The Opposition Leader takes a swipe at Auckland Council in his first major economic speech as leader and says the Council should aspire to be more like the previous National-led Government

The Opposition Leader takes a swipe at Auckland Council in his first major economic speech as leader and says the Council should aspire to be more like the previous National-led Government

Opposition Leader Simon Bridges has used his first economic speech as National Party Leader to call out Auckland Council for what he describes as its “lack of fiscal discipline.”

He also suggests the Council takes a page out of the previous Government’s book when it comes to being good economic managers.

Speaking in Auckland on Monday, Bridges slammed Auckland Council, saying it should be “applying more discipline to its own finances.”

He said if National won the next election, it would reverse the Government’s regional fuel tax.

Speaking to, Bridges says if the Council had done a better job at managing its own books, there would be no need for any new taxes.

“Over the last four years, the Council has spent an additional $800 million – $160 million of that is in wages. To me, that is a lack of discipline.”

He would not say which areas the Council need to look at tightening the belt, only that “the general approach that we took in Government, they can take – which is just good management, good discipline and examining spending.”

Although he alludes to inflated wages being an issue, he does not call for any changes in this area.

“I won’t be prescriptive on that because I think it’s an area for the Council.”

Minister of Transport Phil Twyford says Aucklanders need their “transport nightmares” to end now, not in another 30 years while “National hold back growth in Auckland.”

“Simon Bridges would pull the plug on the largest civil engineering project in New Zealand’s history just to score cheap political points in the middle of a by-election,” he says.

Last week, Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said the regional fuel tax was a pivotal part of the planned $28 billion transport infrastructure investment in Auckland.

Twyford is calling on Bridges to explain how he would pay for the infrastructure needs without cutting the fuel tax.

Bridges says the Crown’s books are good enough to allow for more infrastructure investment without new taxes.

Existing excise taxes, which were growing because of the healthy economy, would also help pay for any additional infrastructure needs, he says.

The main point Bridges makes is that if National wins the election, it would crack down on Auckland Council’s “wrong spending.”

“We are clear we would not give them this free pass to just continue on in the manner they and Twyford seem to want.”

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Comedy from National!

Yes , comedy indeed ........ a very expensive comedy show for Auckland Ratepayers who are being led to the slaughterhouse .

Not to mention low income families who are about to be hung drawn and quarterted having to pay not just 10 c a ltr more for fuel , but add another 15 cents per ltr in regional fuel tax just for good measure


"to be like the National led government".. so mr. bridges is recommending that home owners rake up more debt.. lol...

I think he means Auckland Council should shut their wallets and ignore population growth

sorry just reading your mind.. "I think he means Auckland Council should shut their wallets and ignore population growth........... and close their eyes to failing infrastructure..."

Really annoys one to see all the overpaid layabouts in senior positions, building empires. Let's see how the future rates increases pan out.


Oh so right bob cotton , this city had a headcount of about 6,000 employees when it amalgamated .

It now has a headcount of closer to 10,000 for a small city of just 1,5 million people

Add to that a fleet of 800 vehicles ! ................ 800 VEHICLES !

No wonder we have a traffic congestion problem ...... the City administration is compounding the problem

What on earth could such a small city need 800 vehicles for ?

Where do they even get to park this massive fleet ?

And here's another question........... is there a Ministry anywhere in Government with such a huge fleet of vehicles ?

And lets be clear they dont own a SINGLE BUS or a SINGLE REFUSE REMOVAL TRUCK , or a single PARKS maintenance vehicle those are owned by contractors .

Its insane the state we find ourselves in.

Holy smoke Batman, you are right. Want to move down to CHCH. Go from the fire into the pan. Bunch of deluded cycle lane fanatics when streets way out east still more pot holes than the moon,

Move out to Darfield ! ... no pot holes in the street there ....

... although , you do have to poo in a tank ... no septic lines neither ...


Just have to boil the water every now and then. And all those germies have a slight downhill run to the garden city!

I hope they have better control over assets than the Dunedin City Council?

Yes Auckland already had AT managers committing fraud, approving false contracts and using council money to bribe others in the org. So they kind of have that corruption bit in the bag. Dunedin's case is worrying but the criminal of the fraud paid the ultimate price, (still left the council out of pocket though). But then again there were also a lot of red envelopes over the stadium saga. If anything Dunedin residents are more committed to keeping a watchful eye and vocal guard against new issues. That being the case at least Dunedin's council is still small enough & willing to listen to their residents and better prepared to plan for all of them. Did you see their new 10 year plan, stormwater, sewage, and tap water all getting the necessary upgrades with first priority over anything else. However there are still a couple white elephants in the budget and a rates increase over the ten years close to 50% so a lot more vociferous residents needed.


