVNZ and TV3 were upheld by the Broadcasting Standards Authority in February.

                The Press Council’s decision is set out below.

                The BSA’s decisions are available at:




                The Coalition for Open Government was reformed for 2007 to lobby for fairer and more transparent electoral finance laws. It supported the thrust of the Electoral Finance Act, though it was critical of some aspects of the law and the way it was passed.”

              • TightyRighty

                The fact you have to get into such contortions to answer such a basic question shows that you haven’t grasped the argument within my line of questioning.

                It is comparing like with like. you supported the herald when it said this was a family matter for the browns in support of len. Now that the herald has written an editorial based on the damning EY report that explicitly states that this affair is larger than the family and that they no longer support the office of the mayor with brown holding it it’s an affront to democracy.

                you support a labour aligned mayor, we get that. the herald is allowed to have an opinion on brown. if you don’t like what it says don’t read it. online, physically, whatever. but it’s not an affront to democracy to present an opinion, something it does every day.

                Your whole post is an attack on the freedom of the press because you don’t agree with what it says.

                • Pascal's bookie

                  I don’t think you understand the editorial TR.

                  It doesn’t argue he has to resign because of the EY report, and it doesn’t argue he has to resign over an ethical issue.

                  You might think he has to resign on those lines, but the Herald is saying he has to resign for a completely different reason.

                  • TightyRighty

                    that’s splitting hairs PB.

                    The heralds opinion is that because of browns behaviour, which the EY report uncovered and made public, he has to resign. fair enough i say

                • you_fool

                  Whilst I realise you are doing it on purpose, you are missing the argument presented to you. Person A says “Lets not say anything until after it happens” just before an important event
                  Person B says ” I condemn this person” just before an important event

                  Karol is saying that she supports Person A over person B not for what was their stance on the issue but on how they reported on it.

                  This is different from Person A saying “nothing to see here move along” and Karol supporting this stance because of her personal views.

        • Tracey

          if it’s ethical you must wonder how many front pages Banks has made in the herald, and which one called for his resignation from parliament?

          Key has ethical issues around lying.

          For the record, I think Brown, Banks and Key should go, for ethical reasons.

      • Ian 4.2.3

        The herald obviously knows that what is in the public arena is only a small part of Browns deception. Your backing a dud horse mate.

    • James 4.3

      I didnt agree with them. I thought he should have stood down from the outset.

  5. Tiger Mountain 5

    The Herald for long boring decades used to doggedly support the ‘shits and rats’ Citizens and Ratepayers from the leafy suburbs, C&R have been decidedly wobbly and unreliable for some years now. So what do our masters wish for? Another election? John Pallino is probably back working on his perma-tan somewhere, Luigi no doubt brown nosing elsewhere. Slim talent pool from existing councillors. Be hilarious if Chris Fletcher or someone ran. But I am happy to let Minto and Penny have another go on the real issues if they could get a budget together.

    Rodders parting gift was barely accountable CCOs, along with a spanner in the works–Super Mayor unleashed–you can’t sack me! But of course “Lenslide” got the seat not “Banksie”. Len seems to have survived with all sorts of shifting allegiances with the right and his appallingly gutless take on the POA debacle finished any lesser evil argument for his being there from the left.

    Having said all that, he does not have to go, and on principle perhaps he should stay just because the dirty filthy Herald is telling him to go!

  6. Colonial Viper 6

    So did the Herald run a Banksy Stand Down front pager?

    Maybe that’s tomorrow?

    • Paul 6.1

      Or a Key stand down headline after that list BLIP provided,,,

    • gobsmacked 6.2

      Two very simple questions for the Herald:

      Is the Len Brown affair the worst thing done by elected representatives in the last 5 years? No. Not even close.

      Have there been any other front-page editorials, calling for resignations? No.

      • Paul 6.2.1

        A letter to Messrs Roughan and Murphy.
        If you buy the Herald, stop doing so.

      • burt 6.2.2


        Is the Len Brown affair the worst thing done by elected representatives in the last 5 years? No. Not even close.

        Classic lefty apologist – It’s not fair that you pick on somebody in my team when your team are worse….

        So It’s OK to not declare circa $35K in freebies … Here was me thinking elected officials needed to disclose all ‘gifts’ – I guess if you are a Labour supporter you can just say “move on” and if that fails change the rules to make not declaring free gifts OK….

        • gobsmacked

          No, it’s not OK Burt.

        • emergency mike

          burt if you’re going to reply to gobsmacked at least try to respond to the point he was making instead of attacking some other bullshit that he didn’t say.

          “Classic lefty apologist – It’s not fair that you pick on somebody in my team when your team are worse….”

          Sure, because no righty would stoop to pulling that one out. John Key wouldn’t fall down laughing in the house at his own jokes about Shearer’s bank accounts or say ‘Labour done it too’ whenever criticised. NAct tr0lls wouldn’t come here and bleat on pathetically about Helen signing a painting or getting a speeding ticket when one of their idols gets caught with their hand in the till.

          Nah, that’s never happened.

          I’m sure there are examples of such hypocricy to be found on both sides. But to call it a ‘lefty’ thing seem well, hypocritical ad hilarium.

        • Murray Olsen

          burt, gobsmacked did not ask if any National, Act or United Dunnies elected representative had done anything worse. Party was not mentioned at all, but I agree with your conclusion that it would most likely have to be someone from your side of the trough. I can think of Labour MPs who have done worse than Brown (in my view at least), although most of them did join ACT. I’m surprised you can’t, although the prevailing stench from the likes of Key, English, and Banks is pretty bad.

    • James 6.3

      Personally – I think he should have stood down also (I didnt want it for the government – but I think it was the right thing that should have happened)

    • Tracey 6.4

      agree, all three ought to stand down. (answering one below also)

  7. captain hook 7

    the Herald is rapidly becoming the laughing stock of New Zealand itself.
    The media is trying to become the massage and failing badly.
    whatever Len did it will all blow over next week.
    Just because their chosen candidate got drubbed in the polls and is now facing corruption charges they have decided to muddy the waters by going after the Mayor.
    I’m beginning to think they are paying a finders fee under the table to blubberguts to write this crap.
    shame on them.

  8. Paul 8

    On a related topic…. the New Zealand media is a disgrace to democracy.

    Neoliberal clique of the Labour Party show worrying support for right wing extremist Hosking on his new appointment to 7 Sharp.


    Ms King pitched in, saying: “I’ll tell you what, it will improve it.”
    Hosking replied: “Well, let us hope so, Annette. That is the aim.”

    Now he can bad mouth all opponents of the Great Leader in the morning on ZB and in the evening on TVNZ. And he’s being paid a million to get the results for his good mates at Sky City.

    • ABS 8.1

      Perfect. Rubs hands, cackling maniacally. Conspiracy much lately?

      • North 8.1.1

        Nothing can save Hosking from being a narcissistic mutton-dressed-up-as-lamb fool. No matter what show he’s on.

        • ABS

          Still has to be better than the metrosexual, the clown and the lesbian. Most people hate that show, at least Hosking (IMO so don’t get all wound up) has SOME journalistic pedigree and integrity. For all his faults, he is credible and will add depth to 7 Blunt.

          • karol

            metrosexual, the clown and the lesbian.

            I don’t watch Seven Sharp. But Ali Mau has a pretty strong record as a TV journalist – to reduce her to her sexuality (she’s actually bi-sexual but I guess “Lesbian” works better for you as an anti-LGBT smear), is pretty wide of the mark. Mau seems fairly centre right to me on some issues. But she’s as good a journalist as Hosking, and not nearly as blatantly right wing. Hosking adding journalistic credibility?! Please!

    • David H 8.2

      Would help if he could use a Razor, Comb, and a Toothbrush.

  9. gobsmacked 9

    New front page Herald editorial, written by its columnist Bob Jones:

    “It’s time to kill yourself, Mayor Brown.”

