Dear Phil,

Congratulations on becoming Mayor. While the margin was a bit closer than some had expected, that’s what happens when you get such a low turnout – who actually votes ends up being a bit different to those who get polled. By the way, we really have to make progress on online registration and online voting to increase turnout. But that’s not what I want to talk about. Of course, I want to talk about transport and housing – Auckland’s biggest two issues.

This is a good time to become Mayor. Much of the hard work has been done: the rating systems have been pulled together, the City Rail Link just needs a few t’s crossed and i’s dotted – and a few years of exciting construction to follow. While you’ll have a few tricky Unitary Plan appeals to get through, the hard work has been done here as well. But that doesn’t mean you’ll be able to sit back in cruise mode. Auckland has added the population of Tauranga over the past three years and it’s struggling to keep up. People are living in cars and garages, buses and trains are often overcrowded, motorways are jammed. Aucklanders are impatient to see progress so your honeymoon could be very shortlived. Here’s some advice to focus on over the next six months – mainly on transport but a few other things too:

RANGITOTO

1) Start working backwards from the 2018 Long-term Plan now 

You might not have been taking that much notice, but the 2015 Long-term Plan was nearly a disaster and only ended up being passed by a single vote. That said, it was really a triumph as it included a massive boost for walking and cycling funding, a major programme of bus upgrades to support the new bus network and – most importantly – the funding for early construction of the City Rail Link that helped in forcing government to come to the party on this key project.

As you put together the 2018 Long-term Plan you’ll need to continue this momentum – now bought into by the government through ATAP. City Rail Link will eat up a really big chunk of your available funding for transport so figuring out what’s also essential in the next three years will define your term. You’ll be pulled in all directions by the different Councillors and Local Boards wanting funding for their local ‘pet projects’ and you’ll need to sit on Auckland Transport to make sure the detailed work they do reflects your priorities and not just Central Government’s.

If we’re honest, you’d be crazy to remove the “interim transport levy” that has helped fund the current transport programme. The previous Council took the political hit over the levy to make your life easier – don’t give that away. Call it something else, change the way it’s calculated, whatever. But by keeping it, in some shape or form, you’ve now filled around $170 million per year of the $400 million funding gap. This puts the ball back into the court of the government.

You’ve got some hard transport funding discussions with the government to come. Have those conversations early, bring something to the table, remind government that there’s a general election next year that will be fought over Auckland’s housing crisis. Start planning it all now.

2) It’s time for a change at Auckland Transport

Auckland Transport has achieved some great things over the past six years. They’ve taken the CRL from a few lines on a map to a project that’s now underway. They’ve embarked on a complete revamp of the bus network that was decades overdue. They’ve introduced the HOP card in a reasonably (more on that soon) successful way and they’re starting to take cycling seriously.

But there’s still an awfully large amount of old-school thinking coming out of AT. Despite excited noises a few years back, the organisation still lacks of vision for how Auckland can be a different place in the future to what it is today. They also continue to struggle to take advantage of being a CCO to push through essential changes that annoy a noisy few (Tamaki/Ngapipi intersection is but one of many examples).

There are a lot of great people working in AT. Passionate people that are incredibly ‘tuned in’ to best practice around the world. But equally, there’s a massive amount of dead wood that just want to keep on doing that same thing they’ve always done, as is so perfectly evidenced by their stupid designs for city centre streets after the completion of the CRL. There’s far too much reliance on transport modelling, coupled with far too little focus on fixing up the models we have to reflect how the world has changed over the past decade.

You can’t be over all this detail, but you can make change where it matters. Refresh the board and senior management, update the Auckland Plan to give clearer strategic direction about what’s important (and equally importantly, what’s not), encourage a culture change to a braver and more courageous organisation that wants to help make Auckland better.

