Month: February 2013


Is it Really Now an Eye Sore?


On Tuesday in my “THE MANUKAU INTERCHANGE – CTD I showed the Manukau Interchange (and resulting MIT building for which the interchange is contained in and with) not looking the best picture of roses – in fact the skeletal structure and dust blowing through an abandoned construction site is rather sad and looking like an eye sore.


I also said in that post: “The shot I did miss was the shot of the frame and steel girders of the MIT/Manukau Interchange from the top of Redoubt Road heading down the hill towards Manukau City Centre and the motorways. It was a sad shot as the entire ghost site now looks like a large eye sore if one was view gazing towards the airport and picturesque Manukau Harbour (I wonder what it looks like from an aircraft flying over head seeming the main flight path is right there).”


So I went and got some of those long and wide shots yesterday and you can ask yourself whether the skeletal structure is an eye sore or not:


Still waiting on how Auckland Council and Auckland Transport plan to get the Manukau Transport Interchange finished sooner rather than later…


Feedback on Sky-Path

Sky-Path Asks for Feedback


In the previous post I had released the PDF presentation of the AHB Pathway Trust, Sky-Path project: “AUCKLAND HARBOUR BRIDGE – SKY PATH – (PART FOUR)

Again you can read the PDF below:





AHB Pathway Trust who are sparing heading Sky-Path have asked for feedback on the multi-million dollar project in which BR:AKL will assist. You can either leave comments below in the BR:AKL comment box, HOWEVER I and mostly the Trust would prefer you post your feedback in the channels I am posting below:


Contacts for Sky-Path:

Bevan Woodward, Project Director
AHB Pathway Trust
Mobile: 021 122 6040

Kirsten Shouler
Project Coordinator
AHB Pathway Trust


Contact Form:



Your View Forum:

Your Views – Tell us what you think


The FAQ List (Highly Recommended Reading)



Get-Across Latest News Page (Sky-Path is located here)

Latest NEWS



Again Continue to watch this space as the Sky-Path situation continues to make its way through the Council processes.

Submission to Annual Plan

Submission Sent for 2013/2014 Annual Plan


I have just sent my submission through the online portal to Auckland Council for the 2013/2014 Annual Plan. I used the online portal for such submissions as an “express mode” of sending the basics of my idea through to the Councillors and bureaucrats with the main thrust of my arguments subsequently made at a hearing where I can talk to Councillors and bureaucrats (with more success) face to face.

In saying that there are times with submissions where I will go “knit a flag” and do the 55 page spiel where I think the topic is critical. This was both The Auckland Plan and Long Term Plan submissions I did as well a 25 page spiel for the Auckland Transport Regional Public Transport Plan (RPTP). In all three cases I fronted up to hearings or forum panels to make my points emphasised to the councillors and bureaucrats.


As this is an open democracy (and where I expect people to disagree as well) – and the fact my submission is public anyhow, I am going to paste my express online submission here below before going to work in the Hearings presentation:

Express Online Submission to 2013/2014 Annual Plan


The Supporting Documents can be found by clicking the links below

Extract From BR on AP in Regards to Stations PDF Mode  (THE RAIL EFFICIENCY PROGRAM #5A)

Extract From BR for AP Submission PDF Mode  (BACK FROM HEARING PANEL)


As I said above I will front the Annual Plan Hearings to emphasis the points made in the online submission when the time comes up to do so.


But the basic principle of Council Living Within Its Means and Open Governance apply and again will be emphasised in the hearings and beyond.


Now I await for the phone call to make the time slot for the hearing which should be… nuts I might be in Australia when this occurs <_<  – will have to wait and see then.


In the mean time you have until February to make your Annual Plan Submission. You can find the Annual Plan homepage here: Draft annual plan 2013/2014, which also includes the link to the Online submission portal.


Southern Auckland’s Future

Coming Soon on BR:AKL


South and Counties Auckland – Development to and for the Future



I am going to be writing up a series of posts looking at one way South and Counties Auckland (so Southern Auckland) could evolve urban and transport fabric wise through the life of the Auckland Plan

It’s Sim City meets Auckland Planner

Here at BR:AKL



Southern Auckland and the lower Eastern Suburbs – my home and all under the watchful gaze of BR:AKL.


