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The press release Len Brown should be issuing

Written By: - Date published: 12:25 pm, March 9th, 2012 - 35 comments
Categories: local government, workers' rights - Tags: , , , , ,

A contrite Mayor Len Brown today offered his apology to Port workers for causing their redundancies by demanding higher port profits then giving them the cold shoulder. “I turned my back on the working class I claim to represent. That ‘we’re on a journey’ BS on RNZ was the final straw. I am donating to the workers the $2,000 they gave my election campaign, and the $270,000 3-year payrise they helped me get when I became Auckland mayor.”

35 comments on “The press release Len Brown should be issuing ”

  1. tc 1

    Brown will cop blame for rortney and shonkeys supershity, POAL, dog fees, public transport and the recession etc by the time CT and the NACT folk within the council have finished with him.

  2. A better Press Release from Brown might read,

    “I today issued shareholder instructions to the Board of Ports of Auckland Ltd to retract the redundancy notices issued to 300 striking Port workers. I have further instructed the Board representatives to return to mediation, and to begin negotiation anew, in good faith.

    I will also be issuing a new directive to the Board that Auckland City Council’s expectations for a rate of return is not to exceed 6%.

    I offer my sincere apoligies to the workers and their families for the length of time it has taken. Obviously my hands-off approach has not achieved the desired outcome, and instread I will be making my office available for ongoing negotiation and mediation between all parties.

    Let me make this clear; I expect no one to lose their jobs in this dispute.

    I do, however, expect a good outcome that benefits workers; their families; as well as the Port. But people will always come first under my administration.

    That is not negotiable.”

    If Len Brown uses that, it will be free-of-charge on my part. I’d be happy to help.

  3. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 3

    “I today issued shareholder instructions..”

    What the fuck are “shareholder instructions”?

    • lprent 3.1

      The council isn’t exactly a minority shareholder. They are the 100% owner of the investment company that is the 100% owner of the Ports of Auckland. I’d say that the council can issue instructions.

      Of course the Act inspired legislation tried desperately to put some separation between the council and the assets to make it easier to privatize the assets. That just makes it more difficult.

      If nothing else their instruction could be that they want the PoA wound up (not sold).

      • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 3.1.1

        Shareholders do not direct how a company is run. That is for the Board. This is considered reasonably fundamental.

        • Te Reo Putake

          Except that the board is required to run it in the best interests of the shareholders. It’s debateable whether the short termist thinking and costly actions of the POAL meet that standard.

        • lprent

          Who appoints the board? It is pretty fundamental that the shareholders do isn’t it?

          Now tell me who appointed the majority of the current ACIL board?

          I will give you a hint. It wasn’t the single shareholder. In fact it was one Rodney Hide. That is a fundamental difference between this ‘company’ and a private sector one. I don’t see many that allow a the government as a non-shareholder appointing the board. There is even legislation saying that the minister of local government appoints many in the board.

          Given that bit of legislative larceny, I fundamentally don’t think this is the type of organisation you’re thinking about. Perhaps you should look at reality rather than some idealistic fantasy.

        • Frank Macskasy

          Which begs the question , “The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell”, how State Owned Enterprises can be sold at the instruction of SHAREHOLDING ministers?


          • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrel

            You are misusing “begging the question” so I choose to ignore you.

            And Te Reo Putake: the directors are required to act in the best interests of the company, not the shareholders.

            I wouldn’t mind you guys being so wrong if you weren’t so damned haughty at the same time.

            • Te Reo Putake

              Feel free to put up some examples of where the interests of the company and the interests of the shareholders diverge, Gormless. The only one I can think of is in a bankruptcy situation, where I suppose you could argue the board has a duty to the creditors as well.

              • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrel

                Dude, I don’t make the law. I am just telling you what it is.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Semantics: the best interests of the shareholders = the best interests of the company.

                • Te Reo Putake

                  But you’re not telling me anything, Gormless. Give me some examples, if you have any. And be quick about it, I’m off to the pub shortly.

