Posted on November 6, 2015
Auckland Mayoral Candidate Mark Thomas said Auckland was also facing threats similar to those presented by New Zealand’s spy agencies in their confidential briefing to the Government which has just been released.
Thomas said Auckland’s threats were less confidential, but some were even more serious:
1) Violent extremism
Concern about rates rises has reached an all-time high. The 10% average rates increase has created a tipping point and the Mayor has had to abandon his “Mayor-in-the-Chair” community meetings due to the protest threats he was attracting.
2) Loss of information and data
The recent leak of confidential unitary plan maps showing reduced character protection in Auckland was a major breech. There was a similar leak last year regarding councils IT upgrade blowout. Such losses are expected to grow as council disillusionment increases.
3) Hostile intelligence operations
Residents and interest groups have increased the battles they are waging against council. 66 character and interest groups formed the Character Coalition to challenge unitary plan problems. The Auckland Ratepayers Alliance, formed in April, now has over 14,000 members.
4) Mass arrivals
Auckland is the most attractive place in the country to move to and be born in with the population rising by a record 44,000 in the last year. The lack of affordable housing because of Auckland Council’s strict planning rules presents a significant risk from these arrivals.
5) Trans-national organised crime
Council’s inflexibility and non-responsiveness are causing residents to flout the rules. Illegal berm plantings are blooming in parts of central Auckland, unauthorised lemon trees are appearing in suburban town centres and unapproved pavement stenciling has been done on the pavements of Otara and Mangere.
The Mayor has struggled to effectively lead the council since his re-election in 2013. His $18 billion 10-year budget was approved by just one vote, running the risk of government intervention.