National, the party of regression. The party of fiscal irresponsibility. They want to borrow rather than fund.

"They want to borrow rather than fund" what does that mean?

Why would you borrow if you didn't also have something that needed funding?

Nonsensical statement

OMG. "Existing Exercise Taxes". That is it, no more Gym for me!


Why would National want to crack down on Auckland Council when they didn't bother for 9 years? Is Simon Bridges going to save Penny Bright's house?


True, an awful lot of noise after 9 years of little.

He also suggests the Council takes a page out of the previous Government’s book when it comes to being good economic managers.

So...ignore issues and underfund necessary infrastructure? We need more of that?

He said if National won the next election, it would reverse the Government’s regional fuel tax.

But National's own transport plans required a fuel tax too. Why this pretense?

"But National's own transport plans required a fuel tax too. Why this pretense?" - pure fiction.

The law that allows Auckland council to charge a regional fuel tax has been introduced by COL . There is zero evidence to suggest it would be in place under National.


The modelling of the ATAP plan showed it was required, and they committed to ATAP.

Then for some reason that information was being slowed down prior to the election...Oh...

Maybe they were planning to make promises and then fund later, somehow?

More lies ..
The article you linked to is titled "Government was CONSIDERING fuel tax" . Governments of course consider all sorts of things and options - it is a far cry from actually doing it.

Even that claim is quite weakly supported.

You missed the point. The point is, they committed to ATAP, and modelling showed a fuel tax increase would be needed to fund ATAP.

So...they were considering it...and hid that information...and were going to magic the money up from somewhere else if they won they election? Or bite the bullet and increase the fuel tax.

Looks like all they did was hide the fact they'd have to increase fuel tax to fund their promises. Or they were making promises that they'd figure out how to fund later.

How much would the government have saved if it did not do the fees free first year stuff? I seem to recall national budgeting to spend a lot less than labour prior to the election, leaving room to spend on this sort of stuff if it tickled their fancy.

They were going to give a very expensive tax cut remember.
Fees free education is an investment, probably the most effective investment a government can make. So that sounds like something National would be very opposed to as they hate good investments like the NZ super fund etc.

@rick strauss...... NATIONAL never agreed to the fuel tax , nor did they ever agree to the on-ramp toll .

Its pure fiction and a distortion of the truth to suggest otherwise .

So they were making promises they were going to figure out how to fund later? A good thing?

How much would the government have saved if it did not do the fees free first year stuff? I seem to recall national budgeting to spend a lot less than labour prior to the election, leaving room to spend on this sort of stuff if it tickled their fancy.

More cut and copy fake news

@dictator .......... National did not crack down on the Auckland Council simply because its had left-leaning , and big spending administrations since becoming a mega-city .

The city is basically independent of Central Government and the elected officials were given a free rein under National , but now there is a new TAX proposed and that needs to be addressed


National should have been much tougher on Auckland Council. They had years and years to FORCE it to open up land etc. and never really did. They also had these years to make large changes to the RMA, but they only made a few tinkering ones.

And now they come out and criticise... when they're standing on the sidelines unable to do anything. So disappointing.

What did the COL do in their first few months? Answer, pulled apart National's constructs. Karma is a constant. Good on Bridges for giving certainty on what's going to be pulled apart when National get back in, and they will be back in, it's the way politics works in NZ.


Nationals startegy is to sweat public and local assets to breaking point, and therefore provide the rationale for further private sector profiteering at the expense of the taxpayers pocket.

Labour and Council looking forward big-time, hope it's half as good as it all sounds.

Seems to me that Auckland transport woes will never be funded by rates. In fact not possible, even if it was not unfair. But Bridges want to reverse regional fuel tax?

YES , about bloody time someone told some home truths .

What we really need is a good honest, financially prudent, likable alternative mayoral candidate next time. It looks like the current one isn't going to reign in Town and Darby and co.

@uninterested ........... true , Goofy Goff has been an absolute disaster for our city .

Debt has ballooned

The payroll has exploded

The city remains the worst run entity in the whole country

There is almost no financial responsibility

Its no longer funny , it needs to be addressed urgently before the Central Government is forced to bail out the city

And yet despite this whenever Penny Brights actions in calling for transpirancey in council payments as they are legally obliged to do are discuccessed, everyone seems to pile in and call her a nutter and tell her she should shut up and pay her rates.
I don't understand, she probably is a nutter but that doesn't make her stand any less just.