  10. captain hook 10

    the right thing would be for all the right wing dweebs and the prudes and the prunes to take a laxative and an aspirin and if they shit the bed then tough.

  11. Fair Observer 11


    [lprent: Already banned. Another IP for autospam. ]

  12. geoff 12

    What’s the deal with the two councillors who are pushing to limit Len’s powers?
    Right wing nut jobs?

  13. rhinocrates 13

    Not only that, they were willing to aid and then cover up “Sir” Bob Jones’ confession to a criminal act.




    He incited someone to commit suicide, which is a crime. They did it. He boasted of it. The Herald published his confession/boast and then pretended that it didn’t, which is also a crime, since they attempted to conceal evidence of a crime.

    The Herald is not merely politically biased, it is a criminal organisation.

    • ratesarerevolting 13.1

      Len Brown is a fucking cunt and the herald is no better.

      [lprent: Why? You seem to have specialised in pointless comments today to an extent the is more prevalent than even your own usual moronic standard.

      I see that you are currently not banned. That will be corrected on a permanent basis if you don’t lift your level of comments to include some indication that you are a rational human rather than the raving loon that you appear to be trying to emulate. ]

      • Tracey 13.1.1

        illiterati rools

        • rhinocrates

          Let’s just see Hoots use this as another opportunity pull a stunt. “Ooh, like at me,” he might say. “I’m so cool and with it dudes, I disapprove of rape and suicide too!” If he thinks that it will improve his brand, look out for the advertising tweet just before some on-air theatrics.

          So Hoots, where do your calculations put you on this? Do you think that it will get you enough attention or is it just a minor issue?

      • karol 13.1.2

        rar, abuse doesn’t amount to an argument. Please raise your game by making a substantial point based on evidence or an argument.

        • IheartLEN

          Oh go on Karol, at least TRY and be consistent… see above for Geoff’s class-act comments to James, as follows:

          geoff 6.3.2

          18 December 2013 at 1:19 pm

          “Personally, James, I think you should shut the fuck up but we can’t always get what we want.”

          Very nice.

          • karol

            geoff has attempted to make a point, or at least to ask a relevant question in his other comment here. rar didn’t even try to do that.

            rar has form as lprent stated above – I was warning rar to raise his game. Hopefully he will take notice and improve his comments.

  14. gobsmacked 14

    Emboldened by the fearless Herald, speaking “truth to power”, the Right organised a protest against the mayor in central Auckland today.

    Turnout: 12.

  15. srylands 15

    “So, once again the NZ Herald editors show their right wing leanings.”

    “A third term will see NZ totally owned by corporate interests..”

    “I consistently state that the Herald is a rag; it headlines trivial news most of the time, thereby attempting to dumb down the population. The rest of the time it has a right wing bias in support of its corporate masters.”

    So many bizarre statements. And what is this obsession with Sky City? I always stay with them in Auckland. Their staff are friendly and their rooms are value for money.

    Over and over again there is this rallying against “corporate” interests? What does that even mean? Does that mean that if you own a company you are evil? What is wrong with using a company structure to conduct business?

    Also, the Herald is a LEFT WING light weight newspaper!

    • karol 15.1

      A comedian? Spent so much time on TS, and never takes any notice of all the evidence people have presented on things like SkyCity, corporate dominance, etc. Do we need to keep repeating it to you? What’s the point if you never seem to read it.

  16. The NzHerald is right wing?, you mean writers like Susan Pepperell?

    • karol 16.1

      I am particularly referring to the editors and its editorial positions. Yes, the Herald presents just enough left wing writers and editorials to enable it to claim it presents both sides…. but it’s stacked far more towards right wing views, especially from the editorial staff.

  17. Really, I don’t give a rat about the Herald. But they are right. Len is damaged goods. No matter what he does, what he says, he is open to criticism. Personally, I think he should go. He is morally defunct.
    But who to replace him. On the right, Pallino has shown himself equally open to criticism, Hide is too closely aligned to the set-up of the super-city to be acceptable to the people of Auckland, and Banksy, well, his copy-book is well and truly blotted. On the left, who is there? Whoever the left puts up, needs to above recrimination.
    Personally, I think Len will try and tough it out, but it might be 6 months, a year, or even 18 months, but eventually he will go. The pressure will be too much. The thing to avoid is letting the Government appoint a Commissioner. If Key & co get their way, everything Auckland owns will be up on the chopping block, and any election will be pushed out as far as possible.
    The left need to start organising now to find a suitable replacement for Len. That might sound crazy, that might sound mean. But whoever that person is, give them some grounding in the general election next year, because if National do get back in, sure as hell, Len’s tenure won’t last long.
    I just see Len Brown as a wasted figure.

    • Chooky 17.1

      +1…Agree….”The left need to start organising now to find a suitable replacement for Len.”.

      …….a woman Mayor ?!.( what about the Deputy Mayor?)……dare I say it women seem to be less corruptible and take their job more seriously…but the Left need to agree on who their choice is

      …personally i thought a Supercity Mayor foisted on Auckland was a mistake for democracy and local representation and Auckland as a whole….the old model was better for democracy and sound decision making , if more cumbersome.

      …….can that stupid idea of Rodney Hide and NACT be reversed?!..(it is a set up for easy pickings and subverting for corruption imo…it takes the power out of the hands of Aucklanders and into the hands of the overseas corporates and multinationals)

      …maybe an Auckland referendum on going back to the old system when they elect a new Mayor ( in which case the new Mayor will be helping phase back the old system)

      • Anne 17.1.1

        This whole Len Brown fiasco has been carefully orchestrated right from the get go starting with Slater’s revelations. For that reason I hope Len Brown brazens it out and refuses to resign. The whole pre-Xmas adrenalin rush thing is being used to exacerbate the issue, and its my view it will all die down in the New Year when people get themselves back to normal.

        In the event I’m wrong then Penny Hulse is the obvious choice for his replacement. She’s widely regarded and appears to be highly competent.

        • ABS

          Penny Hulse is an apologist for a cheating lying megalomaniac and as such should not be anywhere near the reins of power or baubles of office.

          • karol

            Penny Hulse is an apologist for a cheating lying megalomaniac

            Evidence/citations, please?

            • ABS

              You’ll get one as soon as she refuses to join the people who are asking Len Brown to resign.

              • karol

                Where is the evidence that her refusal to call for his resignation evidence she is doing this based on being an apologist for Brown being a “cheating lying meglomaniac”?

                So far the evidence show Hulse working through the processes as per the inadequate structure that is the Auckland super city. Her current line is to work for a just outcome for the people of Auckland.

                You are setting up an either/or situation that skews the outcome in favor of your pre-judgements.

  18. Karol:

    Maybe the problem is, that the left wing writers for the nzherald are liars.

    A few years ago I tweeted Susan Pepperell about a couple of piece she did for the NzHerald, she tweeted back, stating, “I have Never Written for the NzHerald” I tweeted her back with the actual links to the items she wrote, and I have never heard back from her.

  19. Colonial Viper 19

    Lefties are dishwater weak supporting their own politicians.

  20. Puckish Rogue 20

    First its Christ:


    Now the Queen


    Hes not egotistical at all

    “I will always front up. I will give you the straight answers, always with a limit.”

  21. Anne 21


    The Herald has some very good columnists. Imo. as far as the political columnists are concerned, Bryan Gould is the most insightful. They also have one or two very good business commentators and in other areas such as the Arts they do well. The problem is (as karol has already pointed out) the editorial staff are bigoted and blatantly partisan in their thinking. No doubt they reflect the views of their owners and advertisers which will be why they are there in the first place. Occasionly they try to redress the balance with a reasonable stance on some issue, but usually its something that isn’t going to rock the Nat. Govt. boat too much.

    I’ve just seen a TVNZ clip about a group of protestors who were harassing Len Brown this morning.
    It was awful. A bunch of white, middle-aged shrieking creeps who quite frankly were embarrassing to watch.

