Len spending up large on polling, but won’t say on what

The sneaky and furtive style of Len Brown is again to the fore, this time with his office refusing to say what they blew the $250,000 polling on.

Len Brown’s office has spent almost a quarter of a million dollars on polls and surveys – but won’t say why, citing privacy reasons.

The Herald on Sunday asked the Auckland mayor’s office for details, including the reason for each, the questions asked, the number of people surveyed and the responses.

But Brown’s office withheld the information, citing the “maintenance of the effective conduct of public affairs through the free and frank expression of opinions”.

Canterbury University law professor and media law specialist Ursula Cheer was surprised by the reasons given, as involvement in polls and surveys is usually anonymous.

A vocal Brown critic, councillor Cameron Brewer, believes Brown was polling himself. “I doubt the mayoral office is polling on how the call centre is performing, people’s views on grass verges and what they think of choo-choo trains.

I suspect it’s more about whether a certain dead cat has got any bounce.”

A spokesman denied the mayor had been polling his popularity levels.

“The mayor has a statutory role under the legislation that created the SuperCity to lead the development of policies that benefit Auckland and Aucklanders,” said spokesman Glynn Jones.

“The research carried out over the past four years in areas such as transport assist in that endeavour.”

We paid for it, we should see what the Mayor has been polling on.

Polls are never “free and frank” advice…they are public opinion.

In a response to a Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act request for information, Brown’s office also said the release of the details might “prejudice the supply of similar information”.

Brewer said that was a cop-out.

“This is ratepayers’ money and ratepayers deserve to know what this polling is achieving, particularly in these tight financial times.”

Brewer said he was on a crusade to highlight “silly spending”.

What rubbish from the Mayor. He continues to be sneaky and furtive.

How on earth can releasing polling information “prejudice the supply of similar information”, it is polling they will be paid to do another and they will.

This is nothing short of sneaky from the Mayor.


– NZ Herald