Yesterday Auckland Council found $39.5 million to add to its 2019-2020 budget, without raising rates, cutting programmes or going more into debt. How did they manage this marvellous feat, and what did councillors say about it, and how marvellous was it really? It rather depends who you ask.

When the mayor and councillors got together yesterday to approve their annual budget, there wasn't much debate on the budget itself. Almost everyone in the room supported it. There weren't any amendments at all.

But they did spend most of the day making speeches, because it's election year. The big date on

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