    Have a look: http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/no-confidence-move-adds-pressure-len-brown-5781478

    • Fair Observer 21.1


      [lprent: Already banned. Another IP for autospam. ]

      • karol 21.1.1

        FO, the crowd is not very representative of Auckland’s diverse population.

        • David H

          All screaming like Harridans. My God, a silent protest would have been better. It will probably turn out to be one of those embarrassing You tube moments for their family’s

      • gobsmacked 21.1.2

        Dear Observer

        Why your failure to answer above?

        [lprent: Turned out to be someone on a permanent ban using a different name. They’d done a pretty good job of changing style, but reverted to type. Wiped all of their comments. ]

      • Anne 21.1.3

        I note TVNZ have taken down the original video showing the shrieking harassment of Brown and replaced it with one that cuts the worst of it out. What’s the problem? Didn’t like the white Remuera matrons showing themselves up like that? I wonder… if they had been brown and came from Mangere would they have stayed?

    • brett Dale 21.2


      Those protestors were beyond embarrassing, TVNZ should’ve called them up on it, that
      was awful to watch.

    • Rodel 21.3

      Bunch of about a dozen Quax inspired Remuera harpies who no doubt voted for John Banks.
      I’m not overly impressed by Len Brown but with enemies like that he probably has a lot of friends so hang in there Len.
      Just like salacious French politics..love it/ wallow in it.
      Heard Quax on radio today…Is he on something?

      • Tat Loo (CV) 21.3.1

        Lol exactly. Get on with city business, and in fact, start raising the stakes and get right back into the game.

      • Anne 21.3.2

        …about a dozen Quax inspired Remuera harpies who no doubt voted for John Banks.

        Lol. A couple of years ago, it was quite widely publicised that John Banks was having an affair with some floosie who was also mixed up with drug traffickers. It was during the course of an investigation into the drug trafficking that the police stumbled upon the affair. It was covered up because it was Banks and he was part of the NAct government. How many times have the police covered up for Banks now?

        • Draco T Bastard

          How many times have the police covered up for Banks now?

          Now that is a damn good question.

  22. Pascal's bookie 22

    Tomorrow, Auckland councillors will not only formally censure Mr Brown but begin a process designed to clip the wings of the mayoral office. If that happens, the Super City may no longer have a leader with the independent authority to drive things forward. The only means of avoiding that outcome is for Mr Brown to resign. He must go in the interests of Auckland and Aucklanders.

    I don’t really care if he stays or goes. Not my city.

    But the Herald’s argument has kind of been missed. They are not saying he has to go because of corruption. They are not saying he has to go because of an affair.

    So the various bods above claiming they agree with the Herald because ‘corrupt mayor yada yada’ are wrong, and should read the Herald.

    It’s possible to agree with a conclusion, but get there by a different argument.

    The Herald is saying he has to go to save the nature of the supercity structure.

    That the Supercity requires that the mayor has independent authority from Council. And because the Council is looking to hobble the mayor, that authority will be lost, and so the Mayor should therefore resign in order to not be hobbled by the council.

    That’s not actually a very good argument when you think about it*. But it’s the one the Herald has made.

    *because it sets up a convention that while Council can’t hobble a mayor, it can veto a Mayor’s election via a censure motion and send it back out for the electorate to think again. If the Herald really truly thinks that sort of model will decrease partisan games, then I don’t even even ow.

    • karol 22.1

      But the Herald’s argument has kind of been missed. They are not saying he has to go because of corruption. They are not saying he has to go because of an affair.

      Not exactly. While the summary on the front page of the hard copy might give that impression, the online version says this:

      When news broke of the Mayor’s two-year affair with Bevan Chuang, this newspaper suggested that if Len Brown’s family could forgive him then the city should, too.
      The EY review into his conduct, commissioned by the council chief executive, did not condemn him outright. But nor did it save him.
      The corrosive nature of all this is compounded by doubts that remain and the questions still unanswered – not least in relation to the reference for a job at the Auckland Art Gallery that he provided for Ms Chuang, and his trip to Hong Kong. There is also the foolishness of his free night and upgrades at Sky City while he was advocating the national convention-centre deal.

      That pretty much looks like the hard copy version to me.

      But this, as you say Pb:

      The Herald is saying he has to go to save the nature of the supercity structure.

      Is pretty much what the editorial is saying.

      But the headline is the main bit of partisan PR – it’s what most people see, and then next, a few less will look at the front page summary and maybe draw the conclusion that Brown should go because of the affair.

      Also a good analysis of the editorial by NRT.

      • Pascal's bookie 22.1.1

        They mention that stuff, but it doesn’t form part of their argument as to why Len should go.

        It’s there to explain why the Council is going to attack him, a response they call “as short-sighted as it is ill-judged”.

        It’s a mess of an argument, but it is what it is.

    • gobsmacked 22.2

      The Herald decided Brown should go, then told the editorial writers to work out why.

      They didn’t do a great job, presumably because at every point somebody said: “But hang on, what about Key/Banks/assorted Ministers …”.

      To be fair, they’re not alone. Nobody on this thread has come up with an answer that applies to Brown, and only Brown. Because there isn’t one.

      • Rob 22.2.1

        What is the similarity you are trying to invent between Len Brown and John Key?

        We understand the you think that cheating and rooting around has no relevence in politics , I suppose like the old politics and sport argument not mixing either. However, for an elected official who is the Mayor of this city, he should have known better and exhibited better self control and plain judgement.

        If he cannot work out what to do in this situation then he is not fit to be Mayor.

        Goodbye Len, you seriously fucked up.

        • gobsmacked

          So is it about sex now? The goalposts keep moving.

          Should Len Brown resign for having an affair?

          • Rob

            The goalposts do not keep moving, and its not just about sex, howevere given the way you have framed your response says a lot about you Gobsmacked.

            Its about Len Brown , Mayor of Auckland City, being able to make wise decisions and judgements in a public service role which he has found to be incapable of doing.

            It is about his integrity and leadership and his ability to lead Auckland through the next very challenging three years.

            • gobsmacked

              Rob, I am trying to find out what you actually believe. It’s impossible, because you can’t give a straight answer.

              Try this …

              I propose this amendment to the ‘No Confidence’ motion:

              “Len Brown should resign …”

              “Provided that all other councillors who have also accepted and not declared upgrades etc ALSO resign”

              “Provided that all councillors who voted FOR the Sky City deal, also resign, if they have accepted freebies or favours from Sky City”

              Do you agree? If not, why not?

              • gobsmacked

                While you’re trying to locate your moral compass, Rob, here’s the list of councillors you’ll want to e-mail tonight.


                I’m with Cathy Casey, and against the Sky City deal. How about you?

                • karol

                  And a point in favour of Penny Hulse who voted against the Sky City deal.

                  • Chooky

                    +1…imo Auckland can do without casinos and multi-story brothels in the heart of Auckland ….which have happened under Len Brown’s watch…and he has voted for both

                    …is Auckland for Aucklanders and the lead city of New Zealanders ?…….or is it a service city for overseas visitors? …..and everything that this implies for NZ families and NZers well-being…especially youth?.

                    ….a woman Mayor like Penny Hulse would be better

          • Rodel

            Gobsmacked …Nah! They just love using the word ‘rooting’… makes them feel like righteous macho kiwi blokes.

  23. srylands 23

    This is what The Standard is saying. Unbelievable (well it would be from any other source). I actually find the stupidity at The Standard chilling. Memo to self – stop looking.

    NZ Herald: Disgrace to democracy

    “NZ Herald: Disgrace to democracy”

    “So, once again the NZ Herald editors show their right wing leanings. The front page of the hard copy today is pure partisan propaganda.”


    [lprent: Read the policy. The Standard is a program, it doesn’t have an opinion except those that I program into it. And the program has a requirement to have individual identities for a reason. It is so you know exactly what individuals you are responding to.

