Tag: testy debate

Auckland Got The Bums Rush Again

Crony-ism Much with White Water Shafting Deal?

 

So it seems we (the ratepayer) got the absolute Bums Rush for due process and all things fiscal responsibility when it came to this White Water Rafting proposal for Manukau.

From The NZH:

Water facility clears first rapid

By Bernard Orsman

5:30 AM Friday Oct 5, 2012

 

Rafting and kayaking venue approved, but the vote leaves some councillors fuming

A controversial $30 million white-water-rafting and kayaking facility in Manukau is back on the drawing board after coming through the political rapids at Auckland Council.

After a lengthy and testy debate yesterday, the council voted 11-9 to allow the Counties Manukau Pacific Trust to build the facility at the TelstraClear Pacific Events Centre, subject to public consultation.

The trust will receive $20 million from the sale of a piece of adjacent council-owned land and promised to raise the remaining $10 million.

Trust chairman and business leader Sir Noel Robinson gave a guarantee to councillors that the project would not require any ongoing funding from ratepayers.

Sir Noel said the trust was proud of what it had achieved for the community and the youth of South Auckland with the Pacific Events Centre and wanted to complete the next stage, the white-water facility.

The commercial venture, with an entry fee of $35 for kayaking and $55 for rafting, is budgeted to run profitably, which will enable the trust to subsidise 15,000 local schoolchildren annually.

 

You can read the rest of the article over at the NZH site.

 

The feeling that I am seeing coming through right across the spectrum from main stream media to social media outlets is one of pure and utter condemnation and disgust against the 11 idiots who voted for this proposal behind the Telstra Pacific Events Centre in Manukau.

This remark from Manurewa Local Board Chair Angela Dalton surmises the current feeling out there in Auckland:

Angela Dalton shared a link.
This morning I spoke alongside colleagues from 6 other Boards at the Auckland Council Strategy and Finance meeting. We told the Councillors we are struggling with the money we have been given in our budgets. To find another 3% savings they
must first look to the regional budgets and projects such as the Waterfront and CDB. They should also look to the CCO’s before coming to the nickel and dime budgets that the Local Boards have to operate on. Following that I stayed to listen to a four hour debate on why we should or shouldn’t sell ratepayers land in my ward to fund the construction of a White Water Rafting Project that is touted to deliver many of the outcomes of the Southern Initiative. In a deja vu vote of 11-9 the Manurewa Local Boards wishes were once again discarded, 11 votes that included the 2 Maori Statutory Board is the same scenario that saw us have 1.75 million dollars stripped from our budgets a few months ago. I can tell you most assuredly that a trip down a white water rafting shute is not going to turnaround the lives of young people in Manurewa. I thank the Councillors who supported Manurewa in the debate, Cameron Brewer, Calum PenroseDick Quax,Christine FletcherGeorge WoodSharon Stewart. I hearBernard Orsman who was at the debate today will have a piece in the Herald tomorrow about the Trust who are leading this project. Today was jacked up politics once again marginalsing Local Boards advocacy on behalf of their communities.

And this from Orakei Ward Councillor Cameron Brewer:

The most outrageous decision in the two years of this council’s existence was made today. Nine councillors agreed to sell council land and for the proceeds (worth $20 – $30m) to go towards a whitewater rafting facility in the paddock between Telstra Clear Pacific Events Centre in Manukau and the southern motorway, subject to public consultation. Another nine of us councillors were against this controversial project which was rejected by the Manukau City Council 10 votes to 3 back in 2010. However this time the proponents secured the support of two non-elected Independent Maori Statutory Board members so it just got through 11/9. This is a project that’s been 10 years in the making but leaped frogged the exhaustive Long Term Plan consultation and budget processes, which was only signed off on 28 June! Disgusting when you also consider the growing debt mountain, the core council service and local board cuts, and the rates increases. This money needed to be spent much much more wisely

 

With this final remark from me personally:

Ben Ross I suppose I raise this challenge here as well for those who do care genuinely for Auckland: 
Okay so Council led by our now wayward Mayor has failed beyond doubt with this White Watering Rafting project. So where is our Alternative Mayor and Council (candidates) willing and ready to stand now against this failure and say to Auckland,”We stand for Shining the Light for a Better Auckland” come 2013. 2013 Shining the Light for a Better Auckland.

I said Council failed as the motion got passed 11-9, meaning that motion now constitutes going into Council policy for which all of Auckland feels the effects of.

