Posts by Ben Ross

  • Hard News: The Sky is the limit,

    I think we need to share this picture I linked ( ) some more
    Shows we are just not quite there with leadership and governance on issues like this

    As for Joyce hinting Council to step in?
    How about we say no, Len flips the bird and we go the CRL ourselves 100%. It can be done with some very VERY smart financials that are not of detriment to the City.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2014 • 10 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Why churches should marry…,

    Meanwhile this:
    Family First NZ says it's continuing to fight to remain a tax-free charity.

    The group was advised in 2013 the Charities Commission intended to deregister the charity, citing Family First's traditional view of marriage being one man and one woman as one of the reasons.

    Family First is appealing the decision and it will be heard in the High Court at Wellington early next year.

    The group had hoped the issue would be resolved after a Supreme Court ruling in favour of Greenpeace in August.

    The court ruled that Charities Act didn't limit advocacy from a charity unless it was no more than ancillary to its charitable purpose, and also found that a political purpose could also be a charitable one.

    The commission is arguing the issue is about public benefit, Bob McCoskrie, national director of Family First NZ, says.

    Will see how the Court rules next year

    Auckland • Since Jan 2014 • 10 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Some reprehensible bullshit,

    Meanwhile over at the Sunday Star Times on page 3..... [We have Judith]

    Auckland • Since Jan 2014 • 10 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Auckland's future: Keep calm,…,

    The Taxpayers Union you can ignore as they (like a few "conservatives") lack City Building nous.

    As for funding the quickest way for the moment is to have a GST sharing arrangement like Australia does between Federal and State Governments. That is all GST collected off general rates goes back to the Council. All GST off water rates goes to Watercare. All GST off public transport goes back to Auckland Transport.

    After that we can go line by line in the CAPEX budget as that does need sorting out.

    Once that is done then we can look at alternative funding options

    Auckland • Since Jan 2014 • 10 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Schools: can we get a plan up…,

    We have similar problems down here in Papakura with Addison taking off at a great rate of knots. There is land put aside for new schools and to upgrade schools but the Ministry of Education wont budge for most likely a decade. Well too late as an extra 5,000 people come in over the next 5 years and even more once the Unitary Plan goes operative.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2014 • 10 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Mayor's marginal enemies, in reply to Penny Bright,

    And in other news around 2,000 if not more showed up for the John Banks protest just over a decade ago where about 10% (if even that) showed up for what ever today was (which was drowned out by the National Prayer Day in Aotea Square any how).

    And a few thousand showed up to the Pride Parade just been.

    Seems Ms Bright like the Sun that eventually sets in the west your time might be slipping to to the point of irreverence.

    The City just really did not care for you nor the protesters there. There were no Councillors, no MP's, no celebrities, no Local Board members - even from those in opposition to the Mayor nominal or political.

    Why? Got to knuckle down a city to build

    Auckland • Since Jan 2014 • 10 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Mayor's marginal enemies, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Was just going to link it in here but you beat me to it Russell.

    This is getting even beyond fringe material now. Heck sake Standing Orders are that and Mr Splinter failed to meet them thus denied.

    Public input was given in the December Governing Body where the Mayor eventually got censured. It was utilised and people had their say including if they wished on the matter of censure as it was well flagged in advance (and even on the agenda).

    Still got to love these bits:

    Mr. Splinter argues against this decision saying, “At no stage has any Auckland ratepayer had any opportunity to speak on this matter to the council and accordingly, I view this to be a clear case of the deputy mayor running defense for Len Brown.

    That Rick Splinter seems to be the same one here harranging the mayor before a Franklin resident told him to literally buzz off and stop taking the forum out of its intended format.
    In any case the public were given a chance to give input at the December GB meeting as well as consult their councillor prior to the meeting that day

    Stephen Berry is in full agreement with Mr. Splinter. “The discussions over the censure of Mayor Brown were exclusively conducted amongst councillors without public input. All Aucklanders should have the opportunity, if they wish to use it, to express their opinion on the legitimacy of Brown’s Mayoralty in a formal Governing Body setting. Is a five minute speech really that much to ask?”

    Groan read the last piece I wrote above. At the same time how hard is it to check Standing Orders...

    Berry believes Brown is now attempting to restrict his activities to private ‘smile and wave’ events where he will not be challenged by outraged members of the public. “Brown’s last two public events have been a private Rotary Club meeting on Monday and his State of the City address on Wednesday was done in front of an invited business audience.”

    Umm these are normal meetings the Mayor has from time to time. As for outraged members - well it seems the only ones were that speaking line up, a particular blogger and a commenter their that goes by the name of Whafe.

    The Len Brown Stand Down March takes place this Saturday February 22. Marchers assemble at QE2 in Britomart from 11:30, with the march leaving Britomart at 12, travelling up Queen Street to Airedale Street. With opinion polls showing consistently that 60-75% of Aucklanders believe Len Brown should resign, it promises to be a very successful march.

    if less than 100 show up well then...

    Auckland • Since Jan 2014 • 10 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Mayor's marginal enemies, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Agreed with you there Craig

    Auckland • Since Jan 2014 • 10 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Mayor's marginal enemies,

    It was the most important story for the print edition of the Herald as it panders to the ultra conservative group that most likely prop up the ailing print edition (who's readership is still declining)

    As for the marginalised five they are slowly signing their own warrants in the next election especially if good contenders run against them and the Council gets on with its job as it has been doing since the elections last year.

    In any case the main safeguard towards wayward Councils is there and has not been used - that is installing Commissioners. If the Government was that concerned over Len we would have had commissioners put in by now.

    But no the Council and Government continue its awkward relationship. The Unitary Plan is about to go through the hearings process and we have the Special Housing Areas. The Government and Mayor are lined up with a transport package although that needs a bit of reworking. Businesses seem to be chugging along well enough and have no concerns towards the Council that are out of the ordinary.

    And true and actual people power is working with the Council as well.
    Twice AT have backed down and sought compromise with the communities over the East-West Link. For myself personally after three years of advocacy attention from Council has turned to getting Manukau out of its auto dominated past into something more vibrant and worthy in representing its South Auckland base.

    So yes there are some pitfalls with the Council and the Mayor but there are positives as well worth mentioning.

    This perennially marginalised group and to some extents the marginalised five Councillors are starting to disrupt the legitimate business of Council and the legitimate business of citizens and businesses trying to participate without having to fear constant disruption by a very small few

    Auckland • Since Jan 2014 • 10 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Cranks, self-seekers and the mayor,

    Hehe Simon pulling another heavy hit again I see this time against Cameron Brewer. Ah well least it wasn't Chris Fletcher or Mike Lee like last year when Simon wrote on both of them.

    As for this:

    It’s hard not to feel sympathy for Penny Hulse and the other productive Auckland Councillors: once for the way Brown’s stupidity compromised them, and twice and thrice over for the way their work will be impeded this year by the cranks and self-seekers who cannot see past their pursuit of the mayor. Auckland needs to get some big things done in the next three years. We can can only hope the city will be allowed to move on.

    After a comment our Deputy Mayor left behind when I picked up a remark from Greg Presland I say Penny and the other senior councillors are ready to go and will be taking no prisoners to those cranks and self seekers as you put it Russell.\

    The various committees have their briefs and their jobs to do (and some of those committees will have very heavy work loads). Speaking personally I am in no particular mood for cranks and self-seekers either. Unitary Plans, Area Plans, Transport Plans and plenty other things to keep one busy for most of the year and have no time for the cranks

    Auckland • Since Jan 2014 • 10 posts Report Reply