Neither Aucklanders nor the Govt can afford three more years
9 September 2013
Neither Aucklanders nor the Government can afford three more years
“Mayor Brown’s term in office has been characterised by much rhetoric, plenty of visions and a lot of planning, but when it comes to listing tangible achievements, the cupboard is bare,” said John Palino.
“I know that the Council’s debt has increased by around $3 billion.
“I know rates have increased for many residents by 10 per cent in both of the last two years.
“I know Council staff numbers have topped 8000 and we now spend more on employees than we did under the old governance structure.
“But what I can’t see is a single piece of evidence that Len Brown has achieved anything over the last three years.
“All the big achievements, all the big projects and all the initiatives that are being driven to improve the lot of Aucklanders have been pushed through by central government – not by the Council.
“The Mayor has sat on a housing problem for so long it’s become a crisis. The roll out of integrated ticketing has been so poor that fewer people are now taking rail. We’ve even just seen one of Auckland’s premier events, the Devonport Wine and Food Festival cancelled after 24 years.
“Where has the money gone? What has been delivered? How much more is central government going to have to spend in Auckland to fix problems created by ineffective leadership?
“The Mayor has prioritised long term projects for which he cannot be held accountable.
“Ironically, the objective of these projects is to address congestion, but they’re demonstrably not. Congestion is projected to get worse from the 2020s so that by the time the Mayor’s transport vision is realised, Auckland will have worse congestion than Sydney or Melbourne.
“Auckland needs a Mayor who thinks beyond the boardrooms of planners and futurists; a Mayor that places as much emphasis on the people of today as on the people of 2041.
“But this means getting out into communities and finding out what those residents really value and really want. And it means putting people before pet projects.” said Palino.