    I on the other hand do have an opinion. It states that when fools start trying to assign opinions to machines rather than the people then they are deliberately trying avoid talking to individuals. Instead they are trying to communicate with the own arse as they rotate themselves into their own comforting fantasy world (full of nice shit).

    That behavioural trait is the most clear sign of a stupid bigot that I know of – trying to demonise the group rather than dealing with people. It means that you can assign *any* traits to a mythic entity rather than having to prove anything. So I make that a reality to educate them that is not an option here for people on this site.

    Educationally banned for a month so you can start to learn to read individuals rather than being a simple minded cowardly bigot. ]

  24. tricledrown 24

    If that was any right wing poli
    They would be giving him a knighthood

    • chris73 24.1

      If it was a right wing polit the uproar would be deafening

      Richard Worth: charges withdrawn (damage done)
      John Banks: Innocent until proven guilty (yeah right)

    • Lloyd 24.2

      Not necessarily. Rodney Hyde took his mistress to London at the taxpayers expense (I believed he paid it back once it became public knowledge). Don Brash got Rodney replaced by John Banks, but I don’t know if the using public money for trysts with your bimbo was the critical reason for the dumping.

      I now note Don Brash wants Rodney back as ACT candidate. Maybe Don wants Rodney to get a gong.

      Haven’t noticed the Herald asking why a politician who crusaded against rorts and then got caught with his fingers in the til should be considered a fit candidate for Parliament…..

      • Rodel 24.2.1

        Banks…Hide…Brash.. .Hmmm …Wish I was a Southpark writer. I feel an episode coming on.
        Southpark couldn’t write a better script than these bizarre flip- floppers.
        Ahh the puns? we could make with those three names. I used to like ‘Dr Prebble and Mr Hide’

  25. J W 25

    Yikes, these blogs get kind of nasty as you skim read down.
    I voted for Len at the time, mainly on his rail and public transport stance.
    Whether he stays or goes should be left up to the council or the rallied support of the Auckland public. After that, it is the justice system both within the council and if need be externally who can deal with any wrongdoing.
    But all this is besides the point. I don’t need a newspaper to boldly push their opinion on me via the front page. I just need them to produce the facts in an unbiased manner and let me decide for myself.
    I know the Herald is a bit of a lame duck these days, but this sort of rubbish is what sways people who are uninformed. If this is a sign of what they will be leading with from now on, maybe it’s better if they went the way of the boat they were tirelessly promoting in San Francisco.

  26. yabby 26

    I think the Herald have been pretty supportive of the Mayor and until the EY only Fran had taken the stance he was irrevocably damaged.

    I personally believe that Brown has reinforced the years old perception of him as corruptible and he can never prove to voters that Sky City’s benevolence to him did not affect his stance re their massive gambling expansion.

  27. tricledrown 27

    20 people out of 1 million turned up to protest all from Remuera

  28. JustLikeTigerWoods 28

    If you can’t see he’s irrevocably damaged goods, rightly or wrongly (rightly, in my view), you’ve got both eyes closed. He’s now a liability – for the left. The cult of personality will be working against the Labour Party whilst he is in place.

    However, not being left myself, I hope he stays in place the full term.

  29. McGrath 29

    The Herald isn’t left or right, it just goes where it can get itself maximum exposure, be it for good or ill…

  30. Dumrse 30

    I suspect some lessons need to be learned here. Brown is a serial rooter and masturbator, the latter of which is achieved whilst sitting at his office desk. Screwing on the board room table takes the cake but wait, you obviously think that style of leadership and behaviour is ok. No fucking wonder we have so many issues around the behaviour of the young generation if their parents and or adult population think Browns activities are above board. Pants Down Brown IS a role model, someone just needs to push him down the hill so he rolls away into the sunset. Let’s see the Standard run a poll on Browns behaviours and Should He Stay……

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 30.1

      Len Brown is damaged by his association to the money-laundering Sky City, who are stained beyond redemption by their association with the National Party.

      And you can take your repulsive panty-sniffing hypocrisy and ram it right up your arse, Dumrse. Put chilli powder on it first, eh.

  31. greywarbler 31

    I’ve just heard a ‘rent-a-crowd’ giving Len Brown a roasting. Who are these irate citizens who have so much fire under their bellies that you would think he has invaded their homes and taken the Tooth Fairy’s sixpence from under their pillows?

    Some Scottish twang with one of them which I thought was appropriate. Worrying about her bawbee perhaps. And the man had a sound of the upper class about him. Christine Fletcher’s NACTs crowd? For the benefit of non-Auckland residents here’s some background.

    wikipedia says –
    [City Vision is the left side of the Council apparently.] They were formed in 1998[1] for the purposes of contesting and challenging the Citizens and Ratepayers Association who had dominated control of the Auckland City Council since the C&R’s formation in the 1930s.

    City Vision have traditionally held representation in the centre-west and south of Auckland City.
    In the 2010 elections, the first for the Auckland Council, Cathy Casey won a seat for City Vision. Winning candidates endorsed by City Vision were Mike Lee for council and Len Brown for mayor. Labour won another two council seats.

  32. dave 32

    end game loot aucklands assets water system airport share cronies in positions rate payer assets stripped ripped off and and the death of a rail system for auckland there far more at stake than bonking

    • Tat Loo (CV) 32.1

      And that’s the heart of it.

      • Paul 32.1.1

        This quote can so easily be adapted to most western countries today.

        George Carlin – The Real Owners Of America

        “The real owners are the big wealthy business interests that control things and make all the important decisions. Forget the politicians, they’re an irrelevancy. The politicians are put there to give you the idea that you have freedom of choice. You don’t. You have no choice. You have owner. Well, we know what they want; they want more for themselves and less for everybody else.”

  33. Ian 33

    So what does the labour parties Great Leader have to say on the issue of the corrupt Len Brown. Cunnilifes silence is getting close to being guilty by association. What is going on here ?

    • Pascal'sbookie 33.1

      How does that work?

    • greywarbler 33.2

      You ask the hard questions of us? Why don’t you find out and then let us know.

      • Ian 33.2.1

        With an election coming up it would be nice to know whether he supported Len,because Len is very high up in the Labour Party,so Lens actions represent the labour party. If you don’t understand guilty by association Perhaps you should Google the Nazi Nuremberg trials .

        • the pigman

          Len is very high up in the Labour Party,so Lens actions represent the labour party. If you don’t understand guilty by association Perhaps you should Google the Nazi Nuremberg trials .


          Just trying–struggling–to unpack this wacky gift. Aside from the baffling idiocy of your comment, which of the following were you trying to imply here (tick all that apply):

          a) Len Brown is Adolf Hitler
          b) David Cunliffe is Adolf Hitler
          c) David Cunliffe is Kim Jong-Il
          d) The Labour Party is the Nazi Party

          Visit more often, Ian!

          • greywarbler

            the pigman welomes Ian. Two RW trolls with nothing to say but want to be a bovver boy. Has school finished for the year?

            What elections are coming soon by the way There is a lot more water to go under the bridge before the nationwide elections. You will have thought of a thousand mindless comments between you before then. None of which will throw any useful light onto anything. We’ll have to get night goggles to see what you’re up to.

          • Colonial Viper

            Well, the Nazi Party was a SOCIALIST party, r i g h t ? ? ?

          • bad12

            ‘Ian’ and reality have as yet not made each other’s aquaintence, Len isn’t planning on gassing anyone other than what the occasional council contractor manages without His knowledge and/or permission in an ‘accidental fashion’…

        • Colonial Viper

          Give your style of smearing Ian, I suggest that you are the type that belongs comfortably right beside Göring and Hess in the dock.

        • Anne

          Who said Len is very high up in the Labour Party? You? Shows what an ignorant, uninformed twat you are… These RWNJs like Ian sure prove the widely disseminated international research which shows they are less intelligent than those on the Left.


    • gobsmacked 33.3

      “Guilty by association” – yep, tick another box for McCarthyism.

