Howick and Pakuranga Times
Botany and Ormiston Times : Howick and Botany Times Wednesday November 20 2013
www.times.co.nz Howick and Botany Times, Wednesday, November 20, 2013 — 7 Weekend Sweet Tr eats OVE7728B Joinus:Sat23&Sun24 November – 10am – 4pm $5,000* cash to be won – (5 x $1,000 cash prizes) More FM will be hosting cupcake decorating for the kids Get your photo taken with your prize winning cupcake and view this on More FM’s website Dip your skewered fruit & marshmallows into our yummy chocolate fountain There’s even a bouncy castle Plus your chance to spin the chocolate wheel and win some sweet prizes r $ M f G c D Meadowlands Shopping Plaza is treating you to a sweet family community weekend full of great fun for the kids and a chance to win. * To be eligible to win the cash prizes, a minimum purchase of $20 must be made from any Meadowlands Shopping Plaza retailer between Monday 11 November and Sunday 24 November 2013. For full terms and conditions: www.meadowlands.co.nz 124353-v2 Getting down to business of leading the super-city AUCKLAND Mayor Len Brown visited the Times earlier this month to outline his goals and aspirations for the super-city over the next three years. The first part of his interview, carried in last week’s Monday Howick and Pakuranga Times and Wednesday’s Howick and Botany Times, covered the council’s budget, council-controlled organisations (CCOs), property rates, and the Uniform Annual General Charge (UAGC). In the second half of his two-part interview, he shares his thoughts on the make-up of the new Howick Local Board, alternate ways of funding local government, and taking a close look at how much council staff are paid. Chris Harrowell reports. Howick Local Board MAYOR Len Brown says he wants to see Auckland Council estab- lish a better relationship with East Aucklanders and the Howick Local Board, particularly when it comes to transport. “What we’re looking for is a stronger alignment and delega- tions between Auckland Transport and the local boards generally,” he says. “We think they’re too much involved in the nuts and bolts. “Some of that stuff, especially around footpaths and pedestrian crossings, is local board territory.” The Mayor likes the look of the new Howick Local Board. “I’m glad to hear David Coll- ings is chairing it,” he says. “That’s great news and I think he’ll do an excellent job. He was very effec- tive in his leadership role in trans- port with the former Manukau City Council. “He led the draft Unitary Plan debate for the local board very well in trying circumstances.” Funding local government Mr Brown says he’s keen to talk to Aucklanders about the best way to finance council expenditure. “We need to look at alternate ways of funding local govern- ment,” he says. “I will be starting a debate around this probably in six months time. I hope to get sup- port from Local Government New Zealand to have a genuine review of funding local government going forward.” Mr Brown says when it comes to funding council spending, trans- port is the “biggie”. “If we have challenges with our own balance sheet and can only borrow so far, then we need to think about alternate ways of using other people’s balance sheets to build our infrastructure,” he says. “The National Government is using a public-private partnership (PPP) for the Transmission Gully project in Wellington and look- ing at another for Puhoi in Wark- worth. “My view is we as a council need to be doing exactly the same thing. We need to be thinking about how we pay for this asset. “We can only pay so much out of rates, as we’re constrained. “The other ways we can pay for assets, particularly for transport, is through tolls. We’ve had the con- sensus building group suggest we could do that, or we could increase rates, or introduce a congestion or network charge. “We’re preparing a model we can take to the community, sug- gesting this is another way of alter- natively funding specific transport projects. That money would go only to repayment of that project, whether it’s the city rail link, a connector across the Waitemata Harbour, or a connection out to Auckland International Airport.” Council staff salaries Mr Brown says he knows the pub- lic has concerns about the large salaries of some Auckland Coun- cil and CCO employees. He plans to unveil a remuneration policy to keep those salaries under control. “I have the legislative power to do so, but didn’t use it during the council’s first term,” he says. “That’s because there was so much else to do. The first term was hugely demanding and challeng- ing. We want to keep a close eye on what we’re paying council staff, not just senior executives, but gen- erally. We’re going through that process now.” Mr Brown says Auckland Coun- cil was lucky to have its outgoing chief executive Doug McKay in the role. Mr McKay finishes in the job at the end of the year. He will be replaced by Stephen Town, who currently works as regional direc- tor of the NZ Transport Agency for Auckland and Northland. “He’s done an outstanding job and has been brilliant in transi- tion,” says Mr Brown, about Mr McKay. Mr Town will be paid $630,000 annually and it will be fixed for two years. He is on a five- year contract. “We’re aware Aucklanders want us to ensure we have great staff on-board, but I’m also aware I’m not in the private sector,” says Mr Brown. “I’m in the public sector and people are mindful of how much people are paid in the public sector. “We need to ensure as much transparency as possible around our remuneration, in particular with senior staff. We’re also look- ing at whether at the lower end of the scale we can implement a liv- ing wage, but do so within existing budgetary constraints. Those are two issues we’ll be addressing in our draft budget statement.” The council will adopt its budget tomorrow. Mayor Len Brown LOTTO STRIKE Large life changes for new winner A CHANGE in habit and a bit of luck have left a man celebrating after winning $10.6 million with Lotto Powerball first division last Saturday. The man, wishing to remain anonymous, purchased the winning Lotto Powerball ticket on a whim after seeing Lotto’s Live It Up This Summer promotion. “I usually don’t play Powerball – I buy a Lucky Dip each week – but when I saw purchasing a Triple Dip gave you the chance to win extra prizes, I thought I better give it a go,” he explains. As a regular customer at Botany Junction Four Square, the man received a text from the store on Sunday morning saying it had sold the winning Lotto Powerball ticket and realised that he had better check his ticket. “I checked my tickets in-store on Sunday afternoon and heard the machine beep when I scanned the Powerball ticket. “At first I thought I’d won $500,000 and was absolutely thrilled,” he says. “It wasn’t until I handed my ticket over to the retailer and he pulled me aside and quietly told me I’d won $10.6m that I realised just how lucky I had become. “I’m just thrilled, words can’t explain it. “I feel like I’ve flown to the moon and back.” While the enormity of his windfall is still sinking in, he already has a few ideas of how the money will change his life. “I’m looking forward to cutting back on work and focusing on the things I really enjoy. “I’m excited to be able to buy a home with my wife – without a mortgage. “ We’re also hoping to go on an overseas holiday, which is something we couldn’t do before. “ Whatever we do we’re going to make the most of it. This win will set us up for life,” he says.
Howick and Botany Times Wednesday November 13
Howick and Botany Times Wednesday November 27