- Date published:
1:40 pm, January 29th, 2023 - 135 comments
Categories: auckland supercity, climate change, labour, local government, science, supercity - Tags:
As Auckland slowly recovers but readies itself for further storms there is some attention being given to review Council’s response to the super storm.
The initial impression, and this is held widely is that the response was sub optimal.
This article by Kelly Dennett at Stuff is a must read. Her conclusions:
Her timeline highlights the difference between left wing politicians and those on the right. The left care more.
5.52pm Emergency Management minister Kieran McAnulty confirms what most already know – heavy rain has hit, “the impacts are being managed locally… I’d urge people to follow the advice of their local authorities.”
9.01pm Amid ongoing silence from Waka Kotahi Michael Wood instructs NZTA to reopen its communication channels. “The best source of information is [Civil Defence Emergency Management] but there also needs to be clear comms from [Waka Kotahi],” he tweets.
9.14pm Wood adds, “The event is extremely serious. Ministers and MPs are coordinating. A formal declaration sits with the mayor.”
9.30pm Councillor Richard Hills criticises official communications from Civil Defence, “They haven’t updated their social media in over 3 hours.“
9.31pm MetService issues a ‘red warning’ for Auckland, until 3am. The city has already seen in one day three times the monthly average rain fall, and heavy rain is due overnight.
9.48pm: Councillor Richard Hills calls for a state of emergency to be declared.
9.50pm: Councillor Josephine Bartley tells Stuff that Mayor Wayne Brown has declared an emergency, although Brown, Auckland Council and Auckland Emergency Management have not confirmed this themselves.
Meanwhile Wayne Brown continued to be beset by problems in handling something that is critical during a crisis, and that is media.
11.14pm: Wayne Brown hosts an impromptu press conference, his first since the flooding started. Only a few reporters were invited. Entire news organisations, including Stuff, aren’t told.
And his proposed solution is unusual.
7.55pm Wayne Brown tells RNZ, “We just need the rain to stop, that’s the main issue”.
The whole article should be read. The underlying impression is that Super City would struggle to communicate its way out of a brown paper bag.
Clearly there a number of issues and emergencies to work through now. But after the dust settles Super City’s ability to handle a crisis will need to be reviewed.
We are all as shocked as Chippie looks!!
The photo indicates that the PM is use to doing stand-up with leaders he respects and who say things that appear to be emotionally and intellectually sound.
I watched that fiasco, chippie sure wasn't a nodding head like most background wellies, how the hell labour is going to work with the clown brown is beyond me.
It is patently obvious that bumbler brown is has reached his level of incompetence. Other than appointing a commissioner via a govt with a bunch of other shit on its plate. Is there any way we citizens can get rid of this incompetent clown before the next election
Shower him with criticism and misandry till he chucks it all and trots away?
Or can we be a LOT kinder than that ….
He's paid nearly $300,000 a year. At that level, you first of all show up, but second, you make yourself competent to do a job. It's a moral obligation, and failure to do so is basically deception and theft – i.e. if you're the mayor of the biggest city, then you're occupying a space that people expect to be occupied by someone who shows up competent to take charge. Pointing this out clearly, unequivocally and without frills, is not unkindness.
I strongly suggest you stop trolling. If you want to make a political point about misandry, put up an actual argument and some evidence.
I'm also noting that you think it's appropriate to do this during an emergency. Just know that tolerance for that is decreasing, and this is election year. We're warning people that if they continue with a pattern of behaviour long bans are being handed out until after the election.
You've made some good comments about CD etc, so no need to spoil it with the windups.
Just natural cynicism breaking through watching the unmitigated pile on during a serious emergency. Just pointing out the hypocrisy of the situation.
At the moment everyone needs all the help that can be tendered. The time for review and critism is after the emergency is dealt with – Surely?
That comment makes you a hypocrite by your own standards.
I put up a post on the first night and that post was about the acute emergency and to provide a place for people to talk during that. It was largely politics-free.
The acute emergency is over, but possibly about to happen again. The dysfunctionality of the mayor is important for obvious reasons and people need to be able to talk about that too. I bit my tongue the first day, then restricted myself to OM. But micky has the right to talk about the mayor of the place he lives while that mayor is fucking up in real time.
If you think there is hypocrisy, then make the goddamn argument instead of taking potshots. Because I for one would love to rip your position on kindness and misandry to shreds.
My position on 'kindness' and misandry (for that matter misogyny) is simply that they have been weaponised as political tools to the extent that the damage done in the political sphere obliterates the much greater damage done in the real world.
They become political catch cries.
He might anyway. It looked as if he didn't want the job from day one.
This Stuff article is of interest laying out who is involved in a Civil Defense response
Auckland Emergency Management deputy controller Rachel Kelleher said at this time of year, it was “not unusual” for Auckland to experience weather systems that “could potentially bring heavy rain” – however, the intensity of Friday’s storm was “unprecedented”.
Auckland Emergency Management took action as soon as it received intelligence the storm was escalating, setting up its Emergency Coordination Centre by 5pm Friday, she said.
The activation and response was “well under way” before a local state of emergency was declared by Brown, she said.
Note that Brown would have known this and should have been getting feedback from ALL Emergency Services.
People are expected to be able to look after each other in the short term with help from emergency services. Help may never be able to reach everyone in time.
There is an escalating level of response so four or five hours from initial emergency service response to declaration of Civil Emergency is relatively fast.
Sometimes there is no one there to hold YOUR hand!
This is the most dramatic localised weather event of my lifetime and the carnage is immense.
The statutory test for calling a state of emergency was easily met.
Calling one would have been a clear message to Aucklanders that they should take care.
It is the job of leadership to tell us this and to sometimes hold our hand.
This is a screen shot from Tracey Watkins' article on Stuff. It shows Desley Simpson leading Brown away from reporters after the stand up in Hobsonville yesterday.
It looks like an aged care worker helping a dementia patent.
This guy is dangerous and surely has to go.
Desley Simpson is married to Peter Goodfellow BTW.