Penny Bright may well be a nutter , but she has a point . The City is wasteful and extravagant and no longer provide many of the services that City administrations were set up to provide in the first place.

Its wrong that they are to all intents and purposes accountable to no one

Nutter yes. But my vote for Kiwi of the year. I wish her well.

Good grief. Her own economic management is such that she hasn't stashed her rates away year on year and is now pleading poverty whilst taking the Council services all these years! Of course the Council is a disgrace. Of course core services and infrastructure are neglected for the fashionable social stuff and the promo bill. Penny Bright is only one of many taking this point and having heard her speak on several occasions woe betide us if she gets anywhere near the Council.

Penny Bright's house is selling at the peak of the Auckland market. Well done.

She would have credibility if she had put the billed rates into a trust account while debating her case. If she can't pay any of it, then sell her up and set an example to me and other rate payers that we can't follow her lead and get away with it. Try stop paying your mortgage or rent and see how far it takes you, in fact specific law states that in some cases that you must continue to meet obligations even if you dispute services. Maybe her health would benefit from taking this stress away.

I agree takes enormous courage to do what she has done. She has never wavered from the task she set herself. NZ needs more dedicated people like her demanding acountability.

Absolute rubbish. She never had any intention to pay

Long live Auckland Public Library. I suspect it is Penny's office.

LOL, "Last week, Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said the regional fuel tax was a pivotal part of the planned $28 billion transport infrastructure investment in Auckland. "

it's only $1.5B over 10 years, scrap the useless unwanted $1.5B airport light rail project and we should be sweet, or reduce the 900M useless cycleways and we should be fine.

Talk about scoring political points , lol
Labour had an agreement with the Greens and they are trying to shovel that down the throat of all NZers.

If your goal is to reduce congestion, cycleways are a great investment. Rather than having to make room for a car, just encourage the driver onto a bike. Reduce congestion, reduce fuel imports, reduce health spending, increase discretionary spending in the economy. Why the objection?

Bikes are great. I commuted for 6 yrs by bike.
But my enthusiasm dropped somewhat after a lady didn't stop at a stop sign and gifted me some cracked ribs which made for a rather painful 2 - 3 weeks.

Sorry to hear that, hope you've healed up. Hopefully some of this funding will go to making the cycleways safer, and you've nailed another reason to encourage cars off the road - they're downright dangerous.

Bikes are rubbish.
I am unfortunate enough to live just down the road from a velodrome.
So every day when i pop down the dairy to grab some ciggies, i have a bunch of lycra clothed gay boys waving thier hand out to slow down. Mean time they riding 3 abreast on a public rural road. Nutters.

I'm not going to come out in support of lycra, but as a straight forward mode of transport bikes are hard to beat. Here in Chch my commute is quicker by bike (20 minutes vs 15 minutes + 10 minute walk if I drove), I get a good baseline fitness level from a little exercise twice a day, my commute is stress relieving rather than stress causing most days, and I save ~$5-10k a year by not needing to buy, maintain, tax and fuel a car. Personally, I also save money by not buying lycra and wearing normal clothes on my bike.

Bike commuting really does become addictive. Even in winter when its dark and rainy and the cars are all stationary.
If you do a lot of riding, long Lycra pants are actually very good. They allow for heat dissipation and they keep the sun off. Fullstop.
When I see someone with significant weight wearing them, I cringe a bit but end up thinking to myself: "good on them for doing something about it".

So there should be a RUC on cyclists who are being subsidised by motorists!

You're right, what the country really needs right now is more bureaucracy. Lets get those pesky pedestrians too, they take up way more room than cyclists.

It's called sharing the communist love. Why should I do compliance and not you! Do and pay your share mfd.

In fact I'm thinking cyclists must breath heavier too......more CO2 exhaled........there's another tax......and then you shall all be made to wear a certified cummabund whilst cycling which you will be able to purchase from MBIE online for $35 plus GST.

Sure, let's do it. We'll charge them proportionally to how much damage they cause to the roads to keep things fair - let's say $2 per bike. We might even earn enough to cover the cost of collection! And the only downside is discouraging an activity that reduces congestion, reduces health spending and improves both personal finances and the nation's balance of payments.

sounds like you breath a lot more CO2 every time a cyclist passes you in traffic.. maybe we should charge you for that?

Bike lanes are a great way to reduce congestion if you are building a compact city, in which a high volume of apartments are being constructed. In a compact city lots and lots of people are being afforded the chance to have a short commute viable for biking.

Bikes lanes are a great way to increase congestion if you are building a sprawled city, in which a high volume of low density extensions get built. In a sprawled city people live too far away to bike and cycle lanes merely remove space from roads.

Phil Goff is building epic level sprawl and cycle lanes - because Auckland is stupid.

Unfortunately most drivers cannot cycle physically and do their job (trucks, trades, sales, medical, families, couriers, elderly, areas with no PT to service them etc etc). In fact many cannot cycle even without their job. Cycling does only meet the 1% of population if that so the large disproportionate funding is not being backed by measurable transport improvements, if anything access is being reduced across the board so PT would be far better as a mass transport mover without a car. Yet nasty little detail is that if you wanted better mass transit heavy rail is far better than the light rail, certainly for airport traffic. But alas those without transport options never ever get any so cars is the only option for those with mobility concerns and the more parking & access is being removed the anger is building up (along with depression and illness due to lack of access including to medical services). AT removes more access than it provides. Those fit could already walk and jog and take PT, so the desire for more safety could be facilitated by PT & walking and benefit far more people en mass than that 1%.

I think you are vastly underestimating the potential. Most journeys could comfortably be done by bike. Of course tradies carrying tools or people unable to cycle for whatever reason could still use trucks or cars or whatever, but they are not the majority.

"In Amsterdam, over 60% of trips are made by bike in the inner city and 40% of trips are made by bike overall in the greater city area"

You try riding in the rain!!!

I do, my bike works fine in rain and I have waterproof clothes. My feet get wet so I keep spare socks at work to change into. Turns out, it's fine.

... I think we're long overdue for a massive shake up of the council funding system ... it's time for the state to take control of the rate paying , and to bung in an across the board land tax .... and then , to meter out funds to individual councils for works and services which have been approved by a government department ...

Here's a question for the investigative team at

What is the per Capita rates collected by and for Auckland Cty compared other NZ cities like Hamilton and Wellington or Aussie cities like Adelaide which has 1,3 million people or Perth with $1,9 m population

By this measure we should easily be able to see how we compare .

I suspect we are doing poorly , I could be totally wrong of course, and just being influenced by my jaded view of , and prejudice towards the Auckland Council .

Good luck, the findings should make for interesting reading ........... maybe we are really doing okay.

Auckland rates are actually cheaper than elsewhere in NZ on average, aren't they? Believe that's been discussed here often. Comes from mayors having to campaign on keeping rates down, then having to fund via debt instead.

Would be interesting to see per capita stats too, though, yeah. And rates vs. property value too.

A lot of other places don't have separate water charges though. If you add your rates and water bills together I doubt its any less than regional towns.
But you also have to look at services too; most regional towns don't have rubbish bins (just bags), recycling bins, nice playgrounds, events, etc. I'd personally prefer to pay a bit more and have all those things.

Add on Ak's rubbish bag/tag costs. Plus the new stormwater and biodiversity or whatever the thing is.

That would be interesting reading but it would only be useful if the services were also compared. Many NZ cities have different structures for billing water, waste, km of roading etc. Essentially there would be a wide difference in population density and services. Hence Auckland can have pretty low rates compared to other NZ regions due to the higher density and number of ratepayers per km. Plus no recent natural disaster that is a money hole from poorer insurance.

And If I am wrong , I undertake to shut up commenting for a week on this forum as penance for my negative comments

Can you clarify what you mean by doing poorly? Do you mean Auckland Council is doing poorly if the rates they collect are low or high by comparison?

Come on Straya, save us from the Boat people.

When did you book your holiday? :)

I can't believe I'm about to say that but I really disagree with SB to cancel the Auckland fuel tax. Something needs to be done about the Auckland traffic and one way or another we need to pay for it. So let's bite the bullet, pay the extra 10ct/lt and do something about the traffic. What will be done is probably not going to be perfect but it will be a lot better than doing nothing

Agree - as discussed further up, National had actually been provided the same modelling that the increase would be needed to fund ATAP that they'd committed to, and they'd kept that quiet. When both parties have received the same advice and both see ATAP as a reasonable course of action, probably best just get on with it.

Modelling can of course indicate what amount of revenue is needed - but not the manner it which it should/ wiould be collected -or reallocated from elsewhere ( like COL's election bribes to students .. )

Bear in mind the modelling showed it was needed for National. But true. They could have diverted money from hospital maintenance, for example.

glad you agree that you lied that Nats "would have had to introduce the fuel tax".

Hah. Quite the reach. They were advised it was needed and they were considering it, and they had done it before.

I am merely being realistic. Otherwise, why would they hide it pre-election?

They've only been so against it for political point scoring post-losing the election. But we've been down this road before with National enough for us to be realistic.

Why, you have any info from before election suggesting cuts elsewhere to fund this?

I'm not convinced that the council is being prudent. So that is where I think the blow torch should first be applied.
Most people are inherently lazy and are not sporty no matter what they say. So driving is the thing which they do.
However, the cost of car ownership and driving is probably too low at the moment. Witness how many cars are parked along residential streets these days.
In the interest of making driving more expensive, I would support the fuel tax. But only if I thought that the money was going to be spent wisely. However my opinion of the Ak council is in freefall at the moment. So my overall conclusion is that there should not be any extra taxs. Let people stew in the traffic is they so wish.

But surely it is Auckland Transport that will get the money, not Auckland Council. I doubt they are the most efficient organisation in the world, but I doubt they are in the same league as Auckland Council.

Really, AT with one of the nation's largest corruption cases, why not ask Birkenhead how well AT can design & build infrastructure, I am sure that landslide will be halted in a few years after they failed to put in any stabilisation. The culture is the same, poor engineering, a lot spent on marketing, management and corruption, and yet no much actually done to improve the transport. They actually contributed to the flooding crisis in New Lynn and yet those businesses are still not compensated for the loss (plus the roadworks which have been a nightmare for them).

Even if you accept the need to collect extra revenue and spend it on transport fuel tax is a dumb way to do it ( although it actually works out great for me personally - I live centrally and cycle to work ).
Looking at overseas experience congestion charges are the way to go.

Its one of the simplest ways to collect it. While I agree congestion charging would be far better.. can you imagine Auckland council trying to co-ordinate that? three years down the track we would end up with a failed technology project that had cost eleventy bazillion dollars and achieved nothing, then they would go and buy a solution from overseas that worked..sortof.

Exactly. Lots of business class travel for the troops.

A pretty strong argument for not giving AC any extra money at all.

So no new roads, trains or infrastructure at all while Auckland tries to grow. yeah, thats not going to work. Unless you mean central govt should take over the show and kick AC to the kerb?

So you believe AC is competent enough to spend the extra money well - just not competent enough to collect it efficiently ?

I think AC couldn't be trusted to run a technology project. But to dole out money to roading & civil works contractors is something they have been doing effectively (but not super efficiently) for years. And it has to happen.

But that extra money is not really earmarked for roading - it is mostly for the hare-brained light rail to the airport plan . Getting that done is not any easier or less technology intensive than putting a congestion charging system together.

from memory, 26B and change out of the $28B infra projects were either planned or are currently underway like adding tracks here and there - the two new projects which will not cost the earth are the toll road connecting Whangaparaoa and Mill Rd extensions ... and the doomed light rail.

So if the previous Gov had coasted the 26B without these -then it is doable and it was going to solve the same problem as this Lot will without the 10c fuel charge ... the devil is in the details.

Additional Cycleways and the light rail is Greens idea and demands and these 7% noobs want to dictate that on everyone in Auckland using Coal Agreement and novice ministers.

Mind you, the greens might get in bed with National in the next election if they were given sweeter lollipops in 2020.

Such is politics, it stinks ..!

You'd think if they were planning to do it without the tax they would not have felt the need to try to keep the modelling quiet. Would've been something to brag about.

Quite the assumption you're making there.

I am making no assumptions ...
Bragging about what exactly? ... most projects including East West HWY were and are public knowledge .
The Takanini extensions, Constellation drive / Albany HWY new Motorway, adding tracks here and there are all already underway ...New AT buses and park and ride stations planned and / or being built ... rail electrification extension was on the books for ages...

But, here is what gets up my nose:
“We will create a congestion-free rapid transit network and boost other alternatives to driving to help free up the roads, enable growth, and improve safety for drivers and others.” says PT,

Anyone with 1/2 a brain will smell the BS out of such a wild announcement .. he is good in calculating inflation adjustments on funding but forgets that the country will have an extra 600,000 more people in the next 10 years ... almost 60% will settle in Auckland.

If these noobs are serious about solving this problem, they should borrow few more billions and bring in foreign contractors to get these projects done in less than 5 years ... the chinese will do the whole lot in 2 years. ... but these decisions need people with Balls !!

