Craig Lord: This is not a Fairy Tale

You might think monsters are mythical beasts, but I'll tell you that they exist. Monsters are fierce creatures who live purely to prey on the weak, searching for a way to devour them, and they do it with tactics of fear and brute force.

This Super City has such a behemoth, and it’s called ‘Auckland Transport’.

Compounding the problem is that this monster is not a singular entity as we would traditionally think. This creature has multiple limbs and numerous heads. Try to imagine bulk Medusa's or even the mythological Lernaean Hydra.

Us townsfolk are aware that this ugly, self-serving monster exists. We watch on powerless as it carves a path of destruction, feeding on the city’s flora, fauna and village precincts.

It enjoys making your life as difficult as possible, it hovers over you, purposely creating congestion, restricting your freedom, and it spends your rates with reckless abandonment and no accountability. This monster is pure evil.

Recently, a few people have been standing at the cave entrance, shouting wild threats while brandishing pitchforks and flaming torches. However, this monster is not only giant and all-consuming; it’s also highly intelligent and knows that the rhetoric toward it from a leaderless mob is the equivalent of flicking toothpicks at a tank.

Thankfully there is a way to slay the monster, and whilst there is a throng who are happy to scream and willingly poke at it with a sharp stick, they are being led astray. It simply can’t be scared away or kicked out. The right strategy is needed and it’s important to understand this.

This gambit requires guile, patience, and most of all, an ‘Order of Knights’ who understand how it thinks, knows its weak spots and the required tactics for battle, and are willing to work together for the ‘greater good’.

Oddly enough, Auckland Council already has a weapon available. So why hasn’t it been used? Why has it remained sheathed while this monster continues to feast at leisure?

Sadly, because the system allows it to feed, the current holders of the ‘sacred sword’ encourage it and whilst they happen to hold the weapon, they refuse to swing it because secretly - or not so - they are working with the beast, not against it.

This sacred sword is called the ‘Appointments and Performance Review Committee, and it is a mighty weapon if used as intended. The Mayor is the Chairperson, the Mayor appoints the members. This committee is in charge of the Council Controlled Organisations (CCO’s). It reviews the Chief Executive's performance, creates the Boards, and sets the recommendations on the CCO accountability policy.

When led correctly, this committee can wield this mighty sword. Together, using a patient and calculated approach, the beast of Auckland can be tamed.

The first swing of the sword is in the form of a ‘Letter of Intent’ - the stipulations and requirements. It clearly states what the monster can and cannot do.
The second swing lobs off the heads, as it removes the bulk of the Board and chooses convivial replacements.
The third swing is the review of the CEO and appointment of a replacement attuned to the new philosophy.

Now the monster is under control.

This is how we tame Auckland Transport and bring Council ‘Controlled’ Organisations back into line.

This engagement will take calm leadership and the need for a unified team, not an unruly mob led by a pitchfork-wielding maniac. This quest must be undertaken, but there is a right way and a wrong way of doing it.

Craig Lord, Mayoral Candidate

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