The similarities between Simpson & Brown on the one hand and Willis & Luxon on the other hand are striking and beyond coincidence. Just saying.
Yes indeed, sensible women faced with dopey men, playing handmaiden/cleaner extraordinaire. Just saying….. I wonder if Wayne would stand down for Desley?
Talking of sensible women I saw the press conference with Carmel Sepuloni and Michael Woods (not a woman but sensible) at Wesley Primary school. Both able to provide info/be reassuring and with a welcome fluidity.
A Deputy mayor isnt elected by voters at all nor to be a replacement mayor if needed.
mayors can only be replaced by a new election
I realise this. Just pondering if it would/could be done? A petition calling for Brown's resignation is edging up to 10,000 signatures and while this is indicative of views and has no legal status, my point is
How long can a tone deaf mayor hold out?
I guess I have answered my own question with the words 'tone-deaf' and that is at least until the next election.
are you sure about that? I can think of a number of scenarios where it might be necessary to remove a mayor.
here's the Auckland rules. Hard to remove a mayor, there are ways, but none that apply in this situation.
‘You have to communicate facts’ from the guy who’s had one interview and managed to cause the stock exchange to stop trading by releasing false info.
Link to article is missing….. or at least I can't see it.
Link to Dennett’s article.
"We just need the rain to stop"
somebody should tell hughie
Pretty clear it's a massive multi agency fail starting with Metservice.
Niwa were watching all the factors converge Niwa comments here and to be frank you could see it coming in on the rain radar.
There should have been red warnings issued in the late afternoon at the latest not after the worst had passed. To be frank we're incredibly lucky we didn't have a higher death toll with the volume of traffic on the roads.
The mayor failed, he should of been on the phones or on the radio berating Waka Kotahi etc as to why there was no information coming out.
Likewise management of the organizations that are supposed to provided information and support failed completely and to be frank should resign.
I'm just looking through metservice's tweets (and NIWA's) on Friday. Met first tweeted about the upper north heavy rain warning at 10.11am
Next warning tweet at 2.59pm
3.27pm they're saying torrential rain and to minimise road travel
A severe thunderstorm warning at 3.39pm but they don't say what that means.
6pm, thunderstorm with flooding tweet.
6.13pm, heavy rain disrupting long weekend traffic
Around this time (maybe a bit earlier) I was listening to Checkpoint while driving, and RNZ were talking about disruptions to travel to the Elton John concert. I hadn't been paying a huge amount of attention but there was enough info by then for me to wonder why people were trying to travel to it. The coverage of that rather than the floods was weird (probably missed the other stuff)
6.18pm, the first tweet from Metservice that there is CD emergency happening.
The impression I had on the day was that there was significantly more rain than forecasted. I don't know if that's on Metservice, or if it wasn't predictable.
Meanwhile, Metservice's Severe Weather twitter,
their links are permanent, so you can see what was actually being said. Warnings of flash flooding were happening during the day.
What surprises me about that is that the main met account wasn't also tweeting those.
I'm also wondering if people (in this case in Auckland) are complacent about big rain events now because they happen regularly. Whereas I've lived in areas where there's not a lot of help coming so I tend to take the warnings very seriously (err on the side of caution rather than trying to do BAU).
Met Service was issuing warnings from Thurs morning on their official websites and I picked it up online. Spent the day clearing the decks so that I did not have to leave home Friday. Told several people but they shrugged it off with the same old… they will have got wrong again.
They did not get it wrong, but no self-respecting weather forecaster is going to predict precise amounts, or where exactly they may fall. Anyone who believes otherwise (and I'm nor accusing anyone here of doing so) is merely showing their ignorance of the atmospheric sciences.
ok, so it sounds like people are complacent, because Ak/Rain.
that RNZ were focused on travel to the concert rather than cancellation and not travelling suggests there was a comms breakdown somewhere.
Heather Stupidity Allan was also focussed on getting hits on AT rather than broadcasting the developing situation.
I was listening in the supermarket carpark during the heaviest of events around 5:30pm and she was harassing some AT spokesperson about yesterday's Elton John news.
Tweets won't do it because Twitter is only taken up by 10%to 15% of the population. If the wider media don't pick up important alerts direct from NIWA, Metservice, and EM sources they will also not pick it up from Twitter.
I'm pleased to see that Metservice didn't miss this one.
The issue with complacency is a bit tricky however. Metservice will issue regular Red Warnings for these kinds of events. Unfortunately its the nature of weather forecasting that sometimes you have no certainty (even just hours prior) of which forecast will eventuate (you can think of a range of forecasts which might occur, as a forecaster would see the forecast data). There was probably a few possibilities which would have seen the concert go ahead still thought possible during the day.
The result of this will be for many of the Red warnings issued quite a few will not be a big deal.
Metservice changed their warning names and structure a year or two ago and I still can't get my head around it. They need to redo that so that it makes sense to the public, not just the weather bods and journos.
yeah, that's not on Metservice. The council and the organisers and AT should all have been warning people that this was going to be a potential problem. I mean if you already can't transport people to a concert because of weather and flooding, that says a lot.
I'm also thinking from what you've said that a new concept that needs to be conveyed is the unpredictable nature of some events, and the risks that go with that. And that unpredictability and risk are increasing with the climate crisis.
All the floods I've been around come with some prep time. You couldn't necessarily predict how bad it was going to get, but you did have time to watch and prepare. Auckland having much less time of shit hitting the fan because of its weather patterns, needs to be taken into account.
Covid has taught us how much people want things to not disrupt BAU though and the blinding to risk that comes with that.
I think there is a bit to much hindsight going on to the idea that council could (or should) have been broadcasting this louder and more clear. If they do (and they will be for a while after this), then they are going to start being ignored for all the misses they communicate also.
Most people won't be going to primary sources like Metservice however so if this is going to be improved then its a matter of this communication of when it happens being more rapid. The Auckland council knowing there is likely to be flooding level rain arriving very shortly after the forecasters determine that this becomes highly likely, would be good to see. The issue is that Metservice will never be responsible for deciding if AT should cancel services or what amount of rain will determine that, let alone if the concert should go ahead. This means there is a lot of judgement with uncertainty going on even if they are basically in communication leading up to it.
