April 30, 2015
When is a promise not a promise? When it’s made by a politician.
And unfortunately, politicians local or national are prone to pork pies. You can tell a politician is lying when he opens his or her mouth.
Like poor old Mayor Len Brown who promised that Auckland rates would be held at 2.5% this term. Now he’s about to do a backflip and add another 3%. Those Aucklanders who don’t own a home or aren’t interested in what goes on in their city won’t give a toss. But increases like this just adds more pressure on homeowners and average Aucklanders trying to make a living.
One option being eyed by many middle-aged Maori in Auckland is to sell their overpriced homes and move back to their roots. That is an option, but the big hurdle is work because the rural areas don’t have the types of jobs that economically held towns, like freezing works or forestry.
True, the Government Valuations for homes in the Queen City have taken a hike over the past decade – making it almost unaffordable for our children to buy a home in Tamaki Makaurau. But unfortunately this move by the Mayor and the bulk of his council, will mean Len’s chances of another term will all but disappear.
Holding the reigns of the Auckland municipality is not a job that any old Joe could do, and as Brown is finding out is very taxing because you are dammed if you do and dammed if you don’t. The latest rates hike is to cover off a major shortfall in transport for the Auckland area.
The mayor has made this choice because the Government will not allow a motorway toll or a fuel tax as a congestion-busting tool. That’s tough on Brown, who has made transport a major election platform. But obviously with the Government’s dislike of the left-leaning mayor, this move will surely nail his next election campaign shut.
Anyone who travels in Auckland will tell you the congestion is mad. Problem is everyone has a vehicle. Gone are the days when the family had one vehicle, which was used by dad to get to work. Dad now has a company vehicle, mum uses the family SUV and might now work part time, and the kids at university have their own vehicles while raking up thousands of dollars in student costs.
Many years ago another Auckland Mayor Sir Dove Myer predicted this chaos. He wanted a monorail linking the suburbs to the city and also a link to the airport. But back in 1972, people thought he was mad and they voted accordingly. Robinson’s plans were eventually scuppered by the National Party of the day and it seems the same may just happen to Mayor Brown.
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