3) Get the small stuff right

There will be progress on a number of big, exciting transport projects over the next three years for the photo opportunities. The roll out of the new bus network in South Auckland starts at the end of the month. Walk the tunnel under Albert Street as it gets dug out, take the credit for the Northern Busway extension to Albany and kicking off the Northwestern Busway when government eventually agrees to fund it. But there’s also a few key niggles that, if you can sort them out, you will be thanked endlessly:

Sort out the slow trains. It’s crazy that after spending a billion dollars on electrification, our trains run slower than they did before. Don’t listen to Auckland Transport’s excuses – overseas cities run their trains much more efficiently. Demand shorter dwell times at stations, extra drivers to eliminate three minute delays at Newmarket for western line users. Speeding up the trains will not only make us passengers happier, it will also buy you more capacity on the network as train service cycles can repeat more quickly allowing more services to run as 6-car sets. You’re going to need every extra bit of rail capacity you can get.

Sort out HOP card blacklisting. The great hidden secret of the HOP card rollout is the enormous number of people who get their cards blacklisted due to expired credit cards. Get Auckland Transport to fix up their system so people are warned if a payment doesn’t go through. This shouldn’t be rocket science, yet even after months (possibly years) of complaints over this issue it still hasn’t been fixed up. Take the credit for Auckland Transport finally fixing it.

4) Get a better deal out of government

Over 186,000 people ticked your name to become Mayor of Auckland. No other politician in the country has a personal mandate of this scale. Use it.

Solving Auckland’s two biggest issues – housing and transport – is utterly dependent on working together with the government. It also requires government to change the way they do things when it comes to Auckland – which (as I’m sure you’ll know) is difficult for them. You’ll need to push hard to change government’s transport funding processes so they suit Auckland better – ATAP has given you a platform here to build on.

You’ll need to get government to ramp up building more housing in Auckland – the recent Northcote development seems like a great model to apply across Auckland. Get Panuku and Housing New Zealand sharing the same offices and planning where the next 1200 house development will go, and the next, and the next.

Depending on the results of next year’s general election, two-thirds of your term will either be with the current government or another lot that you will be pretty familiar with. Obviously you’ll need to be able to work well with either. Figure out which Ministers truly understand that Auckland isn’t just a larger version of other parts of the country, that it often needs completely different approaches and completely different solutions. John Key gets this – he’ll be your most important relationship.

5) Confirm your vision

One of the biggest pieces of work this term will be reviewing The Auckland Plan – the 30-year vision for Auckland. Naturally it will need to be updated to take account of developments over the last six years, such as the work on the Unitary Plan and ATAP, but there’s also a risk that the forces of dreary try to dominate it and remove visionary elements and targets. YOU CAN’T ALLOW THIS TO HAPPEN.

Furthermore, it’s important you stamp your own vision on the region that is aspirational. A lot of cities are taking increasingly bolder steps to improve the cities and the lives the people that live in them. No area is this happening more than in the realm of transport and public urban space. It’s important Auckland does this too. Whether you keep the tagline of “The World’s Most Liveable City” or not, it’s important to have a high level goal to be able to point to and to assess the outcomes of projects against.

Don’t forget you’re also going to need to communicate that vision well to get buy in from the public.

6) Pick a great Deputy Mayor

You’ll be sorely tempted to look for someone new as a “fresh start”, but remember that Penny Hulse has held this Council together over the past three years. She knows everyone and everything. You don’t have a hope in hell of finding a better Deputy Mayor. That’s a lot to give away for “fresh start”.

Good luck!

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71 comments

  1. Can’t believe you endorsed Penny Hulse. I mean the Auckland Plan, the back-door intensification of the PAUP and now of course the result is High court appeals.

    1. Well you know we really disagree with you on those issues two issues. Oh and of course your nostalgia for place-ruining and economy-flattening Parking Minimum Regulations.

      So I guess that explains that.

      1. So you are happy with the current result are you Patrick? A Unitary Plan stuck in the High Court for goodness knows how long. Had the Council played this straight and notified what they actually wanted or even wanted what they notified then at most there would be some Environment Court Appeals. The blame for the current debacle sits with the PAUP sub-committee or two members of it.

