Outgoing major Len Brown has been largely praised by CEOs for bringing together an amalgamated Auckland, passing the Auckland Unitary Plan, pushing rail to the forefront of a solution for Auckland's transport, and persevering with the City Rail Link in the face of central government opposition.
• The CEO of an Auckland Central law firm says "a big tick to Brown for persevering with the Rail Loop project in the face of central government opposition and playing a big role in getting it under way. That will be his legacy."
• "Despite his shortcomings he has been a force in helping to bring together Auckland," says Joanna Perry, non-executive director for several large New Zealand businesses. "We are way better off with the amalgamated Auckland than we were before."
• The CEO of a telecommunications company says "to give him credit, he targeted the trains and he got the commitment needed to get going."
Despite these accolades, more than 57 per cent of CEOs surveyed think Len Brown has performed below average for Auckland, and 63 per cent feel he has performed below average for business.
• "Len has presided over a council which has helped drive the price of housing well below the reach of most New Zealanders who don't already own property," says ICBC NZ's Don Brash.
"He has committed the city to an exorbitantly expensive piece of underground railway which does almost nothing to ease serious traffic congestion."
• "Len Brown lost all credibility when it was revealed that he was not as he had portrayed himself. He should have stepped down immediately," says a chair of several major New Zealand companies. "It has been self-interest which has kept him in the role for the past three years."
He targeted the trains and he got the commitment needed to get going.
• A real estate firm CEO summed up the general consensus that it is time for a change: "Aside from Len's publicised incident, he has been a good mayor who took over the Super City concept and brought it together. But now is the time for a new mayor to start, and to deliver major changes required for Auckland."