Auckland City

Phil Goff’s bed tax in jeopardy

Phil Goff’s bed tax proposal is in tatters after last week, it’s just that no one knows about his major setback, especially Desley Simpson who even posted a video in support of the proposal.

It became apparent last Monday that Goff doesn’t have the numbers to pass his bed tax proposal despite the big push in media and from councillors like Desley Simpson. ? Read more »

Dopey Vic Crone couldn’t even file her donation returns on time

The Mayoral donations returns have been filed…except for Vic Crones.

Phil Goff bagged a reasonable slice of cash and donations from Helen Clark and Eric Watson.

Former Prime Minister Helen Clark and rich lister Eric Watson were among the donors to Phil Goff’s successful Auckland mayoral campaign, which raised more than $700,000.

Clark and Watson each donated $5000 to Goff, who spent $410,814 on his campaign, leaving him with a “good little war chest” for another run in 2019, according to his campaign manager David Lewis.

Goff said his team worked hard at fundraising, putting the big bounty down to a lot of confidence in him and an expectation he was likely to win the election.

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New book released at 0900: Secrets of the Len Brown affair revealed

At 0900 this morning our new book will be released.

Simon Lusk and I have written a book cataloguing the failure of the centre-right in Auckland in?the?recent local body elections.

We name names and hold people to account.

We also tell the previously untold story behind the Len Brown affair with never before revealed information

Those of you who already have an INCITE: Politics subscription will have received a discount offer in the latest edition. Use the code and link provided in INCITE to obtain your discount while you pre-order.

Simon and I are going to extend INCITE: Politics as well for the coming election, offering a re-designed website and additional information and analysis. There will still be exclusive content and of course our exclusive polling by New Zealand’s best pollster, David Farrar’s Curia.



Will Mt Roskill decide Andrew Little’s fate?

Andrew Little 9

Andrew Little’s future rests on the result in Mt Roskill

Matthew Hooton explores the possibility that the Mt Roskill by-election will determine the fate of Andrew Little.

Both Labour and National are downplaying their chances in Mt Roskill.

National claims that no government has ever won a byelection from an opposition in New Zealand?s history. Labour reminds pundits Mt Roskill has been won by National before, when Gilbert Myles took it from Phil Goff in 1990. They also point out National?s party vote in 2014 was 14,275, just 1090 behind Labour-Green?s 15,365. They then assert that if all the 1240 people who backed Colin Craig?s Conservative Party in 2014 vote National in the byelection, Dr Parmar will win.

You can?t argue with the maths but Labour may be overestimating the willingness of Mr Craig?s supporters to back John Key, the godless money trader who conspired with Helen Clark and Sue Bradford to stop them smacking their kids, and who also was responsible for marriage equality for gay couples.

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Phil, all you have to do is find the cheap land – here are the houses


Apparently, there is a housing crisis everywhere.

In the UK they are looking for solutions to their own housing crisis.

Most first-time buyers can only dream of buying a home for less than ?50,000 – but it is possible if you’re prepared to go ‘modular’.

This involves selecting pre-fabricated, low-cost modules of various sizes which are then put together by skilled craftsmen.

The customer can then choose the interior design, giving an end-product which could be an office, hotel, school or house – and that includes starter homes.

The Modulhus, one such starter home, has now been crowned winner?of an annual shoestring design competition. ? Read more »

Once Goff opens Len’s books, the only answer will be higher rates, extra levies and more taxes

Matthew Hooton dares write what most Aucklanders really hoped wasn’t true

The former Labour leader, who is expected to win the mayoralty wearing National Party colours, will next week take the helm of another despised institution. According to Auckland Council?s own Citizens? Insights Monitor, just 17% of Aucklanders trust the council to make the right decision on any given issue.

Worse, Mr Goff has won the position based on four fiscal promises that he knows perfectly well do not add up.

First, he has promised another $17-20 billion of infrastructure spending on top of the council?s existing estimate of $18.7 billion, for which it plans to borrow.

Second, Mr Goff has vowed not to jeopardise the council?s AA credit rating, which is under threat as debt to revenue reaches 200%, interest to revenue touches 15% and interest to rates approaches 25%. In practice, Mr Goff?s credit-rating commitment rules out any further increase in debt.

