What is it about Auckland? Why is everything such a damned prolonged agony? The sooner the Supercity happens, the better.

And looking at what happened this week, the sooner the great service agencies are run by business people rather than politicians, the better.

It seems to me, the worst sin of Auckland politicians is that they think so small.

Just when we thought we were going to take a lunge and build a rather imaginative, temporary, wave-like glass structure on Queen's wharf to accommodate party central, the Auckland Regional Council goes into conclave with the Historic Places Trust and the next thing we're going to have a little glasshouse made out of one of the old tin sheds and it will be there forever.

Murray McCully, understandably, is furious.

Look nostalgically, citizens, at that first option we had.

Trevor Mallard - a Wellingtonian, no Aucklander - came up with $400 million for a world-class waterfront stadium.

The possibilities were wondrous. Imagine. A stadium that appeared at night, in the broadcasts to the world, to float miraculously on the water, surrounded as it would have been by thousands of boats and yachts watching the stadium's great moments on television.

Imagine the visual possibilities. Imagine what this could have done for our tourism, our place in the world, the respect we could have earned.

I have no doubt Michael Cullen had actually set aside anything up to $500 million to $600 million, knowing what overruns would have eventuated.

But Auckland panicked. I was deeply surprised at this. My reaction was, "Let's go. Whatever we do, say yes to the dough. It's a once-in-a-generation opportunity."

I shouldn't have been surprised at the reaction, I suppose, having been here 25 years. But turning down $400 million shocked even me.

The truth is, Auckland didn't know what to do with that kind of offer because there was nobody, and more importantly, no structure, that allowed an instant and positive decision.

This is because of the deliberately designed lack of impotence and decision paralysis of the divided nature of the conurbation.

And because all of the local bodies became suspicious of each other, they became suspicious of everything.

It was a structure that caused our governing bodies to look for the angles, not the opportunities, as Paul Keating once said of New Zealand itself.

It was in a speech in Auckland, I think at Apec, in the early 1990s that Keating said: "We like yous (sic) really. It's just that we think you tend to look for the angles not the opportunities."

I think it was one of the truest things ever said about us as a nation. In other words, we don't say: "Thank you, Mr Mallard, we'll take the money subject to a couple of conditions and we'll get on and build the country something wonderful."

No. Our reaction in Auckland was: "Why is he giving us this money? What does he want? Does he think we're fools? Don't get smart with us, Mallard. We're the biggest city in the country. Oh no, you can't put it across us."

Now, we all know the importance of historic buildings. We all know the marvel of so many of them around the world. And we know how much heritage Auckland lost and we know the hideousness of so much modern construction that has been allowed to rise on our skyline.

Look, I remember doing the breakfast programme on Newstalk ZB from the old Broadcasting House in Durham Lane when David Phillips had his vandals right next door demolishing His Majesty's Theatre and His Majesty's arcade.

I was talking on the radio to the Mayor, Cath Tizard, saying to her, "why can't you stop this?" She replied simply that she couldn't.

So some awful things have happened, I know.

But there are hills to die on and there are hills to let go for the greater good of a campaign, and the campaign in this case is maximising the human, commercial and tourist advantage of the last great world-class sporting event we will ever be able to afford, the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

So the sheds of Queen's Wharf are not the hill to die on. They are just not worth it. They are an eyesore.

I rented for a few months an apartment on Princes Wharf that overlooked them.

They are pointless. They are nothing. They are not something anyone is ever going to drive past and gape at in wonder, crying out, "what foresight our forefathers had in designing and building such celestial constructions".

I accept there might be features within those buildings that are worthy of conservation.

Certainly, the Historic Places Trust, whoever they are, think so.

I imagine, however, that its members are the kind of people who look down their noses at rugby and the delights of the common people, generally. I may be wrong but I have very keen instincts.

What's more, some fairly flash architects seem to think the sheds are something worth preserving, although where the flash architects have been in recent years when the high-rise slums were being built, I've no idea.

Designing them, probably. Or designing Mark Hotchin's house.

As far as I know, the Historic Places Trust has no representative powers within our community but it seems to have assumed them and to have been afforded such by the ARC, the dying ARC, a body which in three months will be defunct and gone, leaving us with what seems like a permanent little glasshouse bravely lit up on a part of the wharf.

Take the shed away, please. Get rid of one and restore the other somewhere else. What a pickle. But that's Auckland, I guess, and that's why we love it. Nothing gets done and we all get left alone. And if the rugby fans prefer Wellington, well, so be it.

We'll just muddle on saying no to possibilities.

THEN WE find out the chairman of the ARC, Mike Lee, is furious about the length of the platform at Onehunga station. He should be. The platform is 15m shorter than the trains that will serve it. Nowhere around the world have I ever heard of such a thing, to be honest.

He is right to be indignant. The idea of a platform being shorter than the trains that stop at it seems absurd and incompetent.

Not that I monitor platform length of train stations in my spare time or the relative length of trains, I must say.

I worked with a young man once in the UK who made it his business to have on his computer the entire British train timetable.

He was a newsreader. Not only did he keep a record of the times of train arrivals and departures anywhere in Britain but he learned them off by heart and could recite them. Like Robin Bain, he never washed and he stank, too.

ROBIN BAIN. Here it comes again, the Bain saga, thanks to the slightly too-smooth-by-half investigator Brian Bruce on Secret New Zealand the other night.

In the episode, Robin is blameless and completely normal. But, in fact, the disintegration of Robin Bain is constantly ignored by those who point the finger at David Bain, especially Robin's family.

Oh no, there was nothing wrong with Robin. Well, Robin Bain was the relieving headmaster at Taieri Beach School. His career was hardly booming.

He lived in a filthy, filthy van in a field where, as Michael Reed QC says, he had neither washing nor toilet facilities for months.

He was dirty and he stank. When he came back to the Every St property he lived in an equally filthy caravan in the backyard. Why?

Here's the other thing that has occurred to me this week, though I think it has been at the back of my mind for years.

Nowhere in anything that has been written about the whole saga are the children's friends.

I do not recall any episode, any moment, when friends are round at Every St visiting or playing. I might be wrong and if I am, Joe Karam will correct me, I'm sure.

Yes, David got on well with people, he sang with people, Laniet told something to a someone, but where were the real friends of any of them? Any of them? We know nothing about Arawa, nothing about Stephen.

My real question is how any of those kids could invite anyone home to that place, to that untidy, filthy house.

A senior Dunedin cameraman, allowed into the Bain house to film for the news record once the police had finished their work, told me the Bain house was the dirtiest, untidiest house he had ever been in.

Despite what David told the Woman's Weekly after his acquittal last year about what a wonderful, fun family they were, something very dark was lurking there. It had to be because five of them got bullets in their heads.