      John Key must be equally “guilty”, by your catch-all dumb logic.


    Slater is a vocal critic of the herald, just have a look at WO sometime you will see that clearly. It is a real u turn for the herald to attack LB this way. Quite interesting. I am not sure the full truth has been revealed yet. The next few days will be interesting. I am not concerned about his sexual proclivities, although many of his previous supporters were. For me the “gifts” from sky city raise more questions. On the balance of things I think he should go. He no longer has the support of the people.

    • Ian 34.1

      The Herald Knows That what is currently in the public arena is but chicken feed .

      • gobsmacked 34.1.1

        And more McCarthyism … it’s your speciality, Ian! Does he have “names on a piece of paper”, like your hero?

      • bad12 34.1.2

        OH Bullshit, your innuendo that there is more,lots more to come is simply the prattle of a chatterer who in the final analysis has nothing of substance to offer other than second hand innuendo passed along from Blubber boy off of ‘wail oil’…

        • Rodel

          Are you seriously suggesting that we have a look at WO sometime? There’s only 86,400 seconds in a day. Damn- I just wasted 30 of them.

  35. the pigman 35

    How much was the Herald paid to run this editorial on its front page, and by whom?

    Million dollar question.

    In past occasions when the Herald has shown similar errors of judgment (“DEMOCRACY UNDER ATTACK”, the free speech daily “Wall of Shame” for MPs voting for more transparency in corporate funding of politics), similar questions have never been satisfactorily answered. But gawd I would love to know.

    • Naki Man 35.1

      I doubt that anyone paid the Herald, they are just trying to make news and sell newspapers.

    • Paul 35.2

      There is a clear agenda here by the shadow leaders of our country.
      Brown’s affair has allowed them the opportunity to get their hands on the levers of power in Auckland. Remember that when Hide set up the new super city it was intended that Banks would be its leader. The plan to sell off all the city’s for their profit went awry.
      This is about plan C.

      • ABS 35.2.1

        Right, thats why John Key said he will still work with him. For a lefty Brown is not too bad, he refused to take sides in the POAL dispute and he can see the economic benefits that the Sky deal will have for Auckland. His problem is he is corruptible.

  36. bad12 36

    What’s pissing me off about Len Brown is the ongoing ‘apology’ which makes my teeth ache, for gods sake Len save the poker face for playing the actual game, loudly tell these retards the people of Auckland put you in the seat for the next 3 years and in the seat you are staying until the people of Auckland say otherwise,

    For the media who think that they can collectively remove Brown with a few ‘opinion polls’ to borrow a Slippery-ism from the man Himself, there was a recent ‘poll’, it was called the Council Elections, Brown won that poll in a landslide…

  37. Rodel 37

    Heard Quax on Checkpoint today citing those ultra reliable sources of information on the Brown polls, The Herald, Radio live and Newstalk ZB as if they were peer reviewed journal articles in Google Scholar.
    Even Mary Wilson couldn’t get a coherent answer out of him. I wondered….um..um… what was the question…..Mary?

  38. deemac 38

    bloody cheek – who elects the editor of the Herald?

  39. Te Reo Putake 39

    Does anyone know if the Herald has run a poll on whether Brown should resign? Online or otherwise? For that matter, has any polling been done by anyone?

    • Paul 39.1

      Yes they did one of their dodgy online polls.
      I’d imagine most corporate media sources did the same. That would be par for the course.

    • the pigman 39.2

      Stuff ran one recently (post-EY report) that showed a surprising support for Len to resign. Unfortunately their website is a total nightmare (you’d think http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/polls/ would be the place to start – it’s not) so can’t get my trotters on it.

    • Te Reo Putake 39.3

      Thanks all. I’m guessing that the Herald won’t do a proper poll because they wouldn’t like the result.

      • Rodel 39.3.1

        I did a poll of 5 people with a margin of error of 50%. They all thought Tony Abbot was the problem and should resign and Rodney Hide should be co-opted as mayor of Auckland..

  40. Paul 40

    The elite are very aware of this. They’ve placed 2 of their best paid puppets in key positions to influence the TV watching public. Expect lots of noise from Hosking and Henry in 2014.
    Paying $1 million, they’ll being expecting Hosking to gain them a few votes.

  41. RedbaronCV 41

    Looking at both this report and the one into the MFAT leak there seems to be a common theme. The parameters are widely drawn and in both cases the report writers have gone off on a tangent into matters that are largely irrelevant but wind up blown out of all proportion in the media:

    -In the MFAT report there are no credible findings on “who leaked” the reason for the report.
    -Then lots side commentary on individuals who had reservations about a wholesale change – views which where obviously widely held within the organisation and free thought is allowed – but they had to get in lawyers , $$$, to ensure they were not smeared and they had the decency to name themselves so suspicion didn’t fall elsewhere.

    – The LB report found some small $ amounts around the phone calls and reimbursement is being asked for. Audit any bunch of expenses and that will pretty much be the outcome.

    – Then it goes off and attaches huge $$$ to hotel upgrades which is just a distraction rather than simply noting the number of them. Hotels upgrade for all sorts of reasons, I’ve had them when they are out of no smoking rooms in the lower price ranges. Rack rates are just that, what hotels might like to charge but all to often do not. Using the same line of reasoning any public official that grabs a lift to the airport with someone else needs to declare the freebie even though it saves the public purse. Then they want to make it expensive for Len by charging him $$$$ for the cost of the report which didn’t stick to the knitting.

    – Lasting what sort of a relationship does the CEO expect to have with the Mayor after this. He is hardly at arm’s length.

    Is this sort of scrutiny going to be applied to all managers and directors of the CCO’s now we have a handy precedent and if not why not? Get the councillors onto that – the ratepayers would be delighted.

    There’s a pattern emerging here of making it expensive for anyone who disagrees or isn’t under control. The Herald is just another piece in the puzzle.

    Shades of Whitewater and MacCarthyism anyone??

  42. xtasy 42

    Sorry to return and dare commenting here:

    The Left in NZ is on a huge losing trip, believe it or not. Len Brown is “beyond repair”, he stuffed up big with taking free hotel rooms and upgrades, which he said, after the credit card incident a couple of years back, would be a mistake he would NEVER repeat!

    There goes a promise of sorts, and there comes in hypocrisy. All that “affair” stuff is irrelevant now, as the fact, that Len Brown, accepted “perks” by a corporation called Sky City, that did also do deals with the Key led government, that proves enough, that Len Brown is UNTRUSTWORTHY, if not CORRUPT!

    I never trusted the man, only voted for him initially as the “lesser evil”. I voted for Minto last election, and I state, we have TOO MUCH “lesser evil” mentality, and votes, than sincere, honest and truly deserved votes.

    Len is GONE, wait for late tomorrow, he is BEYOND excuse and repair, and those like Martyn B. still thinking he may be an “election asset”, come on, get a life, wake up and smell the roses!

    The left in NZ is rather “screwed”, I must say, as what I see and hear is “weak” stuff, not convincing, the Labour Party does do its own stuff anyway, and Cunliffe is as non committal as Shearer was. So where is the fucking “left” in NZ, apart from certain activist groups, who I admire to keep up the fight? There have been tiny protests for benefit rights and so forth, but most are just self serving arseholes, like the right wingers are themselves.

    To me, NZ is ONE mighty screwed up society, where everyone is just after their own interests, fuck the trest, I am sorry, I am planning to book a one way ticket out of here, for good!

    Fuck the Herald by the way, I am not one bit surprised, but you would have to be a total idiot, not to get it, that the MSM is totally against democracy, certainly totally against you ALL! You are “screwed” and non existent, apart from this blog!

    • RedLogix 42.1

      he stuffed up big with taking free hotel rooms and upgrades,

      There seems to be a real disconnect going on here xtasy.

      These ‘free rooms and upgrades’ are essentially nothing more than the hotel choosing to give a discount for repeat or volume business.

