Only one in four of mayor's 100 projects is new

By Bernard Orsman

Auckland Mayor Len Brown. Photo / Natalie Slade
Auckland Mayor Len Brown. Photo / Natalie Slade

Just one in four of Mayor Len Brown's "100 projects in 100 days" are new projects initiated from scratch, according to a Herald analysis.

The mayor yesterday released a list of the 100 projects he promised in his first 100 days, which ticks over on February 8.

Mr Brown, who promised "we will see things really fly" when he began his programme, has acknowledged many projects were already in progress in one way or another.

The Herald has counted 25 projects that appear to have been initiated from scratch by Mr Brown. Of the 25, Mr Brown has made visible progress on five - removing graffiti from the historic Yates Building in Auckland, beginning regular Mayor in the Chair meetings at town centres, rotating council meetings around the region, establishing an Auckland First XV for the Rugby World Cup, and organising a bus tour of the region for councillors.

Many projects on Mr Brown's list relate to work under way on issues he campaigned on and is determined to advance - such as the inner city rail loop and boosting school transit plans. Others are work he must do by law, such as establishing the council committee structure, proposing the budget and setting up advisory boards.

Several openings Mr Brown has attended as mayor have also been listed as "projects", including the Potter Children's Garden within the Auckland Botanic Gardens, an upgrade of the Norman Kirk Memorial Pools complex and the Orakei Basin boardwalk.

Orakei Local Board chairwoman Desley Simpson said she was pleased about the mayor's support for the boardwalk, "but I'm not sure how that makes it on to his list of projects".

Mr Brown made no apologies for the makeup of the list, saying it reflected the fact he was desperately keen for people to have a sense of what could be achieved by uniting behind his vision to make Auckland the most liveable city in the world.

He said he did not want Aucklanders to be naysayers, and he didn't care what naysayers said.

"Instead of counting the projects, have a look at those projects and debate the merits of those projects and whether it is good, bad or otherwise for the city ... and leave the negative sentiments behind."

Mr Brown said he would continue to show leadership and people would judge him every day on whether or not they thought what he was doing was good for Auckland. Feedback so far was that the council was doing okay.

Orakei councillor Cameron Brewer said the 100 projects looked more like 100 reports, reviews and revision than 100 new projects. "Some of the things on the list reek of desperation to get to 100 projects in 100 days," he said.

Mr Brewer said the list was largely a PR exercise by the mayor to show himself as a man of action.

Citizens & Ratepayers co-leader Christine Fletcher said nearly 100 days into the council, councillors and local board members were still waiting to know what the strategic priorities were for the council.

"I hope in the next 100 days, the mayor gives priority to establishing the role of our local boards and to establish what the key priorities of the council are going to be," she said.

GENUINELY NEW INITIATIVES

GOALS
Double public transport in 10 years, reduce carbon emissions by 40 per cent by 2025.

INVESTIGATIONS/REVIEWS
Investigate Waitakere's eco-city principles, Project Twin Streams and solar energy opportunities, review free swimming pools and cruise ship terminal.

PANELS
Establish disability reference group, an Eden Park Taskforce and youth, and business advisory panels, and set-up Auckland First XV for Rugby
World Cup.

MEETINGS/SUMMITS
Mayor in the Chair meetings, Auckland Summit in March, council meetings around region, quarterly meetings with local board chairs.

EVENTS
Commission Auckland Events Strategy, open Town Hall to the public, propose competition to design mayoral chains, bus tour of the region for councillors, Queen St Golden Mile race.

- NZ Herald

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