Whether or not Mark Thomas is the person who Aucklanders can get behind remains to be seen but he sets out his message in this slick video and media statement on his website
WE’VE DONE EVERYTHING RIGHT!
When criticism of a project comes, it’s a common refrain (typically from those running the show) that the right process was followed and all responsibilities were met.
Auckland Council’s Chief Executive said this during the difficult vote in June on the Mayor’s 10-year budget when questioned about the consultation process. Despite key information about the possibility of a new transport rate missing from the household budget summary, he said the relevant information had been available (and the council’s consultation policy had been followed).
The Port of Auckland’s Chief Executive repeated this general line when commenting recently on the company’s financial results. He said the Port had “fulfilled all obligations” regarding their attempt to get a resource consent to extend Bledisloe Wharf.
The Mayor makes a related point with the “Let’s Talk Transport” meetings he has on around the region at the moment. I’ve heard him say a few times that he’s doing this because, despite all the consultation over years that’s taken place around transport, people are uncertain about or indeed opposed to the region’s transport priorities and funding decisions.
It’s easy to say you’re doing the right thing if you create a world view that justifies that, and if you choose (consciously or not) to ignore or not fully consider the views of others.
But for Auckland to make more progress on our key affordability, transport, growth and other challenges, we will need a new leader who defines “everything” just a bit more literally.
He is also a relative unknown which makes his job of convincing the public that he is the man for the job that much harder. He experience as a Local Board Member will seem lightweight if he is matched against a Councillor, former Mayor or top businessman.
The worst thing that can happen for ratepayers is that many candidates will come forward complaining about the appalling mess Auckland is in and split the vote against Brown. If unopposed by another Labour/Green candidate this might well convince Brown he has a great shot at a third term. God forbid!