The manner in which Len has betrayed working people by his hands off approach to the Ports of Auckland despute was a total failure of leadership by Len and the fact that there is still no clear cost of how much that flawed industrial action has caused is just insult to injury.
I have always been suspicious of Len’s close relationship with the Committee For Auckland. Membership to the CFA is by invitation only and costs $10 000 a year in annual fees. Many of the same people who are members of this private lobby group also happen to be appointed to the ultra secretive Council Controlled Organisations. Brett O’Riley (Chief Executive Officer ATEED), Robert Domm (Chief Executive Officer Regional Facilities Auckland), Mark Ford (Chief Executive Officer Watercare), John Dalzell (Chief Executive Officer Waterfront Auckland) join Connal Townsend (National Director Property Council of NZ) and Evan Davies (Chief Executive Officer Todd Property Ltd) to give Len a vast property and asset infrastructural influence whose interests are corporate, not civic.
The plank that Len will hold up as his major win is the City Rail Link. With all due respect to its many proponents, it’s a false hope. Len’s “Consensus Building Group” that cost $1m was an attempt to find a way to convince Aucklander’s to stump up for the cash, but what the CBG revealed was that “even with a significant increase in investment, the forecast performance of key parts of the transport system will be worse from 2031 than it is today”.
After the billions and billions and billions spent on this, by 2031 traffic gridlock WILL BE WORSE????
Now Generation Zero may want to give Len Brown an A+ via a slanted process that removes any of Len’s motorway negatives, but that seems more aimed at supporting Generation Zero’s aims than Auckland’s. Yes their congestion free plans are part of the solution, but if the end product is to have clear roads so the middle classes can race their hybrid-Lexus to Shadow Puppet Theatre and back again without missing a show on the Arts Channel, then it does not do a damn thing to confront the reality of climate change.
Auckland is a SuperCity of poverty.
– 18% of Aucklanders claim they don’t have enough money. The national average is 14%.
– For the period 2008-10, Auckland region individual income inequality increased from 100% to 109%
– In the year 2011-12, 20% of Aucklanders didn’t visit the GP when they wanted to.
– In 2010 9% of Aucklanders lived in overcrowded housing
– In 2010 17% of Auckland’s children live in overcrowded housing.
– The unemployment rate for Auckland is 7.3%, double what it was five years ago.
– The unemployment rate for Auckland youth (15-24 year olds) is 19.8%,
– The unemployment rate for Maori youth is 26%
– The unemployment rate for Pacific youth is 31%
– 28,700 Auckland youth are not in employment, education, or training
These challenges require far more than the beige response to date by Len. The problems Auckland faces are beyond his cautious approach and require real leadership, not just management.
On those grounds, I can’t tick Len’s box to lead my city.