Mood of the Boardroom on Len

Businesses Quite Warm to Len

People still also don’t see a viable alternative candidate


The prominent Mood of the Boardroom exercise was conducted this week in Auckland. What had me interested the most was the fact that most businesses were quite warm to our current Mayor Len Brown and won’t mind him pulling a second term with the mayoral chains.

From the NZ Herald

CEOs cautiously back Brown bid

By Bill Bennett


Although a clear majority of business leaders say Len Brown deserves a second term as Auckland mayor, that doesn’t mean he has unqualified support.


Sixty per cent of CEO respondents to the Herald survey said Brown should return to the Auckland mayoral chambers. Only 16 per cent are against Brown getting a second term.


Brown had a landslide victory in the first Auckland-wide mayoral election in 2010 beating John Banks and Colin Craig. Within minutes of being elected, Brown spoke of his ambition to make Auckland the world’s “most liveable city”.


His platform was dominated by a promise to improve public transport in three main areas: build an inner city rail loop, extend the railway to the airport and, eventually, to the North Shore. He also promised to defend public ownership of assets and create a more compact city.


Earlier this month Brown made the airport rail link a focus of his re-election campaign.


His rivals for the election, due in October, include American-born businessman and former TV host John Palino who plans to shift the epicentre of the city south to Manukau and activist John Minto who will stand for the Mana Party.


The lack of a credible alternative mayor is noted

With the “lack of credible alternative mayor” piece; meh I give up going on about that now. Seems the elections are forgone in the mayoral department this time around.

As for everything else it seems our businesses are warm (but not flash hot) towards Len. While you can read individual comments in the said article from where I sit, it should mean then further stability for the next three years in and with Auckland Council. Sure there is still heaps to do – the Unitary Plan being a major one but, it is not like businesses are frothing at the mouthing wanting to burn someone at the stake. On the flip side though Council does need to improve things with business if we (Auckland) wish to continue to be an attractive city for residents and businesses alike.


In regards to the Unitary Plan and our businesses

Still from the same article

Len’s Unitary Plan a work in progress

Brown’s Unitary Plan aims to shape the city as it adds a million extra residents over the next 30 years. An important part of this will be to intensify housing – a move proving controversial with residents in many suburbs.


There’s uncertainty in the boardroom about the plan, with more than a third saying they are unsure whether it will deliver growth. A small majority, 52 per cent think the plan will enable economic growth, with only 10 per cent saying it will not. While 59 per cent of CEOs think the plan makes the right provisions for future population growth, close to a half worry it will not decrease business compliance costs.


Forty per cent of respondents think the plan will enable investment, but a little under a half are uncertain about this.


Okay a tepid response towards the Unitary Plan from business which would be the same as the rest of the city – most likely. Better though than an openly hostile reaction against the Unitary Plan which would not do for stability within the city. So on this alone there is still plenty of work to do before the Unitary Plan goes out to final notification (decided in August).


One final note from the Herald article

A sizable majority, 63 per cent, support the idea of limiting Auckland’s growth with projects such as a rapid rail link to Hamilton.

Ah no! This is a liberal democracy not Mao’s China or Stalin’s Soviet Union so no population cap measures. As I have mentioned before Auckland has critical mass and will perpetually grow from within itself owing to that mass. People have been flocking away from the provinces to the big city since the Industrial Revolution in England. Cities are just power magnets of economic opportunities that will always attract people. It is just something we need to adapt to best we can.

And so the final summary figures on the Mood of the Boardroom with the Mayor

How they rate Len

• 60 per cent of CEO respondents say Brown should return to the Auckland mayoral chambers.

• 3.2 out of five report card mark on his first term; 52 per cent of respondents think the unitary plan will enable economic growth, and

59 per cent think the plan makes the right provisions for future population growth


Not too bad for our first mayor of the Super City and its first three years