Tim Dower: Auckland Council isn't great at leading by example
I'm wondering if people in Auckland will, in a few years, look more kindly on their current Mayor.
Fair to say that Wayne Brown didn't exactly get off to a flying start, especially with the media, and let's face it, no one's happy when the rates go up.
On that score, you've seen nothing yet.
I've been reading Mr Brown's proposals to build long-term financial and physical resilience.
It's a dose of reality and long overdue, and, boiled down to a few simple bullets, here we go:
Fix the infrastructure.
Stop wasting money.
Get Auckland moving.
Make the most of the harbours and environment.
Take back control of the CCOs.
And running through the document, a recurring theme: the message being that Auckland can't continue living beyond its means.
The chickens are coming home to roost to quote the Mayor, and he's flagged up that losing the Regional Fuel Tax and scrapping Three Waters will only make things worse.
Brown talks about, and I'm quoting here, “significant financial restraint and efficiencies".
"Auckland Council has to stop wasting money,” he says, “and start getting things done faster, better, and cheaper.”
Even achieving all of that, the rates are going to have to go up.
There isn't time to go through the whole document but it's online, and if you're invested in the region one way or another, it’s worth reading.
Look, sometimes we feel we need to apologise on a national station for talking about Auckland, but the reality is it is our economic engine room.
It's the first place most visitors see, and we all know how powerful first impressions are.
And as the largest and arguably most complex, if Auckland can do things well, so too can every other local body across the country.
But unless the Council can get to grips with this stuff the Mayor's talking about, Auckland is stuffed.
New Zealand's Queen city, currently looking well... not so regal. And without some serious work, it's on its way to being a hobo town. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.