- Date published:
9:28 am, October 3rd, 2022 - 47 comments
Categories: auckland supercity, efeso collins, local government, Media, supercity, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, uncategorized - Tags:
Wayne Brown’s mayoral campaign hit a really big pothole on the weekend.
He was caught bad mouthing Herald reporter Simon Wilson.
He committed the most basic mistake of talking on an open mike and while being recorded. This raises questions about how he could possibly run the biggest city in New Zealand.
And you may ask why he said what he said. Apparently it was because Simon publicly stated how old Brown is.
From Radio New Zealand:
Auckland mayoral candidate Wayne Brown has described a prominent journalist as “a prick” and said if elected he would stick pictures of him in urinals so people could “pee” on him.
The comment was caught in what Brown thought was an off-camera moment with a Newshub crew earlier in the week, but it was replayed in the television channel’s live mayoral debate on Saturday.
It was about the only line in the broadcast that had not been previously well-traversed by Brown, and his rival Efeso Collins, and came in their final campaign encounter before the 8 October election day.
The pair are locked in the closest contest yet to become mayor of Auckland.
The pre-recorded clip, showed the camera move away from Brown, as he responded to a question about his age (76) being commented on.
“That prick Simon Wilson dug it out,” Brown joked. “Now, he’s been at me for all year long and the first thing I’m going to do when I get to be mayor, I’m going to glue little pictures of him on the urinals, so we can pee on him.”
Wilson has been critical of Brown for a while. He has been asking some very pertinent questions trying to flesh out what a Brown Mayoralty would look like. Really important questions like what would happen to infrastructure spending, how he would handle governance and conflict issues, how he would handle the CCOs after sacking their boards en masse, why he has such a terrible reputation with staff, and why he is thinking of stopping all PT projects.
Previously Wilson asked other really pertinent questions like why does Brown want the infrastructure pipeline to close and does he understand this will undermine local construction companies and cause congestion to worsen? And why haven’t the Ratepayers Association and the Taxpayers’ Union criticised Brown for sometimes combining his personal and public roles when he was mayor of the Far North? And why does he have a reputation for reducing staff to tears? And is he up to the job at his age?
His age is a very relevant question. The past two Mayors have had heart attacks on the job. A physical ability to handle the stresses of the job is an important and relevant consideration.
Wilson’s questions are very valid and very pertinent. Brown’s response is the sort you would expect from a 10 year old.
I tweeted about the incident on Saturday.
— Greg Presland (@GregPresland) October 1, 2022
The interactions were interesting. Most shared in the hilarity. But there were a significant number who flexed to the position that Simon Wilson was a left wing shill, or a communist or a Labour plant and that he deserved the treatment he received.
And a discussion yesterday morning at Avondale Market with a National Party activist replicated my twitter experience. He opened his mouth and a series of buzz words matching those I saw on twitter came out.
This made me think. I cannot abide Mike Hosking. He is clearly biased, has strongly held evidence free reckons and takes every opportunity to denigrate the left. But the right clearly have similarly strongly held views about Simon Wilson.
Are their views warranted? Simon writes passionately about climate change and urban form and what is needed to transform Auckland to make it more sustainably. And make it a nicer place to live in.
Although some of his views are radical in local terms what he advocates for has been tried overseas and is working. It is information rich comment backed by clear analysis and thinking, unlike Mike’s reckons.
And he is clearly deeply concerned about climate change. Is wanting to prevent our world from being devastated something that a reporter should delve into? Of course. Is it wrong to question one of the major contenders for the second most important political position in Aotearoa to see what would happen if they won? If this is not a role of a reporter then I do not know what is.
This is Fox News quality culture wars right in our own backyard. Where there is a gulf between two positions which on the face of it cannot be bridged by reasoned debate. I guess it has been around a while. Remember when John Key talked about finding an expert with a contrary opinion to back up his position in an argument?
There is no immediate solution, just the hope that peaceful communication can gradually forage a consensus or at least a majority view that means that action that needs to be taken can proceed.
But in my view three things are clear. People seeking public office who speak like this should not talk like this. And Simon Wilson is a very exceptional writer and Mike Hosking is not.