I watched an ex- CD comms person on Friday night tweet that the Ak council website still didn't have anything on it to say there was a problem or to direct people to information about specific areas affected. That's just plain wrong. Not the only council I've seen do that, but they need comms to be updating the website, doing FB, twitter and whatever other SM is appropriate, and media releases for MSM.
Of course metservice isn't responsible for AT. All the agencies needed to do their own assessment and comms. But it took a central government minister to tell NZTA to turn their twitter account back on ffs. Multiple fails across many orgs.
Re the concert, the comms is that it's an uncertain weather event with the potential to get much worse. How hard is that? People switching off is more likely to be climate cognitive dissonance and we really need to be addressing that as well.
to clarify, I'm not sure I'm particularly blaming anyone (apart from Brown), and I think we need to be talking about how much covid/pandemic has been affecting all those organisations.
Yeah, sorry was not clear from my comment but I'm talking of the forecast. Once it had arrived its clear that the communications from AT, Waka Kotahi and Auckland Council was insufficient.
But I don't think about 2pm it would have been understood that this was about to happen, even to people aware of the forecast and possibility. People planning to attend the concert, being told mid afternoon that there is a real chance of cancellation due to weather, and then if it goes ahead with only some rain (if or not they go). That's pretty good training to ignore the message in future.
Unfortunately I think this preparation kind of needs to be setup in the back ground prepared to be action'ed quickly when it becomes likely. Something like Wayne knowing that afternoon that there was a possibility of him signing a SoE that evening, (and all the other measures which should have occurred as it was happening).
I was listening to Checkpoint while driving, and RNZ were talking about disruptions to travel to the Elton John concert. I hadn't been paying a huge amount of attention but there was enough info by then for me to wonder why people were trying to travel to it. The coverage of that rather than the floods was weird
I listened to the same coverage. It was a classic case of trying to put events into a pre-written script (i.e. there has been a transport stuff-up, so the interviewer challenges the spokesperson, as if it were politics as usual). The reporter at the concert, the presenter in the studio – they seemed oblivious to the obvious consequences of the storm that they were in the middle of.
"Will the concert go ahead in this weather?" was the obvious question, but ignored.
Going to be good sport when the campaign finance record is released and the donors are named.
And of course all the National MPs who pushed his campaign along.
Let's see if we can keep them truly stuck to each other.
Do try to keep up. Old news.
Yep. I think that was the problem. The warnings were ignored. We had a long week-end coming up in Auckland and plenty else was happening. The last thing the news reporters were interested in was 'the weather'.
Yes there were warnings and the system intensified quickly but realistically an urgent Red Warning should have gone out around 4-6pm when the scale of the incoming rain was becoming apparent. Not after the fact.
By 6 13 things were getting pretty damn bad tbh wasn't just disrupting traffic at that point.
That and plenty of people don't listen to RNZ or ise Twitter for that matter so the vast majority would have been completely oblivious. When it really mattered a bunch or organizations were way to slow to react.
Thats what the cell phone alert systems was for , it was used last night when Auckland area Im in was just overcast but heavy rain 'on the way' for some areas in Auckland later that night.
Yes. Should have been used early Fri evening but not sure it would have been much use.
Most people arent aware they are living in flood prone areas ( Council GIS maps will tell them but requires some pre knowledge to use that)
Yeah, only benefit would have hopefully reduced the number of vehicles on the road. Very little that could be done once it was underway.
A work week night . people were going home anyway.
Apart from the 40K or so headed out to the EJ concert.
Even if half (and I'm being generous here) had flagged it as too wet or dangerous – that's still 20K people on the roads who didn't need to be.
And, they'd been told all day to get there early, since there were no PT options – so many started out at 4 or 5.
State of Emergency should have been called at 5 at the latest. By then there was widespread flooding, including in areas notprone to normal flooding in heavy rain.
My thoughts exactly.
I am not sure that I totally agree with this. Sure for the irks and jerks like me who may look at the weather forecasts from time to time.
Groups who need to have knowledge about conditions have always had the ability to have specially formulated forecasts from Met Service and other providers such as Blue Skies. Others will receive reports based on parameters they have lodged with Met service. This is a paid service.
Many farmers use them, yachties and people such as sports promoters/concert promoters will be accessing these, or they should be. My dad managed two outdoor shows yearly through the late50s/60s early70s and he had them. In fact I think it may have been a condition of the Pluvius (weather) insurance for the events that such forecasts be sought. In those days the forecasters did not have satellite imagery etc.
If they have not and are accessing the usual forecasts there were forecasts early on saying 'watch out' later on. I happened to be on Twitter for ages that day* and the traffic in the early afternoon seemed to be
a amazement that in the light of such forecasts the Elton John concert was still scheduled to go ahead
b amazement that AT was still advising concert-goers that it was Ok to bring their cars (people had been amazed that this was put out, as no indication of where to park.
So rather than laying the blame at the feet of Met Service the blame should be shared about those you would expect to be accessing info and making use of it. I find it hard to believe that concert promoters and AT may not have ordered/used special reports. These two agencies were very dilatory in calling off the concert/calling back the advice to take cars anywhere.
The net result was that there were a large number of people in cars on the move during the build up to the storm.
There was radio silence really from the Auckland Emergency management site and the Mayor (' we need the rain to stop').
I am sure that EM could/should/would have accessed special paid for weather forecasts in between the times of the first 10.00am and second 3.00pm public forecasts. EM/Mayors office could have been informing but chose not to.
There was a huge amount of Twitter traffic disbelieving of the actions of AT/Concert promoters by Aucklanders who were getting their forecasts by looking out the windows. They then switched to being informed by people who had clearly looked at the forecasts and worked out what was happening (inability of the drains, ground to cope, flooding)
Chloe Swarbrick, a couple of Labour MPs & Councillors Fairey. Bartley and Hills who read the situation were information superheroes really.
