Author Archives: Mike Lee

Auckland Transport’s March of Folly

Historian Barbara Tuchman’s acclaimed March of Folly – from Troy to Vietnam published in 1985 was about ‘the pervasive presence, through the ages, of failure, mismanagement, and delusion in government – contrary to its own self interest.’ I think about … Continue reading

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Here come the Coalition: history repeats as citizens step up to protect the harbour

The mid-March storms revealed just how stretched Auckland’s civic infrastructure has become. More ‘chickens coming home to roost’ after years of council and government high population growth policies for Auckland.   While the irony of water restrictions after very high rainfall … Continue reading

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The cost of high growth – the dirty secret Auckland council would rather you not know about

It came as a shock to most Aucklanders when the NZ Herald recently revealed the scale of stormwater-driven sewage regularly overflowing into the harbour. The source is mainly from the western side of the CBD (call it greater Ponsonby) but … Continue reading

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Auckland’s dirty secret – can we handle the truth?

Sewage pollution of the inner Waitemata harbour is a direct consequence of Auckland’s disproportionate growth. The failure to provide for sufficient basic sanitation infrastructure is something the Auckland Council and the government driving these growth policies would rather the public … Continue reading

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Motukorea – Auckland’s forgotten gift – rediscovered

  Motukorea or Browns Island (60 ha), the iconic inner-Gulf island, formed by a 10,000 year old extinct volcano, a sight familiar to all ferry users and yachties is back in the news again – but for all the wrong … Continue reading

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Public oversight of Auckland Transport – is less really more?

Mayor Goff’s announcement that Cr Chris Fletcher and myself were to be removed from the board of Auckland Transport and not replaced by any other councillors came as a surprise to a lot of people – us included. That’s understandable … Continue reading

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Letter to Mayor Goff – in defence of democratic representation on the board of Auckland Transport

31 October 2016   Hon Phil Goff, Mayor elect of Auckland   Dear Mr Mayor, Thank you for your letter dated 26 October 2016 (note this was emailed to me on 28 October) regarding the matter of councillor-directors on the … Continue reading

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Waitemata & Gulf vote not to be taken for granted

My heartfelt thanks to the voters of Waitemata & Gulf for giving me a decisive 1000 plus majority for another term on Auckland Council. It was a hard campaign against a well-funded, high-profile opponent in Bill Ralston backed by the … Continue reading

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Auckland at the cross-roads

As I write this voting is underway for the local body elections. I am seeking re-election for a third term as Auckland Councillor for the Waitemata & Gulf ward, the heart of historic Auckland. As the name suggests the Waitemata … Continue reading

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The Unitary Plan. Sustainable management? – or 1980s-style ‘big-bang’ deregulation.

The deregulatory hurricane called the Unitary Plan swept over Auckland last month and it is fair to say the place will never be the same again. Goaded on by threats from government ministers, in four and half days the council … Continue reading

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