The entire area I will try to “simulate” out a planning exercise showing that evolution of the urban and transport fabric wise through the life of the Auckland Plan here in Southern Auckland – my and for some YOUR home (and/or business).


Let’s see what I can come up with while the Auckland Council Unitary Plan is further refined – AND STILL THICKER THAN A BIBLE!



More Spin than the Spin Cycle on my Washing Machine


After the SPINNING THE SPIN and WHO WILL STAND AGAINST LEN posts here at BR:AKL, the Herald picks up Kiwiblog‘s original post on our Mayor’s spin doctors and decided to write a story about it:

From the NZ Herald:

Mayor heavy on ‘spin doctors’

By Bernard Orsman BernardOrsman 5:30 AM Tuesday Feb 19, 2013


Len Brown‘s critics say the ‘gaggle’ of communications staff means ratepayers are funding his re-election bid.

Auckland Mayor Len Brown is facing criticism for hiring a sixth “spin doctor” six months out from the official start of the local body elections.

The six advisers at Mr Brown’s disposal include three full-time staff and three part-timers.

The full-time staff are Dan Lambert, the head of communications responsible for strategy and planning; chief press secretary Glyn Jones and senior communications adviser Melanya Burrows

In a post on his Kiwiblog site titled “Len’s gaggle of spin doctors“, Mr Farrar said Mr Brown’s hiring of Dan Lambert took his tally of spin doctors to six – more than the entire parliamentary Labour Party.

Labour has five parliamentary press secretaries and a part-time speech writer for 34 MPs. Prime Minister John Key has four press secretaries and one media assistant.

Mr Brown refused to answer questions about communications staffing under his leadership.

Mr Lambert blocked repeated requests by the Herald to speak to the mayor, saying: “I think it’s reasonable the mayor wouldn’t want to go on record on a matter like this.”

Orakei Local Board chairwoman Desley Simpson said Orakei ratepayers were funding the latest “propaganda manager” and the mayor’s election campaign.

In the same posting, Mr Farrar challenged the right-wing Communities & Residents to select a mayoral candidate, otherwise Mr Brown and his spin doctors would have an easy time of it.

No one from C&R or the right has come forward to challenge Mr Brown for the local body elections, including Orakei councillor and the mayor’s loudest opponent, Cameron Brewer.

Mr Brewer – a former “spin doctor” to Auckland City Mayor John Banks, Prime Minister Dame Jenny Shipley and Act leader Rodney Hide – said nobody would be able to match Mr Brown’s army of spin doctors, advisers and consultants.


Well DPF and myself picked up on the fact pointed out in the red bold text through our own blogs:

From my own recent post

WHO WILL STAND AGAINST LEN – No Alternative Candidate to Run Against Incumbent Mayor?

After DPF’s Kiwiblog ran a piece on “Len’s gaggle of spin doctors” he asked this question at the bottom: “Talking of the election, isn’t it time also for C&R and their friends in Auckland to get their shit together and select a Mayoral candidate. Otherwise Len and his six spin doctors will have too easy a time of it”



Orakei Local Board Chair Desley Simpson picked up on DPF’s blog post and had this to say on Facebook (it was made under the Public section):

The rest of the debate continued from there and you can see it at that respective post


However as the Mayor asks for over $4 million in this 2013/2014 Annual Plan to run his office including six spin doctors – we the ratepayers should be asking are we getting value for money here from the Mayor’s Office?

From Councillor Cameron Brewer:

The Mayor is asking for $4,994,000 to run his office in election year (see Page 40, Volume 1, Draft Annual Plan 13/14). Have your say by making a submission to the plan by 4pm, 25 February. As I’ve been saying for over two years, the place is completely out of control.