      This is absolutely routine across virtually every business sector I can think of; from the local cafe’s loyalty card (buy 10 get 1 free), through air points, discounts at volume breaks (1-10 = $10; 10-100 = $8), 10 trip bus tickets, fleet discounts and on and on.

      This kind of volume discounting practise is ubiquitous and perfectly normal. Different customers pay different prices according to their value all the time.

      An empty hotel room has zero value; therefore when the hotel chooses to upgrade a repeat customer with a room that would otherwise remain empty that night – this is not a gift with any value attached to it, simply a sensible way of giving discount or loyalty reward to a high value customer.

      When I was in my corporate travelling life I would have had many, many dozens of such discounts. I was never required to declare them. The only exception I can think of is that air-points accumulated on the company credit-card belonged to the company and you needed permission to use them for personal benefit.

      Unless someone can show that SkyCity was explicitly requiring some sort of quid pro quo for the handful of free nights they gave Len then there is absolutely nothing wrong here. No story. Move along.

      • Colonial Viper 42.1.1

        Hey RL. I think that it is very difficult for someone who hasn’t experienced this life to believe how normal this kind of thing is, when you are living in the top 5%.

        It’s like having flown so much that you get gold frequent flyer status and get lounge access all over the world. Where you can walk in, put your feet up and eat and drink to your hearts content. But it’s just not something you would normally declare. And yet to someone on the outside of that system, that level of luxury of benefit would seem incredulous not to declare.

        • xtasy

          “It’s like having flown so much that you get gold frequent flyer status and get lounge access all over the world.”

          Right, CV, where is the “disconnect” here??? I wonder, it is not me, who fails to see the danger and problems. Get REAL, lefties, get back to principles, get RID of hollow LEN and get a REAL new candidate for Auckland and elsewhere, please. Corrupt and law bending candidates will NOT further our causes!!!

          The biggest problem for “the LEFT” has been to “accommodate” the rotten, corrupt system of neo liberal capitalist and what comes with it as a system. Here we have first hand proof. Clean out the damned stable, NOW!!!

          • RedLogix


            If you are running a business and you decide to give a discount or reward of some kind to your high value customers – then I repeat – this is perfectly normal and acceptable practice. And as I said above; once you start looking you see this happening everywhere.

            Absolutely nothing to be resorting to capital letters about.

            As for taking me on about the HOP tickets I really don’t get it. Are you now arguing that the privilege of your ‘upgrade’ day tickets be restored to you? Suddenly you are telling me that you don’t like paying normal price with the HOP cards?

            Hypocrite some?

            • xtasy

              RL – I understand you do not live in Auckland and have not for most of your life. Auckland Transport abolished ALL day tickets a few weeks ago, so those on benefits, or others, who used to rely on discounted, affordable day tickets, now have to either use the hopeless “HOP” cards (only giving about 10 percent “discount”), or pay cash fares at normal fare rates (substantially higher).

              I spend about twice as much on bus fares now, thanks to Auckland Transport, being a CCO of Auckland Council, as I used to, just to do my errands. Being a beneficiary with no extra income, this does not make life easier. WINZ do not give a shit, nor do Auckland Transport as CCO of Auckland Council!

              So reading about a mayor getting perks at high level, this tells me, do NOT vote Labour, as that is the party he belongs to, and whose supporters and members appear to support the man.

              I do not want a right wing mayor, but I prefer one with principles and honest behaviour.

              Thank you!

              • karol

                I spend about twice as much on bus fares now, thanks to Auckland Transport, being a CCO of Auckland Council, as I used to, just to do my errands. Being a beneficiary with no extra income, this does not make life easier. WINZ do not give a shit, nor do Auckland Transport as CCO of Auckland Council!

                And right there is we=here the biggest problem with Auckland Council lies.

                I would love to see a better left wing candidate for mayor. But it’s not going to happen any time soon. And alternative candidate needs time to build their profile. And also, the way the super city is currently constructed, a candidate need sto get quite a bit of funding behind them.

                The thing is, the right wingers like Quax and Brewer are suing the current Brown issue to try to move a right wing mayor in. They have found it pretty hard (well, so far impossible) to do so through the ballot box. So now they are trying to force Brown out, hoping there is no string alternative left wing candidate to stand in a new election.

                I think it’s better to let the council get on with business right now, and make sure they keep a tight reign on Brown. he’ll be gone at the next election anyway.

                In the mean time, I’d rather concentrate on a campaign to make the structure of Auckland Council more democratic and accountable – get rid of the CCOs, strengthen the power of councilors etc. Just changing the mayor will not fix that.

                • xtasy

                  “And also, the way the super city is currently constructed, a candidate need sto get quite a bit of funding behind them.”

                  We are back to square one then, it all depending on that great bit of CASH, which is usually mostly in the hands of the corporates, the big and not so big business people, the “developers”, the do so well lot that represent the 1 to 10 per cent of Auckland’s and the rest of NZ’s population, right?

                  It is idiotic to rely on that “cash” or “money”, as that is part of the problem. What about the power of unions, of organisations other than unions, that could perhaps motivate people to sign up and pay a humble membership fee, that would perhaps offer loads of “cash” that could compete with the “big business cash”.

                  But hey, we allowed the manipulations of decades, the selling out of souls and minds, the privatisation of media and more, the corruption of society, in short, so nobody bothers or even dares to sign up as union or other organisational (e.g. party) members anymore, thus making themselves victims in a catch 22 situation. Divided you fall, and that is what is happening to workers and citiziens as a whole, also in Auckland.

                  So naturally money rules, as the ones owning and having it control all, pull the strings and manipulate society to think they have the only solution, or the ones they “fund” to claim they do.

                  I want to also know the details of who sponsored Len Brown’s election campaign, and I know a trust was set up, to hide the donors behind it, so we know nothing about the big business donors behind the man, who claims all innocence and what a great man he is, for us all, as we are supposed to believe.

                  The difference between a corrupt South American country and NZ is only, that here things are done in “smarter”, more careful ways, when you do deals with the ones running the show. NZ is NOT the least corrupt country in the world, and Auckland Council as part of NZ is certainly also a corrupt administration, as we have seen.

              • RedLogix

                I understand your frustration xtasy. Personally I think public transport should be cheap and regular.

                Some years ago I worked in a city in Russia for some months. Some 90% of the people did not own a car, nor really needed one. For about NZ20c you hopped on any bus, trolley, train or tram. Any trip, any time of the day. Worked beautifully. (Well until the first ice-storm of winter but that’s a another story.)

                But you miss the point. You can’t complain about Len Brown getting a discounted price on his use of hotels, while you you are happy to demand a discounted price on your bus transport.

                • xtasy

                  “You can’t complain about Len Brown getting a discounted price on his use of hotels, while you you are happy to demand a discounted price on your bus transport.”

                  See my comment further below, this is not just about “discounted prices” for rooms, some rooms were totally free, and not declared, dear RL. And ultimately, while Len may not be responsible for Auckland Transport and what they do, what the hell is he there for then? He is enjoying the freedoms and privileges that one Rodney Hide had put into the law for him.

                  Len Brown taking advantage of a shit law from Rodney Hide the ACT member and minister of past days, that really makes for a “close to the blue collar worker” kind of Auckland mayor, does it not?

                  No, I had enough of this shit, and also of the crap how workers here are treated. The whole situation in NZ is more like some elite serving East Asian economy than anything that NZ once used to be. It raises the question, is it worth living, if the whole purpose is work, work, work and pay your way, until you drop into a designed box made according to quality you can afford, to be buried six feet under. That is the world in 2013, and we count ourselves “lucky” to not live in Syria, I suppose.

                  Welcome to the ‘brighter future’, which I fear will look little brighter if Labour will lead from 2014.

                  What is needed is revolution, but that is the last thing that will ever happen in “quarter acre wannabe landlord investor Donald Trump kind of New Zealand”.

