Mayor breaches censure motion by secretly dropping policy st
Mayor breaches censure motion by secretly dropping policy statement to media
By informing the news media of his six priorities for 2014 before even telling councillors of his intentions, Auckland Mayor Len Brown is thumbing his nose at an important resolution agreed by all councillors when they censured him on 19 December, says Auckland Councillor for Orakei Cameron Brewer.
When the Mayor was censured, all 20 Auckland Councillors resolved that they ‘require a stronger working relationship and level of accountability between the Mayor and Governing Body’.
“So yesterday the media rang councillors and asked for comments on the Mayor’s six priorities for 2014. We didn’t even know what they were, let alone know that an embargoed policy statement had already been sent out to key TV, radio and print media,” says Mr Brewer.
“Getting wind of councillors’ disbelief, the Mayor’s Office then fired out an “FYI” email to councillors at 10.33pm last night trying to explain what they’d earlier sent to media and claiming it was just an opinion piece sent to the main daily paper. But in reality the Mayor was also already locked in for TV and radio interviews the next morning. This back-tracking and deliberate obfuscation is not in the spirit of what was formally agreed, not to mention the many assurances and promises the Mayor has made publicly.”
Mr Brewer says the Mayor is clearly not interested in adhering to any requirements councillors put on him just last month. He predicts the ‘costs committee’ will also have its work cut out trying to squeeze any significant reimbursement out of him in the coming months.
“Despite a raft of well-meaning resolutions voted on just before Christmas, the Mayor is already out of control and frankly doesn’t care. He’s just carrying on as he always has.
“In the last three years councillors of all political persuasions voiced they were sick of hearing Mayoral announcements via the media. Late last year the Mayor agreed to change, to work closer and more inclusively and collaboratively with councillors and to adopt a no-surprises policy. We heard it all. But just one month on, and it’s the media that has told councillors what the Mayor’s 2014 priorities for Auckland are. Go figure!”
“The Mayor now needs to apologise to the 15 councillors who voted in good faith to support him on the condition that he change his ways. They will be disappointed that he and his Office haven’t changed one iota.
“Ratepayer-funded consultants and spin-doctors have been working for weeks on the Mayor’s re-entry strategy for January. They too will be disappointed that the Panmure Station visit and the ‘six priorities’ paper were not the circuit-breakers they’d plotted and promised. Sadly for suburban ratepayers who are funding this image overhaul, it’s back to the drawing board,” says Mr Brewer.