So again if you are submitting to the Annual Plan, consider whether just short of $5 million worth of “spin” is good value for money. I would think $1 million would be sufficient to run the mayor’s office and the rest going to our starving Local Boards who do need the cash – and are more productive with that cash in providing our local civic amenities (than the mayor’s spin doctors could ever be)

But hey what would I know about the Mayor’s Office? Time for a Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act request then?


More on this is bound to come as the elections at the end of the year draw nearer! And as I said: “The Mayor has more spin on this than the spin cycle of my washing machine – talk about how to make one’s head spin”


Who Will Stand Against Len

No Alternative Candidate to Run Against Incumbent Mayor?


[Note from Admin: More to this debate has been added since I wrote the original post this morning. As a result rather than writing a new post I will add to the bottom on the debate as of 14:45 this afternoon]


After DPF’s Kiwiblog ran a piece on “Len’s gaggle of spin doctors” he asked this question at the bottom: “Talking of the election, isn’t it time also for C&R and their friends in Auckland to get their shit together and select a Mayoral candidate. Otherwise Len and his six spin doctors will have too easy a time of it”



Orakei Local Board Chair Desley Simpson picked up on DPF’s blog post and had this to say on Facebook (it was made under the Public section):

Desley Simpson

6 hours ago near Parnell ·
I wonder if I told the ratepayers of Orakei that I used their rates money for ….
  • 1. A media and communications manager AND
  • 2. A propaganda manager AND
  • 3.A press Sectetary AND
  • 4. A Comms manager AND
  • 5 . A media consultant AND
  • 6. A speech writer 
ALL just for me
Whether they would approve and vote for me again ? I am of course not the mayor however –  Our mayor Len Brown has employed all 6 people  ( probably all funded by Orakei rates) 
And – if its true that the 6th ( propaganda manager ) has just been hired 6 months before official election starts one could say Orakei ratepayers are funding the Mayors election campaign ? 
Cameron Brewer are you happy about this? 
    • Aaron Bhatnagar Maybe we need a mayor who is confident enough in what they say that they don’t need a half dozen hangers-on to prevent them from not slapping their heads feverishly or breaking out into rap
    • Lani French Agree…. Aaron Bhatnagar one would have to wonder if someone cant do the job without that much “protection” then can they do the job at all?
    • Angie Cassidy Here’s hoping the ‘singer mayor’ will be singing for his supper soon enough…. what. a. joke.
    • Ben Ross “The Last Supper”
    • Ron Hamilton Is there no mechanism of conducting a “value for money” review in both the existing mayor’s office and the concept of an executive mayor? Can the Audit office be invited to undertake such a review, for example? Talk about profligacy!
    • Rosina Hauiti You forgot the Kia ora consultant Desley……
    • Desley Simpson Oh glory Rosina Hauiti 7 ??????
    • Christopher Fidoe With over 1000 employees earning over $100k no wonder there is a sense of entitlement to those on this ratepayer funded gravy train
    • Len Ward OK so just who is going to be an electable alternative for us to vote for to get rid of this incumbent? Cameron Brewer perhaps Aaron Bhatnagar maybe? Desley Simpson? – now there’s a candidate worth voting for