 

I looked at my What Do I Stand For and Believe In – For a Better Auckland page which is located one over here at BR:AKL and looked at which of the eight fundamentals which have been “breached” by yesterdays decision at Council. Apart from numbers two and eight (as urban planning and transport were not in effect here per-se) the Council basically breached the rest of the fundamentals ESPECIALLY numbers six and seven:

  • Basics first: One thing I learnt when I moved out from the parents’ home and struck it out in the real world (including getting married and owning our first house) is that with the limited resources you have got, you did the basics first then with anything left over you just might be able to afford a luxury. Same applies to our civic institutions; they have limited resources so get the basics right first then “treat yourself or others” to a luxury if you are able to do so once the basics are taken care of.
  • Listen and Engage: God gave us two ears and one mouth. In my line of work you actively listen with both ears THEN engage IN DAILOUGE with your one mouth. Not the other way around as that is usually monologue and the fastest way to get your ears clipped. Same applies to civic institutions:  you actively listen with both ears THEN engage IN DAILOUGE with your one mouth unless you like getting your ears clipped… Oh and remember some days all the person wants you to do is JUST LISTEN to their little piece – as all we want some days is just to get it off our chests.

 

So because six of the fundamentals were breached and especially two of the “heavies” that I believe in were totally disregarded by nine Councillors and those two useless Independent Maori Statutory Board Members who voted for the proposal, I am in total opposition to them with me showing no confidence in them what so ever!

 

The question is then ‘now what?’

Well I am running for Local Board in Papakura next year in hoping to do my part in restoring sense and responsibility back into our civic institutions (for a better Papakura and Auckland), but for the rest it is a case of what I said above: “So where is our Alternative Mayor and Council (candidates) willing and ready to stand now against this failure and say to Auckland,”We stand for Shining the Light for a Better Auckland” come 2013. 2013 Shining the Light for a Better Auckland.

 

Auckland now waits for that alternative!

 

As what I stand for – in Shining the Light for a Better Auckland; you can check my fundamental principles below:

THIS IS WHAT I STAND FOR AND BELIEVE IN FOR A BETTER AUCKLAND

  1. Strong but no interfering Governance: Meaning Council  shows active and real leadership but does not interfere with the daily lives of residents and businesses
  2. Finances: If my family has to live within its means then so does the civic institutions that impact on us greatly (that being Council and Government). You work out your income, then what you can spend on – NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND as with Auckland Council
  3. An Integrated Approach to Transport: None of this “all for one but not the other approach” we get from both roading and Green lobbyists. Road and Mass Transit both have their places here in Auckland – albeit more balanced like the Generation Zero 50:50 campaign
    This integrated approach also applies to many other things out there – I call it The Best of Both Worlds.
  4. Open Governance: I believe in open governance where the public can sit in, listen and where possible discuss “matters-of-state” as much as possible with their representatives. None of this hiding behind closed doors (except for commercially sensitive material that does come up from time to time), and fessing up when you know you have stuffed up. You might find the public are more sympathetic you one acknowledges and apologies for a legitimate mistake
  5. Keeping It Local: Large centralised civic institutions seem impersonal (if not frightening) to most us. So how about keeping it Local and allow our Local Boards to be resourced properly so they can execute their true functions of local advocacy and providing our local community parks and services for us.
  6. Basics first: One thing I learnt when I moved out from the parents’ home and struck it out in the real world (including getting married and owning our first house) is that with the limited resources you have got, you did the basics first then with anything left over you just might be able to afford a luxury. Same applies to our civic institutions; they have limited resources so get the basics right first then “treat yourself or others” to a luxury if you are able to do so once the basics are taken care of.
  7. Listen and Engage: God gave us two ears and one mouth. In my line of work you actively listen with both ears THEN engage IN DAILOUGE with your one mouth. Not the other way around as that is usually monologue and the fastest way to get your ears clipped. Same applies to civic institutions:  you actively listen with both ears THEN engage IN DAILOUGE with your one mouth unless you like getting your ears clipped… Oh and remember some days all the person wants you to do is JUST LISTEN to their little piece – as all we want some days is just to get it off our chests.
  8. Stay out of my way: I believe in the following strongly “Individual Freedom -> Individual Choice -> Individual Responsibility (oh and do not forget the consequences)”   I am an adult who can make choices for myself (whether it was right or wrong), treat me as such rather than a child.