Author Archives: Mike Lee

How ego, technical ignorance and group-think sabotaged two sensible rail plans for Auckland

People may have noticed a subtle change in the wording of the latest official publicity about the proposed $3.5b light rail to Auckland International Airport project. Mysteriously the word airport’ has been airbrushed out. ‘City to Airport’ has been replaced … Continue reading

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Rakitu rat eradication – message to my Great Barrier constituents

The following letter was sent to the Barrier Bulletin the local newspaper on Great Barrier Island and was published in April. I wrote it because a sort of moral panic, in part drummed-up by the newspaper, was building among the … Continue reading

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Goff’s ‘Toilet Tax’ – Auckland’s ‘winter of discontent’ set to continue

Just one week after the imposition of the council’s regressive fuel tax, more bed taxes and a bunch of new targeted rates, came the disclosure in the NZ Herald that mayor Phil Goff has been planning ways to impose a … Continue reading

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‘Sea Change’ versus democracy in the Hauraki Gulf

It’s fair to say that the democratic element of our society has been weakened in recent years, a by-product of the neoliberal revolution that has swept across the western world.  Unfortunately this revolution didn’t stop with the disappearance of Sir … Continue reading

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Secret reports – plausible denial: Auckland Council’s winter of discontent

It’s certainly proving to be a Winter of Discontent within the Auckland Council. It’s this discontent that was behind the recent letter expressing ‘strong dissatisfaction’ with the ‘secretive and non-inclusive’ leadership style of Mayor Phil Goff, signed by nine councillors … Continue reading

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Trams to Auckland airport – is this really a Super idea?

I was as intrigued as most when Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced the NZ Superannuation Fund’s interest in building, owning and operating the Minister’s favoured light rail project – costed provisionally at $6bn for two lines. As we know one … Continue reading

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Rail to the airport – the March of Folly continues

Well, thank goodness for David Parker.   By his stepping in to stop another Auckland Council/CCO planning debacle the Minister for the Environment, Attorney-General etc, etc, has achieved a much better outcome for the waterfront and the America’s Cup. It’s a … Continue reading

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Kaiserschlacht and the Third World War – ANZAC DAY speech – Waiheke Dawn Service

On this day the people of New Zealand and Australia gather as they have since the first Anzac Day, to commemorate the fallen and honour those men and women who have served in all our wars. This is the fourth … Continue reading

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‘Have Your Say’ and ‘consultation frenzy’

‘Consultation Frenzy’, my friend Luke Niue calls it. Over the past four weeks Auckland Council has been consulting on the 2018-2028 Long Term Plan – along with a stack of other plans. The Long Term Plan (LTP) is simply council’s … Continue reading

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Governor William Hobson – the man who gave us the Treaty

Early on Waitangi Day morning a small group of inner city residents, mainly from Grafton, Parnell and Arch Hill but even from as far afield as Ponsonby Grey Lynn, as they had the year before, quietly gathered at the grave … Continue reading

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