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Letter to Manukau Issue 21

Letter to Manukau Issue 21


The best news we have had for a long time has been the successful police operation code-named Leo.

It has netted more than 20 arrests including much of the leadership of the Killer Beez and Tribesmen gangs in our community.

Very serious drug possession and supply charges have been laid. These results have been long planned for and worked towards by the police and the community.

I couldn’t think of a better way for the new chief of the CIB, Detective Inspector John Tims, to start his time in the role, which he has inherited from our local legend, Detective Inspector Steve Rutherford.

The community has worked hard to get on top of the drugs and gang issue.

Great progress has been made using a multi-level, multi-agency approach.

The outcomes of Operation Leo are a great springboard for us to push on further in our endeavours.


Since my election, the issue of a replacement for the Ellerslie Flower Show at the Auckland Botanic Gardens has taken up a lot of my time.

This has been a very difficult issue to work through and resolve.

For a variety of reasons not worth canvassing in detail in this letter, it has proven too difficult to find a way forward for such a show.

I hope the new event at Alexandra Park under the name Auckland Flower Show is successful and caters for the wider regional needs.

I want to focus our council on developing a flower show from within our own community in Manukau.

I believe there is a very strong level of support in the council and community for this.

It’s clear that some cities in New Zealand are spending a lot of their time looking to buy-in event brands to host in their city centres.

I think our city has a real strength in being able to grow its own brands and events and do so in our uniquely Manukau style.

We can deliver a brilliant flower show with the buy-in and assistance of our local community, businesses, gardeners and horticultural experts.

We can produce something really special for our people to visit once a year and indulge their passion for gardening.


This week I visited East Tamaki Primary School and enjoyed the company of more than 250 students at their assembly after lunch.

Principal Sarah Mirams introduced me and I had a great discussion with the children about their hopes and dreams for the future.

East Tamaki Primary School is a decile one school. I’ve visited schools across the range of decile categories since I became mayor.

To the casual observer, there appears to be very little difference between decile one schools and decile ten schools in terms of their landscaping and physical appearance, the standard of maintenance, the quality and passion of the staff and, especially, the excellent leadership from principals.

I’m aware the decile ratings impact on funding levels for schools but I’m not sure what else these rankings achieve for our community.

I’ve been hugely impressed with the standard of education and enthusiasm of the young people I’ve seen at the schools I’ve visited across our city.

I’d be happy at some time in the future to have a broader debate about the merits or otherwise of decile rankings.


Mayoral Town Hall Meeting, Tuesday 13 May, 4pm – 6pm, Anchorage Park Community House, 16 Swan Cres, Pakuranga

Len Brown
Mayor of Manukau


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