So I think we can legitimately ask, if any of the agencies sought updated & organisation focussed forecasts and what they did with them.
Just guessing but I think neither AT/Concert Promotors nor Emerg mgt pushed for special forecasts. If they did the actions they took with them may not have been optimum. This was compounded in the Auckland emerg mgt case by the non communication on any channels.
* In my newly found sport for wet days of writing comments on anti vaxxers tweets.
If this event was apparent on the paid for forecasts as the public forecaster surely Metservice should have issued a red warning far earlier.
Surely no one should have to pay to get an early as possible warning of severe weather of that magnitude.
No that was not what I meant. I was on Twitter for most of the day and most on there seemed to be aware that a weather event was forecast. And presumably they got that from the regular forecasts, twitter etc
My view is that those who have a special need, or duty of care to all of us, should have been accessing the more detailed weather forecasts that are available from Met Service etc and which have been for eons.
The more detailed ones have all sorts of info tailored to your need. Yachting ones have sea swells, offshore winds, farmers have more detail on grass minimums. Concert promotors, AT & ACEM should have been having these and not relying on the one liners available for 'erks and jerks'.
I cannot understand why the lack of comm with the Auckland public on the weather, what's happening etc. Anyway enough of that, it will all come out in the review.
The info seems notably better today for the forecast bad weather tonight.
Flooded areas are pepper potted through Auckland . One street can high risk but rest of suburb is mostly fine . Other suburbs can have high risk for many streets and only a few places are low risk.
very few people know the flood risk where they live or work ( unless its right next door to a stream)
The extreme rain warnings ARE available to all. I think you misunderstand what 'special' forecasts are or can do. I think its more outside the daily forecast
I know the extreme forecasts are available to all……I get them pushed at me via lerts.
You also do not seem to realise what a help these special regular paid for forecasts for those people whose lives, $$$ and welfare rely on having the best info.
These forecasts for those requesting and paying for tailored weather forecasts are very different from the push forecasts, lerts or severe weather warnings that ordinary folk can get.
I am not suggesting that ordinary people need to get these forecasts but agencies such as AT, ACC, ACEM, concert promoters should get them as part of the cost of doing business. Of course having go them they need to act on them. Acting on them will vary.
For those such as ACEM there will be lives, property at stake and the expectation is that they will use them and push them out. As we know, any pushing out seems to have been done via Twitter and those on the ground such as the councillors etc.
As I stated I have experience of these paid for forecasts from 3 different sources
weather for public outdoor events – father
weather while yachting – self & partner
weather for farmers – brother in law
Nobody gets paid for emergency forecasts for extreme events that are different from the public funded ones.
You seem fixated on that longer term paid for forecasts- farming, marine etc and then jump to a special hour by hour forecast that money will buy that had hidden information no on else had
You have misunderstood me, again.
I see no benefit in explaining yet again that paid for forecasts are sought by people with money in the game or who are safety conscious in their leisure activities eg yachties embarking on a week or more sailing.
There are a number of useful, specialised reports that can be paid for by organisations. These can be tailored. Farmers can get push notifications of regular and unexpected weather events.
All I am saying is that I hope that ACEM, AT & concert promotors did get these specialist forecasts. I think it is clear that even if they did get the, ACEM did not push the implications out further.
I know. I have seen them. I know my sister & partner paid the bills.
As Anne has said above, weather agencies were forecasting bad weather in Auckland from Thursday. This was just for the common folk.
Some cities have been working with citizens on this for ages. Wgtn has mapped out the tsunami lines on the streets that would be affected…as an example.
Kapiti Coast DC has had coastal mapping, publicity about climate change and the effect on coastal settlements.
There needs to be an acceptance that weather patterns have changed. Whether you call it climate change or 'sliced cheese weather' it matters not. The point is the observation that things are different.
So preparedness for sliced cheese weather needs to be explicit.
"Sliced cheese weather"??
All right, we know what it refers to, but what's the derivation or allusion?
None. My first thought was green cheese weather but then we know the moon is not made of green cheese and didn't want to put the new name for CC in the realms of a conspiracy theory.
My point was if you don't like he name climate change call it some thing else, don't deny its existence.
That whole para is tongue in cheek. I don't know what people like WB think will happen to him if he mentions climate change? Tongue cut out, big cut in his
While I could tell a story about sliced cheese as a name but it would be a tortured analogy.
Thanks, Shanreagh. Should have spotted the t-i-c. Can only plead humidity-induced brain-fog (lots of that lately where I live).
We are fairly keen news and weather followers and were out in the rain for a 5.30 appointment on Friday unaware that it was a weather event. Yes we saw an orange warning but it was for the Eastern and Northern areas of Auckland. We were coming from the West into Central Auckland. At no point on the journey did we receive any kind of indication that it was serious. As we drove through floods, past slips, detours and seeing emergency services repeatedly at call outs. We got back to our suburb and discovered that we were almost locked out of it due to slips and flooding but luckily managed to squeeze past some flooding.
The roads were absolutely treacherous and we passed places that were completely under water half and hour later. But at no point was there anything on the news or media telling us us information. This was between 5pm and 8 pm Friday evening.
If you look at the time line from Weka above you will see the sequence.
I also feel that perhaps she is correct in that there is a complacency
I guess this approach is what is different. Here in Wellington where we have had rain bringing flooding and slips recently many would have turned back and not driven through flooded areas. I've also seen where cars driving through flood water at the speeds necessary to get through causes waves and exacerbate damage to roads, properties etc.
I guess we will all have our different responses but living in Wgtn does tend to focus the mind on weather. Many of us would have looked at the weather outside and made our own 'forecast'. Especially knowing that since a concert had been cancelled there would have been more road traffic about.
However we all deal differently with these things. Hopefully the trip back was not too scary and that things are Ok at your property.