      • xtasy 42.1.2

        “This is absolutely routine across virtually every business sector I can think of; from the local cafe’s loyalty card (buy 10 get 1 free), through air points, discounts at volume breaks (1-10 = $10; 10-100 = $8), 10 trip bus tickets, fleet discounts and on and on.”

        Talk to me about damned BUS TICKETS, RL, you open a cess pit, and I take you on for that. Under Len the Brown Arsehole, the Auckland Transport did abolish all DAY TICKETS, that helped most of US beneficiaries to give us a chance to do our weekly errands and travel in affordable manner. No they had to bloody do away with it all, for some stupid HOP cards, that did not work for many, caused endless strife and so, and we get punished to catch damned buses now, we pay the full fare, at best we get 10 per cent discount with some stupid “HOP Galopp CARD”, that does not even work on every bus.

        Len Brown is responsible for all this SHIT too, and do not get me started on the crap what is “usual business” practice, then ABOLISH your “socialist ideals” as they are empty and rotten non meaning words, none else! NO way should any Labour or whatever member be allowed to get away with the shit Len Brown did, this is THE PROBLEM with LABOUR and the MODERN LEFT in NZ and elsewhere. That is why NOBODY will bother voting for Labour, Cunliffe or Shearer or whatever. Get back to damned PRINCIPLES and honesty, or your whole movement will DIE!

        • RedBaronCV

          Gerry Brownlee put his nose into Auckland’s system of transport charging and picked the product hence all the problems now about the charging – and most of the decisions are made by CCO’s anyway.

        • Chooky

          Great to see you back xtasy….and firing on all cylinders….you always make a lot of sense to me and you speak from the grassroots of what should be the Labour Party

        • Draco T Bastard

          No they had to bloody do away with it all, for some stupid HOP cards, that did not work for many,

          The Hop cards are awesome – so fast especially the new AT Hop. And I’ll call BS on them not working for “many”. There would have been a very small minority that didn’t work because, quite simply, no system is perfect but “many”? Not likely as that would have had them being returned to the manufacturer with a please explain note and some sort of fine.

          No, the only problem was that a National MP forced the bloody Snapper HOP on us all.

          Len Brown is responsible for all this SHIT too

          Nope, Rodney Hide and National ensured that the mayor and councilors would have absolutely no say in the CCO’s of which AT is one.

          • xtasy

            “Nope, Rodney Hide and National ensured that the mayor and councilors would have absolutely no say in the CCO’s of which AT is one.”

            This only makes it worse. What do we have a damned mayor for then, to entertain people he pleases to flirt and entertain with, to use as his personal, unofficial interpreters, to get discounts from corporate hotels for his various stays, and then have NO say on how CCOs are operating.

            I have no faith in the Auckland Council, in Len Brown, in the whole lot. It is a shambles, and the sooner the law gets changed the better. But we will not have it, as Len Brown and John Key sit in the same boat. Key is not criticising any of Len’s conduct, as he well knows, they are peddling the same services and goods and interest. So much for social and “leftist” policies in Auckland and New Zealand. I cannot believe what is going on!

            HOP cards do not compensate those that are poor and used to be able to travel all day on affordable day passes, which have been abolished.

            But we know that Labour shits on beneficiaries too, as they have since their last terms. Dr David Bratt, the radical, right wing, extreme pro work disciple of Mansel Aylward, the wayward British “professor” for “Arbeit Macht Frei” was put into his job under Labour.

        • KJT

          Can’t really blame Brown for that. The CCO structure means the Mayor and council have buggerall power over the running of council enterprises.

      • xtasy 42.1.3

        “Repeat or volume business”, yeah right, for the top class of people, who do not mind getting preferential treatment from corporate businesses!!!

        I am sorry RL, but this does not wash with me, not at all.

        Apart from the “upgrades” Len failed to declare three “free” rooms he got from Sky City. Now if I was a mayor, I would tread very carefully, with any big players in the Auckland economy, and once you take favours, or leniency, or whatever of such kind, you run the risk of becoming “corrupted”.

        I recommend Chris Trotter’s piece on all this:

        We have got this crap of a mess, because one Rodney Hide as a Minister in an earlier NatACT government, who established the new rules and system that Auckland Council is run under. It basically means, the mayor can get away with a lot, is not that accountable, and can laugh at the voters who put him into his place. It is a disgrace. I would appreciate that some commenters here study what is behind it all, and how we got this mess. Auckland Council is operating under a flawed system.

        If I would want to recommend anyone to take up a career with little risks and consequences, then I recommend, become a mayor of Auckland Council. Whether the rest hate you or whatever, you can get away with a lot, and there is NO legal consequences to fear for what Len Brown did.

        For anyone on “the left” to defend this, is like defending the mental and legal constructs of one Rodney Hide! Where is your common sense and rationality, please?

        • RedLogix

          Apart from the “upgrades” Len failed to declare three “free” rooms he got from Sky City.

          Ever got one of those loyalty cafe cards? You know, buy 10 get 1 free?

          Heard of Air Points?

          Or Fly Buys?

          Or petrol discounting from supermarkets if you spend more than $xxx?

          Businesses give different prices to different customers according to their total value all the time.

          My last employer had a fleet of vehicles (over 300) – we typically paid less than 2/3rd the normal list price – simply because our total business was so valuable to the dealers.

          As a business traveller I personally received many dozens of these ‘hotel upgrades’. If for instance I was working in an area for more than a week or so, the rate would drop to a fraction of the sticker price.

          Now can you truly tell me that any of these things are ‘corruption’?

          • xtasy

            RL – I take issue with the “free rooms” Len got, more so than “upgrades”, and that has irked me from the start, those “free rooms” he did not declare. You are not addressing that. He claimed poor memory, but we remember also a well heeled free helicopter rider, who went to the largest mansion north of Auckland, but “could not remember it”.

            I am sorry, you are defending a man without proper integrity and who is going to be out in early next year, as I expect. The rot is there, it is too deep, and while I am appalled about the Herald getting involved in politics as they did, there are too many unanswered questions.

            The law for local body processes and admin in Auckland needs to be fixed and rewritten. Len may hang in for a while, but had voters known what has been exposed over recent months, he would never have got his mandate. Please take your blinkers off, RL.

            • RedLogix

              I am currently living and working in a location where my entire accommodation and meals are completely free xtasy.

              Have a problem with that?

              I am sorry, you are defending a man without proper integrity

              Exactly what are you talking about? You can’t explain why accepting some perfectly normal business discounting practice is ‘lacking integrity’ so I have to assume you are with the panty-sniffing crowd.

              Which is it xtasy?

              • xtasy

                Would you go and work as a beneficiary advocate for no pay, dear RL? I doubt it, as you have written before, you took on a good opportunity to make good money to afford the better life for yourself and your wife or family.

                That is all fine and good somehow, and I have never had such “privileges” to even pick and choose a job, let alone well paid.

                I am one of many migrants in this country, who were the convenient idiots to do the hard or dirty work, for people of local descent who felt they “deserved better”.

                We are at the core of social issues here, and I fear you expose yourself as anything but a socialist or social democrat. Also your views on Len Brown just prove this.

                So the “left” is made up of many differing individuals, but when it comes to true solidarity and action, I see stuff all for it, especially in NZ. Hence my firm criticism.

                As for your accommodation, that is part of your employment contract and therefore “pay” as it seems. I have no issue with that, but it is totally different to Len Brown’s situation.

                It is NOT “normal business practice” to not declare being given free accommodation as a mayor, who should under the law declare such as gifts, as the corporate Sky City is not his employer. RL you have no argument for your position, that is the point. If you had, I would accept your comments. Sorry, I cannot. Len Brown is NOT employed by Sky City, and he had to declare free rooms that he got offered! He did not, so that does not serve his credibility.

                • RedLogix

                  As for your accommodation, that is part of your employment contract and therefore “pay” as it seems.