            • Frank Macskasy

              “You are misusing “begging the question” so I choose to ignore you.”

              I’ll take that as a “I don’t know”. When someone comes online to post a “I choose to ignore you”, instead of just ignoring me, then I know you can’t ignore the point I was making. Feel free to keep ignoring me – but I think I’ve made a point you can’t ignore.


              • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrel

                But you accept you are mangling a perfectly good language through ignorance?

                I do know. I just hate arguing with people who can’t speak English properly.

                The crown is selling it’s shares. The business is not being sold. The board acting on behalf of the company is not involved.

                Now I feel a little bit dirty for having debased myself by arguing with an illiterate.

                • Rosemary

                  If you believe the “partial” sales bullshit line you’ll believe anything. It’s the thin end of the wedge syndrome. What do you think Nact would ideally like to do? I’ll spell it out because you’re a thicko: they want to sell everything they possibly can. This can be seen everywhere, they even want to shift the delivery of core services like health, education and welfare over to the community, which is now slowly happening. What they want is called small government. Why do you think Nact doesn’t just get on with doing this as quickly as it can? It is doing it as quickly as it can, right now. Last time they tried but did it way too fast and the outrage was so great they failed. That’s why everything they do now is by stealth, but the agenda is still well and truly in place. I now feel great having enlightened a poor a naive bastard. (Your grammar ain’t that crash hot, though, either, so will also have to call you a hypocritical illiterate prick – sorry about that.)

                  • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrel

                    You mean my grammar “isn’t” that crash hot.


                    • Rosemary

                      You’ve just convinced me to vote for the Nactoids in 2014. You’re good, you’re very good. And I meant ain’t.

                • Colonial Viper

                  The crown is selling it’s shares. The business is not being sold.

                  Sure. But only in the same way that selling your lounge and kitchen, then renting it back for your own use is not “selling your house”.

                  • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrel

                    Oh dear.

                    I was arguing a rather narrower point. I explained to Frank that shareholders do not make decisions about how companies are run. He thought he a “gotcha” by pointing out that the shareholding minister was selling the business.

                    Only the minister is involved because the shares are being sold. Not the business.

                    I wanted to avoid pointing all of this out because I try to stay away from people who misuse ” begging the question”. I also avoid people who say “it all goes well” when they mean “it augers well” and people who think Two and a Half Men is funny.

                    • Descendant Of Smith

                      Those who say “without further adieu”, particularly at someone’s farewell annoy me.
                      I’ve never watched Two and A Half Men so have no opinion on it.

                • Vicky32

                  But you accept you are mangling a perfectly good language through ignorance?
                  I do know. I just hate arguing with people who can’t speak English properly.

                  I feel the same way, but that doesn’t mean you’re right about the rest of what you say! 😀

                • “The crown is selling it’s shares. The business is not being sold.”

                  I’m not sure why you’re plitting of hairs, Ole. They are nonsensical and not even remotely ‘clever’.

                  Past asset sales have involved the entire business/asset being sold. You can play silly-buggers until the herd comes home (Ole, meet Gosman – Gosman, meet Ole), but it changes not one thing; how can State Owned Enterprises be sold at the instruction of SHAREHOLDING ministers?

                  And with past asset sales, the SHAREHOLDING ministers have instructed the Board to prepare relevant companies for sale. If that’s not shareholder instructions, then what is?

                  “Now I feel a little bit dirty for having debased myself by arguing with an illiterate.”

                  Use soap.

                  • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrel

                    And I am not sure why you are arguing something so uncontroversial.


                    I beg you to read it.

                    • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrel

                      And I beg you to read this:


                    • Nothing you’ve posted suggests that I’m wrong. In fact, this bit is relevant; http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1993/0105/latest/DLM320643.html?search=ts_act_Companies+act_resel&p=1;

                      “Subsections (1) and (2) are subject to any modifications, exceptions, or limitations contained in this Act or in the company’s constitution.”