Shanreagh we had no idea the weather was going to be a problem outside of the East and Northern areas of Auckland, because they were specifically noted in the weather for the day. We live out West and had to go to an appointment. It was on our return that it became apparent we were in the midst of something dangerous. One area we saw reached metre of water and was unpassable within 15 minutes of us driving through. It was fast but it was also incorrect information. We need something to help with weather accuracy in real time. Not just computer models. Thankfully we got back safely!
Even there, it was really sudden. I looked at the available info at 1620 on Friday before I left at 1640. Rain radar, road closures, and general net chatter. The radar was showing blue with only traces of purple – ie normal tropical cyclone weather in Auckland this year.
I had absolutely no idea that there would be a river at SH16, The Strand, and St Georges Bay Road. I got to SH16 and its gateway to SH1 south and SH16 northeast at about 1700 off Alten Road going down Constitution Hill. The queue was short for rush hours down Alten Rd, so the flooding must have just started immediately before.
The steel storm water system lids had blown off due to water pressure from below. The ones down Alten road were sending water sprouts a metre high from the small relief hole – and likely to blow off as well. The water of St Georges Bay Road was half a metre high, and rising as I drove down it.
Clearly the weather had exceeded forecasts and the capacity of the storm water system within a very short time.
The bank of really heavy rain that hit central Auckland from the east was what hit West Auckland shortly afterwards.
All I can say is that the storm water systems in Auckland still need some serious 3 Waters preparation work. They haven’t come off well even in central Auckland where they have been extensively reworked in the past 3 decades in this La Nina summer season. Sounds like it is even worse elsewhere in Auckland based on my facebook contacts for people looking for accommodation as their previously completely dry houses have been inundated.
The next La Nina cycle is currently likely to be less than a decade away, probably as little as 6 years. It is getting more intense. This is pretty obvious as in the way that it manages to heat up the waters around NZ more each successive cycle. It looks like getting a triple La Nina is getting more dangerous than was previously anticipated.
I think the ray of sunshine is that there will be a review. I was less than impressed with Mayor Brown berating the Councillors who did fill the info void when he was not wanting to /available/???
To me he seems a bit challenged. Did he not have any lively and provocative capmign meetings, Did he not do any public meetings while a Mayor up north? He just did not seem to be firing.
And it is a given ALWAYS, when lives have been lost to lead with this, it sets the human focus on what is to follow. It also, if you are empathetic, does have the effect of slowing down the delivery……
I find his delivery very challenging and often think subtitles would be good. I use closed captions where this is available. NB no provisions made for sign language early on. Also journos restricting sight lines to SL signers at the meeting with Hipkins et all.
Sad all round especially for those who have lost family members, and homes.
I raised Wayne Brown’s record on The Standard a number of times during the Mayoral campaign. The Auckland right were so deeply wounded by being denied their “rightful” born to rule Super City Mayoralty starting with Len Brown, that they went all out to install “Mr Fixit”. Who is indeed a right fruitcake.
He did public meetings in the FNDC district, several of which I attended, one at Tokerau Beach Ratepayers in the local hall. Slightly more articulate back then, he basically berated Council staff and informed he was going to sack a number of them starting with Union members! Which he shamefully did.
Time to reflect Aucklanders.
Yes you have consistently posted about him and I do remember being outraged about the firing of union members but until now had not made the connection that this person was Wayne Brown.
I think we are in for an interesting time as the deflection starts about the timing of the Decalration of the Emergency. What many are annoyed about is the silence about anything from the Mayor's office during that time. As an illustration of what he could have been doing is the type of things/Tweets that Councillors Jo Bartley & Richard Hills were doing.
It seems as long perhaps he thinks there is a big pipe with Tweets going through and that if others were posting he could not as it would take up space or he would be pushed out….rubbish about what he was trying to say???
I happened to be on twitter for most of that afternoon and know that many would have been following 'Mayor of Auckland' and if he had put out anything they would have seen it.
We have Wayne Brown being himself, as widely predicted and covered during the election. Nobody should be surprised.
Apart from Brown himself, the list of culprits includes …
– Those who worked for him and pretended they didn't know who he was (his PR team)
– Those who, for whatever spurious reason, thought he would be better than Efeso Collins, an experienced and competent councillor
– Those who claimed (believed?) Goff was terrible and anyone else would be better … oh for bland and boring now!
– The majority of Aucklanders, who did not even vote
Yes I recall them TM and I used your experiences of him to warn some people but they would not listen. There was almost an hysterical quality about the wilfulness of many Aucklanders which I blame on the irrational nature of their response to the fallout of the pandemic. They wanted to 'punish' the government. As I said… irrational.
They fell for Brown's bluster and belligerence and there was a strong element of racism too. The sad part is that it was, in large part, the lower socio economic groups who have been the hardest hit by the floods. They did not vote for Wayne Brown.
That is the challenge for all of us really, to try and encourage as we can, rebuilding wider public participation. Thanks for your thoughtful comments, it is just galling for me having lived in the same community as Mr Brown since the 90s. A lot were sucked in there too–surfer at Ahipara, loud mouth at the cruising club etc.
Thanks for this. Very perceptive and bears out my experience about the 'wilfilness' and 'hysteria' that i saw from some of my Akl friends and their response to Covid to punish the Govt.
The CR candidate wasnt Brown. The fruitcake was Molloy for those that like that sort of thing
The CR candidate Viv Beck withdrew on the day the voting opened. Guess where CR votes went instead? Anyway, you created a strawman.
Yes, I remember your warnings but sadly, very few heeded them. I had already surmised that he wasn't my cup of tea.
I'm no expert but here are my thoughts on the subject.
Many people fail to understand that a lot of people in Ranui don't look at the met service site, don't follow twitter or any other social media, would be most unlikely to check the council website not knowing such a thing exists, nor the Waka kotahi website for the same reason or any other informative digital or radio service which might have told them they needed to pack a few basics and get out of their homes.
I mean absolutely no disrespect to the people of Ranui, because I don't either.
Ranui people are too busy working and looking after their families to have time to keep up with any of the above.
All they know is that they live next to a stream. Being short-term renters they've never see that stream when flooded.
Doubt that many were concerned about the transport chaos ensuing for Elton John concert either.