        1. Well I completely disagree with your version of responsibility for the UP being ‘stuck in the high court’. It is clear that the hysterics were always going to take any Plan that did anything other than maintain the status quo through every legal delay. We know how these over entitled narcissists think; look at the Skypath situation. A handful of time rich and moneyed haters will work the system for as long as possible to attempt to enforce incumbency. Naturally a fit of outraged self-righteousness that clings, barnacle-like, to silly notions, like yours above, that there has been some vast and terrible breech of process and dark conspiracy is vital to persuading themselves of their noble purpose.

          1. Very glad you are not the type to make irrational value judgements Patrick! The simple fact is the Council was given generous legislation but still couldn’t manage to play fair. Had they done so those crying foul wouldn’t have anything to complain about. But no. Two members of a sub-committee made sure that couldn’t happen. Planning is always about conflict. It is usually resolved in a formal process of evidence, but the Council couldn’t resist short cutting that and here we are. In the spirit of disclosure I am not independent on this Patrick. My own application to develop is now on hold indefinitely until the Unitary Plan is made operative. Don’t blame those who were denied a fair process, blame those in power who prevented it.

          2. I just don’t see any breech of process, which is the assumption that your entire argument is based on. The IHP had every right to consider all the evidence it did, regardless of a splenic vote by an irrational Council caving in to a raving minority.

          3. Mfwic, ultimately this is not about the council it is about the IHP. The high Court appeals are basically with reference to IHP desicions including scope. The IHP has in its wisdom ruled on scope. The High Court will make its own judgement butility the I stands for independent.

          4. Agree with that. Yes it’s a shame it’ll take more time, but then that is a cost of having checks and balances. Fairness over efficiency is probably right in public policy.

          5. That is a very narrow view Matthew. The Panel had to do the best it could with what it was given. The Council lobbied to remove people’s appeal rights to the Environment Court. But even that wasn’t enough for the Council. They then notified one thing and tried to slip something else past the keeper. Something their own expert advisors said was out of scope. The law said that was legal, but was it right? It looks to me like the Panel would have approved the Council’s plan had they simply notified it in the first place and let people submit on it, so why was the Council so deceitful? They could have had an open process and probably have won. People would not have had an appeal on merits or process. They would have to had found an issue of law and good luck finding one of them. As it stands the whole thing is now at risk. That is the fault of the Council staff and the political oversight they were given.

          6. The facts don’t really support that narrative though. The council in its (retracted) evidence said very clearly it considered (a lot of) it to be out of scope (based on their own “conservative interpretation”). However the IHP, as we now know, generally considered all of its major changes (many of which were broadly similar to the council’s retracted evidence) to be in scope. So the IHP actually disagreed with the councils position on scope, which is why these are high court appeals.

            The way I see it was the council wanted to upzone as little as possible to achieve sufficient housing capacity. The IHP called BS on their capacity models and upzoning was broadened to meet the RPS. The council, having accepted its initial models etc were flawed, updated its evidence accordingly. That upzoning was in scope according to the IHP given submissions in support of it.

          7. Yes the Panel hit a WTF do we do now moment and simply said everything is in scope but without providing any justification for that. But the problems were caused earlier. The Council had a simple choice of go in openly and honestly with what they wanted and notify that so everyone could have a go. Instead they said they wanted one thing then 18 months after submission had closed changed to something else entirely and then left the Panel to try and sort it out. The failing was by political leaders who opted for deceit over openness. They will have green lighted the staff out of scope changes before evidence was swapped. The buck stops there. The consequence of that is judicial reviews and high court appeals. Now we are all screwed because they were trying to be too clever. The easiest legislation ever and they still buggered it up.

          8. I agree the council should have started with more upzoning. However I dont believe the IHP would simply default to “in scope”, thereby removing appeal rights, if they didnt think it was the correct interpretation. They made a serious judgement on scope. Sure they didnt provide a property by property justification in elaborate detail, but its a bit harder to do that when you are presenting recommendations on an entirely new plan for NZs largest TA by a country mile rather than the rezoning of a half a street in Palmerston North.

