Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 

Auckland Mayor Len Brown throws policy to the wolves

Auckland Mayor Len Brown throws policy to the wolves

Media Release 8 July 2016:

_______________________________________________________________________

Speakers at a Council committee yesterday (Thursday 7 July 2016) were appalled when barely minutes after they had left the chamber, Mayor Brown issued a press release announcing his decision to review Council’s weed management policy.

Hana Blackmore of the independent Weed Management Advisory (WMA), and one of a number of presenters expressing their concerns about the expansion of chemicals on Auckland’s streets and parks said they had been manipulated and blindsided by the Mayor.

“We believed we were finally being given an opportunity to be heard after the debacle of the shutdown of debate over annual plan budget cuts” she said.

“But Mayor Brown’s plan had obviously been prepared well in advance and he was not listening to anything anyone said at that meeting. It was discourteous and disrespectful.”

Blackmore said that all the concerns expressed yesterday by the four speakers and several councillors, centred on health and budgets – neither of which has been acknowledged by Mayor Brown.

“If he had been listening he would have clearly understood that we have no issue with the policy itself, but with its lack of implementation three years after it was adopted.”

Serious questions were raised by Hana Blackmore in her presentation about the huge hike in the cost of vegetation control on the streets after Auckland Transport took over contracts from the cities.

She illustrated the impact with a simple before and after chart that tracked the price of contracts and supposed comparative cost analyses from Auckland Transport that she said are currently being used to frighten Councillors into believing non-chemical alternatives cannot be afforded.

“It was apparent that Mayor Brown was disturbed by the information, but he makes no mention of this” said Blackmore. “Nor did he acknowledge my appeal for Council to consider the possibility that the simple act of passing vegetation control to Transport has tripled the price because of the number of contractors and sub-contractors hands the money has to pass through.”

She asked that serious consideration be given to removing vegetation control from Auckland Transport Maintenance and returning it to direct contracts with Council via Parks.

“Potential savings in the millions of dollars could then be used to implement integrated non-chemical vegetation control across the entire city,” she said.

Blackmore said it is hugely frustrating that instead of genuine investigation and positive actions that could finally remove all chemicals from the city everyone is now going to have to waste time, energy and scarce resources in reviewing and trying to fix a Policy that’s not broken.

“Even worse, Mayor Brown has handed responsibility for doing this review to the very officers who have not only failed to make any progress in implementing this Policy, but have actively sought to nullify it” she said.

“This baby weed management policy has barely drawn breath let alone been allowed to crawl, but Mayor Brown yesterday didn’t just throw it out with the bathwater he threw it to the wolves.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

New Reports: Flood Risk From Rain And Sea Under Climate Change

One report looks at what would happen when rivers are flooded by heavy rain and storms, while the other examines flooding exposure in coastal and harbour areas and how that might change with sea-level rise.

Their findings show that across the country almost 700,000 people and 411,516 buildings worth $135 billion are presently exposed to river flooding in the event of extreme weather events...

There is near certainty that the sea will rise 20-30 cm by 2040. By the end of the century, depending on whether global greenhouse gas emissions are reduced, it could rise by between 0.5 to 1.1 m, which could add an additional 116,000 people exposed to extreme coastal storm flooding. More>>

ALSO:

 
 

Gordon Campbell: On The Commerce Commission Fuel Report

The interim Commerce Commission report on the fuel industry will do nothing to endear the major oil companies to the New Zealand public... More>>

ALSO:

Emergency Govt Bill: Overriding Local Licensing For The Rugby

“It’s pretty clear some clubs are having difficulty persuading their district licensing committees to grant a special licence to extend their hours for this obviously special event, and so it makes sense for Parliament to allow clubs to meet a community desire." More>>

ALSO:

Leaving Contract Early: KiwiBuild Programme Losing Another Top Boss

Ms O'Sullivan began a six-month contract as head of KiwiBuild Commercial in February, but the Housing Ministry has confirmed she has resigned and will depart a month early to take up a new job. More>>

ALSO:

Proposed National Policy Statement: Helping Our Cities Grow Up And Out

“We need a new approach to planning that allows our cities to grow up, especially in city centres and around transport connections. We also have to allow cities to expand in a way that protects our special heritage areas, the natural environment and highly productive land." More>>

ALSO:

Ombudsman's Report: Ngāpuhi Elder 'Shocked' By Conditions At Ngawha Prison

A prominent Ngāpuhi elder is shocked to find inmates at Ngawha Prison are denied water and forced to relieve themselves in the exercise yard... Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier has released a report highly critical of conditions at the Northland prison. More>>

ALSO:

Promises: Independent Election Policy Costing Unit A Step Closer

The creation of an entity to provide political parties with independent and non-partisan policy costings is a step closer today, according to Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Associate Finance Minister James Shaw. More>>

ALSO:

School's In: Primary And Intermediate Principals Accept New Offer

Primary and intermediate school principals have voted to accept a new settlement from the Ministry of Education, which includes entrenched pay parity with secondary principals. More>>

ALSO:

IPCA On 'Rawshark' Investigation: Multiple Police Failings In Hager Searches Confirmed

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that the Police's unlawful search of Nicky Hager's property in October 2014 resulted from an unwitting neglect of duty and did not amount to misconduct by any individual officer... More>>

ALSO:

Broadcasting Standards: Decisions On Coverage Of Mosque Attacks

The Authority upheld one of these complaints, finding that the use of extensive excerpts from the alleged attacker’s livestream video on Sky News New Zealand had the potential to cause significant distress to audiences in New Zealand, and particularly to the family and friends of victims, and the wider Muslim community. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels