Now I'm totally confused. John Key has nominated Auckland for the Lee Kuan Yew World City prize, named in honour of the leader who nanny-stated Singapore into the vibrant, liveable and sustainable show-place that other city builders drool about.
Yet Mr Key's reluctance to follow Mr Lee's lead-from-the front philosophy when it comes to Auckland's development makes the nomination something of a joke.
Mr Lee was a hands-on leader. To combat Singapore's housing crisis, he created a Housing and Development Board to build apartments for the masses.
Around 85 per cent of Singaporeans now live in HDB flats, 95 per cent of them occupant-owned on a 99-year lease agreement.
The HDB has been at it for decades. This week, the Straits Times was advertising new "smart" apartments, starting with two-room flats for $90,000 up to five-room homes for $372,000. For those entitled to government grants, a two-room apartment could cost as little as $29,000.
They come with the latest "smart" technologies for communications and lighting, a carpark management system, pneumatic waste conveyance system, playgrounds, fitness centres and green spaces.
In a publication talking about what Singapore would look like in 2030, HDB chief executive Dr Cheong Koon Hean said its mission was "to provide affordable and value for money quality housing", employing "a public-private partnership between the government, then private sector and also the people".
What, you wonder, will the Singaporean judges make of the Key government's response to Auckland's housing crisis. First, deny there is a crisis. This despite house prices increasing by 14 per cent a year, and recent reports of house prices rising in parts of Auckland by $1000 a day.
The judges might also be bemused by the Kiwi version of a public-private partnership, such as the latest move which involve Housing Minister Nick Smith ordering the bureaucrats to go through their Auckland land inventories and offer up for sale to private developers, any waste Crown land, the private house market might consider they could make a buck or two from. Then sit back, cross fingers and hope some houses might be built.
Then there's Auckland's chronic transport crisis and the government's similarly very un-Lee Kuan Yew response. Singapore early on recognised that a liveable, vibrant "World City" needed an efficient public transport network and got on and built one. Here it's very different. The latest transport minister, lawyer Simon Bridges, is following his predecessors in the job, and all but demanding gridlock across the existing system, before he's willing to accept the need for the crucial city rail link tunnel.
In its latest monthly report, Auckland Transport reported rail patronage up 22 per cent over the past 12 months, Northern Express bus patronage up 17 per cent and other bus patronage up 7.6 per cent. Overall, a 10.1 per cent increase in public transport use.
Mayor Len Brown warns of another big leap in rail patronage when electric trains come to the Western Line in late July.
He says "We have seen huge leaps in patronage once the comfortable quieter and reliable electric trains started running on lines such as Onehunga and Manukau."
A government that truly backed Auckland's bid to win the "Olympics" of world city prizes would swallow its pride, and admit it was wrong to delay. But Mr Bridges was unimpressed with the 22 per cent rail patronage increase.
Do better, he says. Come back when people are sitting on the train roofs and I might weaken. That, and increase the number of people working in the city centre by 25 per cent.
How this sudden influx of new workers gets into the city without a matching increase in public transport capability, is unclear. So, too, is any understanding that building the City Rail Link is not just about getting more people into the CBD. It's about doubling the capacity, and speeding services on the whole rail network.
I hasten to add that I'm not suggesting state planning and state development of Auckland along the Singapore model is the way to go.
But in nominating New Zealand's only "world-sized" city for a prize honouring Mr Lee's legacy, a nod and a wink in his direction by Mr Key and his ministers, that city-building requires government support and participation, would at least help Auckland get across the starting line.