One of the world's richest men is eyeing a role in the redevelopment of Auckland, says mayor Len Brown.
Brown, who has been criticised for jetting off to the United States on a seven-day, ratepayer-funded business trip, has responded by detailing an "amazing" half-hour meeting with Michael Bloomberg - the business mogul and former New York City mayor worth an estimated $50 billion.
Bloomberg Associates confirmed to the Herald on Sunday that Auckland was on their radar, but said no deal was immediately on the table.
"We respect the work being done in Auckland and their broader goals and objectives, but there are no plans to engage with them in any formal way at this time," a spokesperson said.
Brown has been unable to keep his promises to his wife, the ratepayers of Auckland and the Government of New Zealand so, if I were Bloomberg, I’d be looking at Brown’s track record of broken promises and keeping right away.
For details of this junket we have to thank the Taxpayers’ Union who obtained information under a made an Official Information Act (LGOIMA) request
Mayor Len Brown is leading a business delegation to Los Angeles, USA, in June 2015, assisted by two Councillors. This trip is not to sign sister city agreements but is part the existing tripartite economic alliance between Auckland, Los Angeles and Guangzhou. The Mayor and two Councillors will lead a group of 40-50 business executives from Auckland companies from amongst the priority sectors of tourism, education, innovation (e.g. clean/green technologies, food and beverage, transportation), infrastructure and screen/creative. The delegation is being closely planned with officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) and New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE)
Brown’s rapacious demand for money seems to know no bounds, but it all comes at a cost. Core Council services are being cut to the bone while rates are going through the roof. If Bloomberg were to invest in Auckland that too would come at a cost, for Bloomberg didn’t amass his fortune by being a charity.
Brown shames us all with his antics. That he is still Mayor of Auckland beggars belief.