Len and Phil: Two Very Different Approaches to the America’s Cup

Different styles give different results


Simon Wilson of The Spinoff – Auckland division delivered a cracker into Mayor Phil Goff pretty much missing the boat on putting Auckland front and centre of the defence of the Auld Mug (America’s Cup). It should be noted that the 2021 APEC meeting will be also hosted at the same time in Auckland (last time was 1998) so the combination of APEC (world leaders) and the America’s Cup is the most perfect opportunity to show case New Zealand!

Now the Greens and soon Labour have flag policies around these specific events that also carry on well after the fact. Those flag policies being transport more specifically the Airport Lines and the North Western Bus-way. National have already poo-pooed both with their usual head in the sand of delay everything that isn’t a road. So on that alone the Centre Left have something to beat the Government over the head with in the transport department given the Airport Lines and North Western Busway benefit Auckland well beyond 2021. Game on.

Already I have written about needing to haul backside on at least one of the Airport Lines in time for 2021: Mega Read: America’s Cup Defence = Infrastructure Build Now Like Airport Lines!


But back to Simon Wilson, he went down a different path and took at look at Auckland’s supposed champion:

The America’s Cup is Auckland’s Cup and the mayor must be its champion
By Simon Wilson | Auckland editor
July 10, 2017

Where’s Phil? Eight months into his first term as mayor, Phil Goff hasn’t had any spectacular embarrassments and he hasn’t blown the budget. Is that good enough? Simon Wilson doesn’t think so, and each day this week he’s got a challenge for the mayor. Here’s the first.
Why isn’t Phil Goff a champion for the defence of the America’s Cup?
He’s excited that Emirates Team New Zealand has won the Cup – he told us so when he spoke to the crowd at the homecoming parade. And he authorised the parade. That was good. He’s also made it clear the council is not just going to start handing out cash – either to ETNZ itself or to whoever’s involved in building infrastructure for the Cup defence. That’s good too. The America’s Cup will be an enormous boon for Auckland but it doesn’t follow council should be an easy touch.
But it was a shame Goff allowed his financial prudence to make him sound like a killjoy. Despite the parade, Goff hasn’t positioned himself as a champion of the Cup defence and a cheerleader for Auckland as host.
Why hasn’t he done this? Does he not understand that this is the most important job of the mayor?
Goff, by now, should have announced that he’s setting up a taskforce: a high-powered group from the government and private sector to lead and coordinate the city’s preparations. It’s not that we need a special new group to work out where and how the defenders and challengers will be based, although this group should oversee and help with that. The real challenge is to ensure the city makes the most of the opportunity.
Because that’s what this is. An opportunity to transform Auckland for the better.

quote context: http://pllqt.it/XF9sfS


Simply put it comes down to leadership. The Auckland Mayor is the lead champion and advocate for and on behalf of Auckland especially to Central Government a.k.a Wellington. To get the transport infrastructure in alone would need some heavy lifting from Government especially smoothing over the consenting processes to get the Airport Line through. If you are wondering if we could get an Airport Line through by 2021 the answer is yes – when you focus on The Southern Airport Line as half the route is over blank land and sits within NZTA’s State Highway 20B corridor.

But back to leadership and Auckland’s champion.


AT’s proposals for the Botany Line to the Airport
Source: Auckland Transport


Simon has every right to question where Auckland Mayor Phil Goff is because Goff’s lack of response towards the Auld Mug and for that matter APEC sounds like the ethos of a manager rather than a leader.

Lets ponder in asking how would Len Brown our first Super City Mayor would handle the Auld Mug Defence and APEC 2021

Len would have probably done what Simon has said plus more by now in terms of preparing for both the Auld Mug Defence and APEC.

The Greens and soon Labour have announced flag policies concerning transport from those two events while National still says 30 years but here is some motorway widening. Consequently Len or Len would dispatch say his then Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse along with current (under Mayor Phil Goff) Deputy Mayor Bill Cashmore to get Memorandums of Understanding in place if/when Labour took power September (for the sake of brevity I have left National out if this). Len would then summon Auckland Design Champion Ludo-Campbell Reid and the boffins in Council’s property arm Panuku Development Auckland on how quick urban regeneration wins can be landed by 2021. Closing the lower half of Queen Street to cars would be one such quick win. Refreshing the plans in Wynyard Quarter and Wynyard Point would be another. Speeding up Unlock Takapuna and Transform Manukau would also be priorities so both extra accommodation is online while some of our biggest Metro Centres provide alternative places for those not wanting to be in the City Centre at the time.  
All this requires however, a champion – a leader to get that ball rolling. Len would have done this and gotten everything stitched up by now. Goff we have heard no word from.
THAT difference between a leader and a manager
Len led, Phil manages and that gives two very different results.

Someone did quip is Phil the Mayor of Auckland or the “Labour” Mayor and you can answer that yourself!



Auckland does need its champion so where are we going to find it and in time?!


Mayor Len Brown enjoying Auckland’s new electric trains.
Source: Auckland Council