They may have cell phones so the emergency siren type message which we received last night may have been the best option. However, I've yet to see any confirmation of that message being belatedly for Friday afternoon or for last night. I've seen both ideas suggested, which isn't reassuring. The horrible American voice is off-putting and being told to dial 'one hundred eleven' isn't exactly helpful to NZders. So we ask, is this for us or not?
People were swimming for their lives with very little in the way of possessions, well before 6pm, because the TV news showed them doing it.
The silence from all council and emergency groups was appalling for those who looked and found nothing. We knew something dreadful was happening because a fire engine went past at speed every few minutes from about 5pm onwards. And the traffic was bumper to bumper.
We aren't of the generation that immediately jumps on our phones and investigates any those agencies. We look to our defenses and then our neighbours. We charge our phones but still don't imagine any agency can tell us more than we already know.
Sounds like the mayor's interest was really only piqued when his wealthier constituents started to be affected. Ranui's drama didn't make a dent. There it was on the TV news and he couldn't put two and two together.
Elton's John's reluctance to accept defeat and cancel was another factor that mislead people. Surely it was blindingly obvious that it wasn't going to be an ordinary Friday night, by 4-5pm.
Judging by what we've heard and seen since Friday any review conducted by the Auckland City Council will absolve the mayor completely. If it doesn't, Brown will bully and fight with whoever refuses to back down. He'll fire anyone who disagrees with HIS review of himself.
Brown's disgraceful behaviour at the media briefing with the PM on Saturday tells us all we need to know. I actually felt sorry for Desley Simpson although the hard-nosed right will hold their noses and pursue their agenda despite his utter awfulness. His inability to admit his own failings will hamper Auckland until we can get rid of him. So, thank you TM for pointing out his failings early on. It would have been good if a few more people had listened, thought a bit harder and voted less selfishly.
Probably nothing would have been any different in the end, even if they'd all been on the ball. But they can make a difference now for future events. The question is, are they brave enough or will they retreat behind their bureaucracy and PR people and take no action. Got a sinking feeling that's prob. the last we've seen of Brown for a long while. Scared of media, scared of scrutiny, scared to actually be mayor for all Aucklanders. That's not what's on his agenda.
Well said as usual Micky. This was Auckland’s mini Katrina, and obviously not mini at all for those lives lost, injured, property destroyed or made homeless in just several hours.
mickey savage it was worse than sub-optimal (larfs) it was appalling. call a spde a bloody spade willya. whane and his crew are totallly unsuited to understanding the needs of voters. they are only interested in selling off the councils assets and seem to be completely out of touch with any real world reality except the stock market.
On a brighter note this article shows what it is all about at the sharp end.
A sleeping toddler evacuated through a window. An elderly woman rescued from her house by lifeguards. A digger driver named Dug who saved people’s homes.
Amidst the widespread devastation and heartbreaking tragedies stemming from an unprecedented rainfall, stories of bravery and kindness are emerging from flood-stricken Auckland.
We are very fortunate to live in a country where everyday people rise to the occasion and don't need to be centrally directed in the short term.
“All those who worked last night still have their lives to clean up today,” Matt Williams, head of the region’s surf live saving group, said on Saturday.
While officials face criticism about both a lack of communication and delay in declaring an emergency, other Aucklanders just got on with the job, helping themselves and their community.
The recovery will take a bit of concentrated planning though!
At our Titirangi house,
Water still out. Tankers at the end of the street.
Power still out.
Broadband still out
Vector the lines company is the only one we have got update texts from.
And now road both 100 metres up and 400 metres down the road has collapsed meaning all cars for about 150 houses and families inside that are trapped. I'm expecting a fair few will have to evacuate.
Further heavy rain Tuesday I understand.
I don't think this one is over.
“Bugger” in the kiwi lexicon.
Fingers crossed Ad.
I think the forecast may be saying rain tonight as well.
More info…comms have improved!
Hope things get no worse for you overnight – just had the CD warning that more heavy rain imminent.
Yep Paturoa Road has similar problems. Multiple slips and I can assure you that this is on the top of the local MP's and chair of the local board's antenna and is the top priority for them.
Brown is precisely the sort of vulgar cretin one would expect Matthew Hooton and the Auckland business establishment to inflict on us. Luxon is of the same type, he merely substitutes a fake bonhomie for Brown's old man, aggressive, shouty grumpiness.
Notably we haven't heard anything from the National Party in Auckland this weekend. Not a peep. Probably away on holiday in Hawaii watching Elton John.
Or ACT, though with their party president resigning and the fraud findings I guess they are busy.
NP Luxon did send a tweet to Mayor Brown shortly after Brown finally publicised the emergency, crossed I think.
Luxon did talk last night
Now the asshats manage to push a civil defence warning to everyone's phone… for what looks like a pretty fast moving rain band kinda shows how bad they fucked up friday
Probably two/three days of rain to come. Wind speed is 30-50kph @ 1500M and the moisture stretches up into the Coral sea.
The pre-amalgamation Waitakere City Council worked like this: The Civil Defence unit had a relatively few permanent staff, properly qualified in Civil Defence. All rdinary staff were deemed to be able to be called upon for a civil emergency. If you had no official role in the Volunteer Team, you would./could be posted to something like tea and sympathy at one of the local halls. But you had no role in the emergency management unless called upon.
I was in the volunteer team. That meant that, as soon as an emergency was declared, my "day job" ceased and I would assume another mantle, like superman changing in a phone box. We trained regularly for these official roles and, in the time I was there, we were called upon for a few 'live' events as well.
I won't say anything about Auckland Council's situation, because I have no knowledge, other than to express my belief as a ratepayer that an official, independent review of the whole organisation's actions and recommendations audit trail should be carried out as soon as the dust settles. In my opinion, reviews should always be carried out after a live event, because sometimes even a small improvement can save a life in future.
I will say what I do know of the systems in place at Waitakere City, though, as I can speak with true memories.
