Len Brown's recent cuddle-up to Transport Minister Simon Bridges reminds me of a poor Whanganui chap banged up in a Bali jail for being willing to do and believe anything in his desperate quest for a little love.
The mayor finds it "heartening" the Prime Minister and senior ministers popped in last Friday to discuss "vital issues" and that they've agreed to a "transport accord" between Auckland and central government. Signs, he says, Government is working "constructively and collaboratively" with Auckland.
Now I guess pigs may one day sprout little wings and fly. But the laws of nature and the past behaviour of Governments suggest otherwise.
In May 2003, for example, the old Auckland mayoral forum signed up to a very similar pact with government ministers. Called Jog, the joint officials group was to examine Auckland transport strategy and funding issues. Later that year came the Government's "Investing for Growth" transport package, proposing the introduction of road pricing, an increase in fuel taxes, an accelerated road building programme and a single body for Auckland transport issues.
In 2005, we got Guedo - the Government Urban and Economic Development Office - an outpost of Wellington bureaucracy with personnel from assorted ministries including the Treasury, the Department of the Prime Minister, Transport, Economic Development, Environment and Labour.
It was based in downtown Auckland "to achieve greater alignment of Government priorities and effort towards sustainable urban and economic development of the Auckland region". A Department of Internal Affairs document described it as "a central government conduit into Auckland strategic processes and initiatives".
By the end of 2006, the Guedo empire had 25 bureaucrats and two support staff.
In July 2006 came the Auckland Transport Strategic Alignment Project. Transport Minister Annette King's announcement could have been dusted off for the present minister's recent announcement with Mr Brown and no one would have noticed.
Mrs King said the project was "to develop a common Crown and regional vision for transport in the region". She noted "there is currently no systematic joint central/local government long-term transport planning in Auckland".
Nearly a year later, the project team reported back that "there is a large degree of alignment between Crown and Auckland officials, including that a substantial shift to public transport is needed, starting immediately".
What became clear was that too often, Wellington expected consensus to be on its terms. For example, when it came to producing a new contracting model for bus operators in the long struggle to set up an integrated transport network, the major bus operator, New Zealand Bus, owned by Infratil, proved more persuasive to government ears than the united voice of Auckland.
What this brief summary shows is that for more than a decade, in the give and take between central and local government, Auckland has been the one expected to give in to the Wellington-knows-best mandarins and politicians.
The 2013 "consensus building group" was a good example; an attempt by the mayor to find agreement on extra transport funding in which the Government refused to participate. Last year, former Auckland Council chief executive Doug McKay showed his frustrations in a report for the State Services Commission recommending ways the government bureaucracy could up its game in Auckland.
He called for a group of tier-two public service officials to be based in Auckland, answering directly to their chief executives on Auckland issues. He told Radio New Zealand: "We have Wellington officials who don't understand enough about Auckland, and that's a danger."
He said without high-quality policy developed in Auckland, politicians were vulnerable to the "advocacy" of lobbyists.
In response, Lewis Holden, the chief executive of the Ministry of Culture and Heritage, has been appointed a State Services deputy commissioner to look at how Mr McKay's advice could be effected.
It was Mr Holden who set up Guedo in 2005. But can he make pigs fly?