        2. I agree with most of your criticisms of the Council mfwic.
          Whilst I am an advocate for the kind of density we got in the PAUP decision version, I thought the process was awful and in my view unfair. In my view the ends don’t justify the means. Let’s see what the High Court thinks.Maybe it wasn’t ‘fair’ but it was ‘legal’….
          The Council stuffed things up by chickening out on density in the 2013 notified PAUP. And by also having a poor evidence base.
          I don’t know how any one can convincingly argue that someone who didn’t submit on the notified 2013 plan (say on the basis they were happy with a Single House zoning for their property and neighbourhood) was not prejudiced when the zoning changed through the process, without them having the ability to have a say on the change….
          Can anyone shed light on why that isn’t fundamentally unfair?

          1. What if someone looked at the plans, saw their neighbourhood was zoomed MHU and didn’t submit as they were happy. The end result was it down zoned based on submissions they didn’t read, which they weren’t happy about. Unfair? If so, the result is no submissions could actually be acted on, or alternatively they would have to go through numerous iterations of proposing a plan until they got no submissions.

          2. Because the zoning was changing in response to submissions not without them. Would you prefer the zoning not change in response to submissions because that is what you are arguing for.

          3. Matthew W – good point.
            But that, in my opinion, still does not totally absolve council on getting the PAUP – as notified in 2013 – severely wrong, and setting up the process to be one that is not particularly fair, because the 2013 plan so brutally under-delivered on capacity .
            It also meant that, in many cases, the jump in density from the PAUP as notified to the decision version has been pretty substantial. Again, that’s the result of a very faulty notified plan.
            A solid 2013 notified plan would have minimised the number of those substantial shifts.
            OK – some will say that a robust public process sorts through these things, and that is true to an extent. But the 2013 plan was WAY out in terms of capacity and underlying assumptions.
            Australia has been doing robust capacity work since at least 2005 so I have no idea why the council didn’t look across the ditch. When I worked in Aus from 2010-2014 all of this was very much BAU, and had been for a number of years.
            I think – and I’m saying this AS a planner – that the planning community in NZ can be incredibly insular and myopic, as well as dogmatic and un-critical in it’s thinking, and ultra-defensive. It’s a big big problem.

          4. I agree, they should have been closer to the mark in the first place. In 2013 the housing market was only just seriously taking off again and there just wasnt as much as of a groundswell around housing affordability.

  2. useful list of priorities. I wish Phil Goff and the new council the best of luck as they try and thread their way through these issues. I also second the expression of support for Penny Hulse; she’s a super-decent super-star. Although appreciate that picking deputy mayors is as much about politics as it is about ability.

    From the outside it does seem that AT tend to struggle to manage PT operations, preferring instead to prioritize thinking about shiny new things (EMUs, CRL, LRT etc). The dwell-time issue on the EMUs being just one example. So I’d generally add a big load of “PT Operations” to the list under “getting the small stuff right”.

    The number one first cab off the rank would be extending hours of operation for bus lanes. Bus lane on Mt Eden Rd operates for only one hour in the PM peak,from 4.30 to 5.30pm. Un-fudgin-believable.

    1. Yes this:

      ‘The number one first cab off the rank would be extending hours of operation for bus lanes. Bus lane on Mt Eden Rd operates for only one hour in the PM peak,from 4.30 to 5.30pm. Un-fudgin-believable.’

      4:30- 5:30pm perfectly sits between the after-school rush and the post-work one, genius! So the design principle was clearly not throughput of people, the majority of whom are on the buses, but vehicles, because individual drivers matter more?

      1. And more joined up bus lanes, particularly in centres on arterials that currently have parking, (Mt Eden).

        As the peak time continues to grow, so too should the hours of operation for bus lanes.

        Removing parking on all arterials is probably a bit too much political capital right now, but would certainly help.

      2. Totally agree with both comments, having a network of connected, continuous bus lanes/busways will be the real factor of positive change for users of public transport, the one thing that makes taking the bus a really attractive proposition: time savings compared to driving.

