Mark Thomas - New Mayor for Auckland

Let The Deputy Mayor Take Over?

Budget blues, ports’ problems, stadium strife. Perhaps it’s time for Len Brown to take leave to let his Deputy Penny Hulse try and build a consensus on the issues currently dividing Auckland Council and the Auckland community.

Mayor Brown took a month off in September/October last year and his deputy was praised for the job she did.

Penny Hulse has been at the heart of a range of difficult issues since Auckland Council began, most notably leading the draft Unitary Plan process up to its notification prior to the 2013 local body elections. Although it’s far from clear how different her vision for Auckland would be from Len’s should she run for Mayor next year, she has shown at times that she can get people with very different views working together.

A good leader recognises when it’s time to step aside. The current Mayor has become a lightening rod for the issues he has championed (his high rates budget), he is ineffective as far as issues he is not genuinely focused on (the stadium strategy), and his lack of attention to detail has been part of the problem with the ports’ issues.

Another month or two away would undoubdtedly be good for him personally, and would allow Auckland to make progress on some of the issues we care most about.


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