Wishy-washy Mayors

Celia Wade?Brown?is copping a flogging in the DomPost after her tirade?against?the deputy Mayor:?Editorial: Wellington can’t afford a wishy-washy mayor.

Those who crossed Ms Prendergast knew she bore grudges, sometimes mistaking dissent for disloyalty. But even the critics recognised that she knew what she wanted to achieve for the city and had developed strategies for corralling the votes for the policies that she wanted to implement.

Against that, Ms Wade-Brown looks less sure-footed. Her more inclusive style has brought those hitherto regarded as outliers into her tent, but because her leadership is more tentative, less certain, she is finding that these cats are still difficult to herd. In fact, her style has caused some to wonder aloud if she has the leadership skills and political nous to maintain the momentum that marked the terms of predecessors.

People didn’t vote for Celia Wade-Brown, they voted against Kerry Prendergast, and now it seems they are going to suffer a bit of voters remorse.

Auckland’s plethora of councils are now one, giving that metropolis huge political clout. To counter it, this region too must speak with one voice. That means the mayor of its largest city must be pragmatic, energetic and decisive.

If Ms Wade-Brown prefers impotent idealism to realpolitik, she will be a one-term mayor. And the city will have wasted three precious years.

If Wellington can’t afford a wishy-washy mayor then neither can Auckland. Len Brown likewise is copping a flogging but for very different reasons:?Brian Rudman: Undemocratic mess must be cleaned up.

The unelected Maori Statutory Board went boo, and Mayor Len Brown and a majority of his councillors buckled.

And then the mayor’s own personal PR spinner Bernard Orsman also gives him a swipe:

Last week, Mayor Len Brown, who promised a transparent administration, opposed a move by nine councillors for an open debate on a funding package for the Maori Statutory Board.

This followed an attack by the Automobile Association on the mega-transport council-controlled organisation (CCO) for acting in secrecy and the Waitemata Local Board being stopped from talking about a secret deal condemning heritage buildings in the Wynyard Quarter.

In all these cases, Mr Brown, the Auckland Council and Auckland Transport have been criticised for keeping the public in the dark about important issues.

Len Brown certainly campaigned on transparency, he sat on a train in his campaign video and promised us he would open, honest, transparent and he would open the books. So far he has been the exact opposite of that. He has been secretive, furtive, lied, and the books still remain closed.

Six months into his mayoralty and Len Brown looks like he would be out of his depth in a car park puddle.