The Supercity was established to help Auckland out of the doldrums and become the economic powerhouse of the country. Instead, with Len Brown as Mayor, the city has ground to a halt. Even as the city’s ratepayers burn with indignation, Brown fiddles them out of more of their hard earned dollars by taking a ratepayer funded trip to Los Angeles and then China.
The Government has obviously had enough. It is stepping in to start resolving housing affordability and stop Brown’s costly and useless public transport policies, especially the train wreck that is the City Rail Link. Yesterday a letter was made public from Simon Bridges, Transport Minister and Bill English, Finance Minister, to Len Brown that says the Government is not convinced Brown’s transport plan will work. As the Government provides a large portion of the money for transport projects it is implicit that this will now be withheld.
Finance Minister Bill English and Transport Minister Simon Bridges have written to Mayor Len Brown saying the Government is unwilling to consider motorway tolls at this time.
The ministers said the council's transport strategy does not provide a compelling case for additional transport investment.
"The proposed additional investment is expected to only deliver modest improvements in the areas that matter most of Aucklanders - tackling congestion and driving greater public transport use.
Government fast-tracks 1000 more homes
The Government has fast-tracked the building of a further 1000 houses and apartments at Hobsonville Pt and about 300 of those will cost less than $550,000 - a higher proportion of "affordable" homes than the rest of the 3000-house development.
Housing Minister Nick Smith is due to announce the measure today after the Housing NZ subsidiary Hobsonville Land Co agreed to speed up the building in three areas furthest inland at the site. Earthworks in the new areas will begin this summer and homes will start to be available from 2017 instead of 2019 as first planned.
The short version is…”Len, take your stupid ideas and stick them, and since you can only come up with stupid ideas we better take over.”
The failure of Len Brown’s Labour/Green Council to provide for the needs of Aucklanders has led to increasing calls for the Government to step in. It seems those those calls are being heard.
That is all very well in the short term but long term the whole Supercity structure needs reforming to prevent a repeat of the Brown Mayoralty. The Mayor’s powers need to be pared back so that he is more accountable to Council. Local Boards need to be empowered to have more responsibility for their own areas, and the bureaucracy needs to be reined in so that they are the subjects not the masters of Council will.