Archive for the 'Opinion' Category

Three storeys for ‘mixed housing’ changes everything

Opinion from Councillor Cameron Brewer
News that three-storey apartments are possible in the expansive “mixed housing” zone may be the final nail in the coffin of the Mayor’s ill-fated draft unitary plan. Read more »

List of ‘myth-busters’ – a last attempt to deflect opposition to plan

Opinion by David Thornton of No More Rates
Auckland Council’s list of ‘myth-busters’ will not fool ratepayers into accepting the flawed and controversial draft Unitary Plan which the Council wants to take immediate legal effect when it is notified shortly after 18th September. Read more »

Why secrecy? What was the cost of public transport to the V8s?

Opinion by Councillor Cameron Brewer
Despite all the hype to catch the train or a bus to the V8s in Pukekohe last month, only about nine percent of attendees actually did, with Auckland Transport now refusing to release the cost of providing the public transport. Read more »

Where’s the third option?

Opinion by Elaine West
Auckland Council is cheating the public of the genuine right to a say in the Council’s online submission form – Keep Auckland Moving. Two options are presented for Aucklanders to consider re Public Transport Funding. The choice of either Option (A) or Option (B) is mandatory within the body of the submission. If either Option (A) or (B) is not ticked, then the submission form will be rejected. Read more »

Paying to drive on the motorways? There should be a referendum

Opinion from Councillor Cameron Brewer
Eighteen months ago, Auckland Mayor Len Brown promoted a public referendum over the council’s preferred option to address Auckland’s $12 billion transport funding gap. With the Consensus Building Group set to release a discussion document tomorrow on its proposed additional funding options, the Mayor should recommit to his idea of a referendum following public consultation and the council adopting a position. Read more »

Prevarication on extending tramway – Mike Lee let down by his council

by Brent Efford
The development community in Auckland doesn’t seem to appreciate the potential of the tramway they have already got. Read more »

Electricity policy – Labour has just changed the conversation

Comment from BusinessDesk by Pattrick Smellie
For those close to the development of today’s electricity market over the last 25 years or so, the Labour and Green party announcements on a return to central planning have landed like a bomb. For many, it’s a question of whether the world just changed. Read more »

What a waste: Council’s $59m spend on communications

Opinion by Councillor Cameron Brewer
The Auckland Council spent at least $59.4m of ratepayers’ money on communications, publications and marketing in its first two years of existence. Read more »

Undemocratic? Rushing the Unitary Plan

Opinion by David Thornton of No More Rates
There is now no doubt that the Mayor and Auckland Council are aiming to rush through the processing of the Unitary Plan and make it legally operative in September. Read more »

Under-age prostitution in South Auckland: concerns about safety, intimidation

Report from Pacific Scoop by Greg Asciutto
As politicians discussed prostitution legislation reform in South Auckland at the weekend, more details of underage prostitution in the region continued to emerge. Read more »

Dark forces – in Wellington or Auckland?

Opinion from Dick Quax
The Government has every right to feel that the Auckland Council is being less than honest with the people of Auckland. The Mayor has been forced to admit that he got things terribly wrong when he claimed last month that there are 15,000 sections within the Auckland urban footprint on which housing construction can begin “right now”. Last October he put the number at 18,500. Read more »

Auckland Council travel costs: over $10.5m in super-city’s first two years

Opinion from Councillor Cameron Brewer
Following the revelation that the Mayor’s Office annual travel costs increased by 435% to $159,000, I am releasing the Auckland Council’s full travel costs for the first two years of the Super City – the total is $10,570,315. Read more »

Ratepayers beware: unitary plan could radically change property values

Opinion from David Thornton of No More Rates
Auckland ratepayers could have their property values radically changed under the Unitary Plan. Read more »

Support for cat campaign just keeps on growing


Opinion by Dr Gareth Morgan
My cat campaign may have got some people’s backs up, but it is attracting a growing level of support. Meanwhile the beleaguered SPCA, in the gun for its policy of supporting stray cats that wander and slaughter, is facing a revolution from within its own ranks. Read more »

Perpetual lateness, reliable unreliability – an open letter to Auckland Transport

Opinion by Tim Watkin in Pundit
Dear Auckland Transport, Veolia and all those others who make up the mish-mash of operators and overseers of Auckland trains. Read more »

One council instead of eight – but where are the promised benefits?

Opinion by Councillor Cameron Brewer
Former Act leader and Minister of Local Government, Rodney Hide, did a great job amalgamating the eight former regional, city and district councils into one unitary authority, Auckland Council. The architecture has proven to be sound with no serious legislative changes mooted. However while the architecture of the Super City remains sound, benefits for ratepayers that should have been delivered have yet to be delivered by the local body politicians. Read more »

‘Major projects’ including Skypath and Eden Park takeover will cost ratepayers

Opinion from David Thornton
Within the space of two days, the Auckland Council is taking on projects and facilities which will be underwritten by ratepayers and will almost certainly lead to higher rates or a reduction in council services. Read more »

$30m of rates money for whitewater rafting in Manukau – submissions close soon

Opinion by Councillor Cameron Brewer
Aucklanders have just two weeks to have their say on up to $30m of ratepayers’ money being spent on a whitewater rafting facility in Manukau, with public submissions to the Auckland Council’s 2013/14 Draft Annual Plan closing 4pm, Monday 25 February. Read more »

More ferry terminals? Unlikely, because of 80% allocation for CBD rail

Opinion from Cameron Brewer
Mayor Len Brown’s promise of an integrated transport system for Auckland, including more ferry terminals, will be seriously stymied with 80 percent of the region’s 10-year public transport infrastructure budget set to be solely allocated to the City Rail Link. Read more »

Can I have my cats with chips, please?

Opinion by Dr Gareth Morgan
First let me say I do not hate cats. How people ever reached that conclusion is only for them to know. What I do not like however is the evidence of the damage that cats are doing to our native fauna. To Bob Kerridge and his fellow travellers I fully appreciate and respect your love for the domestic cat. That is not the issue and totally beside the point. Stray and feral cats originate from the domestic cat population so your constituency is responsible for that population as well. Read more »

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