The latest dramas out of the Auckland Council's rift only serves as a reminder of what a pain in the bum councils are.

Find me a useful one. Show me the functioning council, full of happy campers, all on board with each other: respectful, productive, doing great things in the community.

You can't, there isn't one.

They seem to attract pen-pushing neighbourhood watch retirees or activists who're sick of placards and want to attend lots of meetings instead of protests. Although sometimes they do both - aka people with too much time on their hands.


They squabble like children stuck inside a wet classroom, sit on mountains of cash, yet spend it on all the wrong things, put rates and taxes up, refuse to mow berms, and generally just bicker amongst themselves.

It's tedious to watch. Sadly we don't just get to watch it, we also have to pay for it. It's worse than reality television.

Today's example is of course Auckland Council. The very same people who sailed a little too close to losing us the America's Cup seem to have now set their sights on sailing into a shit-storm with the Mayor.

Phil Goff, who I don't know personally, appears to be, by most reckonings, an affable well respected long-serving politician.

Until he joined Auckland Council.

Now, we are led to believe he is akin to a North Korean dictator.

What happens inside councils to make them so toxic? Is it the illusion of power? Is it those small stuffy rooms, fluorescent lights and all that instant coffee making them feral?

How does every council end up a cluster of internal ructions and dysfunction?

We're not short of examples - Dunedin City Council had a staffer quit this year due to alleged bullying. Hamilton City Council got itself into hot water when it floated a name change.

Whangarei District Council also wanted to spend thousands on a name rebranding exercise.

Christchurch City Council is renowned for its dysfunction. Wellington City Council is known for it's over-reach and 'we know best' philosophy, the latest example of which includes turning all the signs in the city into Te Reo.

I could go on but I don't want to bore you. My point is, the reputation of councils, is not flash.

So here we are now with the Auckland one being the latest with its disgruntled group of councillors agitating against the Mayor, while also facing down the fury of ratepayers over petrol taxes.

All of this just serves to remind us, the ratepayers, of what a fiasco and a circus council's are.