Everyone is sick and tired watching only few people or machines working on long roads or bridges one meter at a time - so silly .... but that's what happens when you don't have the money and you only have 1 or 2 companies to do a project and end up paying 3 times the price.

Had a walk around the Viaduct today. Get 100m off the main drag and there are weeds and overgrown verges everywhere. I live in north Rodney and we get very little from the council for our rates, especially in transport terms. No real bus service, no cycle ways, and our verges and park areas are a disgrace. The council was set up National, masterminded by Act clown Rodney Hide, and run so far by two poor mayors. What an utter mess. May I suggest that Mr Goff reduce the number of soft positions in communications and the like, and replace them with people who know how to use a weed eater. And finally, Auckland traffic isn't bad at all compared to many other cities. Some smart thinking around fare subsidies at peak hours, taxing company car parks, and improving transport links to busway/rail terminals would be low cost moves in the right direction.
Fuel levies are a dumb idea with lots of downstream consequences.

Much larger free parking areas at busway and train stations would be fantastic but the council is ideologically against it.

Yep - I like taxing company car parks. An awful lot of company cars seem to be parked all day in these city car parks. Why not at least indicate these taxes are coming once CRL and the tram are completed.

One of my properties in West Auckland lost its road due to the AT approving 30 ton trucks which they stated would have "less than minor effects" but the road itself only was designed for low load capacity. huge chunks of street and potholes that reached 4m in diameter and goodbye road. Still not fixed 3 years on for over 40 homes, no footpath, bus routes being removed, massive developments of houses in the area and that is central west Auckland. If anything all AT does is remove transport access, especially for those in Kumeu and around the SHAs. They have a train line but no trains run on it any more. AT is planning to close many main streets in the North Shore, totally bollocking the network and yet cannot afford street lights or any lights for that matter around the main bus stops there so people would be in complete darkness or need to wait over in the main public carpark they are giving away to developers. What a joke.

All sounds like history repeating 1000 years later

"The Anasazi elites, no longer willing or able to provide social services or competent governance and plagued by shortages of natural resources, kept extracting unsustainable tribute... As the economic and social situation deteriorated, the elites accelerated the building of roads and Great Houses...Complex societies create centralized bureaucratic structures that exploit resources until exhaustion and then prove unable to adapt to scarcity. ...The reason is simple: maximum population, wealth, resource consumption, and waste production mean maximum environmental impact, approaching the limit where impact outstrips resources."

Oh no, we can grow our population forever! Forever I tells ya! Hahahahahahaha!

1) Bridges was part of the National government that left the immigration flood gates open & accelerated the need for infrastructure spending - its the pot calling the kettle black. The rate of population change is so high its causing diseconomies of scale

2) However, he is right about local government spending in general. Local government should be legislated back to require it to focus on the essentials (water, roads, waste) & have to undertake business cases for all spending.

Well, This CoLs don't seem to care much about the immigration floodgates , they need the money to cover their big mouth promises and black holes in their budgeting they are shamefully silent about it.

There is obvious mismanagement in ACC and we will wake up one day on rate rises of 10% pa for few years ( like what will happen in Hamilton from July 18 ) to cover the ACC's incompetence and drowning in debt.

Since Goff has been in charge of the Super City Akl services have gone downhill. Parks and verges are a mess. Our local park often has grass 2 feet high. Our recycling regularly misses our street. We go a month between collections. It takes 2 weeks for anyone at council to return calls. There are slips on a number of walking tracks in our area from a year ago that have yet to be cleared. Rates continue to rise. Council payroll has blown out. I have zip confidence that transport will improve despite all these new taxes. They really are shite.

Auckland could slash its infrastructure spending if it didn't build its suburbs so far away from Auckland.

But Phil Goff loves sprawl and sprawl is very expensive.

So triple the debt and start new taxation.

... bring back the giant tunneling machine ! ... Orc Landers could live deep underground in a series of tunnels , handily , right under the CBD ...

They could emerge onto the surface via an interconnected series of elevators and stairwells , when it's time to do Orc Landery things .... like yachting ... or mall ratting ..... lattes and smashed avocados ... tugging the waitresses ponytails ...

... sprawl deep downwards , not up ... no nimbys to complain downunder that you're wrecking their view ...

Other places in the world. But under Phil Goff. Here the idea of building houses would be absurd.

Every thing he does is to make housing less affordable to build.

Now taxing the cars, that people need, that take them from the Phil Goff sprawls to work and back.