1. Civil Defence was taken completely seriously by the Mayor, Elected Members and CEO/Senior Management. When training sessions were run by the permanent staff for the volunteer team, they were run in an enjoyable manner (to encourage people to remain volunteers) but woe betide all of us if the Mayor popped around for an unannounced watching brief and if things weren't running like a well-oiled machine.
2. Following from the above, note that the Mayor, who wasn't short of things to do, made a point of personally observing that 'his' city had a Civile Defence function that would run like a Swiss Watch if and when necessary. Near enough was absolutely not good enough, as the saying goes.
3.. The organisation was such that when it was necessary, relevant decisions were made or recommendations taken seriously from the coalface to the upper levels. Definitely true for Emergency Management. Thus, the permanent staff who were in constant communication with tbe emergency services, even when there was no emergency, knew that they could, without fear, send messages upwards that would be taken seriously by those above. For example, no-one made decisions based on saying what they thought the person above them would want to hear; the facts directed the decision making.
4. The recommendations of professional, skilled staff at the coalface levels were taken with due respect by management and those above management. A recommendation to declare an emergency would be considered by those with the elected responsibility to decide before an announcement was made, but those considerations were swift, decisive, mature, and driven by what the facts said.
Looking at Civil Defence as something that should arguably operate as efficiently as a military operation, one is reminded of the last great battles that were fought purely from top-down and with officers afraid of what their superiors might say, factors which drove decision-making more than doing what the facts suggested was the right thing. Those battles were in World War 1 – The Somme, Gallipoli, and so on.
Since WW1, military strategy has included the ability for those on the ground to 'read the landscape' and incorporate that into their decision making. Likewise, in big organisations, both private and public, thinking has changed and schools now talk about management as a role of creating an environment and providing appropriate resources for those at the coalface to do their job properly, as opposed to something more medieval, where those at the coalface sometimes have to deal with the confusion of whether they are there to serve the public or to please those with the power to make them redundant or to keep their careers in place and successful.
I'll point out that the above is my opinion and readers should form their own.
Very good points, bears out my experiences as a CD volunteer in my PS workpalce and out in the community…..
Some thing has undoubtedly been lost, particularly out in the community. We used to get regular updates about CD preparedness as individuals and volunteers based at the local CD centres. These have fallen away.
Wakeup call for many I think. I certainly am going to ask some questions/find out more.
Ah…is this a "Look over there! " example from Mayor "Buckets" Brown ?
What does a State of Emergency actually do and how would it have changed things on a friday evening at say 6PM?
It was used during Covid , but that was an ongoing situation rather than imminent/actual disaster
It would have enabled a whole lot of emergency resources to be made available, and given a mandate to a number of organisations to begin acting.
Imagine you're at the supermarket during rush time and you see someone helping themselves to the stock. You look around, prepared to help but not sure if it is your place to do so.
Suddenly, the store manager points to you and shouts 'Stop that shoplifter'!! The situation hasn't changed, your understanding of what's happening hasn't changed, but suddenly you're empowered to act by someone with the authority to make that decision.
It's the same here. There are any number of entities all prepared to act, but because it's the Mayor's call for them to do so, they can't without risking overextending their own authority, if the rain had stopped and Mayor Brown had decided a state of emergency wasn't necessary.
No it doesnt make other emergency resources available – they were already full stretch . Fire and rescue, Police etc.
Its just a bureaucratic process which can make people evacuate before a flood happens for instance . Not applicable in Auckland
Also certain works can be done in emergency without a consent – I think it will be used for slip damaged houses etc.
Thats what I mean mostly a bureaucratic process – removing the red tape in an emergency for the cleanup after but not applicable in sudden disaster unfolding
You are welcome to 'detail' the resources you think could have been sitting waiting to spring into action by say 6PM rather than the 9:30PM
[deleted quote without link]
Thats would have been a standard coordination between fire brigades , as they are on duty.
my understanding is that out of region resources become available. This was certainly needed.
I've deleted your quote without a link. You can repost with a link if you like.
Thank you for your generous offer of inviting me to detail the resources etc.
There are many private companies that have heavy equipment and are able to be conscripted to deal with things like fallen trees, collapsed infrastructure etc. The bill gets sorted later, but they can't swing into action until a state of emergency is declared.
You point out that fire, police etc were at full stretch. Maybe (not sure how you are linked to the key data, most of us aren't), but those were one-off requests for help. When a Mayor declares a state of emergency, it gives those services more autonomy.
Importantly, the Auckland Emergency Management centre/department has a logistic centre and each of the key emergency service providers, along with other people, go into the single room where situation reports, requests for help, updates on the region all come through a single channel and co-ordinated responses can be made.
Here is a link in case you are interested to see what gets put in place as soon an an emergency is declared: https://www.civildefence.govt.nz/cdem-sector/guidelines/response-planning-cdem/
Ghostwhowalks, yes, this is from the national website, but the NZQA Co-ordinated Incident Management System is applied both nationally and locally.
All available emergency resources were comitted before the emergency at 9:30
They were telling us that over the news and media , dont call unless its danger to life.
What you refer to is for after the event has happened . Its also useful for slower events like river floods where known areas can be evacuated before hand .
Do you know the flood risk areas of Auckland before a 1 in 100 year storm happens? yes the council GIS does show these
But there were no resources available after 6pm to do preventative evacuations
Wayne Brown and you have in common your pig-ignorant warped idea of State of Emergency. That makes two of you.
Is that right? So, NZDF who had helped evacuating people in Rānui that afternoon had gone home for the day? Police and Fire Services were unavailable too? All Emergency crews had dropped their buckets? All you do is bleat about GIS maps, FFS.
The declaration brings another layer of access to reosources in mobilising the CD network. It also enable central govt to act, it was waiting for Brown to declare.
I am hoping that Mayor Brown has an ongoing supply of buses to throw these staff members under.
Hi Shanreagh. How are you? And yea what a guy.
To PLA orig post 15. In true "Keeping up Appearances" fashion is Bucket pronounced Bouquet and therefore Mayor Fixit should be pronounced Mayor Fucxit
On that !