      3. Mt Eden is an egregious example. On Onewa Rd the new T3 lane only runs to 6PM which is about the peak of the peak. However, at no time after 6PM is there more than about 1 car per 500m. There is no demand for the free parking yet they still cut off the lane half way through the peak! Its just mind boggling.

    2. ‘From the outside it does seem that AT tend to struggle to manage PT operations’

      Struggle indeed.. The platform 2 debacle at Newmarket continues, I just hope it doesn’t take a serious injury before this nonsense is resolved.
      WIll Phil resolve this on his watch?

    1. Ben I think the smart choice would be Desley Simpson. Her politics are a different flavour to Phil’s which would be unifying and since the position doesn’t change the balance of power it could only be helpful to him. But best of all she doesn’t carry any baggage from the last few years.

  3. Congrats to Phil Goff on an outstanding victory. I had been following him right from when he declared he would be running (and Len Brown would not). I’d be very happy to see Penny Hulse as deputy again. She was a great deputy under Len Brown and she’ll be great under Phil Goff as well.

    It’s a shame but not unexpected we have seen a few of the negative councillors re-elected (such as Sharon Stewart, Dick Quax and Denise Krum). Desley Simpson, Grant Sayers, and Daniel Newman are likely to be not a lot different to the negativity vacated by Cameron Brewer and George Wood.
    Hopefully pending the final results we see Richard Hills elected as the second North Shore ward councillor. Along with Chris Darby there are no two better candidates to be representing.

  4. “Auckland has added the population of Tauranga over the past three years and it’s struggling to keep up. People are living in cars and garages, buses and trains are often overcrowded, motorways are jammed”

    If you leave the tap running in your bathtub, and it overflows, your bathroom will struggle to accomodate the water. There are solutions of course. You could add more bathtubs. You could try building a bigger bathroom to contain the water, or perhaps install a number of floor drains. You could maybe even try removing items so that there is more space for the water.

    Or, you could turn the tap off.

    1. Indeed you can turn the tap off, and you have a nice bath for ten minutes until the water goes cold. The only way to keep the tub hot is to leave the tap running.

    2. Good point. We must stop Auckland’s population growing. Immediately establish a one-child policy with fines for people who breed too much; and build a Trump wall along the Bombay hills to stop people migrating here from the rest of the country.

      … oh wait, you only meant keep FOREIGNERS out, didn’t you.

      1. Aren’t people who were not born in Auckland foreigners. They have not paid rates here or anything. Perhaps we need to allow people in Auckland who’s grand-parents lived here and who have at least one parent born here. Think about all the hospital space that will free up, more jobs for Aucklanders, more space on the motorways. We could kick half the people out – then the housing problem will be fixed and the transport problem….or rates will need to double and some people will have negative equity in there homes. There will be some human rights issues we will have to deal with, the city will loose a lot of skilled and valuable people, the ethic diversity which makes Auckland great will have been gone, the education sector might collapse, the rental market could collapse also with all those foreign students gone, china, india and a few other countries may impose economic sanctions on us. But none of this of course matters as Auckland will be for Aucklanders (all 300,000 of us left). Lets reverse the immigration policies of the 1970s-1990s which saw this city grow from a boring dreary grey city to the city we have now. lets us go back to empty shops on queen street and k road, to a city with a dying rail system, crappy restaurants (where McD, pizza hut and Cobb & Co or the pub were your outdoor eating choses).

        Or perhaps the city could evolve and grow – and become better

        1. Dear Geoff

          ‘The changes announced would apply for the next two years and see the Government work to a “planning range” for residence approvals of 85,000 to 95,000 – down from 90,000 to 100,000.’

          Just a PR stunt, no actual change

          sincerely,
          Michael Woodhouse MP

    3. I think slowing down external migration is a good idea. We are bringing in record numbers and the city is struggling.Demand and supply determine price – we don’t have enough supply and the demand is too great. It appears every time immigration is mentioned certain individuals set-up straw-men to knock down.