                      Which impacts directly ion the powers of the Board. (Or should)

                      As for this piece; http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1993/0105/latest/DLM320657.html?search=ts_act_Companies+act_resel&p=1

                      It’s interesting that that Act constantly refers to “A director of a company that is a wholly-owned subsidiary may, when exercising powers or performing duties as a director, if expressly permitted to do so by the constitution of the company, act in a manner which he or she believes is in the best interests of that company’s holding company even though it may not be in the best interests of the company.”

                      Which begs the question as to how wrecking a company and carrying out actions which reduces income; threatens profits; alienates clients; and destroys your staff loyalty is in any way “in the best interests of that company”.

                      In actuality, the Board of POAL appears to be acting highly irresponsibly – in a manner that is consistant with the type of mis-management that Boards of Finance Companies carried out. And we know where that led for several Board members.

                      In which case, the legislation you’ve provided indicates that it behoves Len Brown to change the Board, before some bright spark decides to level a private lawsuit against the Board for acting against “the best interests of that company”.

                      And nothing you’ve posted changes the fact, OleOle, that Shareholding Ministers of SOEs can issue directives to SOE Boards,

                      › Part 2 Formation and ownership of new State enterprises

                      13 Powers of shareholding Ministers in respect of new State enterprises

                      (1) Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act or the rules of any company,—

                      (a) the shareholding Ministers may from time to time, by written notice to the board, direct the board of a company named in Schedule 2 to include in, or omit from, a statement of corporate intent for that company any provision or provisions of a kind referred to in paragraphs (a) to (h) of section 14(2); and

                      (b) the shareholding Ministers may, by written notice to the board, determine the amount of dividend payable by any company named in Schedule 2 in respect of any financial year or years,—

                      and any board to whom such a notice is given shall comply with the notice.

                      (2) Before giving any notice under this section, the shareholding Ministers shall—

                      (a) have regard to Part 1; and

                      (b) consult the board concerned as to the matters to be referred to in the notice.

                      (3) Within 12 sitting days after a notice is given to a board pursuant to this section, the responsible Minister for the company concerned shall lay a copy of the notice before the House of Representatives.

                      Source: http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1986/0124/latest/DLM98048.html#DLM98048

                      Pleased to be of assistance.

  4. ChrisH 4

    Yeah, right. Why does this so often happen with “Labour-backed” loose-cannon candidates on local bodies? What a pity Len was not an official Labour candidate subject to some kind of party-manifesto discipline, given that the Council’s position is totally at odds with Labour’s position articulated over the last month by official press releases, which is critical of 12% and seeks a national cooperative port plan rather than race to the bottom competition.

  5. The Shareholders are the Ratepayers of Auckland.
    First take instructions from them.

    • Te Reo Putake 5.1

      Er, no, the shareholder is the council. Which acts on behalf of all Aucklanders, not just the minority in the city who are ratepayers.

  6. Laurie 6

    Auckland Council Investments Limited‘s Statement of Intent states:

    5(c) Ethical and Good Behaviour in Dealing with all Parties
    • Decisions which in the judgement of the ACIL board may potentially have a moderate adverse effect on a large number of residents and ratepayers
    • Decisions which have a history of generating wide public interest in the judgement of the ACIL board

    Simon Allen (POAL Chairman), pointed to a resolution expressing support for the Ports of Auckland board and “actions it may be required to take to achieve [its] business plan” passed by Auckland Council’s Accountability and Performance Committee as a mandate from the council.

    The “mandate” was from a Council Committee, not actually the “Governing Body” as required by the Statement of Intent but it demonstrates that everyone knows approval from the Council is a requirement for the sackings to occur.

  7. newsense 7

    The free pools are filled with the tears of wharfies children Len.

    • Cactus Kate 7.1

      That’s got to be comment of the month already!

      [lprent: A meaningless soundbite? You had standards worthy of TV. ]

      • Populuxe1 7.1.1

        Come on, lprent, artistically it at least merits a haiku or an aphorism. Credit where it’s due.

  8. Kotahi Tane Huna 8

    Someone should tell Len Brown: this is what solidarity looks like, clearly he needs reminding – or perhaps he never understood it in the first place.

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