I …unlike some…on here, rate Stuff. Maybe some reporters?
Lets get that message about the Left through. Always. And ..we can win. By positive example/Action.
And..again,all the Best for Auckland..and esp Standardistas from same .
The best of Stuff is excellent – and the worst of it is Malvoisin & Panini.
Hi, yep as with all things…Stuff has the Reporters…like, the..Herald's! David Fisher, Matt Nippert, Jamie Morton and.. RNZ ! ( strangely hated by some here too?) Likewise, The Guardian ?
I read for Insight…and to make up my own mind : )
(altho, pardon my ignorance, i must have missed that knowledge : Malvoisin & Panini ?)
Malpass & Pagani. Malvoisin means 'bad neighbour'.
Aha, thanks for that. And yep can def see them as ever-so Earnest harbingers of doom for NZ (well, NZ under a Labour lefty Govt : )
I offer experienced leadership, skills in financial management and governance, and a track record of success. Throughout my career as an engineer, a businessman and a board chair I have fixed problems and turned around failing organisations. Governments of all stripes have recruited me to deliver big projects and sort out complex billion-dollar organisations including Vector, Transpower and Auckland District Health Board. I've delivered every time. Now we need to fix Auckland Council together."
Did he run an airline before?
I really don't know why Auckland is such a popular place to live. Every time I look at the weather forecast it seems to be raining up there. I couldn't think of anything more depressing.
Seriously though, if this sort of weather event is going to become more common up there, I could envisage that some areas may become effectively uninhabitable and may have to be abandoned. Houses could become uninsurable against weather events, and the cost of constantly repairing infrastructure could get too high.
I think there will be a couple of "learnings" coming out of this:
I think this is the key point.
Firstly, there is so much stored energy in the sea now that, even if carbon emmissions were normalised tomorrow, it will still affect the climate for a long time I expect.
Secondly, focus on storm-water capacity is obviously essential. But, the cost of engineering systems to cope with the amount of water that fell in a short time may well be prohibitively expensive, and will take a long time to sort out.
Given those two points, I suspect that insurance companies are going to be very wary about insuring properties against weather events, especially if they are in at risk areas.
So, I do think there will be some areas that are going to become effectively uninhabitable in the not too distant future.
Already happening in Aussie:
That is interesting.
It sounds like a similar deal to what was done for red zoners in the ChCh earthquakes.
If the ground was assessed to be at high risk from future earthquakes the government offered to purchase the house and land at valuation.
So, sooner or later, I think the risks of flooding will need to be assessed with properties, and those at risk will likely have to be abandoned with a similar deal.
And, it looks like it is already being considered for flood-prone properties in Auckland.
Mayor Brown :
Well…we will see. However re Mayor Brown, how closely was he ..as Leader, monitoring the situation? Being as he..had to give the final Go! To save lives and all…
I think this is an important point. Even if Brown was following advice, and doing all he could, he needed to be communicating that.
He needed to be making media releases letting people know the state of play, and what was expected to happen, and what was being done. At the very least, he needed to be giving people a sense of (false) hope.
The fact that people were turning up at the Elton John concert left me shaking my head. Compared to the outstanding leadership we had from Bob Parker during the earthquakes, Brown seems to have been MIA.
lol, is that Brown blaming Hooton now?
Flailing seems an apt word…..
Wayne 'blame someone else' Brown
What do Wayne Brown and ACC have in common?
Both are no fault schemes
Hmm.. The Mayor be doin' some fine avoidance in link. And "fix-up" !? I'm sure he would like to be seen as The Man for that. Others might see him another kind of ” f -up”
Interesting that Wayne Brown's response to criticism is that "we'll have a review…"
Just the kind of thing the political right always lambast the political left for doing.
"Too many reviews and not enough action…."
That's what the political right always say….
And now they show themselves the hypocrites we always knew they were.
Ask Aucklanders if they need a review.
They don't need any f….n reviews, they need help, action and a leader who will make sure it happens.
But I'm sure the political right will twist it all around to make it look like PM Chris Hipkins is responsible.
Could it get any worse for Wayne Brown? Oh yes …
Imagine if this was a leftie mayor or minister grumbling that because he was required simply to do his job, he couldn't play tennis.
Compare: Len Brown was pilloried and hounded because he had an affair, an issue of no public interest, affecting nobody else in Auckland, a matter for the people involved and their family and nobody else. For that, many on the Right demanded his resignation (they didn't get it, but they destroyed him anyway). Now? Nothing.
Wayne is the only Brown who should be resigning.
Well said. Len Brown was a good guy and well liked in South Auckland. The Eastern Suburbs “powers that be” detested him for taking the Supercity Mayoralty they regarded as theirs by right.
Affairs are something best not gone into in terms of public discussion, and it rather seemed a dirty politics setup with Len imo. Wewege? Slater? what the…
Pumps and sandbags to keep their airport functioning …
Maybe Auckland businesses should set up a private group to organise their stormwater security.
According to this opinion columnist Brown has a history of not wanting SoE:
…A week later Wayne Brown declared he was standing for Mayor of the Far North and fired his first shot at Sharp, reportedly saying she was wrong to declare a state of emergency following the floods of the week before.
Brown reportedly said that there was no need for a state of emergency to be called. “The place had already been through one set of floods back in March and everyone seemed a lot better prepared for this event, so I can’t see why we needed to have a state of emergency. It just wasn’t necessary”.
I attended both disasters and Yvonne Sharp was correct in declaring the state of emergency in July 2007.
In Auckland on Friday, thousands of people were put at risk, and some died. Wayne Brown is blaming others for the inaction in not declaring a state of emergency earlier. But I have a nagging feeling that Wayne Brown possibly felt, just like he did in July 2007, that it was “just wasn’t necessary”.
Nick Knight in Stuff
Is there an element of this? I know in my small town…Council/Contractor simple Maintenance jobs sometimes seem to be done..retrospectively..or even reactively in emergency ! Makes the whole 3 (5?) Waters an interesting subject. As in..are local Councils competent?