Third, Mr Goff has promised not to fund new infrastructure by selling ?strategic? assets, including the $9 billion Watercare, the 22% stake the council still has in the mainly privately owned airport, and the waterfront land being used wastefully by council-owned Ports of Auckland.

Fourth and finally, Mr Goff has pledged that rates ? which currently bring in just $1.5 billion a year anyway, less than half of the council?s revenue ? will not rise by more than an average of 2.5% a year.

To some degree Auckland’s mayoralty is a bit of a hospital pass. ?Len Brown has shackled the city to a sufficient number of long term money draining black holes that any new mayor is going to need central government help to get around the rules that are hemming any kind of creative consolidation in. ? Read more »

Why you can’t have affordable housing and a compact city together

Auckland Council and politicians are seeking an impossible dream, an affordable housing city, yet compact in design.

There problem is there is nowhere in the world where this occurs.

The Wall Street Journal investigates:

Across the country, a divide is emerging between cities that are growing outward and remaining affordable and ones that are hemmed in by geography and onerous zoning codes and are becoming  more and more expensive.

As a whole, U.S. cities are expanding as rapidly as they have throughout the last half-century. From the 1950s until the 2000s they have added about 10,000 square miles per decade, or an area roughly the size of Massachusetts, according to research by Issi Romem, chief economist at real-estate site BuildZoom, to be released Monday. But beneath the surface a divide is deepening.

On the one side are cities such as San Francisco, Boston, New York and Miami that have slowed their pace of expansion dramatically since the 1970s, in part as they have added layer upon layer of building regulations. On the other side are cities concentrated in the southeast and Texas, which have grown outward and seen much slower price growth.   Read more »

Demolition Larry wants Eden Park and Mt Smart leveled

‘Demolition’ Larry Williams wants to destroy Mt Smart and Eden Park…all for a waterfront stadium.

A new stadium on Auckland’s waterfront continues to gather momentum.

The latest support for a waterfront stadium is the Blues franchise who say they would move away from Eden Park. Simply, that makes sense when you look at the small attendance numbers for the Blues games.

The interesting thing about the latest push for a waterfront stadium is that we are being told that private funding can more or less get the stadium built.

This is good, because stadiums are sinking holes. Stadiums rarely make money. Eden Park is a financial basket case. Ratepayers should not be left to fund the ongoing costs on any new stadium.

Until we see the colour of the private investors money, the jury is out. However it is reasonable to expect some public money going into a new stadium for very good reasons. ? Read more »

Climate Change is the driver behind Auckland’s intensification


Turns out that Auckland joined something called the “C-40”, which started a decade ago and is putting huge pressure on its members to implement cycle lanes, intensification and light rail.

The city has been admitted to the C-40, a local government climate change action group set up 10 years ago by former London mayor Ken Livingstone.

It now consists of 80 cities around the world.

Chief executive Mark Watts said there was forward thinking in Auckland about public transport, and the introduction of cycle lanes and light rail would put it on par with the world’s most sustainable cities.

But with a relatively small population over a large area, Mr Watts said Auckland needed to change its spatial development and opt for more density.

He said that with people so spaced out in Auckland it would be difficult to make a public transport system work fully.

Amazing isn’t it?

So what does a “sustainable city” look like?? Read more »

Vic Crone has a big problem


Victoria Crone, who likes to use the name everyone’s drunk uncle Victor also likes to use, isn’t impressing many.

Michelle Boag’s choice, hand-picked by her, Nikki Kaye and Sue Wood, isn’t performing well. It isn’t surprising when you consider the matriarch behind the Auckland Future “ticket” last had a win when picking the short straw for who would stand beside Rob Muldoon in announcing the 1984 snap election.

These are some comments from readers; people who should be supporting her, but aren’t because she is unimpressive…and possibly because she is a Pisces.

Jonno1 says:

OK I’ll say it: very disappointing Victoria Crone (who has just been on Paul Henry). As Paul said, her only straight answer was “I’ll win the mayoralty”. Even Penny says that. There were at least two easy opportunities: light rail, no, and staff cuts, yes. Paul has just said she was very Phil Goff-esque. Too true. Please do better Victoria.

Edit. To clarify re the two easy questions, she wouldn’t even answer those; the no & yes was my take on them.

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