      1. Slowing them down is already implemented, no decent PT to/from airport and unlikely to be any for over 20 years. I read somewhere that Auckland North Shore is preferred destination for immigrants, so thats sorted too for next 20 years, no rail there either

    4. Unfortunately or fortunately (which ever way you look at it) Local Government has no say on immigration.

      Internal NZ migration could somewhat be controlled through local government(s), but history seems to have proven those methods aren’t too effective.

    5. Why do people with axes to grind about immigration always compare human beings to inanimate objects, like water or M&Ms?

      http://www.vox.com/2016/9/20/12987202/skittles-tweet-donald-trump-syrian-refugees

      Also, the size of the ‘bathtub’ – ie the city’s housing stock – isn’t fixed. We have these things called ‘hammers’ and ‘saws’ that can be used to build more homes. Look them up some time. You’d be surprised how well they work.

      1. Sigh.
        I’m pretty sure you actually understand the concept of “rate limited” processes.

        If Demand > Supply, Price go up
        If rate of increase in demand > rate of increase in supply, eventually Demand > Supply
        If Demand > Supply AND rate of increase in demand > rate of increase in supply, Price go up LOTS

        This continues until the effect of price sufficiently decreases demand to match supply.

        So did you not think, were you being facetious, or did you deliberately misunderstand?

        As far as housing
        We are already in the hole => Demand > Supply
        Current work to increase supply is < expected increase in demand
        Therefore:
        Prices will go up LOTS.

        We need, well, actually I'm not sure we need more saws and hammers as such.
        They are dreadfully inefficient as currently applied.
        We need more factory based prefab and standardisation of housing components.
        Branz estimates full implenmentation could reduce housing cost by ~40%.

        I was just thinking the other day that we should look at investing retirement savings into prefab companies in NZ.
        It would help Auckland and Christchurch, improve the building industry overall, and should provide a pretty decent return.

    6. How, exactly?
      1. Internal movement controls?
      2. Government-subsidised decentralisation programs of the sort that failed in Australia in the 1970s? Is there any reason to think that putting infrastructure in places where people don’t want to be is more efficient than putting it in the place they do want to be?
      Movement to the cities is a worldwide phenomenon with deep economic causes. It’s probably more realistic to plan for it rather than try to prevent it.

      1. One way to ease immigration is to issue fewer visas to foreigners. We had 70,000 people migrate to NZ last year (about half came to Auckland). We are under no obligation to admit that many people into our country. So there is no need to discuss internal migration controls or regional development programs – just straw-men to knock down. Anyway, as it was already pointed out, this is a central government issue rather than for Auckland Council.

      1. Its the same argument again and again, but I cant remember anyone demonstrating that each immigrant contributes more to the NZ economy than they cost in infrastructure and other govt. spending? And what always gets overlooked is that immigration is as much a social issue as it is an economic one.

        As for Phil, hes already come out saying the flow DOES need to be turned down. Very sensible.

        1. It’s not a black and white issue. Immigration generates benefits and costs, and the composition of immigration (skill mix, NOT race) is just as important as the quantum.
          It’s a nuanced issue that requires nuanced analysis.
          Not sloganistic ‘keep immigration going as it is’ or ‘stop immigration’ statements.
          I’m not convinced the current settings are optimal. I’d like to see a proper review, as a number of informed commentators have called for.

        2. ” And what always gets overlooked is that immigration is as much a social issue as it is an economic one.”

          Indeed! The social issue that never gets much air time is that immigration provides significant benefits to the immigrants, who are part of society. That counts.

        3. Regardless of where you stand on the issue of migration, it’s not something that local government controls. Rather than relitigate the same arguments, I’d suggest we move onto more fruitful topics. Like how Auckland can best rise to the challenge associated with a growing population.

          1. So Aucklanders should accept and pay for the facilities required to accommodate the population of Tauranga being imposed on it by government and not try to do anything, especially if it in any way attempts to retain any of the city’s current character and environment. That is just over entitled narcissism which studies show leads to hysteria and raving. But there’s more.. It is for those who have been inconvenienced in their move to Auckland that have the high moral ground and should determine how to plan and run this city. No, no, thank you.