                  Exactly. Just because I am not being ‘charged’ for these things, does not mean I have not earned them. Context is vital.

                  Sorry, I cannot. Len Brown is NOT employed by Sky City, and he had to declare free rooms that he got offered!

                  If Sky had been telling the Mayor – vote for us and you can stay with us for free – then we would have a problem. That’s an unacceptable context.

                  Another simply is – you’re a valuable customer Mr Brown and as a matter of routine policy we can offer you several free nights – then this is another context that would be no different to airlines giving Air Points.

                  Of course it would have been better if Brown had declared these free nights, but I suggest it simply never occurred to him to do so simply because the context was perfectly routine, normal, and non-corrupt.

  43. the pigman 43

    Just remembered this.

    Shades of the Herald trying limply to imitate its Australian cousin at the Daily Telegraph. So there’s another precedent for this shitty new age of corporate media.

  44. Tanz 44

    Most of the other NZ leftie blogs want Len go go as well, he is beyond the pale now.

    Can we have Banksie back? A much better option.

    • Chooky 44.1

      Sorry Tanz….Banksie is being looked after by the courts…he is booked out

    • lprent 44.2

      Most of the other NZ leftie blogs want Len go go as well, he is beyond the pale now.

      Not really. Most leftie *bloggers* would like an alternative to the demonstrated flaws of Len Brown.

      Can we have Banksie back? A much better option.

      And that is the problem…. You want a lying arsehole who tries to deliberately conceal who he is taking large donations from? Not to mention someone who is two terms as mayor managed to do absolutely nothing of note.

      As far as I can see there are few competent alternatives, left or right. That is the actual problem. This supershitty legislation doesn’t help with training potential mayors.

      Only one I think *may* have the required competence is Penny Hulse

      • RedLogix 44.2.1

        The more I think about it the more I agree with CV – the left has been piss weak defending their own here.

        1. Len’s personal life is private. It never belonged in the public domain and the only person he’s accountable to about it is his wife.

        The alternative is to demand that the private and family lives of all political figures must be fully 100% public. Ideally we want their entire lives 24/365 up on YouTube.

        The we can all comment and evaluate to our pervvy little hearts content.

        2. The hotel nonsense is just that. The upgrades and discounts to high value customers are absolutely routine practice almost everywhere.

        If we want Len to resign because of this – then I’ll accept this if when every other politician who ever received an undeclared discount of any kind whatsoever – also promptly resigns.

        Nothing to see here but a RW smear machine in action. See it for what it is and take it on.

        • Draco T Bastard

          Nothing to see here but a RW smear machine in action.

          That’s exactly what we’re seeing but is anybody really surprised? It’s how the political right work. Someone on twitter last night compared what the RWNJs are doing to Brown to what happened to Clinton. I’d say that the whole lot has come out of the same play book.

        • lprent

          The only thing that I have an issue with (apart from caustic comments about being an idiot) is the free hotel rooms from SkyCity. Again it is probably just being an idiot, but it is also a direct conflict of interest.

          • Rodel

            Agree-precisely the only issue

          • xtasy

            lprent – that is THE issue that I have with Len Brown, and he claiming poor memory risks him ending up alongside one John Banks, but Banksie is accountable under different terms, as Len Brown has the privilege of only being mayor of Auckland Council, where due to one Rodney Hide’s legal preferences, he can get away with more than others that hold high positions.

            The law must be changed, to stop such rot setting in. Taking freebies, and I am not primarily on about the upgrades, he also took free rooms, that is unacceptable. He did not declare those “perks”, and if this had been done by a Citizens and Ratepayers mayor, many here would be screaming for resignation.

            What worries me most is his previous pledges and promises, and yet repeat behaviour. Also what has Len Brown actually done for the downtrodden in Auckland, as he supported the East Tamaki development favouring developers and supporting Housing NZ and their agenda, which led to long term Housing NZ tenants being forced to leave their homes, and other things that are associated with that.

            What about Len Brown’s conduct in regards to the Ports of Auckland dispute with the port workers and their union?

            How can anyone on “the left” defend a mayor who his a hypocrite and basically dancing to the tunes of the big business and corporates, like for instance supporting the convention centre deal that Sky City “negotiated” with the government?

            I am starting to see some real issues here, where supposed “leftists” support a man who is actually quite controversial amongst true leftists!

        • Rodel

          RL. Nicely expressed:

          Your sentence ‘…..we can all comment and evaluate to our pervvy little hearts content.’ sums it all up:

      • Draco T Bastard 44.2.2

        Not to mention someone who is two terms as mayor managed to do absolutely nothing of note.

        Oh, come on, Banks did manage to raise Auckland City Council’s debt to astronomically high levels. Just like the government is presently doing to NZ while claiming that they’re on course for surplus.

        As far as I can see there are few competent alternatives, left or right. That is the actual problem.

        There’s probably quite a few people capable of doing it – they just don’t have the wealth and connections necessary to get the public profile that will get them elected.

        • lprent

          On the first. Perhaps I should have said nothing positive of note. He was monumentally useful at being useless and negative effects.

          On the second. I’d agree. Changing the limits on spending to something more like electing an electorate MP is definitely something that needs to be changed. Public profile is simply something that people will have to work at.

      • Chooky 44.2.3

        Maybe Len and Penny could agree to switch positions ie she becomes Mayor and he Deputy

        ….this could save faces….save money on a new election…..and provide continuity of experience ….. which is probably what the voters voted fr last election

      • KJT 44.2.4

        Yes, lets have Bank’s back, a real crook, instead of someone who took advantage of upgrades and high user bonuses. Been upgraded in hotels and flights myself.

        I never liked Brown much, but if we apply this standard we are going to have to sack the entire National party, and a fair proportion of Labour.

        Didn’t see this standard applied when English was rorting the tax payer for accommodation expenses.
        Or National party politicians went on to highly paid jobs with the same firms that they have given Government contracts too.
        Or Hide fiddling the make-up of the super city so they could burgle Aucklanders assets.

        On second thoughts,

        Maybe we should.

  45. Big dog 45

    Down the boat club last night the drinkers were baying for Browns blood,all fired up by the Heralds front page.Previous to this it was wink wink nudge nudge,say no more,I wouldn’t turn her away from my door etc.It never fails to amaze me that a shite rag like that can stir people up to the ranting stage.As for Quax there is a theory doing the rounds that all that running has somehow affected his brain,what with the jolting ,oxygen starvation etc!

  46. Herbert Mc Sherbet 46

    If you think that the Herald is right leaning… you’re pretty fucking dense. Also, instead of standing up for the limp wristed and rather isolated Brown, why not actually run with the facts and question his abuse of his powers and position. Dim post for dim minds

    • karol 46.1

      And what would those “facts” be? I’ve linked to a few in my post. micky savage has more in his post today.

      So lets have some of your “facts” – or don’t you have any?

      If you are so concerned with abuse of powers, why aren’t you asking questions about many of the councillors, including Quax? Why aren’t you questioning the whole anti-democratic set up of Hide’s super city?

      There is plenty of evidence of the Herald, especially the Herald editors’ lean to the right. Some of it is referred to in my post; some of it is in comments above re-the relative treatment of right wing pollies who have abused their power and position.

      So where are your “facts” on that?

    • Draco T Bastard 46.2

      Haven’t seen the NZHerald calling for John Key to resign despite his lies to the country.

  47. captain hook 47

    The Herald seems to think that just because of an acident of geography and they have the largest circulation that they are the best newspaper in New Zealand.
    That is not the case and they have always been an inferior rag and the least of the four main centres.
    Now they have conspired with blubber guts to unleash a horde of virgaos and haridans in what is nearly civil disorder.
    shame on them.

  48. Rich 48

    The next left government will need to address the monopoly, foreign ownership of our media.

    They probably should keep quiet until the election and then pass, under urgency, a law forbidding foreign ownership of a newspaper, radio or TV station such that APN, Fairfax and Mediaworks will need to divest or close.

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