Lord Mayor of Remuera John ‘barking mad’ Banks has (mis)fired the first shots of his campaign by producing some strip advertisements outlining the planned expansion of his duchy he claims he’s Mayor of Takanini! – and taking out a full page ad promising he will build the Sydney Opera House on Auckland’s waterfront.
Welcome to the campaign, Banks. You must be pretty worried your opponent Len Brown stole a bit of a march on you or you wouldn’t be doing this now.
Anyway, today’s Herald has a story about Banks’ bizarre advertisement saying he’ll build something great on the waterfront and a picture of the Sydney Opera House. Yes, the Sydney Opera House. What kind of a candidate who wants to be the mayor for Auckland puts something from Australia on their advertising? That’s like campaigning to become the London mayor by whacking up a billboard with the Eifel Tower on it and promising free foie gras for all.
I suppose Citrat Auckland councillor Aaron Bhatnagar, the failed campaign manager for disgraced National MP Richard Worth, aka Barzini the bizarre late night Wikipedia vandal, will now come out and slam his boss for promising something he can’t deliver.
You see, the week before Banks’ latest crisis of leadership which saw him pull the pin on the Queen’s wharf campaign he himself conceived, promoted and pushed – Angry Aaron Bhatnagar railed against the naysayers who dared to question his master’s original plan for the wharf. In this condescending post entitled ‘Different people handle disappointment in different ways’, he arrogantly attacks architect Keith Clark for daring to suggest we need something iconic on the wharf.
Banks’ sidekick then goes on to say: it should also be noted that iconic buildings can be problematic, subject to engineering issues and cost overruns. Look at the Sydney Opera House, one of the most iconic buildings on the planet – it started off as a $7 million estimated project to be completed in 1963. It was finished at a price of $102 million in 1973 – ten years late. In today’s dollars, that would be around $1.1 billion!
Oops. Either he’s completely stupid, or totally out of the loop, or there is major disagreement on strategy in Banks’ camp, or all three.