          2. “especially if it in any way attempts to retain any of the city’s current character and environment”

            Yes. Especially if it does this. Auckland has been improving for years, lets not stop it now out of spite over a perceived excess of immigration.

    7. We should be training more chefs, retail, cafe, restaurant, aged care, truck driver staff instead of issuing visas for those positions. BTW those positions are in the top 10 visa applicantions with chef retail cafe restaurant be the top 4.

  5. I recently had my HOP card blacklisted because a voluntary top up failed. It still has a positive balance. Auckland transport want me to pay them $10 and go through some hassle to get a new one.
    I don’t use PT to work, I only use it every so often. The other night after remembering I was blacklisted I caught an Uber instead of the bus, it was much more convenient and not much more expensive. If my wife was going too it would have been cheaper.
    So bye bye AT and PT, you had your chance and blew it.

  6. Whilst I sympathise with the call to retain Penny Hulse as deputy I feel we need a cleanout to establish a new culture at Auckland Council.

    Via media and on the street I’ve heard from several sources that beauracrats run the council, not the elected mayor and councillors. That needs to change and I don’t see it changing if Penny Hulse is retained. I’m not sure who would be suitable for the role but I’m sure there will be suitable candidates given the level of political expertise in Auckland.

    The tagline “World’s most liveable city” should be one of the first things dropped. Liveability is an undefinable concept that means different things to different people. Despite attempts to measure liveability it is immeasurable. Auckland will never compete with Sydney, Melbourne, New York, London or Paris. We need to be Auckland, not a cheap imitation of something else.

    Phil has started off saying the right things with Rates caps and streamlining. He’s made a good start and I have confidence we will see a better Auckland emerge than what we’ve seen over the past 5 years.

    1. “I’ve heard from several sources that beauracrats run the council, not the elected mayor and councillors. That needs to change and I don’t see it changing if Penny Hulse is retained.”

      Eh? I have personally witnessed her being very effective at keeping staff agendas in check. Not clear what information source you are relying on.

  7. Yes please dont accept the excuses from AT for inefficient operations and out dated mentality. You will need to show some leadership and strength.

    1. I’m wary about online voting for similar reasons. I thought ballot boxes at libraries were a good idea (and very convenient for me after I procrastinated too long) and I’d like to see more in-person options. Maybe they could have mini polling places in more locations just on the last day? Make an event out of it like the general election.

      Voting papers not getting to people is a real problem, though, and I’m not sure how best to solve that.

  8. Its a pity that AC has no control over their own bureaucrats let alone AT’s bureaucrats and that you can’t fire people for being out-dated.

  9. That is a sensational letter, Matt. I hope Phil reads it.

    Completely endorse Penny Hulse for deputy mayor, continuing her great work.

    Maybe Phil could also put some pressure on for more shared spaces? High Street!

    Yes please don’t make Albert Street less liveable post crl. Less vehicles, more people friendly (not a bus lane), ditto for our new small square at the front of Britomart.

    My view on the on-line voting thing is that, yes, it will be great to have. But in the interim the requirement to post one’s vote shouldn’t be that large an impediment to vote. With such a small turnout most must be happy with the direction. Shouldn’t complain if you don’t vote.

    1. If you received papers and chose not to vote, maybe you should be thinking about whether you made the right choice and you maybe shouldn’t complain.

      If you didn’t receive papers and couldn’t vote I think you have every right to complain, whether that’s because you’ve moved or for some other reason.

  10. Sent by Facebook.

    “Dear Mr Phil Goff
    Congratulations on your success in yesterday’s election.
    As a matter of urgency could you please commence negotiations with the Government to amend the Super City legislation to bring back the control of the CCOs, in particular Auckland Transport, to the Council.
    Many thanks”

  11. The fastest way to solve the reversal at Newmarket is to reopen Kingdon St. I can’t for the life of me understand why the Western has to stop at Newmarket. With Kingdon St and Parnell the 3-5 minutes delay is removed.

    1. I would have thought a few more drivers so the train can immediately continue from the other end would be quicker than rebuilding a dismantled station.

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