      • Ron Hamilton All good people but candidates need to be known outside their immediate patch. I admit to bias but we would hate to lose any of the three people from their Eastern Bays focus!
      • Len Ward Good point Ron – but have you any better suggestions? Alex Swney perhaps?
      • Ron Hamilton Worth considering – candidates need to have a wide public image by now and he does have one.
      • Ben Ross Wait didn’t Swney who did have a high profile image get beaten by Brewer or Lee (which ever Ward Swney stood in) in the last elections?
      • Len Ward So does Rodney Hide – but is he electable versus Mr Mayor Brown?
      • Ron Hamilton Personally like Rodney but isn’t he responsible for the nonsens of an executive mayor? But I bet he is still disliked by the wider electorate?
      • Len Ward So, the answer to my question seems to be – there is NO suitable and electable candidiate for whom we can vote to unseat the incumbent (is he Lord yet?) Mayor should we wish to do so?
      • Ben Ross Correct
      • Len Ward So the debate about replacing Len Brown seems to be somewhat academic !
      • Ben Ross Yep. Time to focus on Councillor replacements and Local Boards
      • Millie Liang Agree Ben….Put the broom through the whole place and take the mayor out that way…and whatever happens with the new lot make sure the mayor doesn’t divide and rule them by offering them positions of grandeur to stroke their egos
    • Aaron Bhatnagar Not available.
    • Millie Liang someone ring Sir Bob Jones and tell him to check his rate bills on his Auckland properties and work out how more his tenants can absorb before they leave the buildings… might just get him motivated enough
    • Wayne Davis Communications people there to make everyone rosey, and happy. Should be working with Santa ,on some of the snow jobs they create through dis-content of Ratepayers
      • Stan Blanch Wayne of course you will remember Taylor?…Makes Rasputin look like a boy scout.
    • Rosina Hauiti I’d vote for you Desley….and I’d work on your campaign.
    • Rosina Hauiti I think all the media type roles could and should be deal with by one person who is multi skilled, ie proficient across a number of disciplines within media and politics.
    • Cameron Brewer No. Not happy. I have been amassing the Mayoral Office’s full second year costs and assessing his proposed budget for this coming financial year… and it’s not looking for the poor old ratepayer, but will be a big boost to his re-election. Watch this space!
      • Ron Hamilton Nothing in there that could be referred to the AO re public monies potentially being used for electoral purposes?
      • Millie Liang Hi Ron, I would have thought this section that the mayor signed up to would be good enough to lay a complaint and the resulting world wide publicity into the investigation would keep the mayors pr dept gainfully employed  ….. Also what is the total number of paid council spin doctors/secretaries for all the other Councillors compared to what the mayor has on hand.
        Article 9
        Mayors shall be open to public scrutiny of their official actions and those of their staff, including their relationships, contractual and otherwise, with vendors, consultants, and business associates. Mayors shall report any improper actions they witness, such as bribes, kickbacks, and gift offers.

        World Mayor Code of Ethics
    • Millie Liang Good on you Cameron. The growing number of concerned ratepayers I’m sure like me, are counting on you to show what is really going on and ratepayers have had enough and aren’t the smiling compliant Muppets he treats us all as with his pr spin and smoke and mirrors.. Just my thoughts
    • Ron Hamilton It will require someone to take ownership of the issue. Seek the information officially (OIA) and then put together a formal complaint. I suggest that it should not be an elected person – presentationally could look bad.
      • Ben Ross Right what are we LGOIMA-ing here please?
      • Millie Liang You just won yourself another job Ben… Pay non existent… all for the cause Ben) but think of all the national and international media attention and the mayor and his evangelists running to the nearest tv screen where ever they maybe to catch the 6pm news and ohhh the nation glued to Campbell Live not believing what you are exposing…. You can’t buy that sort of publicity as the big league boys know.
    • Rosina Hauiti Yeah ka pai, except you guys sound like a bunch of right wing fundies…which is better fundie right or fundie left. I want fair and centre centre, and I think Desley and Cameron are a good fit.
    • Ron Hamilton What I want is cost-effective Council management and funds used for infrastracture purposes. Touchie-feelie stuff is fine for organisations which have unlimited funds. It is certainly not appropriate for self aggrandisement for any elected official. Or for management’s hobby-horses. Such as white water rafting.
    • Millie Liang Ron can I add…equestrian centre at Dury or the bike/walk way strapped onto the bridge which the council will get to own in 20yrs time when the bridge life span is only 15-20yrs.. Mind you the walkway has a fifty yr life span so could possibly be dismantled at ratepayers expense and rebuilt at Motat (once again at rate payers cost for future generations to view..Surely that beats (at ratepayers expense) chopping it up and shipping it off to china as scrap metal.
    • Ron Hamilton I wish there is some way of copying and pasting this exchange, The new Residents Association is to meet with the Council early next month and this is grist!



-Ends as of 14:45 hours-


I really honestly thought that kind of question would have been asked and answered last year with the alternative candidate now in full swing to building their profile before the elections at the end of the year. Obviously not which means Len is in for a second term…


So who do you think should run AND be mayor – and why?